Internet users have been using mobile search more often than desktop for almost four years now - and there’s no turning back. Mobile search activity climbed ahead of desktop searches in 2015.

However, desktop search is not dead. Even though it has been surpassed by mobile, desktop search activity has still increased. This clearly means website managers and owners must remain focused on search engine optimization (SEO) strategies for both mobile and desktop platforms.

But don’t think for a moment that the same SEO strategies used for desktop will work perfectly on mobile. Spoiler: they won’t. Every business that maintains a website must recognize the differences between mobile and desktop search engine optimization - and how to develop strategies for both.

What you should know about SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO), according to Moz, is the use of strategies that draw increases in both quantity and quality of traffic to websites through organic search engine results.

Both quantity and quality of the traffic your SEO strategies attract to your website are important. The quantity, obviously, is key because you want to draw web visitors in bulk - and this is possible with good SEO.

Quality is important, too, though. It doesn’t matter how many people click through from search results to your website if none of them are actual customers in your target audiences.

Finally, SEO focuses on increasing organic web traffic. This means traffic that you didn’t pay for through advertising or other paid marketing strategies. An example of a paid strategy would be Google’s AdWords, the top results in many Google searches.

How SEO works

Search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and others take many factors into consideration when developing the search algorithms that deliver search results and rank websites. The goal of all these search engines is to provide the highest-quality results to the user who has entered a search.

To find the highest-quality websites, search engines look at a number of factors, including:

  • Quantity and quality of links that point to your website’s domain
  • Page-level link features, such as quantity of links, quality of link sources and anchor text distribution
  • Content relevance, quantity, length, readability, load speed
  • Quantity and quality of social media links pointing to your website
  • Keyword usage on website pages and in the domain name
  • And more.

Owners and managers of websites who want to perform well in search results need to take all of these factors into consideration when they are developing an SEO strategy.

How mobile and desktop SEO differ

In most cases, users act differently depending on what type of device they are using. In general, a mobile user likely has a better idea of what they are searching for and is much closer to making a purchase. The desktop user is typically looking for more information about a topic, product or service.

For example, a person may be walking in a downtown area, knows they are hungry and knows what type of food sounds good. So, they will take out their smartphone and do a quick search for that specific restaurant type in their area. That’s when, if you are a restaurant owner, you want to make sure your mobile SEO strategy is top-notch to beat out the competition.

On the other hand, a person looking up restaurants from a desktop computer is likely looking only for information at this point in their search. Perhaps they are traveling and just want to know what options exist or they could be going out with friends later in the day and want to come up with suggestions. Restaurants obviously should still want to show up in this person’s search results, too.

But the strategies that will help a business show up in both mobile and desktop searches will differ. Let’s take a look at how.

Mobile SEO strategy

When a user’s intent while using a search engine changes, then everything behind how you can best lead them to your website changes. Realizing this, you will want to use Google Analytics or other website statistic tracking tools to separate your mobile website visitors from desktop visitors.

Once you have done this, begin to take into consideration how the behavior of mobile users differs. Ask yourself why a mobile user, who likely is closer to making a purchase or other key decision, may benefit from seeing your website in search results.

What keywords or key phrases might a mobile user be searching for? What type of content are they seeking? Does your website utilize these keywords and content types? If not, start implementing a mobile SEO strategy.

With mobile, it’s critical that you focus on that user intent for SEO. Help mobile web visitors find the information they are likely already looking for before they make a purchase or decision, i.e. price, hours of business, phone numbers, address etc.

Other mobile strategies include optimizing page load speed, designing mobile responsive websites, limiting pop-ups, not blocking images, and optimizing titles and meta descriptions, knowing that you have less screen space on mobile devices.

Desktop SEO strategy

Though many leading resources now recommend leaning mobile-first with SEO, don’t abandon desktop altogether. Plenty of your web traffic is still going to come from desktop, you simply know now that the audiences are different.

For the most part, better mobile SEO will help your desktop SEO results. As with mobile, focus on better website design and better user experience. Search engines reward sites that are easier to navigate and read, which likely make the information they contain more helpful and of a higher quality. Websites also need to be optimized for page speed on desktop just as they must be for mobile.

Desktop SEO results can also be improved through a solid content marketing strategy that also encompasses keywords. Finally, don’t forget to place some focus on link building, linking both to high-quality resources found on your own site and others.

Boost your website’s SEO

Increasing your website’s organic SEO can be more challenging than it appears at first glance. It takes time and attention to get the desired web traffic results.

Contact Emagine today and we’ll get to work on developing a strategy that will improve your website’s search engine rankings and turn more web visitors into customers.

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