Today mobile searches outnumber desktop searches by at least 60% to 40%; and that percentage is growing every day. You may have consulted your Google Analytics and noticed that increasing proportions of your traffic are coming from mobile. And you can bet that most of those mobile users are performing local searches. Statistics show that mobile searchers usually have buying intent; with 50% of mobile searches leading to store visits within a day.
So how can you use all these insights to help you dominate local search? Focus your digital campaigns on mobile.
That sounds easy – get your website mobile optimized, or create a new, responsive website that renders well on all devices. What does this really mean, and how can you take best advantage of these mobile updates to not only your site, but your content and the mobile user experience as a whole?
Start with Google Tools
Google provides marketers with tools that help measure a site’s mobile experience. First and foremost [assuming you have created at least a relatively usable mobile site (tutorials and recommendations on how to do this abound on the Internet; but if you need help, Engine-IUS Marketing is ready to assist)] you need to ensure that your site loads fast. Page speed (and increasingly, mobile page speed) is now a part of Google’s ranking algorithm, and when you think about it, rightly so, as it’s a big part of a positive user experience.
Google can help with its PageSpeed Insights tool
Input your website URL in the tool and let Google analyze it. Often you’ll find the results point to how you can compress images and code to make the site load faster. We recommend implementing one or two of the findings at a time, then re-testing your site. The goal isn’t necessarily to get the site up to 100% mobile speed capability, as few sites achieve that. What’s more realistic is getting in the high 70’s to 90’s range.
Most every site will need some speed improvement; often the fastest sites are news sites, such as Bing News:
If your site is a WordPress site, there are a number of WordPress plugins you can install to help with minifying CSS, JS, image caching and more. Try one at a time and then re-test, so you can roll back your updates easily, if needed.
You can also try Google’s Mobile Friendly Test Tool to see if your site needs any mobile friendly updates. If you have Google Search Console set up you can access the mobile usability insights from there. Here is how it looks. Note how Google describes usability issues and the pages where these occur.
Bonus Tip: It’s a good idea to try a few of the non-Google mobile usability test tools to ensure your site is offering the best user experience. A Google search for ‘mobile friendly test tools‘ offers a good selection to try. And of course, while we are working to make a site mobile friendly, we must always remember the actual goal is to make it usable for humans. Doing so will also appease search engines.
Need help ensuring your site is mobile friendly? We can test it for you and recommend and implement the necessary changes so your site will appeal to users and search engines.
Mobile is Local & Local is Mobile
If people are referred to your site only to find that it is hard to navigate on their phone or tablet, then they will not hesitate to try a competitor’s site. Teaming mobile friendly tests and updates with a solid local SEO campaign is the secret to driving traffic and keeping people on your site longer. If they’re performing mobile local searches, these folks usually have intent to buy. You definitely want more of these people coming to, and staying on your site!
As we stated at the beginning of this article, it’s essential that your website provide a good mobile user experience. This is key for local SEO success, and overall usability of your site. Talk to Engine-IUS Marketing and let’s rev up your local SEO campaign. We’ll ensure both mobile and local are working for you!