Mobile SEO: How Different Is It From Desktop SEO

Mobile SEO: How Different Is It From Desktop SEO

Why Mobile SEO Is Different From Desktop SEO

Mobile google searches are now taking place on 68% more than on desktop. The recorded global search volume worldwide for mobile searches has increased! It is very clear that mobile search has taken over, enough so that Google announced that they were switching to a Mobile first index. this means a couple of things for your Mobile SEO campaigns.

  1. Choose Your Mobile Method
  2. Prepare Your Website For Mobile Display
  3. Update Your Website Code
  4. Include AMP markup
  5. Verify That Your Changes Reflect Mobile Friendly
  6. Request Re-crawl (GW Tools)
  7. Optimise For Success

What is mobile optimisation?

Creating a mobile friendly version of your website that is nice for the user to view on their phone. Optimising keywords for mobile search, people search differently on their desktop. This could be because of the positioning of the mobile in the hand and abbreviations like “idk” meaning I don’t know.

What is optimisation for mobile?

Mobile search phrases are slightly different from desktop terminology. This can include app store optimisation helping get your business app ranked higher in app store search.

What is a responsive web design?

a website designed to adapt to the screen size that is shown on. This is the most simple answer I can give. The website is like water in a glass, it will adapt the shape of the container. The website will display on any device screen and the best display settings.

What is mobile first index?

Google has moved towards providing a mobile search first world. It makes complete sense to me as everyone uses mobile phones, the ability to search on the go makes life easier. Consumer’s are using mobile search more than desktop search, shifting to service this trend is a smart move and it works best for everyone when you can convert a hot lead into a sale. Mobile searches are more inclined to purchase than desktop searches.

Mobile SEO campaigns

So Mobile SEO is a thing now and something you should consider after reading this blog actually more so after reading this. Now desktop SEO varies from Mobile SEO these are two very closely related approaches to the same procedure but not the same, follow me here while i explain this. If you ignore Mobile SEO as important I wrote this for you, Desktop SEO still relevant still very effective this wont go away but it may change as we shift more and more towards mobile search and results on the move.

Mobile SEO practitioners can vouch that those who invest time to optimise for mobile search see the rewards opposed to those that do not and expect to still acquire search traffic on mobile from doing NOTHING! Here is a link that shows the variance between mobile smartphone browsers and desktop browsers view rankings example.

When you search on your mobile smartphone the options are different to desktop there are slight variations to the way you search something not every SEO practitioner considers. This has been evolving since the first smartphone arrived on the scene and now we are here in a mobile search GPS tracking crazed world and we haven’t caught up with optimising for mobile search, its not on most “Digital Marketers” templated checklist to optimise for Mobile SEO


We use this Mobile SEO Testing Tool and its free to use.

Mobile Search Engine Optimisation

Mobile Organic Search

  • Pepsi’s Facebook Profile on Page 1 of Google

    Strange as it may sound, your Facebook page has to be easy to find in Google. Mobile searchers aren’t clicking through to Page 2, ever. You need to be on Page 1 for brand queries at the very least.

    Here are some powerful tactics to try:

    • You already link from your desktop site to your Facebook profile. Include your brand name as your link anchor text, instead of the usual “Like us on Facebook.”
    • Include a few choice keywords in your profile name. This optimises the title and URL of your Facebook profile for keyword matches. (Note: If you’ve got more than 100 fans, you can manually request a change to your profile. But be careful as this could backfire if you overdo it with over optimisation.)
    • Take advantage of your Facebook profile’s text fields (like “about” and “description”) to add important descriptive keywords. Be human, not spammy.If you’re a local merchant, quote some reviews from your Google Places or Yelp profiles, and let that keyword-rich user-generated content start working to increase the relevance of your profile.
    • Link to your Facebook profile from your other social profiles, like Google Plus, Linked-In, or Yelp. As above, always include your brand name in the anchor text on networks that will allow it (eg, Google Plus, Linked-In).
    • If you have a new or smaller site, you may be better off focusing on getting your Facebook profile ranking in mobile SERPs than your own website. Do a classic PageRank comparison between your Facebook profile and your website. There are other factors, but you might be surprised by how much more link equity your Facebook page already has at its disposal.

