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FREE online SEO course: Mobile SEO Course with Greg Gifford 

Introduction to Mobile SEO

7 lessons


Introduction to Mobile SEO

Hey, I'm Greg Gifford. In this lesson, the first in the Mobile SEO course, we're going to be talking about how mobile SEO is different from desktop SEO - and why it's important for future success.

There's overlap in the tactics for mobile SEO and desktop SEO, and the goals are usually the same. Content is a major focus for both – you're not going to rank for a keyword if you don't have relevant, helpful content related to that keyword. User experience is also important in both types of SEO – you need to be sure that users can easily navigate your content and find what they need quickly. Performance is also a universal focus – no one's going to buy from you if your site loads like you're on AOL in 1995.

The Differences Between Desktop and Mobile SEO

With desktop SEO, you're typically focusing on the internet at large – the general public. You're focusing on how you show up for particular keywords and optimizing for those keywords, but there's no geographic focus.

With mobile SEO, there's usually a local focus, since mobile searches are inherently local. Google knows your location when you're searching, and with mobile devices it knows exactly where you are.

With mobile SEO, you're trying to reach your customers at the right time. That doesn't necessarily mean that they're out and about. Our smartphones have become an integral part of our daily lives. If something comes up in conversation and you want more details, what do you do? Do you stop everything, rush to your laptop or desktop, sit down, open a browser, type in your query, read the results, then shut down and return to the conversation?

Of course not – you just pull out your phone, pop open your browser, and do a quick search. It's all about convenience.

You use your phone to look up directions. You pull up product info to comparison shop, even while you're physically in a store. You use it to answer any question you don't know the answer to.

Why Mobile SEO is so Important

Google research has shown that mobile searchers have a higher buyer intent – that means that users who search on a mobile device are much more likely to buy than users who search on a desktop.

Sounds like those are the users you want to target, right? If you want to convert those mobile searches, you need to be sure your site is visible when mobile users are searching.

Mobile SEO has been around as long as we've had smartphones, but recently, it's become a strategy that's vital for continued success. More searches are conducted on mobile devices than on desktop devices, and the gap between the two continues to grow.

The Impact of the Mobile-First Index on the SEO Status Quo

Google has switched to a mobile-first index, an even clearer sign that mobile SEO is key to success. In the past, Google's index was built on desktop sites. Google's spiders would crawl the desktop versions of websites and add them to its index – so even if you were doing a search on your mobile device, the results were based on what Google indexed from the desktop versions of websites.

With Google switching to the mobile-first index, the spiders are now indexing the mobile versions of websites. Now, when you're doing a search on a laptop or desktop, the results are based on Google's index of the mobile versions of websites.

There's an important difference here – in the past, businesses would hide or remove content from their mobile sites in the name of user experience. Everyone assumed that users wanted to scroll as little as possible. Mobile sites were always pared-down experiences. Now, with the mobile first index, your mobile site has to rock. You've got to have the right technical backbone and you have to know how to optimize for the best visibility in mobile searches.

Introduction to Mobile SEO: Lesson Summary

So, that's it for lesson 1 of the Mobile SEO course, we hope you learned something awesome. If you've got any questions, feel free to tweet them to me directly at @greggifford, or the awesome team of pros over at the SEMrush academy at @semrushacademy.

Don't forget to check out the next lesson, and when you think you're ready, head over to the SEMrush Academy page and take the test for this course so you can get officially SEMrush certified.