Mobile Keyword Ranking for Small Businesses: 5 SEO Tips

By thunderroad

December 29, 2021

For many online and local small businesses, SEO is challenging enough as it is. Small business owners now realize the importance of having their website's target keywords show up at the top of search results

As more and more consumers filter their buying decisions based on the information they find on the Internet, search rankings have become more important than ever. It doesn't matter what kind of business you own or whether you sell services or merchandise online or in a physical location.

48% of consumers use a mobile search engine to start their buying process.

Even if you're a purely local business dealing face-to-face with your customers, your website needs to show up on Google searches so you can get the right eyeballs. The right eyeballs translate to warm bodies going through the physical doors of your business. 

google search app iphone

It doesn't get any simpler than that. Small businesses increasingly have begun to hire SEO specialists who work on ranking their websites. This is all well and good, but you must ensure that your mobile keyword ranking also improves if you're thinking of making this move. 

You have to look at the big picture when it comes to search engine marketing.

Mobile keyword ranking is crucial because of changing consumer habits

As recently as ten years ago, most consumers find businesses through desktop or laptop searches. However, the game has completely changed thanks to the rise of the iPhone and Android phones.

Most web traffic nowadays comes from mobile devices such as phones and tablets, which are smaller in size than desktops or laptops. 

This fact poses a serious problem for many businesses because they have to render or convert their websites to look good on any screen. This is quite straightforward, and many businesses have hired specialist web developers that are up to this task. 

Just make sure, however, that your mobile keyword ranking is part of the mix. 

Mobile Ranking Vs Desktop Rankings

You might be wondering what the difference is between mobile rankings versus desktop rankings.

There are several differences between mobile ranking and desktop ranking, the most obvious one being screen size. 

Desktop screens can be quite large, thus affording website owners plenty of space to display their content. Mobile screens, on the other hand, are much smaller. 

So if you think your website looks nice on your computer, it might not even WORK on a mobile device.

Another difference is mobile browsers' technical capabilities which determines what mobile users can see compared to what desktops can access. This includes mobile-compatible payments systems, mobile email software among others.

Mobile keyword ranking is not directly correlated with a website's desktop rankings in any way at all.

It's important that you understand this because many business owners get confused about this point especially when they're hiring an SEO specialist who promises them fast results if they buy now.

If you hire an expert who isn't equipped for what you need, you are destined to fail.

How to Incorporate Mobile Optimization

Just as important as making your website look great no matter who views it using whatever device is making sure that your target keywords do not suffer because of your site's responsive design. This is also known as mobile SEO

By applying mobile SEO, you can preserve or even increase your mobile rankings. Please keep in mind that your site's rank in desktop devices does not automatically translate to mobile ranking. 

You have to make sure that whoever is handling your site's mobile SEO prioritizes mobile-first indexing. In other words, the keyword targets of your site must not be the same across the board when it comes to devices. 

You have to adapt or tweak your effective keyword strategies for desktop viewing to your mobile users. Desktop and mobile are not the same. When people use their mobile devices, they are more likely to use shorter search terms. 

Additionally, things like mobile responsiveness and site speed are just as important for mobile keyword ranking.

Luckily, Google has a wonderful tool that you can use to see if your site is already mobile-friendly

screenshot of google mobile friendly tool

So, your mobile SEO provider should also have an accurate understanding of which search engine rankings are most critical for mobile devices. This includes mobile-first best practices such as Google's Mobile-First Indexing, AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), and Google mobile site speed index. 

You must be aware of this. Your website then has to adopt these techniques so you can get your business and content in front of eyes.

E-A-T And Mobile SEO

Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness or E-A-T as it applies to mobile SEO isn't a direct ranking factor for mobile rank, but it's more and more important as we move into 2022.

In other words, mobile search engines put more weight on websites with highly trustworthy content that have been positively endorsed by third party sources. Websites with low quality or spammy links are automatically downgraded or ruled out altogether.

You should pay attention to this if you want to succeed in mobile ranking and mobile marketing.

When creating mobile content, you must take into consideration what your audience looks for in mobile searches. Your mobile content has to be clear, concise yet convincing because there's less time for them to decide whether they like your website or not because of their short attention span. 

Remember that the main point of ranking your site isn't to deceive Google, it's to show them that you are the BEST answer to their questions.

Mobile SEO and keyword targeting in a nutshell

How exactly do you pick the best keywords for mobile viewing? You need to do keyword research to find out what people are searching for.

Generally, you need to use short keyword variations if you are focusing on mobile rankings. People typing search terms on their mobile devices don't have the time or patience to type long and detailed search terms. 

They can do that on their desktops but usually not on smaller devices. People also tend to use target questions on their mobile devices. They type a part of a question and Google will suggest a full version of the question. 

You need to target those longer phrases with your website but understand that people will not type such long phrases manually. 

It's worth doing some keyword research before you create your content to make sure your page is best optimized for mobile keyword rankings.

