Report: Desktop website, not mobile, should be the priority

CanSpace

Active member
I've recently looked at our data and I thought it was a valuable enough piece of information to share.

As it turns out, a desktop is still the leading way for web hosting customers to browse our website, make a decision and complete a purchase. 12 months worth of analytics data shows the following breakdown:

Desktop 76.7% visits (90% of purchases)
Mobile 22.3% visits (9% of purchases)
Tablet 1% visits (0.05% of purchases)

It tells us no matter how important it is to make your site responsive, a desktop version of it outperforms mobile by a significant margin, and thus requires the most attention in ensuring a top notch experience.

Last, but not least, desktop users are 9x more likely to complete the purchase after starting the shopping process by adding item(s) to the cart than users on mobile.

If anyone else is seeing similar numbers, feel free to drop your stats. It will also be super insightful to see those who see more balanced stats, as that may open a conversation as to how/what/why your website does better on mobile vs desktop.
 
If your website, or product, is a research-type product (comparison or otherwise), desktop usually outperforms mobile.

However, Google ONLY uses the mobile version of your site for ranking. So if you hide certain things on mobile, or the speed is slow, it will affect the rankings of search (which includes desktop).
 
If your website, or product, is a research-type product (comparison or otherwise), desktop usually outperforms mobile.

However, Google ONLY uses the mobile version of your site for ranking. So if you hide certain things on mobile, or the speed is slow, it will affect the rankings of search (which includes desktop).

If someone is using AMP on their website, the speed of the mobile website will be fast. However, if the website on a computer is slow, then what will happen?
 
Your desktop version plays a very limited role. The entire focus of Google's crawls are on mobile.
You can read in an article I wrote here: https://www.bigredseo.com/mobile-first-indexing-rollout-complete/
There's a link to this announcement from Google which details further the nuances of mobile first indexing - https://developers.google.com/searc...ing/mobile/mobile-sites-mobile-first-indexing

The opening line states the following: "Google predominantly uses the mobile version of a site's content, crawled with the smartphone agent, for indexing and ranking. This is called mobile-first indexing."

When you parse through the entire document, basically, if you have a mobile version of a site, Google is going to use that for indexing purposes. If you're hiding content on mobile, then it must not be important, so Google will ignore it too (for the most part).

There are exceptions to every rule, but the guide handed down is that Google uses Mobile and not the Desktop for indexing any more.

You can test this by adding random text (ex: de3wdakdioewlk) to a page that is only viewable on desktop. Then create a different random string only for mobile, and another one that shows on both. After the page is indexed, you'll be able to quickly see which one gets ranked.

For testing, I always advise a random string, or random set of strings that look like a sentence. Do not use real words. This saves you having to outrank someone else's page just so you can see your content for proof.
 
Our statistics aren't too dissimilar to what you're seeing. I guess people who are looking for web hosting services generally will work from a Desktop anyway due to the nature of the work.

...
However, Google ONLY uses the mobile version of your site for ranking. So if you hide certain things on mobile, or the speed is slow, it will affect the rankings of search (which includes desktop).

Interesting fact, thank you for sharing - something new learned today!
 
@bigredseo Thank you for explaining it in such great detail. I have to say this mobile-first thing has been somewhat a revelation. I found your answer so valuable that I linked to your post in my thread on WHT as well: https://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1913413&p=10434833#post10434833

Thanks for always sharing your knowledge with the community.
I don't know about the rest of our members, but I also (immensely) value BigRedSeo's observations and recommendations about web hosting and SEO. We're honored to have him as our Community Advisor.
 
You know how I always talk about "update your content" - well, here's a prime example of how you can update content :)

I took the info that @CanSpace offered and added more content to the article and stats to back up the claims. You can jump to the new section via this link: https://www.bigredseo.com/mobile-first-indexing-rollout-complete/#beyond-mobile

I added some additional stats for mobile devices depending on the industry based on some of our clients.
 

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