SEO More Important in Mobile than Desktop Search

I read Google’s Zero Moment of Truth ebook yesterday, and there’s a lot in there for digital marketers to love. Essentially they’re suggesting a new mental model for marketers that’s based on the Stimulus, First Moment of Truth, Second Moment of Truth marketing model that traditional marketers embrace. It’s a good read, and highly recommended for both traditional marketers looking to make sense of the new digital paradigm, and for digital marketers looking to make a case for increased investment in their efforts. If you’re looking for a larger book review, I recommend Aaron Goldman’s, or Gord Hotchkiss’s interview with the author. What interested me about the book that’s relevant to this audience is something that they said in chapter six about mobile search ranking:

First position matters even more in mobile. That’s true whether you’re talking about search results or ad positions. The digital shelf gets really small on the mobile screen! A drop from first to fourth position on mobile phone can mean a CTR drop off of more than 90%.

The importance of SEO in general is often explained in terms of the traffic dropoff from the first to second page, and from the first listing to the second listing, and so on. If your business is not in the first listing, it’s going to get a lot less traffic than if it were in that first position. Because of this, search engine optimizers pay attention to accessibility, keyword usage and other on-page factors, and links and other off-page factors in order to get closer to that first listing and get more traffic.

When it comes to mobile results, according to Google internal data, even fewer searchers will click on your mobile ad or natural search listing if you’re not in the first position. This is similar to what we found with Resolution Media internal data that demonstrates CTR in mobile search results can be ten times higher than desktop search. Because a number one ranking in mobile search can result in proportionately  more traffic than it does in desktop search, it’s even more important to rank first in mobile search than it is in desktop search.

If you’re reading this blog and the Mobile Mondays series in Search Engine Land, you’re in a better position than many to get to that first position in desktop and mobile search results. Stay tuned for more info in the last quarter of the year, including a new mobile SEO white paper that uses smartphone search results to define truths and destroy myths about mobile SEO best practices.

 

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