    Sure there are 155 million “” pages indexed in Google with more “” pages being folded into the mobile SERPs all the time.

    Yet, Facebook has not yet begun serving mobile-friendly content to Google’s Smartphone bot. And I suspect rollout of Timeline will have some negative impact on crawl able profile content, and organic listing descriptions.

Mobile Paid Search

You can give your brands mobile engagement by applying some of these techniques more and more brands are using their Facebook profile as a mobile PPC landing page and thats fine but be aware of some of the pitfalls when doing this through social media and the current trend of visitors having a work profile and a personal profile so getting them to log in and log out of profiles can kill Kendrick’s vibe and lower conversions.

These pointers can help you increase your mobile engagement with your target audience.

  • Connect to the right mobile landing page test the landing page yourself to make sure you send visitors where you want them.
  • Also consider that some platforms will require a user to sign in before showing the page or profile and this can deter some visitors from continuing by not wanting to sign inMost consumers abandon at this step people are lazy #peoplearelazy
  • However, Facebook is also the most popular app on iOS and Android, and if consumers have the app installed, they’re already signed-in. One method to address this is to open your page on the Facebook app for iOS or Android using URL schemes (Facebook’s is fb://).
  • To access your brand’s app profile, simply view source on your Facebook profile, and find your “page_id” code. You can then open the app to your “info” page using the scheme fb://profile/{page_id}. Voila!

Using paid ads for mobile search doesnt mean you can forget about optimising for organic mobile SEO but it is a way to have your ad in the top of search results an excellent addition to optimising for for mobile search in the same way you would with desktop SEO you run paid ads while you build up your organic results and when you have the volume coming in from your organic SEO efforts you can turn of your ads or keep them going depending on your business goals.

Provide a nice smooth browsing experience and when you are directing visitors to sales pages you will have a much better conversion rate then if you are continually getting them to sign in visit this link click that do this and send you these and you can optimise your social profiles for this and make it all a very enjoyable purchase and providing a positive buyer history where they will not be afraid or hesitant to return.


Here is a short list of the difference of desktop search results verse Mobile browsing search results


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. Local results are more likely in mobile, so Google Maps listings appear higher in mobile results than they do in desktop, and domains with local intent are more likely to appear when searching while signed in. If you have a local business that you’re interested in optimising, this makes Google Maps optimisation essential, and may even call for domains with geo-modified keywords, depending on your situation. 


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


Autocomplete results act as results before the results in mobile app search. Optimising for mobile suggest with a search call to action in broadcast advertising may help users find the high-priority content surrounding your brand that they might not have found otherwise


Options gives the option of mobile formatting in smartphone results. This activates the Google transcoder and may make the site unusable for filling out forms or enabling conversions. Having a visible mobile site in search results to avoid the transcoder scenario may keep users who prefer mobile content from being frustrated, which may save a sale


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


No option to block content in mobile smartphone results at present. This may change as Google gathers more information about the efficacy of its results in a post-Panda world; but for now the block content button happens only in desktop


If CTR and bounce rate data is used to determine ranking in smartphone results, CTR and bounce rate more likely to vary in mobile smartphone listings, as listings in search suggest, abbreviated title line breaks and descriptions, unusable desktop sites in mobile results, increased engagement of mobile users and the variations in ranking and UI mentioned above are all likely to change click through rates and bounce rates for smartphone searches


Carrier content such as ringtones highlighted for queries that match any keyword in carrier content, regardless of whether query is ringtone-related or mobile in nature. Ringtones could theoretically be optimised for broader terms as long as this carrier content in SERPs persists

Now take some consideration that Google search results while signed in may alter considering your own search history, location and settings

Have you ever bought something online using your phone? of course you have more than 80% of smartphone owners have purchased online through their smart phone.

