This post was originally published on Search Engine Journal
With Internet use on smartphones set to overtake desktop browsing by early 2013, it is surprising that businesses—big and small—are not taking full advantage of mobile search.
A recent study by telecommunications giant T-Mobile indicates that 46 percent of local businesses are not visible when users search via smartphones. For those local businesses that took the step to improve visibility for smartphones saw the benefits, with 44 percent experiencing more customer inquiries.
With the time for mobile revolution apparently being now, here are some techniques to help SMEs take advantage of mobile search and get ahead of their competitors.
Both Google and Bing provide free local listings in Google+ Local and Bing for Business. Setting up and completing these local profiles will enhance your company’s visibility within the SERPs for certain local keywords.
Although this seems obvious to the majority of online marketers, only 16 percent of local businesses had registered their business on Google+ Local (formally Google Places).
Local profiles are not restricted to Google+ Local or Bing for Businesses. There are plenty of other local profiles that SMEs should be adding their business to, including:
When creating local profiles, it is imperative that you use the same information on all websites. This includes supplying the same address and phone number across the board.
Using Getlist.org, you can quickly determine which local listings your company is visible on and how you can improve.
Make Your Website Mobile Friendly
Making your website easily accessible on multiple devices is becoming a necessity with the vast range of desktops, tablets, and smartphones that are available. With 70 percent of users taking action within an hour of completing a search on their smartphone, creating a mobile-friendly website becomes a far more appealing prospect.
With the majority of SME businesses using open source CMS platforms such as WordPress, Drupal, or Magento, making your website mobile friendly can be extremely easy. For WordPress websites, I have found WP-Touch as a good way to make sites mobile friendly, while I have used the “mobile plugin” module for Drupal.
For those that have a hand-coded website, services such as Telnames can be a better option, providing a mobile-optimized, top-level domain to run alongside the normal website.
Make sure that your mobile-friendly website URL (or .tel) has been added to your local listings to provide the user with the best possible experience when searching via a mobile device.
Optimize for Mobile & Local Search
With Google indicating that over half of all search queries on a mobile phone have local intent, it is essential that you optimize your website for your local area.
There are many factors to consider when optimizing your website for local search. David Mihm’s Local SEO factors survey provides some great information on what people consider to be the most important ranking factors.
Some factors from the survey include:
- Business address
- Location targeted keywords
- Local citations
- Location in title tag
What techniques have you used to improve your SME visibility in mobile search? Are you seeing an increase in mobile search traffic to your SME? I look forward to hearing your comments below or on twitter @danielbianchini.