SEO Strategies: Mobile versus Desktop

Over the past decade, smartphones, tablets, and PCs have facilitated a vast and virtually ubiquitous online presence. Smartphones and tablets, in particular, have revolutionized the way consumers seek, search, and shop for their goods and services. These days, consumers anywhere can, with a few quick keystrokes, connect with local businesses at any point, and from any channel, in a matter of seconds. While mobile SEO, searches and  design have gained significant traction over the last couple of years, accounting for over half of all online traffic, the prevalence of desktop searches should not be overlooked or underestimated.

Mobile versus Desktop: How Do They Differ?

You might be surprised to learn that, despite the ongoing debate about which device is preferable, SEO for mobile and desktop adhere to the same basic principles and best practices. That said, there are some key differences that must be acknowledged and implemented into your overall strategy for each platform. Let’s begin by exploring why mobile and desktop have different rankings, how to compare them, and what these differences mean for your long-term SEO goals.

According to recent statistics gathered by web experts at BrightEdge, 79 percent of listings have a different rank on mobile devices compared with PCs or desktops. Furthermore, they found that the top-ranking result for a given query is different on desktop and mobile 35 percent of the time.* So, what do these statistics really suggest? First, that mobile and desktop searches use vastly different algorithms to determine SERP listing data, and second, that any successful Search Engine Optimization strategy requires a highly developed understanding of user intent.

Most popular browsing platforms—Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Google Chrome—are working to provide the best user experience for searchers, regardless of what device they are using to conduct the search. In order to do this, however, they need to establish some degree of user intent; in short, they need to anticipate the needs of the users and meet them accordingly. Although user intent differs per person (and device) the general consensus is that the intent of mobile users is more immediate and transactional, whereas the intent of desktop users is more generic and informational.

Based on the preceding generalizations, we can further surmise that users conducting searches on their mobile devices are more likely to seek and yield localized results, whereas users searching for products or services on a desktop are more likely to browse generally on various ecommerce sites.

Search Engine Optimization, SEO, is also inextricably linked to the conversions likely to occur on each device. Those of us with smartphones, for example, know firsthand how convenient the click-to-call feature is, which is what most users use. Conversely, desktop users are more inclined to send emails or submit contact forms regarding their specific inquiry.

Deciphering User Intent Through Micro-Moments

Google anticipates and interprets user intent by examining their micro-moments; that is, by analyzing the ways consumers behave online. Using these micro-moments, the search engine can process the incoming queries accordingly. If a user is searching for a product or service in Plymouth Meeting, a map proximate to their location will appear. Alternatively, if a user is searching for specific information, the Google “Quick” answer box will readily appear.**

Micro-moments are particularly telling for mobile users, who are generally in need of immediate results. As an example, a mobile user searching for “fresh produce” is likely looking to buy fresh produce right away, so SERP may return a local map showing grocery stores or farm stands nearby.

Alternatively, on a desktop, a user searching for “fresh produce” is more likely conducting a general search. The user could be looking to order fresh produce online, but they could also digress to researching the health benefits of fresh produce, searching for recipes, or looking at other pertinent content.

In sum, these micro-moments impact how SERP is constructed, and determine the relevancy of the content that appears. Site developers, marketers, and webmasters need to recognize how mobile users interact in these micro-moments—as well as how intent differs between mobile devices and desktop—if they want to ensure that the generated content corresponds to both device and user intent.

What Does the Future Hold for Online Searches?

In 2015, Google confirmed that mobile searches officially surpassed desktop searches worldwide. Two years later, in 2017, research conducted by BrightEdge showed that 57 percent of all online traffic comes from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.*

Mobile SEO, Mobile Web Design
Mobile and Desktop Traffic

In 2018, mobile searches are continuing to outpace desktop searches, and this upward trend is projected to continue well into the future. As a response to this surge of mobile users, Google is developing a “mobile-first” algorithm as a way to compel webmasters to design their mobile sites first, prior to designing their desktop sites.

