Optimizing Mobile Content: Importance, Types of Queries, and Key Differences from Desktop SEO

keyword research for voice searches are key.

In recent years, many search engine users are now doing searches on mobile devices. This has become so common that Google now uses a mobile-first approach when ranking sites. That means the search engine now predominantly relies on mobile user’s experience when ranking sites.

 If you want your site to rank highly on the search engines, you must optimize it for mobile devices. With keywords used on mobile devices different from desktops, you should focus on mobile devices when doing keyword research. In this article, we will look at optimizing mobile content through strategic keyword research.

Why Mobile Keyword Research is Important

According to HitWise research, 60% of searches are conducted on search engines, with sectors such as food and beverages hitting 72%. Additionally, a Semrush study indicated that only 23% of marketers optimize their sites for search engines. These studies indicate two essential things.

  • A big percentage of search engine users are doing so on mobile devices.
  • Many website owners aren’t optimizing for mobile devices, so competition is lower.

Therefore, optimizing for mobile devices is one of the few untapped SEO goldmines.

Types of Mobile Search Queries

As compared to desktop devices, there are several types of mobile search queries. These are:

  • Typed. These are similar to traditional desktop searches where the search engine user types a query in the seach bar.
  • Spoken. These are voice searches where the users give a command to the search engine. They may also tap a button before speaking.
  • Informational. Users are searching for certain information.
  • Image-based. Search engine users take a picture of a place before doing a search.
  • Local. Search engine users search for something close to them.
  • Typos. The queries can have misspelled words
  • Typo-free. All words in the search are spelled and used correctly.

How is Mobile SEO Different From Desktop SEO?

Here are some key differences between the two:

Length of Keywords

Typing on a mobile phone can be cumbersome as compared to a desktop. With the small keyboards, most searchers don’t have the strength and the patience to type long phrases. The result? People searching on mobile devices use shorter keywords than those searching on desktops.

Keyword research for mobile SEO is essential.

Typos in Searches

We have already mentioned how typing on mobile devices isn’t a good experience. People are more likely to make typos when searching on mobile devices as it’s harder to type clearly on the small screen.

Voice Searches

Imagine a situation where you are driving down the road in a new city or neighborhood. You suddenly feel hungry but don’t know where the nearest restaurant is. What do you do?  Since you don’t have time to type your keyword, you can use a voice search to ask the search engines. Since people who do mobile searches are usually walking, driving, or riding, they often rely on voice searches.

Sales Funnel Stage

Going by our earlier example, when you search for a restaurant while on the road, you are immediately looking for somewhere to enjoy a meal. That means people searching using mobile devices often have an urgent need and are ready to convert. They are searching for a product to buy and are, therefore, in the lowest stage of the sales funnel.

How to Optimize Your Site for Mobile Devices

Here are ways to ensure your site is optimized for the search engines.

Have a Mobile-Friendly Site

It could be that you have a desktop site with a nice and user-friendly layout. But have you tested it for mobile devices? Remember that your site may be user-friendly on desktops but not mobile devices. And with the Google mobile-first approach, it means the site will never rank highly on the SERPs. 

A mobile-friendly site should open well on all screen sizes. You cna do that by changing your mobile to have responsive solutions. Alternatively, you can use a mobile-first plugin like WPtouch. A responsive site should have the following:

  • A fluid layout. All page elements should fit on the screen.
  • A viewpoint. Enable browsers to adapt the dimensions of the webpage to the screen size.
  • Responsive images. It should shrink and grow in size according to the screen size.
  • Media queries. Content should be adaptable to all screen sizes.

Now, with your site already mobile-friendly, you have done the hardest part. Some other measures you can use include:

  • Use large texts that are also easy to read.
  • Ensure elements such as buttons and checkboxes are interactive.
  • Ensure there is room around links and all interactive elements. This enables users only to click what they want to.
  • Use short paragraphs.
  • Use a lot of negative spaces to avoid cramping your site.

Avoid Blocking Content With Popups

Popups are one of the causes of a high bounce rate because they frustrate visitors when they block content. However, there are still essential popups, such as cookies. When using them, ensure they cover only a little part of the screen and should be easy to close and dismiss.

Fix Technical Errors in Your Site

When you have errors on a small screen, they are likely to be more noticeable. Some technical errors to check include broken images and links, faulty CSS/JavaScript, server issues, and unwanted page redirects.

Improve Site Speed

If your site takes too long to load, it will have a higher bounce rate. Some measures you can use to increase site speed include:

  • Optimize images. Minimize their size by changing width and height.
  • Enable GZIP compression. This helps improve page load times.
  • Browser caching. Find the .htacess file of your domain and set your page’s expiration time.
  • Merge elements. If two elements are next to each other, you can merge them.
  • Optimize the code of your page. If you have coding knowledge, you can trim your site’s code.

People who search on mobile devices are usually looking for solutions close to them. That’s why it’s essential to optimize for local SEO and voice searches. You can learn more about how to do that in our guide on conducting keyword research for mobile devices.

Have an Efficient First-Scroll

You can do that by adding these elements:

  • Using descriptive and eye-catching titles
  • Navigation menu
  • Search bar
  • CTA


Mobile keyword research helps to find keywords that people using mobile devices enter into the search engines. As we noted earlier, search terms used for mobile devices differ from those of desktops. Therefore, you should adjust your SEO strategy to serve this niche. Once you find the relevant keywords, the next step is to optimize your site for mobile devices. Use our guide to make your site mobile-friendly.

Benjamin is a writer with over ten years of experience in the content writing field. He holds a Bachelor's degree in  Journalism from Strathmore University. He writes on various niches such as product reviews, self-improvement, and making mone online. You can find him curled on his couch with a self-improvement book when he is not blogging.