Last week (September 2019) Google released a broad core algorithm update, the goal being to continue improving search results by displaying sites with rich content.

What this update did do was leave SEO agencies and marketers scattering to watch for negative effects; particularly ranking drops – and there were plenty.

Ranking reports were requested by the bucketload, and businesses were manually searching for themselves in Google search results. The problem though, is that many SEO providers only monitor desktop results, forgetting all about mobile rankings.

Why monitoring mobile rankings separately is a must

Our agency uses SEMRush, and we monitor rankings on both mobile and desktop religiously. A client can have 30 top 3 desktop rankings, and zero on mobile. Google indexes desktop and mobile results differently, therefore rankings on each will be different. And they can be COMPLETELY different.

Signs your mobile rankings have hit rock bottom

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There are telltale signs your mobile rankings have tanked. The following can be red flags:

  1. Traffic is up yet conversions are down. If most of your conversions come from mobile traffic and traffic is up yet conversions are down, a drop in mobile rankings could well be the problem.
  2. If you have a Google My Business listing and Discovery Metrics along with site visits and call numbers have dropped, this is another indication there may be a mobile ranking issue.
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3. Your primary source of traffic comes from mobile devices and Google Analytics shows a decline in mobile traffic when comparing dates. The example below is a snapshot from a Munn Digital SEO client in the building industry. This is what we want to see for a trade business as mobile is the dominant device category.

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Seeing red flags? This is what you need to do

If the above red flags have resonated with you, then these are the steps you need to take.

  1. Request your SEO provider send you a Keyword Ranking Report which clearly shows rankings on on both desktop and mobile devices.
  2. Closely review your mobile rankings.
  3. If you are not sure which device is your dominant driver of traffic, head over to Google Analytics to detect which device generally drives the most traffic to your site. Simply head to Audience > Mobile > Overview. Play around with dates and compare year on year.
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4. If mobile devices are the dominant driver of traffic to your website, and mobile rankings are lower than desktop, you need to ask your SEO provider for an explanation and request their plan to get these rankings back up again.


Pop over the Munn Digital and schedule a free 30 minute consultation.

Tracey Munn
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