Impact Group Marketing Blog


Should You Optimize for Desktop, Mobile, or Voice?

Let’s start with a little one-question quiz! 

Where should we focus our optimization efforts?

A. desktop

B. mobile

C. voice

D. all of the above

If you answered (D) – all of the above, you’re on the right track! It’s true that with the rise of mobile-first indexing and voice search, desktop searches have decreased – but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there.  

The first thing you need to do is analyze your audience – what route do they take to reach you? Keep in mind that today’s users are constantly switching between devices – desktops, smartphones, tablets, notebooks, smartwatches, etc. So, if your audience isn’t using a single device, your optimization strategy shouldn’t either.

Why You Should Optimize for Desktop, Mobile, AND Voice 

Instead of optimizing for a specific touchpoint, it’s better to optimize for an entire journey. 

When you analyze, you might find that 90% of your traffic is coming from desktop – and only 10% is through mobile and voice. This realization may compel you to think that you only need to optimize for desktop. But there are two problems with this way of thinking:

1. What if these numbers are misleading? It’s possible that people are visiting your mobile site or trying to find you through voice – but if it’s not a good experience for them, they don’t come back. Maybe these numbers are just telling you where you need to improve so you can meet your customer’s needs. By ignoring these touchpoints, you’re essentially creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

2. What if these aren’t three separate audiences? Isn’t it possible that the people on desktop, mobile, and voice aren’t three different groups of people – couldn’t they be a single group trying to reach you through all three ways? Optimizing only for desktop may lead to some bad decisions and choices.

Today, people constantly switch between devices. Maybe they see something on TV, search for it on their smartphone, and then use their laptop to see a larger picture. Or, while on a journey, they may use their smartwatches to send signals to their other devices. So, instead of replacing their devices – they’re using them all together! 

The Cross-Device Journey

The challenge is to keep in mind that audiences today operate between and across devices. If they can’t effectively use the device of their choice, you may ultimately lose their business. 

Think of this journey as a chain – what happens if you break it down by a single link? Let’s say you focus only on the desktop people because the percentage of mobile users is so low you don’t think they matter. You could lose the customer altogether. So be aware that this is a journey that happens across devices, and you can’t neglect certain pieces, or you will break the chain.

All of these devices are touchpoints in the customer’s journey – and they give you credibility. People don’t just see your homepage, do a free trial, and then make a purchase. They might interact with your website, then read your blogs, and participate in the community. You’re much more likely to convert if they hit you with three touchpoints.

So, the great thing about this journey is that if you’re on all these touchpoints when someone is searching – it makes you more credible. They find you when they search on their desktop. They find you when they repeat the search on voice. They find you on a mobile search. The more times they see you in the chain, the more you seem like a credible source to them. 

The SEO Challenge

Google realizes that they need to use the same core engine across all devices. So, the engine that powers search will also run on a TV. And they want to run on a laptop, desktop, phone, watch, and Google Home. They don’t want to write algorithms for each of these things. 

Once all devices run off the same core engine, the things you do to rank well for desktop will also help you rank on mobile and voice and across all these devices. So, try not to break the chain. Eventually, all devices will benefit from the kind of optimization techniques that we’re already good at using.

Bottom Line

Remember that when you optimize for answers, the best answers leave searchers wanting more. So, support the chain – encourage users to do more research, give them valuable content and things that build credibility, and draw them back to your site. You’re going to build your brand if you’re credible across all devices – including desktop, laptop, mobile, and voice. 

At Impact Group Marketing, we understand that SEO can be confusing. What works and what doesn’t work? If you need help optimizing your website across all devices, contact us today for a free consultation or to learn more about our services.

Learn more about mobile-first indexing and voice search.