Desktop, mobile, or voice search? Why not all 3!

Nov 6, 2020 by
Desktop, mobile, or voice search? Why not all 3!

A few years ago, all we were hearing about was how everything needed to be mobile-first and that makes a lot of sense in hindsight. After all, mobile internet usage has soared in the last 10 years to the extent that more of us now view the internet on our phones than we do our laptops or desktop computers. But does that mean you should be ditching desktop optimisation altogether? And what about voice search, the new kid on the block? Is it possible to optimise all three?

Consider your audience. The vast majority of users don’t access the internet from just one device and they don’t use it in just one way. The average internet user today will be just as likely to open up a search engine bar on their phone on the way to work as they would be to do so at their desk once they get there or ask the same question to Alexa when they get home. It’s a multi-platform world and a journey, not a destination, that needs to be optimised.

Give the people what they want

There is an inherent problem in looking at your analytics, seeing that desktop makes up the majority of your traffic and then focusing all of your optimisations into desktop as a result. The reason the numbers are so lousy on mobile might not be because people prefer to access your site from a desktop but because your mobile site optimisation is (to be diplomatic) a little lacking by comparison. What you really should be doing is putting more resources into the other channels and giving the audience a more cohesive experience.

Because, the reality is that there are not three audiences – one that visits the site on desktop and one that visits it on mobile. It’s often the same audience, accessing the site through different mediums. As far back as 2012, a survey found that 88% of people used their smartphone while they were watching TV, which proves we’re all on a cross-device journey, even if we don’t know it.

It’s a journey that could start on TV, continue on your phone and then end on your laptop and it could also bring your smart speaker into the equation if you ask Alexa to add something to your shopping list. It’s a chain with potentially unlimited tangents and touchpoint and that poses a pretty hefty challenge for SEO.

The SEO of it all

Google, as ever, is ahead of the curve here. They are attempting to use the same core engine across all devices so that they can easily mix and match as many pieces of information as it makes sense for any device. So, if you’re on mobile, it might provide certain results that are better optimised for mobile and if you’re using Google Home it will only provide results that are optimised for voice.

The real key then is to ensure your content is optimised for all three as that’s the best way to get your content seen by as many people from as many different sources as possible. Because the user journey is never-ending and there are elements from each channel that funnel back into each other. It’s up to you to encourage this chain by giving people more rich and relevant content that looks and sounds great on everything, be it a computer, smartphone or anything with a speaker and an internet connection.