Recent Apple upgrades to UI included apps that make purchasing online even easier with Apple Pay and Apple Wallet life just got easier and so did pay wave theft increases more on that in a later post.

The micro moments revolution is taking over and you need to be on board and have more focus on Mobile SEO for your online marketing campaigns and think towards being prepared for future advancements in mobile search.

What Makes Up A Mobile Friendly Website?

A website is mobile friendly when it provides the user with

  • Mobile display uncluttered
  • Mobile display easy to navigate
  • Can be viewed without view manipulation
  • Can be read on small screens
  • Provides value to users viewing on a mobile phone
  • Google understands that the site is mobile friendly

This guide will discuss the steps to making your site mobile and improving your mobile SEO from the perspective of Google documentation.

This slide presentation covers why Mobile comes first and you need to be ready for mobile search.

Courtesy of Benedict Evans.

  • Consider creating a strategy for mobile viewing with the way search is changing this is an important part of brand marketing and appearing as intended on the many screen size variations of devices and here you can see Moz suggesting 4 tips for your mobile SEO strategy considerations on a whiteboard Friday.


Mobile M-commerce

  • Women appear to be more reserved (44.8%) to purchasing online using their mobile phones than men (38%)
  • 55% of Australians have purchased online using their mobile phone
  • 2 out of 3 have spent more than $10 on an item
  • Low value transactions linked to digital products such as books, apps, games and phone credit
  • Repeated buying behaviour recorded in both high and low value spending groups

Desktop search will be around for a long time and overall its the leader in search volume but not for search trends its seeing mobile search take more and more volume not surprisingly when we have instant this and sales lines like “get it now” people want instant the fact you can buy something online and have it own it and then use it almost instantly is why people shop online, Have a questions google it, lost cant find that meeting point search google maps we have the answers to everything at our finger tips. For example right now at this exact time Im writing this on my desktop but I am really wanting to change over to my IPad so I can go into my lounge room and sit back in my extremely comfortable massage recliner and finish this post before I spend the next 4 hours building out a client site it makes sense to go mobile when possible and Yes Ill be adding some Mobile SEO to the site or should I offer this as a new service? Hmm the brain is thinking.

Having an entry Low-cost items lead item to provide some interaction with a buyer before you offer that higher priced item can be a good ice breaker and allow for a money to change hands and the relationship be established before going into full sales and marketing for your latest training course or fat blasting pills  these into low level purchases can make a huge difference when you promote your higher priced item to your customer something you see every day and may not even realise its happening see below for some example but also consider the frequency of these lower level purchases if you are getting 3 or 4 a month how could you turbo charge those? micro transactions, in-app purchases, you include Mobile SEO into your mobile marketing campaign

  • Purchases of books on the App Store in app purchases from my phone
  • Mobile Apps & Games free lead magnets up to $15
  • Googles own Play store and all assorted items
  • Travel purchases
  • Memberships Group deal purchasing
  • Subscription based purchases
  • Products ecommerce Ebay, amazon, shopify etc
  • Home delivery services like Pizza my domino’s tab is through the roof

The list could go on and on and just imagine if you were doing well with your standard listing just think how much more effective your offer would be with Mobile SEO that added element of being optimised for mobile search you could see your competitors being blown out of the water and not be aware of how you have managed to capture the market, but just adding some optimised mobile elements isn’t always going to win you the day read below for buyer hesitation a crushing factor that my help you reevaluate your offers.

Imagine having the leading candy crush app in the app store today but tomorrow when a new mobile algorithm triggers you lose the first page and potentially thousands of download doller’s, horrifying isn’t it your highly sought out app has fallen off the face of the earth but that isn’t the end of the world if you think forward and consider Mobile SEO you are effectively protecting your investments by hiring a professional to optimise your app listing for just this change in search algorithms allowing you hold that first page listing even throughout a change in the mobile search field sounds like a smart move to me.