The popularity of mobile searches, however, does not diminish or negate the importance or prevalence of desktops, which account for 43 percent of all online traffic. Similar to mobile devices, desktops generate their own SERPs. Furthermore, descriptive keywords and longer articles are better suited, at least presently, for desktops and PCs.

Whatever the future holds for online searches, it is essential to have separate SEO strategies for both platforms and to track and monitor their performances regularly. Free resources like Google Analytics, for example, provide a fuller picture of such metrics — including advertising impressions, affiliate clicks, engagement rates, conversions and revenue rates, and even what percent of search traffic comes from mobile devices and desktop, respectively. These metrics will allow you to see how well you are reaching your target demographic, and also how users interact with your site on both platforms.

For best results, you would do well to hire a professional marketing company with the expertise to develop content that is compatible on both mobile devices and desktops. If you need assistance making your website responsive and mobile-ready, Perfexion, Inc. is here to help. Our qualified professionals specialize in managing and maximizing clients’ web content, ranking, and search results traffic.

Contact us to learn how we can make your website more secure and keep your SEO efforts and strategy strong.

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* https://searchengineland.com/mobile-desktop-seo-different-results-different-content-strategies-281643
** https://searchenginewatch.com/2018/05/08/seo-strategies-and-keyword-rankings-mobile-versus-desktop/

Google Changes Ranking Algorithm Based on Mobile Website Readiness

Using Mobile-Readiness to Get Found on Google

Every so often, Google tweaks and refines how they return web pages in response to a search query. Google continuously assesses their search algorithms to make sure the results they provide are the most useful they can be based on the information input into the search query.

Understanding How Google Performs a Search

Without getting into the technical weeds about Google’s search algorithms and how they work, it helps to understand, in nontechnical terms, how Google performs a search and some of the information Google relies on when providing search results. One key factor that comes into play is the level of relevance of the content on a web page to the search being performed.

Google tries to determine how specific or broad a search is. For example, did the user type in cat or exotic Persian shorthair cat? Google analyzes the words a user types into the search bar, and even makes allowances for typos (cat bred vs. cat breed). And, depending on the words or terms a user included in their search (keywords), Google’s lightning-fast search for results includes looking at web pages and matching the keywords to web page content where they appear in titles, headings, and text.

A user’s personal Google search settings and patterns also inform Google and can come into play in helping Google return relevant search results. For example, a user’s previous or recent searches as well as their location can factor in the results Google returns to a search query.

Companies and website owners naturally want to be found when a customer or potential customer searches for a product they sell or service they offer. But, before Google will rank a website high in search engine results, they want to be certain that visitors to the website to have a good user experience. Businesses can help themselves in that regard by ensuring the content on their website is always fresh and the information they provide is of high quality and valuable to the people who visit their website. The business should come across as trustworthy, and the content on the site representative of a company that is an authority in its industry or on a particular topic.

Mobile vs. Desktop Search

Without a doubt, we have gone mobile. People everywhere rely on their mobile devices – smartphones and tablets – to shop, for entertainment, for conducting business, for learning and information, for communicating, and much more. As far back as 2010, industry experts predicted our use of mobile devices would surpass our use of desktop PCs. Those experts were right. According to a March 2017 report by comScore, 69% of the time we spend consuming digital media is done on a mobile device as compared to a desktop computer – and that includes performing searches on Google.

As a result, Google will be changing their optimization rules over time so that websites will only be ranked based on the mobile version of the website. Up until quite recently, it did not matter if a website was not optimized for viewing and use on mobile devices. In fact, countless sites continue to work today on only desktop computers and not on mobile devices. But, with every update to their ranking algorithms that Google performs, Google is moving away from ranking websites based on their desktop version to what they call mobile-first indexing, which ranks the mobile version of the site in terms of its content, links, certain data, and how viewable the site is on a mobile device.

