A growing number of internet users are turning to their mobile devices instead of the more traditional desktop computer to get online. Although a mobile interaction is nothing new for big businesses, this is an area that may take a bit longer for smaller players to access. You can’t neglect the impact of mobile use for long if you want to remain competitive. Small businesses need to cater to mobile visitors as much as — if not more than — to desktop users. Here are some ways your small business can use mobile search engine optimization (SEO).
Build a Mobile-Friendly Site
The most important thing you can do for your mobile visitors creates a website that’s easy for them to view, explore, and use on their smartphones. There are several ways to do this, but they fall into three main approaches:
- Responsive web design: Send visitors to the same URL regardless of their device, but render the display for optimal viewing based on the size of the screen.
- Dynamic serving: Use the same URL for all visitors, but generate a different version of the HTML based on the browser.
- Separate URLs: Detect the user’s device and redirect to separately coded pages.
Regardless of your approach, your mobile site should strive to provide a fast, simple browsing experience for visitors. This means using larger buttons, shorter chunks of text, and a compact layout that won’t require the user to scroll horizontally or zoom to see the content.
Take Advantage of Geotargeting
After an increase in mobile searches for some form of “near me”, Google launched a local advertising option in 2015. This allows physical storefronts to market to their nearby customers and made it easier for small businesses to interact with their local, mobile community. They can even target deals and sales directly to customers in their area.
Geotargeting can be a very useful tool for local, small businesses, allowing you to market to potential customers based on their location.
Provide the Right Information
Mobile searchers are often looking for very different information than their desktop-using counterparts. For example, retail searches are often conducted for the purpose of finding a phone number, address, or directions. Those performing in-store searches typically want bite-sized chunks of information about a product they’re looking at. Mobile searchers who have a complicated question want short answers that they can digest easily while they’re on the go.
Most mobile searches are action-driven. Consider these facts:
- 88% of local information seekers take action on what they find within a day.
- 70% of users turn to their smartphone while they’re in a store considering purchases.
- 74% of smartphone shoppers complete purchases on their mobile devices.
Analyze Mobile Results Separately
Google Analytics offers mobile filters that let you separate the data you receive from desktop versus mobile visitors. This is an invaluable tool for optimizing your mobile website. Many companies want to improve their mobile experience but build their sites based on information gathered from desktop users or a combination of both types. Separate your information so that you can look exclusively at how mobile visitors are reaching your site and interacting with your content.
Offer Apps When Appropriate
A mobile website is a crucial starting point for your mobile SEO strategy, but you can go beyond the capabilities of the internet by providing a mobile app for frequent visitors as well. With an app, you can offer a highly specialized browsing experience with a lightning-fast interface and easy integration with your website. There’s a lot of debate over which app store is best, but you’ll get the most comprehensive results by designing for both Android and Apple phones.
Listing your app in the Google Play store will give you access to users of sleek Android devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S7, whose large Quad HD Super AMOLED display will make the most of your app. Developing a version for Apple’s iTunes store will give you access to iPhone users who want a comparable experience.
Understand What Searchers Are Doing
Many mobile visitors are looking for local content. They’re searching for a particular store as they sit in the mall parking lot, looking for someone in the area carrying a particular product, or trying to place a call to your office as they’re running errands. Use local keywords to assist these searchers.
If your business doesn’t have a local component, think about what else your mobile visitors are doing. Today, many television viewers use other devices at the same time. Perhaps your visitors are watching a show and using their smartphone to look for details about the actors or plot line. They might conduct a mobile search following a prompt from a television commercial. Answer these needs as they relate specifically to mobile devices.
Give your mobile visitors due to consideration, and you can tap into a vast new market of potential customers.