Understanding Hesitation

Reason why I don’t buy online:

I like to know everything about my intended purchase, who what why where and when

If the website has a lot of pop ups, opt ins and heavy marketing tactics I tend to abandon the cart.

The appearance of the checkout if the path to the checkout is current and not outdated I feel more at ease to purchase

Trust seals and secure payment notices this is pretty important for me Im paranoid about credit card details being taken  and misused.

Security of my information especially involving money as we work so hard to earn it I want the satisfaction of knowing my personal details are safe with the retailer and the payment methods are secure. In November 2013, Google + Nielsen study involving 950 participants revealed five key findings regarding m-Commerce security and user-ability

1. Before you buy you research usually on mobile
Consumers spend 15+ hours per week researching on their smartphone and on average visit mobile websites 6 times. I personally would be switching between 5 tabs looking at multiple avenues of information before spending more than $50 online I like to see reviews, related items, images and any promotional videos of the product I’m searching for.

2. Mobile research starts with search
More smartphone users start researching about products or services on a search engine vs. a branded mobile site or app.

3. Location proximity matters to mobile consumers
69% of consumers expect businesses to be within 5 miles or less of their location.

4. Purchase immediacy is key
Look at iTunes, you can purchase an album weeks before the release date you can pre-order games and one dive into Amazon Prime and the delivery of your purchase is never longer than a piece of string. We want it and we want it now.

5. Mobile influences purchases across channels
93% of people who use mobile to research go on to complete a purchase of a product or service. Most purchases happen in physical stores.

Younger generations are recognised as the more inclined to purchase everything online but thats not the case data from 15 retailers shows that younger generations have greater confidence in smartphone transactions among those aged between 35 and 44 a total of 38.4% haven’t made a purchase on their mobile phone, while 25-34 age group shows only 19.7%. Despite the fact that young generations dominate mobile buying, so you can see that it appears that very young Australians (18-24) years of age don’t trust buying via their smartphone as much as the 25-34 years of age group. Unsurprisingly, ages 45+ top the chart with over half of the respondents in each group stating they’ve never made a purchase using their mobile phone this data is excellent to know when compiling your Mobile SEO campaign targeting. 

These purchases contributed to over 21% of total average revenue. Why did so many not purchase online? high bounce rate due to lack of trust in the security of the sales page and the over marketing on page young people are smart they know when someone wants them to empty their wallet online heck I avoid sites that over market it doesn’t make me want to open my digital wallet at all and this data shows that my fellow Australians are on the same page and that retailers need to improve their conversions by applying a level of on page marketing that is acceptable and not over bearing.


This infographic created by Ignite search shows some steps to DIY mobile SEO have a look below.

Mobile SEO: How Different Is It From Desktop SEO 1


Mobile phones dominate the way we find things, the way we communicate and how we share things. This will only increase with the trending of tech wearables. Marketing campaigns drop millions of dollers on billboards and magazine marketing but don’t really look at mobile marketing. How can you reach people now? By marketing to the little intelligent device attached to their hand for 80% of the day.

People purchase goods and services from their smart phones more frequently now than ever before. The ease of paying with your mobile phone is attractive and has no hassles. Placing your advertisement in the palm of the consumers hands is a winning formula. Capitalise on your market and adapt to mobile search first.

, but not to smart Id like to think that my girlfriend can still fill her car up with fuel after visiting her favourite online store so please don’t go all next level Jedi on your Mobile SEO campaigns. Using your smartphone to search for businesses, services and products is a common occurrence and only going to increase we need to be prepared for the voice search revolution and 1+ our Mobile SEO campaigns optimise for the future bring your business further than your competitors by identifying trends and adapting to them as they happen.


UPDATE 15th October 2016 regarding mobile SEO and AMP!