Understanding Mobile-first Indexing

In anticipation of user behavior trends, Google has been slowly moving toward mobile-first indexing – a search ranking system that gives websites a mobile-friendly ranking boost. With mobile-first indexing, Google looks first at the mobile version of a website for indexing and for how they determine a site’s ranking. But, if a company has only a desktop version of their website, Google will still include that site in its index, but the sites rankings could be negatively affected.

In time, Google will no longer consider the desktop version of a website to be the primary version, but will instead give that preference to the mobile version of the website. To minimize the impact to your desktop site, you will want to ensure that your desktop and mobile sites are, in essence, created equal – that the desktop site uses responsive design and the content is optimized for mobile use.

Do I Need to Change My Mobile Site to Improve Indexing and Ranking?

There are ways to enhance your mobile website and prepare for when Google eventually makes the change to mobile-first indexing. First and foremost, the content on your mobile site should be just as high quality and valuable as the content on the desktop version of your website, whether you are using text, images, or video. Google should be able to both crawl and index all your mobile content. The key takeaway is to understand that Google will crawl mobile content, so content on your mobile website should be as relevant and valuable as possible, which ultimately serves to improve your rankings.

Other checks and updates you should make include, for example, the mobile site’s metadata and social metadata, structured data, XML, sitemaps, and more – to ensure you are using, tagging, optimizing, etc. versions of each that work within the mobile environment.

Companies can no longer ignore (or afford to ignore) the requirement to have a mobile-responsive website. In the past, a company created two versions of their website: one for desktop and another for mobile. Over the upcoming months, Google will rely more and more on a company’s mobile site or mobile responsiveness of a desktop website when it applies mobile-first indexing. Keywords, search terms, and quality content will continue to matter, perhaps even more than a URL that today is used to organize site content.

To better understand the ins and outs of webpage ranking and mobile responsiveness, or determine what your current website needs in order to address Google’s move toward mobile-first indexing, consult with a professional web developer.

We are a Philadelphia-based web design and development company located in Plymouth Meeting just outside King of Prussia. The experts at Perfexion, Inc. specialize in helping clients market their business online – and on mobile – effectively and profitably.

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Understanding Mobile Marketing

Understanding Mobile Marketing

Without a doubt, the world has gone mobile. People everywhere rely on their mobile devices—smartphones and tablets—to shop, for entertainment, for conducting business, for learning and information, for communicating, and much more. As early as 2010, industry experts predicted our use of mobile devices would surpass our use of desktop PCs. They were right. According to a March 2017 report by comScore, 69% of the time spent on digital media is attributed to mobile usage over desktop.
Most businesses today understand the need to do digital marketing. If they have a website—as they should—they are already doing a form of digital marketing via the internet. Many of these companies also develop separate marketing campaigns to work on mobile devices. Those who are not have some serious catching-up to do. Now, more than ever, ensuring your business is optimized and ready for use on mobile devices should be a priority.

What is Mobile Marketing

If you are new to mobile marketing or have limited knowledge of what mobile marketing entails, the first question you should ask is: What is mobile marketing? Mobile marketing is a digital—online—marketing strategy that encompasses multiple channels for reaching a specific target audience via their mobile device. Digital marketing channels range from display ads to apps to email coupons to text messaging (SMS) to video and more.

Compare these to traditional marketing channels such as print (newspapers, brochures, magazines) and broadcast (radio and TV ads). Two key differences stand out between digital and traditional marketing: the cost to run a marketing campaign and the ability to measure a campaign’s success. In a word, digital marketing is more cost effective than traditional marketing, and measuring the results and success of a digital campaign is quick and easy, and can even be done in real time if necessary.

Why Focus on Mobile Marketing

Now that you understand the value in digital marketing, the next question to ask is: Why do mobile marketing? Google provides plenty of reasons in their report entitled “Micro-Moments: Your Guide to Winning the Shift to Mobile.” They define micro-moments as “critical touch points within today’s consumer journey, and when added together, they ultimately determine how that journey ends.” In other words, consumers expect companies to be available to address their needs at any time. For many people, their smartphone is their lifeline; as such, they use their device to conduct searches, find places, do things, and shop and compare prices virtually around the clock.