Location and mobile keyword rankings

Another key adaptation that you CAN to incorporate in your website's SEO strategy involves the mobile-centered phrase "near me." If you run a tire company, make sure that you target mobile users with geolocation built into their devices by focusing on the keyword tire services near me.

Luckily, Google is smart. They know that people are looking for places near them and if they have location services, Google can pinpoint what is near them already, so optimizing your mobile site for "near me" keywords isn't as important as it used to be.

This might be a no-brainer, but:

You need to involve your location relevant keywords ON YOUR WEBSITE. This strategy means you need to zero in on keywords that contain the names of regions, states, and cities. 

For example, let's say that you own a bakery in Boston. You need to rank for keywords containing Boston and New England. 

Be sure to add mobile search intent into your list of keyword research priorities. If mobile users like my friend below look up the term "pizza near me" while they are on their mobile device, what kind of results do you think they will find? That's right, the ones who are prioritizing Local SEO.

man ordering pizza on phone

Again, I know that might seem like a no-brainer but after my time at TheHOTH and Authority Builders Co and my OWN consulting. I've seen plenty of people who just didn't think to change their Headings or Titles to include their own city name.

It's all about intent

It's not enough to have a responsive site design that loads very quickly. It's also not enough to completely wipe out pop-ups, redirects, and annoying plug-ins. All these are steps in the right direction, but they are hardly enough. 

You have to come up with a version of your site that is intended solely for mobile users. This has to be your highest priority because they have a unique user intent. Otherwise, your mobile keyword strategy isn't going to move the needle. 

You have to look at your website with a fresh set of eyes.

Can people easily scan it?

Are the paragraphs too long?

 Is the formatting going to lose people's attention?

Are the sizes and fonts you're using mobile-friendly?

Is it easy for anybody scrolling through your site to figure out your business name, phone number, and address?

Mobile Rank Tracking

Make no mistake about it, boosting your mobile keyword ranking on search results requires a holistic approach. You can't simply focus on your website looking great regardless of screen sizes.

There are many more steps your website needs to go through so it can live up to its fullest mobile SEO potential. 

This is where mobile rank tracking comes in. With a rank tracker tool like Ahrefs, t's easy for your mobile SEO efforts to be either invisible or nonexistent if you rely solely on checking your mobile keyword ranking manually.  

That's why mobile rank tracking solutions are so handy. They can help track mobile keywords accurately. They measure mobile rankings and performance of all pages across the entire website, giving you a reading of how it fares against competitors. 

Many of the advanced rank checker tools cost money. But luckily, there are some good free ones you can use as well. For example, the mobile rank tracking tool offered by mobile marketer is great for mobile SEO analysis

Mobile rank tracking tools will give you information about the industry-relevant mobile keywords your site ranks for as well as their respective search volume, making it easier to make data-driven decisions about which specific mobile terms should be targeted next.

Mobile rank tracking helps you see what people are searching online, allowing you to make sure that you are targeting what people are actually searching for.

Location based SERP Features

Any business that wants to show up in local searches should keep mobile search intents and mobile friendly signals in mind. mobile SERP features such as mobile location extensions, knowledge panels, and mobile rich snippets are quickly becoming standard for local search rankings...

For instance, Google is always adding mobile-friendly categories to the Knowledge Panel on mobile SERPs and featured snippets. The types of information you can include on your mobile page often varies based on whether or not your business has a brick and mortar location. 

If your business is currently operating out of a physical building, then you will most likely have leads generated from Google Maps or from listing sites like Yelp or Foursquare that would otherwise be lost if people couldn't find the physical address easily.

How to get started ranking your business (5 Tips)

You need a tailored SEO plan that can help improve mobile rankings so you don't fall behind. If your site's mobile ranking is competitive in the industry, this gives you more opportunities to expand your customer base and increase revenue.

The following are four mobile SEO best practices that you need to start incorporating into your mobile keyword strategy right away:  

1. Keep content concise

2. Make mobile design part of your overall branding efforts

3. Prioritize speed when it comes to mobile website loading

4. Be sure to measure mobile page performance relative to competitors     

5. Keep your contact information visible

So if you run an auto repair company with a head office in New York City, make sure that you target mobile users with geolocation built into their devices by focusing on keywords like "auto repair nyc", "auto repair Brooklyn", etc.


By 2022, mobile will account for most searches Google does. There's no point in ignoring mobile keyword rankings when it comes to mobile SEO. Take advantage of mobile rank tracking tools and make mobile ranking your primary concern moving forward.

Mobile search results are ever changing, so having an expert at your side to help maintain mobile rank can go a long way for your business.

If you need mobile SEO help, there are experts who can provide mobile ranking services. Including myself, if you'd like to schedule a free consultation, click here:

In addition, Ahrefs is a perfect tool for any mobile SEO strategy:   

In conclusion, mobile keyword rank is important for mobile users. If your mobile ranking is competitive in your market, you have more opportunities to expand your customer base and increase revenue.

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