Study Finds Huge Variations Between Mobile And Desktop Searches

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The next time you’re looking for an item online, you may want to run a search on both a desktop and mobile device.

The latest research into desktop and mobile Search Engine Results Pages found only 13 per cent of websites retain their exact same position across mobile and desktop devices, according to online visibility management platform, SEMrush.

The SEMrush study investigated web address and domain position differences for 50,000 random keywords.

It showed 30 per cent of pages that are present on the first page of desktop search results lost their position and were moved beyond the top ten results in a mobile search.

Almost 26 per cent lost their visibility in the top 30 results, whilst almost a quarter (24.15 per cent) lost their top 100 ranking in a mobile search.

Our preference of using more mobile devices to scan for items online is influencing the variations in search results.

With more people accessing websites from mobile devices, web designers are focused on creating web pages which focus on the user’s purpose and are closer to the buying decision.

This results in desktop searches tending to have a lot more information on the pages and are more tailored towards people looking for information.

According to COO Jeremy Cabral the statistics in this SEMrush study correlate with the differences seen at between mobile and desktop search results in Australia and in other markets.

“The vast difference between mobile and desktop search results really places the importance of using a search result analysis tool that clearly details your website search visibility across both as you can easily be misled if you’re only looking at search results on your desktop,” Cabral said.

Explaining how search engines are now making changes to adapt to user behaviours, Jeremy added that Google is now predominantly using the mobile version of content for indexing and ranking searches.

This is having a huge impact and it is forcing companies like to prioritise their mobile functions more than ever.

“Marketers, web developers or anyone with a web site need to think beyond just a mobile-friendly design and to optimise for the very short time and attention you have from your customer as they visit your website on their phone.”

STUDIOHAWK – a Google Partner Specialist agency focused on search engine optimisation – director and head of search Harry Sanders believes this research is a reminder that web specialists need to take mobile-friendliness seriously and look deeper into how to give mobile users a better experience to avoid being that 30 per cent missing out on mobile indexing.

“With over 50 per cent of all global web pages served to mobile phones in 2018, this research backs up how important it is to optimise for mobile users. Thinking ‘mobile first’ is still something a lot of people are adjusting to,” said Sanders.

According to Sanders, there are a number of factors which make new mobile users click to a competitor’s web site.

These include fast web site load speed, the site’s responsiveness, optimising and scaling images.

By cross-checking your analytics programs to see what pages are ranking well or producing the most mobile user traffic, anyone with a website can improve their user’s experience – no matter what device they’re on.


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