Mobile marketing campaigns vary depending on business type and service offering. Finding what works for your business is key. For example, a restaurant might find that sending an email containing a discount coupon is more effective at garnering new and repeat business than placing a coupon in a monthly mailer. Most users would rather bring up the coupon or code on their phone than cut one out of a magazine.
Keep these tips in mind when planning your own mobile marketing campaign.

Mobile Marketing Tips

• Take a test drive. Test the mobile marketing strategies your favorite businesses (or competitors) promote. Buy something or place an order from a mobile app to get a feel for a shopping experience. See how the ordering and payment processes work. When you test different mobile marketing strategies, you figure out what you like or don’t like, and what works or does not work. The experiences will give you a better feel for what might work for your business.
• Check your website. Is it user friendly? Is it mobile ready, meaning, does it display and function properly on tablets and phones? Having a mobile ready mobile responsive website is a must if you want users to have the best possible experience with your online business.
• List your business on location-based platforms that let you run promotions on different mobile apps and social media. When you do, users can check in and take advantage of your current promotion.
• Talk with an expert. A digital marketing company will provide recommendations for increasing your online presence. Additionally, they can integrate platforms and tools you use, as well as track results and adjust programs easily.

Businesses today should rely on mobile marketing as a key—if not the key—marketing strategy for getting in front of their target audience. For more information on how mobile marketing can work for your business, contact the professionals at Perfexion, Inc. today. They specialize in helping clients market their business effectively and profitably.

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Bad Website and Website Concerns

Website Issues – Technical SEO

Top 5 Website Issues

You’ve spent hours building and setting up your website. It’s finally done. You set up analytics to track how well your website performs. At the end of that arduous journey, you even give yourself a pat on the back as congratulations for your accomplishment. Unfortunately, you’re the only one passing out congratulations. Why? Because the average user finds the aesthetic presentation of your website unattractive and the organization and information lacking. Along the way, you failed to treat the design and development of your website the way you would build and design a bricks-and-mortar store.

A user’s experience on a website should be every bit as good as a customer’s physical in-store experience. Customers and potential customers who walk into a store off the street should feel welcome and be able to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. If the products in your store are set up willy nilly on the shelves, sales people shout out to you from opposite sides of the building, and dust bunnies float around your ankles, chances are good you are going to turn around and walk right out. The same holds true for your website. One mistake on your site is all it takes to destroy credibility in your business and can keep a user away for life.

Most people have heard the phrase “Build it, and they will come,” and understand the meaning it espouses. But, the phrase “Build it well, and they will come” more correctly promotes the analogous idea that a website must be done well for people to not only come, but to stay and conduct business – shop, buy, call, contact – whatever you want them to do.

Most people look at a variety of websites on any given day, whether on their phones, their laptops, or their tablets. Most of these same people don’t give the websites they view a second thought because these sites look nice, feel comfortable, and function properly. The user achieves whatever it is they went to the site for in the first place. In a word, their user experience is optimum. And when user experience is good, the website’s bounce rate – the rate at which users leave a site after visiting just a single page – is low.

What do good websites have (or do) that bad ones don’t? Because your website is your virtual store, ease and convenience of use are not all that matter. Consider the distinct aspects of your website’s design and development, and how they might affect a user’s decision to stay or leave. By addressing these appropriately, you ensure visitors have the best possible experience and will want to keep coming back for more.

Top Website Issues

Top Website Technical Issues, Technical SEO
Top Website Technical Issues, Technical SEO

The design and function of your website is just as important as the information your site provides and the products and services you sell there. Professional web designers and developers are trained to build websites that appeal visually, function appropriately, attract users, and keep bounce rates down. Don’t jeopardize the profitability of your business by building your own website and missing the mark on any of these key details.

Philadelphia web design company Perfexion, Inc. specializes in web design and development, including monitoring and managing the performance of clients’ websites. They are experts at building brands and all types of online marketing. Because they thrive on helping clients be as successful as possible, they collaborate with you to understand your business and build a website that targets your ideal customer and increases relevant traffic.

