15 years ago, looking something up on the internet almost always meant that you needed to sit down at your computer at home and type something out with your keyboard.
Those days are long gone.
Unfortunately, tracking your ranks for keyword searches on mobile devices adds a layer of complexity. One other thing you have to consider when tracking your ranks on the mobile SERP is the mobile SERP features.
This article will discuss what mobile SERP features are, why they’re essential, and how to track them.
- What Are Mobile SERP Features?
- Most Common Mobile SERP Features
- Why Tracking Mobile SERP Features Is Important
- How to Track Mobile SERP Features with ProRankTracker
What Are Mobile SERP Features?
Before we can talk about tracking mobile keyword ranks, we must understand what mobile SERP features are and why they matter for your business.
Put simply, mobile SERP features are any result that differs from a standard Google result. In other words, if it isn’t just a meta title and a meta description, it’s some mobile SERP feature.
For example, the search “lawn chairs” brings up results showing images of different online stores selling lawn chairs along with other important information:
- Special offers/discounts
We’ll go into specifics on the main SERP features in a moment. For now, let’s talk about how mobile results differ from desktop results (and why you should care).
How Are Mobile Results Different From Desktop?
With 60% of the internet’s searches being made on mobile devices, it’s worth asking what the difference is between mobile and “normal” desktop searches.
There are a few key differences:
- SERPs differ on mobile and desktop, so rank #1 on desktop might be 3, 5, or 10 on mobile.
- Mobile features are different, so you might see different results depending on where the mobile device is located (and plenty of other differences in features).
- Mobile searches vary from device to device, so an iPad (technically a mobile search) will still see different results than an iPhone.
- Featured Snippets take up more space on mobile screens compared to desktops.
This all matters for your business because it changes how you track your ranks! For example, you don’t want to track a desktop rank if your searchers are all using mobile devices!
Most Common Mobile SERP Features
Let’s talk about some of the most common mobile features you’ll see on Google.
It’s important to know what these are because your customers will see them regularly. If you can target the SERP features that they’re interacting with, it will bring you traffic.
There are MANY types of SERP features because Google’s CONSTANTLY changing, so we won’t touch on them all. These are just 4 of the most evergreen mobile SERP features that searchers regularly interact with online.
Featured Snippets on mobile are similar to those on desktop.
Mobile screens are smaller, so featured snippets take up more space on mobile devices, so users have to scroll down more to see other results.
This increases the chances of someone clicking on a featured snippet on mobile than desktop.
Local Finder is something you interact with daily without even realizing it. This is the section of the Google SERP that shows you local businesses that match your search term.
For example, the above picture is the top 3 results in the Local Finder feature for the search term “coffee.” Whenever you’re looking for local businesses, you’re using the Local Finder, so it’s a significant mobile feature to target!
People Also Ask
One of my all-time favorite mobile search features is the People Also Ask section, where Google lists some of the most common searches related to your search.
For example, you can see above that the search “how to play blindfold chess” (just in case you’re still honing your skills) returned several options in the People Also Ask section:
- Is it good to play blindfold chess?
- How hard is it to play blindfold chess?
The section continues to expand as you click on more options, so searchers can get caught in a “rabbit hole” of research in this section, which is why it’s so valuable for businesses.
Rich Snippets are precisely what they sound like: a typical Google result, but richer. They’re rich with information that a standard mobile Google result doesn’t have.
This can include all sorts of data. For example, let’s go back to my “coffee” search. Scrolling down just a bit, we see the Wikipedia entry for coffee is full of valuable data that other results don’t have.
- Region of origin
- When coffee was introduced
- Ingredients (it’s just coffee)
- Internal links
Searchers find this extra data super helpful, so search results with rich snippets are often rewarded with higher ranks and additional traffic!
Why Tracking Mobile SERP Features Is Important
We’ve already mentioned a couple of times just how important it is to track mobile SERP features, but I want to make sure you understand how much of an impact it can have on your business.
Tracking mobile SERP features gives you a better understanding of HOW your searchers are finding (or not finding) your website and a clearer strategic path to improving your:
Let’s look at the 3 main reasons why tracking mobile SERP features is essential.
Understand Why Your Keywords’ Ranks Are Changing
First, mobile rank tracking helps you understand exactly WHY your keywords’ ranks are changing by connecting your strategic changes to real changes on the SERP.
