Difference between Desktop and Mobile SEO – Overview and Approach

We all know that there are two types of SEO – on-page SEO and off-page SEO. Some of them also included another type named technical SEO for convenience. But with the massive changes in the Google core algorithm update, the approach to SEO has changed hugely over the last few years to a decade. Now, SEO experts formulate their SEO strategies for desktop SEO or mobile SEO or both.

In fact, with Google mobile-first indexing, SEO experts are paying more attention to mobile SEO than desktop SEO. As a website owner, you need to understand the comparison for SEO visibility between desktop and mobile so that you can understand the approaches and strategies of the SEO expert you hire. You can understand yourself the type of approach your website needs to be based on the targeted audiences for your online business to prosper.

Difference Between Desktop and Mobile SEO –

Difference Between Desktop and Mobile SEO –

Primarily, desktop SEO is meant for desktop users such that your website should be indexed highly for those typing on their desktop or laptop computers. Previously, there was no difference between desktop SEO approaches and mobile SEO approaches because there was nothing like mobile SEO. But, in today’s world, there are more mobile users than desktop users. The regular Google Mobile Update has set different sets of SEO factors especially for those websites wanting to list their web pages for mobile users. These sets of factors differ widely from those that are meant for desktop SEO.

Therefore, mobile SEO is meant for mobiles users typing on their smartphones and tablets. It is very important to understand that you may not get the same set of website links in the search engine result pages when you type the same query on your mobile and desktop. This is because different websites have different SEO approaches and some of them concentrated on either desktop or mobile or both. Moreover, the keyword research for web page content also different based on whether you are going for desktop SEO or mobile SEO. This is because people type more on desktop and less on mobiles. Besides, a word typed by a mobile user can mean something different and the scope of the search can be local in comparison to a desktop user.

Ranking Algorithm –

The ranking algorithm for desktop and mobile searches is different. In 2016, Google announced the mobile-first algorithm and stating mobile-first indexing concepts. The normal approaches to SEO are only applicable to desktop SEO only ever since then. SEO approaches like link building, backlinks, creating blogs, and likewise are only relevant when you want to optimize your website for desktop users.

For mobile users, web pages with least words, optimized images, listing on local web directories and Google maps, getting more reviews from local customers and likewise matter the most. It is all due to different ranking algorithms for the different user base. The reason behind the different algorithm is for providing the better user experience.

Engagement –

The reason for the massive Google core algorithm update was the engagement rate different between desktop and mobile users. Mobile users are those for are searching on the go and they have the least patience and the time. However, you are more engaging as they are digging deep for the information they are looking for. On the other hand, the desktop users are casual users and they are likely to check out multiple search result links and hence, the engagement will be the least.

Therefore, if you are aiming for the mobile users, you have to aim for the first three search result links. After those links, a mobile user is unlikely to check the fourth link as per the data revealed. However, a desktop user is likely to check most of the links on the first page of the search engine result page.

Search Behavior –

We have already stated above that a desktop user is likely to type the long-tail keywords more often and one needs to do keyword research accordingly. On the other hand, a mobile user has various means of searching for what he needs. He is more likely to type only a few keywords as typing on mobile is a little inconvenient in comparison to a physical keyboard. However, there are voice-based search options available and the gesture-based is now a new thing. This has changed the SEO approach for mobile users quite a lot. On top of that, the regular Google Mobile Update is highly influential for formulating SEO strategies for mobile users.

Mobile SEO Factors and Approaches –

After understanding the comparison for SEO visibility between desktop and mobile, it is clear the normal SEO that most people are used to belong to desktop SEO currently. The fact that there are more mobile users than desktop users, every website needs to have the mobile-first approach. For that, you need to know the factors that can help your website rank highly on the search engine results pages of the mobile users.

Mobile Responsive – The website should be designed keeping in mind the mobile users first. The design has to be minimalist and it must be responsive on all mobile devices. If it is not, you are out of the race at the very beginning because no search engine wants to show those website links that are likely to give their mobile users a bad experience. After building your website, you can use Google’s mobile-friendly test to get the score and optimize accordingly.

Site Speed – Since mobile users are accessing your website on the go, they have zero patience and want everything lightning fast. That is why the design having a minimalist approach is a must. Moreover, it enhances the user experience as everything is clear and intuitive. Coming back to the speed, there should not be an exaggeration of graphics and scripts so that the loading time is too long. There are various caching mechanisms available which you can use to speed up the loading time. Moreover, there are various tests available to check your speed in comparison to your competitors and get the suggestions for improvement.

Get Local –This is probably the most important factor to get a better ranking. You should determine the local target audience and does your keyword research accordingly. You should consider the local languages and get listed in the local web directories as well as global web directories of the search engines. Google Places, Google My Business, Google Maps are where you need to be as most of the mobile users are local users. Geo-modified keywords help in better mobile visibility.

Hope you have understood the difference in SEO visibility of mobile and desktop and understand the importance of mobile SEO in today’s scenario. If you have not already, you need to transform your website for mobile-first approach and get higher ranks in the search engine result pages.


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