People search more with their smartphones than anything else these days, which means that if you don’t have an SEO plan in place that addresses mobile searches, you’re losing out to the competition. LocalVox reports that 88 percent of web searchers who use a mobile phone to look for a business actually visit the business within 24 hours of their search. People are using mobile to find services they need. How can you make sure that they also find you?
Even small steps to accommodate mobile users will achieve results. For starters, enter your website URL on a smartphone to see how your website displays for mobile users. Chances are, users have to pinch and zoom to find basic information, such as your hours of operation or your address. If your critical information is below the fold, mobile users won’t see it at all unless they scroll.
Either redesign your website responsively, so that the webpage displays to the screen sized accessing the URL, or create a mobile version using a free or low-cost solution. If you create a mobile sub-domain — m.yoursite.com — you don’t have to pay a separate fee for a new domain name, but raising awareness can be challenging and not all search engine index the m. subdomain. If you create a new mobile URL — typically, yoursite.mobi — this is very search engine friendly but does have a separate cost associated with maintenance. NoxiTech has a full pros and cons list that may be helpful for picking a mobile domain strategy.
Developing a Local Mobile SEO S
Optimizing your site for mobile viewing is only one half of the battle. To really win over mobile users, you’ll need to tailor local SEO accordingly. Mobile users behave quite differently than regular website users. According to Local SEO Guide, mobile users:
– View fewer pages of your website than comparable PC traffic
– Spend less time on your website than PC traffic
– May search for broad product categories rather than specific products — e.g. “electronics store Baltimore” not “Baltimore brother printer”
– Want specific, actionable information — like your hours, telephone number and brands carries
Make it easy for mobile users to find the information they need by organizing your site in a clear, simple fashion and using local keywords. While you may have contact information in the footer, a more mobile-friendly practice is to place your name, phone number and link to a map in the top portion of your website so that it falls above the fold.
Use an analytics program to track mobile users’ visits and behaviors. Should you find that patterns emerge — i.e. your bounce rates are exceedingly high among mobile users — try to determine their cause and implement a solution. Perhaps you can create a bulleted list of brands you carry and use local keywords in the page copy so that search engines only return your website for relevant searches. Perhaps you should streamline your mobile site to provide only the types of information mobile users seek out — name, location, map, contact information and business description.
The key to successful mobile design is to test and track. By continually adapting your design to accommodate mobile needs, you can beat out the competition for mobile business.