Why you need to optimize for both
More searches have been occurring on mobile instead of desktop for a few years now. In response, Google and others have adjusted and put higher priorities on mobile local search. If you aren’t optimizing your search for mobile you are certainly missing out on local traffic to your site.
While you need to be focusing on mobile, you shouldn’t give up on desktop either. Mobile searches are more likely to be tied to immediate action and purchases, whereas desktop searches play a larger role in helping customers research for a future purchase.
How to optimize for mobile
Like with many things on mobile, searches tend to be made faster and with shorter keywords. By shortening your keywords and phrases you’ll be better able to capture that mobile search audience. Consider the ways someone could search to try and find your offerings. Also think about how someone could phrase a search question to their virtual assistant on their phone, like Siri or Bixby. Speaking a question to the assistant could make someone use simpler words to avoid the virtual assistant misunderstanding.
Beyond optimizing your keywords for mobile, you’ll want to make sure the pages you’re directing them to are optimized for mobile as well. On desktop, text-heavy pages that are saturated with keywords and great graphics are ranked well. But on a mobile device, the scrolling and load times caused by busy web pages can turn off someone who may land there. Shorten your content on mobile optimized pages and give viewers just the most critical pieces of information they need to make a decision.
How to continue optimizing for desktop
With desktop, longer keywords and phrases will continue to serve you well. Here you don’t need to be so conscious of your word count and really do some research on what people are searching to find a business like yours. On a desktop, users are likely to be more patient to type in a longer query to get to the real answer they want. They could be looking for information to make an immediate choice, but chances are they’re researching and don’t need that instant answer.
The same approach can be used with your desktop pages you’re promoting. Text heavy pages may turn off mobile users, but less likely with desktop users who are in front of a larger screen and more able to dedicate the time to finding what they want on your page.
MDA will help you navigate the balance between optimizing local for mobile, while maintaining your desktop strategy. Since more searches are now occurring on mobile you’ll want to be sure you shift your spending accordingly, but don’t abandon desktop entirely.