Why it’s important to separate your mobile and desktop ranking strategies


On top of the many disciplines involved in any SEO campaign, you must now also consider separating your approaches to both mobile and desktop search when refining your strategy.

Written By

Jamie Clifton

Posted On

11 May 2018

On top of the many disciplines involved in any SEO campaign, you must now also consider separating your ranking strategies to both mobile and desktop search. Yes, they follow the same basic practices but there are certain inconsistencies that you must factor into your overall search strategy. Almost 80% of search listings now rank differently on mobile compared with desktop and 35% of the time for the top ranking result specifically.

So, why do they differ so much?

Remember that desktop and mobile searches both involve different algorithms. User experience is at the fore of Google’s ranking system for any given search and that is regardless of what device they are using. Which takes us back to user intent. Google’s ability through the use of ‘micro-moments’ to determine a user’s intent based on what device they are using is particularly important on mobile devices. Often, the user needs to take action far sooner than on desktop.

At this point, it’s worth bearing in mind that mobile searches with longer word counts perform better. There is still an opinion that users on mobile don’t consume as much long tail content. Again, rewind back to Google’s focus on user experience; there is a priority for high quality, well-thought content.

To summarise here’s some quick advice in order to separate your ranking strategies:

  • When performing an SEO audit for your website, look at mobile and desktop information differently
  • Separate both mobile and desktop terms when performing keyword research
  • Implement AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) where possible and appropriate on the website
  • Go beyond the rankings of your reporting and compare mobile vs desktop
  • Factor in voice search on mobile devices
  • Cater for both types of mobile and desktop users when thinking about your content strategy specifically

It’s important to use the information and stats from differed rankings in order to refine your SEO ranking strategies for both devices.

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