Google has announced that they are moving towards Mobile ranking over Desktop and it is no suprise given the way people use the web now being mostly viewed on mobile device now meaning is there more importance on mobile SEO verses Desktop SEO?

Google’s AMP Testing Tool will help you evaluate your website.

Accelerated Mobile Pages

Accelerated Mobile Pages

AMP: What You Should Know About Accelerated Mobile Pages

Accelerated Mobile Pages What The Heck Are They?

Imagine your website page being displayed on a mobile device in its entire form. What AMP does is strip back some of the elements of your website page to show a clean, fast loading lite version of your web page. Once you add AMP to your website, the display will show as the bare essentials on a mobile device.

AMP reduces load times and the functions that happen on the backend of a website. Lowering server requests by limiting tags, lazy loading and lazy rendering and Streamlining the CSS and JS components. In short it’s an HTML page designed to be lightweight and  re-designs your web pages to re-create really streamlined pages that are easy to use and don’t keep the browser waiting.

Accelerated Mobile Pages are also known as AMP

Above is a short summary of accelerated mobile pages.

Before we get into this it might help if I give you a demo of what an AMP page looks like on your mobile device.

enter this into your browser on your mobile then type in a website to see what an AMP looks like. AMP Page demo.

AMP is built thanks to a deep collaboration with thousands of developers, publishers and websites, distribution platforms and tech companies. More than 1.5B AMP pages have been published to date and 100+ leading analytics, ad tech and CMS providers support the AMP format.

Accelerated Mobile Pages and Facebook Instant Articles

I know you have been hit with the “Mobile Optimise” for better rankings and online UX before and now there is AMP, but AMP is here for the long term with more and more users taking to mobile browsing every day the future is headed towards mobile search.The AMP project focus is aimed to make people’s experience on the mobile web not only faster, but an overall smoother experience by removing the clutter from web pages to show the main focus content.

Facebook is well known for being a trend setter but being edged out by Google on Instant articles it has joined the race launching Facebook Instant Article’s to improve its UX with it’s millions strong mobile user audience hungry for information daily harnessing this new publishing solution makes sense for them to give their audience what they want.

Facebook Instant Articles is another way for publishers to create faster interactive articles for user satisfaction streamlining the most popular news on the web is a huge business and in the famous words of Ricky Bobby “if you’re not first you’re last!” Brands are scrambling to implement the new solution looking at getting the upper hand on competition. 

Higher Performance and Engagement When You Use AMP.


What AMP Will Provide For Your Website?

The AMP project is an open source effort spearheaded by juggernauts Google & Twitter.

to speed up our mobile web experience. Even though many websites today are mobile-friendly, they still tend to be very sluggish, and clunky, and that’s where AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) comes in. 

  • Provide A Better Browsing Experience
  • Provide a Clean Display
  • Loads Very Fast
  • Carousel Display in Search Results

In order to provide these improvements, on the mobile display some features your website has will be stripped back to the bare basics. Your website will be shown as the lite version so not every function will activate.

Flexibility and Results

The ability for publishers & advertisers to have some input and control on how to present their content and what technology vendors to use, can make a noticeable impact on the the way media is shared across the web. The faster load times and cleaner displays mean better access and simplified consumption of information.

Improvements for advertisers is that web pages and ads published in the AMP open-source format load near instantly. These instant load times are giving users a smooth, more engaging experience on mobile and desktop. When the website is clunky and hard to read the user is more likely to leave that website.

The main benefits of having AMP on your site is that it benefits both users and your website because AMP provides a faster more streamlined experience to your content, which means it makes it easier to read your content.

Even though Google hasn’t come out to say it helps search rankings for your website yet, we are confident that it will soon be a ranking factor as AMP only helps improve a user’s experience, and makes it easier to get access to content. Also if you haven’t noticed, AMP posts appear in the carousel first above the other stories.

