As always, my articles started with someone asking me a question which got me to thinking and in the mood to share. The question was: “Why do I also need mobile SEO done for my website, isn’t it the same thing?”
While reading what others think about this question, there seems to be a lot of debate around the subject. Personally I am inclined to lean towards the school of thought that says mobile SEO is a form of marketing that holds the same goal as desktop SEO; and while it may share many things with desktop SEO, mobile SEO has a few facets to consider that desktop SEO does not.
What is the difference between mobile SEO and Desktop SEO?
It doesn’t matter what digital and mobile marketing strategy you put in place, your goal is the same – help your client’s brand be found on the web. But what goes into achieving that for a mobile site may be somewhat different from the standard SEO practice. Apart from the obvious fact that we use our mobile phones to search for different things than when do when we are sitting in front of a PC, there are segments of mobile search that hold a different value because they are achieved in a different way.
Mobile search can tap into your phone’s GPS settings which your desktop cannot. This means that localisation plays a much larger part in mobile SEO than it does with its desktop counterpart. Search engine results pages are smaller making the top 3 places more important, there is more emphasis on the technicalities of page load speeds due to spotty or intermittent wireless connections, social sharing is far more prominent in mobile behaviour and image optimisation is more effective due to apps like Google goggles.
These are just a few examples of how mobile SEO places more value to certain areas than we would normally. This proves that in order to be successful or optimise your mobile site to its fullest extent, you have to place different values to each of the aspects that make up SEO.
Mobile SEO has things desktop SEO doesn’t have at all
There are several things that mobile SEO can offer that would not normally even be considered during the regular SEO practice. “Click to call” functions which allow you to simply select the telephone number from the website and initiate a phone call is not something we would even consider in everyday SEO practice, but it can make a huge difference to both the user experience on site and to how the site displays in the search engine results pages. Probably the biggest utility that mobile SEO can use is the GPS functionality. Combining this functionality (such as a store locater) with your mobile site can make all the difference to the mobile search experience.
So should you have your site optimised for both mobile and desktop SEO?
Absolutely. It is no secret that mobile SEO is slowly overtaking desktop SEO in usage; it will not be long now until there are more people searching on mobile platforms than on their work or home PC. Countries like Nigeria practically run their entire country off of their mobile networks because it is so much more accessible and this method of thinking will spread throughout the world as mobile technology surges forward.
Digital and mobile marketing practically go hand in hand, the one feeding the other as it were. If there are just as many people using mobile to search as there are using a desktop PC to search, then shouldn’t we place as much time and effort into our mobile SEO strategy as we do into our desktop SEO?