Like most businesses, you likely have both a mobile site and a desktop site. When it comes to choosing which platform to focus on for SEO first, Google says the mobile site should be the priority.
Google’s John Mueller discussed the topic in a Google Webmaster Central hangout on May 1, 2020. The question about mobile versus desktop SEO came from an e-commerce site owner who didn’t have the budget to focus on optimizing both platforms.
“So, in general, if we’ve switched the website over to mobile-first indexing, which we’ve switched most websites over to mobile-first indexing now, then we would only be using the mobile version for indexing as a basis for understanding what is on the website”, Mueller said.
He went on to add that if the site has two different versions of its site, one for mobile and one for desktop, then the mobile version would be the only one that factored into ranking. That said, the shop owner in this case shouldn’t completely disregard the desktop version, especially if traffic continues to flow to the desktop website.
Mueller went on to state that the best solution here would be to implement a responsive version of the desktop website so that the mobile and desktop versions were essentially one and the same website. If the desktop and mobile versions are the same, then the owner is optimizing just one site and the benefits reflect on both mobile and desktop.
So, the short answer to optimizing either mobile SEO or desktop SEO is focusing on mobile first if your site has been switched to mobile-indexing. If you’re not sure if that’s the case for your website, have a look at your Google Search Console. You should also have received an email from Google about the switch.
NetMedia 360’s Take on the Matter
Having two versions of the same website for both mobile and desktop is something you want to avoid as much as possible. It’s not unusual for e-commerce websites to have two versions because of the sheer size of the desktop version and the difficulty in implementing that kind of scale with an optimized user experience in mobile. Still, when it comes to SEO, finding a way to have just one site that functions equally on mobile and desktop is the key.
In other words, don’t look at both your mobile and your desktop site as two different entities. Now, if it isn’t possible to bring everything back to one responsive site right now (and that’s not something you would want to rush, it takes some planning whenever you make fundamental changes to your website), then focus solely on mobile SEO.