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Responsive Web Design: Every Search, Click, and Scroll Matters

Responsive Web Design: Every Search, Click, and Scroll Matters

When it comes to responsive websites, customer service and user experience go hand in hand. If users have a good experience with a website that responds to their every search, click, and scroll – that is, with every interaction they have on that site – they will equate those interactions to good customer service. The opposite holds true as well. Your products and services may be the best in the business, but if a user can’t locate them on your website, or they click on a link and are taken to an error page, or worse, they can’t properly view your website on their mobile device, they will equate that to poor customer service. At which time, they will click away and never return.

Responsive websites should always be fully accessible, readable, and functional for people who view them (error-free goes without saying) – regardless of the type or size of screen the website is being viewed from. Statistics indicate that more than 65% of web searches performed today are done on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. If your website does not adjust dynamically for ease of reading on different devices, or images get blurry when a user pinches and expands them, your website is not responsive or mobile ready.

When building your website, responsiveness of design is one key factor to keep in mind. WordPress, the most popular tool for creating and managing websites and blogs, offers plenty of website themes with responsive design. That means that users will be able to easily read and use your website whether they’re looking at it on their desktop computer, their laptop, their tablet, or their mobile phone.

WordPress is popular for a variety of reasons, not the least of which are its ease of use and community forum that provides support on virtually any topic. In addition, WordPress as a content management system (CMS) offers:

  • Easy content creation and publication of web pages, posts, media, and more
  • Control over who can access/update your website and the functions they are permitted to perform
  • Drag-and-drop functionality to quickly and easily add images and other media to your website
  • Plugins to add other features such as calendars and social media
  • Search engine optimization so your website gets ranked and found on the internet

If your website is more informational and contains fewer functions than a website designed specifically for e-commerce, you can manage it perfectly well with WordPress CMS. As you build, change, and manage your WordPress website, with its responsive design functionality, new content and features will adapt to the responsive design, so you can be assured of always providing the best customer service and user experience to anyone who visits your website.

Two other content management systems assure website owners of responsiveness of design when used: Sitefinity™ and Kentico. If your website is complex, such as an extensive corporate website, and/or contains e-commerce (online shopping) functionality, Sitefinity and Kentico offer high-end CMS solutions to support the detailed and more technical needs these types of websites require.

Similar to WordPress in terms of the page management and user access features they offer, Sitefinity and Kentico offer additional functionality right out of the box:

  • Websites are mobile ready, which means you create your website once and it automatically adapts to a variety of devices and screen sizes. You can preview how your website will appear on different screen sizes, and adjust content if necessary.
  • With responsiveness of design, you present a unified brand message and you do so consistently across all types of devices and marketing channels such as social media, which makes for a singular user brand experience.

Beyond the direct website experience, a CMS can be set up for other functions you want as part of your user experience. For example, you probably want to include a series of automated emails to be sent as certain user activity triggers them: Welcome, abandoned cart, Thank You, delivery confirmation, and more. Or you want to send product news, sale information, or coupons. Given the mobile nature of our society, more people are doing business on their mobile devices than on desktop computers. Responsive design makes sure your entire message gets seen and is easy to respond to, so people will want to do business with you.

Website owners should choose the most appropriate content management system for their needs – based on the amount and level of functionality and complexity of their website. But, whether your website is simple or complex, if you want your website to display accurately on both desktop and mobile devices, make sure every aspect of your website contains responsiveness of design.

Responsive design is vital to engaging customers and users. If they can’t view and navigate around your site on their smartphone or tablet, they will move on to one they can. If you have limited expertise in website design and management, or you would rather spend time running your business than managing your website, consider consulting with a professional web design and development company.

We are a Philadelphia-based web design and development company located in Plymouth Meeting just outside King of Prussia.  We are a web design and development company that understands responsive design and how it interplays with content management systems – CMS.  Perfexion specializes in helping clients market their business online effectively – and profitably. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

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