By: Charmian Solter
Published under: YP Marketing Solutions
Small business owners have a lot to manage when it comes to owning and operating a business. These days, understanding the role the Internet plays in how customers search, find, and buy products and services is an absolute necessity for survival. As part of that equation, embracing the power of online marketing and understanding how mobile search can drive business growth is critical as well.
Let’s back up. Google’s algorithm update, dubbed “Mobilegeddon,” rolled out in the summer of 2015 and prioritized mobile-friendly websites in searches. This was brought about by the fact that local search queries occur more frequently on mobile devices, with those searches typically leading to a sale or impromptu visit more quickly than others.
How do you learn if your site is mobile friendly? Start with Google’s Webmaster Tools – they provide a simple test to see how your website shows up in search results.
Once you’ve done the test, follow these eight simple steps to ensure your website (aka, your business) is mobile SEO ready:
Is your website responsive? The information contained on your site needs to provide a user-friendly, visually-appealing experience across any device – including computers, smartphones, tablets, and wearables. Here’s an example:
- Think like your customers. Don’t build your website for your preferences. Develop it with your prospective customers’ needs in mind. Think about what they are looking for when they pick up a device to search for something your business offers – and build it accordingly. Also, be sure to use strong and short keywords to help them find your business quickly.
- Focus on the user experience. Mobile searchers are looking for quick solutions. When developing your mobile website make sure that buttons and clickable areas on your site are easy to find and are easily manipulated with just a thumb. Place your call-to-action at the top of the page, and limit the amount of information you require to be input into forms and fields.
- Quality design counts. To ensure a top-notch user experience, focus on creating navigation for your site that is easy to use, is appropriately spaced, and has plenty of “tap-able” targets. This will ensure you’ll always have happy searchers. Google craves text that is readable without needing to tap or zoom. As such, make sure the fonts you use and other design elements are visually-appealing and easy to use.
- Users want speed. A quick loading mobile site ensures that people find what they want, when they want it. Use HTML5 and avoid anything that stops your site from loading quickly (i.e. pop-ups, overly large imagery). Also, be sure your site design accommodates simple swiping motions and finger taps.
- Get to the point. “Real estate” on smaller screens is limited, so make sure the content on your mobile website is crafted to make the most of that space by making the information your customers need immediately accessible upon landing on your mobile site.
- Don’t forget click-to-call buttons. People use local search because they are interested in visiting your business. Whether you own a law firm, a dental practice, or a restaurant, the fewer hoops they have to jump through to connect with you, the better. Including a click-to-call button on your site makes it as simple as a single click to do just that.
- The devil is in the details. While this may sound obvious, this is oftentimes the most overlooked part of local search optimization. Think about the essential information your customers need – such as your full business address, business hours, images of your business, directions, and phone numbers. Accuracy and added detail here will help increase your ranking in local searches.
This should get your mobile website moving in the right direction. If you are unsure how to tackle mobile search optimization on your own, the team at YP℠ will be happy to help.