Google was the early adopter and since many social media and news platforms have joined the accelerated mobile pages revolution — kind of in response to projects like the Facebook Instant Articles project from Facebook and Apple News and many more popping up daily. This is designed to be open source, and there are all kinds of elements of openness to the project when you list as open source.

Will Accelerated Mobile Pages Affect My Google Listings?

Currently Mobile search results the answer is YES, on desktop search listings the answer is NO. The aim of accelerated mobile pages is to provide a more lightweight mobile browsing experience and focusing on mobile search.  So let’s talk a little bit about how this might actually show up in search results. So first of all, what we know at the moment is it’s looking like it’s mobile only. It’s right there in the name, Accelerated Mobile Pages and should not impact the desktop search listings or browsing experience. ,

One noticeable change I’ve noticed, is news publisher’s and heavy content producer’s showing up in a carousel above the regular listings. It appears as if Google is giving them priority over other results. The carousel moves from right to left and vice versa with a swipe function either way moving through results. If you click on one of these it opens in an expended view providing more detail and is very smooth in appearance.

Some Results Since AMP Rollout That We Have Seen:

  • Some PPC Ads Are Showing As AMP
  • AMP Is For Mobile Only Not Desktop
  • AMP Displays A Carousel For Top Results

The looming mobile first index will have a benefit for AMP verified websites. Google announced that they are going to use a mobile first index. This means that they are moving towards user first search terms. Mobile friendly and optimised websites will be extremely important for the future of search. We noticed this as it happened and began rolling out Mobile SEO services helping clients prepare for this new way Google is moving towards.

It is actually taking place where some paid advertising would normally be positioned for some terms. Not all Adwords ads are showing as AMP but with the rollout the kinks are still being smoothed over. The question could be asked will there be paid AMP search results? and what placement will they take and the benefits and so on for having these over generic paid ads.

Below is a brief demo of AMP in Google search.



What makes AMP so fast?

The removal of unnecessary items, not loading images until they are near view using a streamlined version of CSS and removing some HTML tags. The pure reader satisfaction focus is increased readability without pop ups and opt ins, page loading times, and a more slimline design.

Look to the future with the potential for a built in javascript library built into some of the more popular operating systems potentially removing the need for more load times to access this making sites even faster to load. There will be a time that your content may be stored on the browser so the need to “fetch” data is made redundant, This may be some time away but it is a direction that is possible with the advancement in browsing and web use we want it fast we want it now and being able to provide that is the goal for smart marketers.

How do I add AMP to my website?

If you have a website that uses WordPress as its CMS , the easiest way to get started is by simply installing one the following plugins both are very good to use.

This plugin allows posts on your site to become both AMP pages, and compatible with Facebook Instant articles.

Google is not the only company looking to add to Instant articles see below for Facebook Instant Article’s. This trend for faster and better will continue as our technology and consumer habits shift.

Facebook’s Instant Articles The Social AMP Alternative.

For Facebook Instant Articles, you will have to first sign up your page in order to have it enabled for your posts right here.

Marketing online is changing to ease of access the here and now, Amazon prime order now delivered in 8 hours or less.attract and retain consumer interest by providing amazing content that not only looks nice but loads fast for your mobile audience


Mobile technology and web browsers are only going to increase in advanced features, think virtual reality and augmented reality.  Adapting to consumer trends is smart and your business should consider moving towards mobile first marketing.

Retain customers and attract new customers by being ready for these types of changes. Think Video Ezy and Block buster in the age of Netflix and Stan, they couldn’t adjust and now they are being left behind.

Do these three things to prepare your website:

  1. Prepare Your Website For AMP
  2. Use A AMP Plugin (WordPress)
  3. Validate Your AMP markup with this free tool.

Start by getting familiar with AMP and how it works across devices. Thi sis a simple process and you should not have to change to much on your website. Take the first step forward and understand why you need to consider mobile viewing and why AMP will help you supercharge your website views.

Keep up to date with the AMP project right here to see what the coming months look like for the project.

Further reading on AMP