In other words, it helps you see how your strategic changes translate into rank changes over time.
For example, let’s say you start targeting a new keyword because you want to try to place it in the top 5 mobile results for iPhone users. If you aren’t consistently tracking your ranks, it’ll be hard (or impossible) to find out all the ways that your new keyword affects your ranks.
On the other hand, using a specialized rank-tracking tool makes this process easy.
Make Strategic Decisions
When you understand why your ranks are changing, you can use that data to fuel strategic decisions. In other words, tracking ranks gives you actionable information that helps you improve your strategy consistently.
Without tracking your mobile ranks, your strategy won’t be much better than guessing what might work.
In our experience, guessing is NOT a good strategy, so you should avoid it (especially since there are some great CHEAP rank trackers out there).
See the SERP Your Customers See
Ranking high on the SERP is all about putting yourself in the mind of your target audience.
- What do they think about?
- What do they search for on Google?
- What are they interested in?
However, putting yourself in their shoes is tough if you can’t even see the same SERP they see. That’s where tracking comes in.
A dedicated tracker like ProRankTracker (which we’ll talk about next) allows you to easily view the SERP from any location/keyword/device type combination. In other words, you can hone your SERP to match your target audience, then use that data to power your subsequent strategic development.
How to Track Mobile SERPs with ProRankTracker
Before we close this article, let’s talk about how to turn this knowledge into practical ranking improvements with ProRankTracker.
ProRankTracker is one of the most specialized rank-tracking tools on the market. It’s got tools to help you:
- Track your ranks
- Find new keywords (and steal your competitors’ best keywords)
- Generate detailed reports
- Track Mobile Google SERPs for iPhones, iPads, Android phones, and Android tablets
Before digging into this section, I recommend signing up for a 30-day free trial with ProRankTracker so you can follow along.
Add Mobile Keyword/URL Combos to Track
Before doing anything else, you need to add some keyword/URL combos to track in ProRankTracker’s system.
The easiest place to do this is the Add Wizard section, which allows you to quickly add new URLs and keywords for tracking, including the ability to tag multiple different data points:
- Device type (desktop, iPhone, Android)
- Location (setting your location is crucial for mobile tracking because results vary based on location)
- Search engine (Bing can get your page traffic, too!)
- Local Finder and Snack Pack (for tracking keyword ranks on desktop)
Since we’re specifically looking to track mobile features, we would check the iPhone or Android boxes. Doing so will create separate data points to track that allow us to see our mobile Google feature performance separate from other ranks.
Use the Rankings Views
ProRankTracker offers 5 different Rankings Views that help you visualize your ranking success in different ways.
Each ranking view gives you a different perspective and can help you make strategic decisions.
I’ll clarify by talking about 2 specific Rankings Views: the URL View and the Full SERPs view.
The URL view shows you each of your tracked URLs. Under each URL, it shows you the list of keywords you’re tracking for that URL, along with essential data about it.
For example, if you’re tracking the Android and iPhone results for a specific keyword, those would show up as 2 lines under the same URL. This allows you to see how you’re performing for the same keyword, but for 2 different mobile platforms.
And if you rank for a Featured Snippet, ProRankTracker will tell you automatically:
The Full SERPs view shows you a detailed SERP for any keyword/location/device type combo you’re tracking. This is extremely helpful for seeing EXACTLY the same SERP that your searchers see.
Finally, the ability to generate reports can help you understand your mobile SERP feature ranks even better.
Fortunately, ProRankTracker offers more than 20 types of reports and notifications that allow you to stay completely up-to-date on anything that changes.
For example, let’s say that you want to generate a report every week showing you all the important changes for your 10 most valuable keywords. You can use the Overview Report for that.
You also might want a notification that alerts you whenever your rank drops out of the top 10 iPhone SERP spots.
You can use the Trigger Notification pictured above to ensure you never miss an important move on your ranks.
Mobile rank tracking adds a layer of complexity to SEO, and mobile Google features can be even more challenging. However, using ProRankTracker and following the tips outlined in this article should make it easy to become a mobile SERP tracking pro.
Just remember to constantly reevaluate your strategy. If what you’re doing isn’t working, change it! Tracking helps you see what works and what doesn’t so you can make the best strategic decisions possible.
If you haven’t already, go ahead and sign up for ProRankTracker’s 30-day free trial and see how much it can help your business!