Mobile versus desktop


With hundreds of millions of people now owning a smartphone , and analysts predicating it to rise to one billion within the next 12 months, it will be very important market for mobile search optimisation.

To help understand the differences between mobile and desktop search results, I researched on-line (of course) and below is a few differences.

Local results are more likely in mobile

Using your mobile to search for local services will place Google Places listings higher in mobile results than they do on your desktops. It is important that your business is not only listed in Places, but by adding your address to your social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter and Google , understanding Geo – modified keywords will be essential to be effective for mobile visibility.


Focused mobile domain link

For desktop SEO, it is better to provide choice for your visitor and once they find what they need, you can structure your links to guide that person to the next destination.  However it could be argued that for mobile SEO, it would be better to create an alternate domain which is only focused on local search enquiries. This would bring you more traffic and keep your up load speeds fast by ditching all the information not needed.

A market review of your business should determine what products/services and information, mobile search users are looking for. For a restaurant, it could be a list with drop down pages for Lunch menu, Evening menu, contact us, location map with a find us link and a simple review page.

Certain queries have interactive results In mobile

Certain queries have interactive results in mobile, pushing web rankings down (see [weather] in Android and iPhone search, for example). Marketers who target these types of queries with interactive results may see a lower CTR, which might affect their selection of keywords in the first place. This would affect both their mobile and desktop campaigns.

Android users are always logged in

This means personalized results are shown more often than in desktop search. This might call for on-site messaging related to actions that change personalized search results, such as “bookmark this site for easier access in Google.”

Different filters on smartphones

Smartphone results have different filters at the top (Web, Images, Places, more versus Web, Images, Videos, Maps, News, Shopping, Gmail, more). Fewer places to filter may mean a higher CTR in mobile search

Position of vertical results differ

Make sure your alt tags are correctly added to your images and optimise all of your videos. Positions of vertical results likely different in smartphone results. For example, video results are broken up on second line instead of placed on same line. Image results often appear higher in mobile search results. Image search optimisation and video SEO often have a low priority in enterprise SEO, but if mobile is important to the business goals, this may change the overall priority.

I have outlined a few to show the potential of focusing your SEO on mobile search but there is many more differences.  See below resources.




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