Mobile SEO—It IS Different

Why is everybody constantly on their smart phones? Are they texting, browsing social media, Snap Chatting? Are they searching for a nearby restaurant or business? Getting directions?

It could be any of those reasons and more. Admit it, you, too are addicted to that smart little device. Mobile usage has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years and doesn’t show signs of slowing down any time soon. According to Pew Research Center, as of January 2017, 77% of Americans owned smartphones, up from just 35% in 2011.

No longer is mobile SEO the wave of the future—it’s the current tide. So what does this mean for your business’s Search Engine Optimization strategy? Let’s start with looking at the differences between mobile and desktop SEO.

1. Search behavior.

People who use mobile devices are on the go, so the method used to search is different. Unlike searching on the desktop, you don’t necessary go to the browser to find what you need. You’ll use a voice-activated assistant (Siri), a maps app or other method.

There are mobile-specific search apps, like Google Goggles, Gesture Search and Voice Search, which allow the user to search without typing anything into the home screen. The context for mobile searches also differs from desktop queries.

The keywords used for mobile searches can be different than those used on desktops as well. Sometimes even the same keywords have different meanings when used on mobile devices. That’s why you’ve got to do research to find the best mobile keywords, in addition to the normal keyword research you do for desktop users.

2. Engagement

Mobile users want to see the top results on the first page. They are looking for the best and fastest results, so they will not likely scroll down. Plus, they have much less real estate on the smaller screens, so they may only get as far as the top three. Desktop screens are much larger, displaying multiple results. If you’re in front of your computer, you probably have more time and patience than when you’re out and about with only your smart phone as a resource.

In other words, the mobile searcher is more engaged, but less interested in scrolling. So if you don’t already have that number one spot and you’re not optimizing for it, it could be argued that you’re not really doing mobile SEO and you’re not really optimized for mobile search.

3. Ranking Algorithm.

This factor is the most critical difference. Google wants to cater to the mobile user looking for concise results fast, so it has different ranking factors. Google’s goal is to provide mobile searchers the same positive experience as if they were searching on a desktop.

Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile-Ready

Google rolled out its mobile-friendly algorithm back in 2015, which is designed to give a boost to mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile search results. Hopefully, your website is mobile-friendly, but if you’re not sure, you can do a simple test by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool. If you fail the test, you should take steps to make your site mobile-friendly in order to keep up with the mobile world.

There are three fundamental components to building mobile sites that will drive conversions:

  1. Responsive design
  2. Page loading speed
  3. Mobile design and usability

An article by Marcus Miller on Search Engine Land provides some guidelines and a good checklist for mobile optimization that may shed more light on the topic.

Las Vegas SEO for Growth Can Help with Mobile SEO

Las Vegas SEO for Growth offers assistance to small and medium sized businesses to improve their search rankings. We can evaluate your site and determine if it’s mobile-friendly and do what it takes to increase your mobile SEO. Whatever your overall goals and objectives are, we will help you to succeed in today’s competitive online market. Contact us today to learn more!

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