Does User Intent Change Between Desktop and Mobile?

The way users search has been revolutionised by the mobile phone, with answers to any question being available at your fingertips. This leads us to the question of whether user intent changes between desktop and mobile.

We can even see the importance of mobile-friendliness within SEO practices, as mobile SEO ensures optimisation of your site for users on a mobile device. Despite the surge of mobile searching, desktop still remains integral to users and their experience too.

At Embryo, we ensure your page is optimised for whatever intentions your users may have, using bespoke SEO strategies created by our expert team. Our holistic approach implements essential SEO services to cater towards both desktop and mobile user intent.

A device in your hand compared to the likes of a desktop may change the intent or a user’s search, and we’re here to explore how. Answering this question may even change how you use SEO practices to optimise for different user’s needs.

Patterns in User Intent for Mobile

woman searching on mobile phone

Mobile search has a sense of immediacy about it, changing the questions users tend to type into the search bar. A lot of the time, these can be to do with location, considering the movability of a mobile phone- these answers can be found anytime and anywhere in the world.

Users tend to search for quick fixes and quick answers to questions, and these questions have become longer due to the ease of typing and the introduction of voice search. Optimising content for long-tail keywords and natural language helps keep up with the rise in the use of voice search in recent years– a whopping 92% of all search queries are long-tailed keywords. 

Additionally, Google’s quick answer boxes and drop down menus cater to a user’s intent of receiving fast information, and their display correlates with a mobile phone’s format.

Mobile users could intend to make purchases too with the increasing convenience of mobile shopping. The same way an answer to a question is at our very fingertips, so are products and purchases- conversions have also become increasingly mobile.

Patterns in User Intent for Desktop

user searching on their laptop

Desktop tends to be used for more complex, specific searches. In terms of format, it is much easier to complete forms and documents on a desktop, and to access certain websites that are displayed better on a desktop.

Detailed resources are usually searched for on desktop, such as scholarly articles and research papers that go alongside work that’s typically done on a desktop device.

Furthermore, users are more likely to purchase on a desktop, and the desktop format allows for extensive research into products, meaning businesses can optimise their product pages to provide the right information.

Due to the amount of jobs demanding work on a desktop, work-related queries are also a common desktop search. The searches that support work-related issues could be searching for help with document creation, emails or just general research that goes alongside tasks.

Do SEO Strategies Need Customisation for Mobile and Desktop?

Priorities remain different between users depending on their use of either mobile or desktop, so SEO strategies need to take into consideration both the technical and behavioural differences between the two.

Before beginning an SEO strategy, it is vital to consider the types of users that will be accessing it and from which platform. This can then determine which keywords your website should rank for and allows for a more tailored optimisation process.

The SEO customisation could involve mobile SEO as mentioned previously, or technical SEO to fix any underlying issues that affect mobile-friendliness. After all, around 73% of users report experiencing a slow-loading website and expect it to load in 3 seconds. Any technical issues that hinder your website speed are likely to result in irritated users who leave the site.

When a device is likely to be used could additionally affect your SEO customisation, with working hours having high desktop usage yet the morning and evening having higher mobile usage.

How Can Mobile SEO Help Customisation for User Intent?

If you’re looking to optimise your strategy for mobile-friendliness, mobile SEO is where you need to be looking. Your brand can reach the majority of online users and cater towards the intent of mobile users.

If you know your audience are likely to be locating your site on mobile, you want your site to match what they want- attractive, engaging, fast-loading content. Because mobile searches have exceeded desktop searches, this is more important than ever before.

Mobile SEO is a ranking factor. If your website is not mobile-friendly in Google’s eyes, it’s almost certain that your rankings will dip. Having an accessible, easy-to-use site is extremely positive for your brand, as users feel comfortable accessing your site from the device in their pockets. It is not a stressful experience and comes with ease.

Therefore, adding mobile SEO to your strategy allows for the intent of the majority of users to be considered. After all, Google wants to highly rank the best possible sites, and this now includes those that are mobile-friendly.

Continue Reading about User Intent and Mobile SEO

Look at what our experts say about user intent by reading our wide range of blogs. You can read about user intent in search engines to see what our experienced team have to say on the topic, or learn more about mobile user intent in our blog about designing websites for mobile.

You can also have a chat with our team about our SEO services and how we’d consider user intent for your business. Feel free to contact us at [email protected] or give us a call at 0161 327 2635.

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