Mobile vs. Desktop SEO


It’s no secret that each year more and more people use their mobile devices to find information on the web. It is important to understand your audience and how they are finding your website so you can optimize it for mobile SEO.

Mobile-First Indexing

In 2016 Google began experimenting with the concept of mobile-first indexing before incrementally introducing it starting in 2017. Mobile-first indexing simply means that, for ranking purposes, Google will prioritize the use of the mobile version of a site for page rankings. Google will still show your desktop site to desktop users and mobile. So if your page isn’t mobile-friendly, you might encounter some ranking problems. You can use the Google Mobile-Friendly Test tool to find out if your page content is viewable on mobile. 

Mobile SEO

Finding Your User Data

The tendency for users to visit a site on a desktop or mobile device will vary for each industry. For example, when visiting Firestarter SEO, almost 90% of our traffic is via a desktop computer. A movie theatre, though, might trend in the opposite direction. After setting up your Google Analytics profile, you can monitor the top devices used when accessing your website. You can also monitor individual page usage data to see if there is a particular area of your website that is gaining more attention from either desktop or mobile.  

Mobile-Friendly SEO Best Practices

Since we now need to be optimizing for mobile, there are a few best practices to follow. While it may be tempting to create a separate mobile URL with less or different content for a better mobile user experience, Google’s search engine will view the page as less valuable than the original. It is also important to understand that a site does not necessarily need to be mobile-friendly to be indexed for mobile. Just because Google can read the text does not mean someone using a 6” screen can easily navigate through the site. Remember, Google considers click data when ranking pages, so if your page is consistently being passed over for more mobile-friendly sites your page rank will be impacted. For the more technically inclined, follow the Google mobile-friendly best practices page for more complete information about how to better optimize for mobile.

Mobile SEO is yet another example of why SEO never stops. Google’s algorithms and its users are continually evolving. Contact us today to find out if your website is ready for Mobile-First Indexing.


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