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How to Optimize for Local Mobile Search

In a world where more and more people are attached to their smart phones or tablets, businesses must work extra hard to be up to date with their marketing tactics to stay on top. We know this can be hard, especially when search engines change their rules as quickly as the new gadgets can be sold in stores. In fact, Google recently announced a major algorithm change starting April 21 that will completely change how Google view mobile sites. Not to worry! Today we will talk about 3 important ways you can optimize your website for Local Mobile search.

Phone (1)1. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly: We have all been there before. Trying to look up a website on our phone only to be foiled by a microscopic version of the page. In order to get ahead of your competitors, you must make sure your website is designed to work properly and smoothly no matter the device. What does this entail?
• Make sure your website is designed to respond to the device your viewer is using (aka responsive web design). Create a distinct user experience for the device they are using. A page layout on a desktop will not work the same on a tablet.
• Make the navigation easy to understand. Having your entire sitemap may not be beneficial to the mobile device user. Making sure to have only the essentials, as well as having easy-to-click buttons, will make the user experience a good one.
• Don’t block CSS, Images, or JavaScript. All are essential for getting noticed through mobile search. However, be sure to stay clear of flash and pop-ups because these elements do not work for mobile devices.

If you are curious to see if your website is mobile-friendly, visit this page from Google Webmaster tools to see how your website is doing.

2. Optimize for Local Search: Having a local presence, especially for a brick and mortar business, is one of the most important steps to have in your marketing strategy. How do you do this? To start, make sure your business Name, Address, Phone Number, or any other important contact information is displayed correctly across your site. From there, take the time to add or update your business information on major and local online directories. Oftentimes these directories allow you to add descriptions of your business and photos along with your basic contact information.

Now, you may be thinking to yourself: “That’s fine and great, but how does this actually benefit me?” Simply put, the more places search engines see your business information (listed correctly) the better. It becomes accurate, true, and worth showing in the eyes of search engines, bringing me to the next point.

3. Making sure your Google My Business up to date: Have you ever been searching for something local and you see a box that comes up with business information for a specific company? Or maybe you were looking at Google Maps to find a restaurant near you and Google gave you some suggestions? Most of the time this isn’t by chance. This is a result of Google My Business. Claiming your business is simple, yet very important. Coupled with making sure your business information is accurate on your site and the web, the ultimate way to make sure that search engines are seeing your accurate information is to add it directly. Claiming and maintaining your Google listing has many benefits such as:
• Having accurate business information when someone is searching for you or your product/service.
• Allows you to have control of your listing, changing information if your business moves or changes phone numbers.
• Allows you to have access to other tools such as Google+ or Insights to see how your viewers are interacting with your listing.
The instructions on how to do this can be found here.

There you have it! Applying these tips along with your marketing strategies will help your business flourish and in the local mobile search.

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Courtney

Courtney Grogan has over ten years experience in customer service, along with over three years experience in teaching. She specializes in local search engine optimization, Google Analytics, and Internet Marketing. In her spare time she is an accomplished violinist.

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