Thanks to the growth of smartphones and mobile technology, consumers today are no longer limited to searching online for information using their laptops and desktop computers. An increasing number of people are doing their research on the go – seeking local business information, reading online reviews, making price comparisons, and sharing their opinions using their phones and tablets, of which there are 1.75 billion users worldwide.
In fact, according to Google, approximately 4 out of 5 consumers look up local information using mobile search engines.
If you’re a business owner, it’s critical that you are proactive in getting your business mobile-ready. That way, you can attract not only consumers who are at home and sitting on their couches, but also those who are out and about, ready to spend their money and make a purchase decision.
Here are 6 super tips – plus some great tools – to get you started.
Check if your site is mobile-friendly. In this multi-screen world, you have to make sure your home base on the Web looks good on any screen size. You can use the Google Mobile-Friendly Test or ScreenFly to analyze your URL and determine the mobile-friendliness of your website design.
Implement responsive Web design. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly site, you can optimize your current one to adjust to various mobile screen sizes by using tools like Strikingly and Wix. You can also create your own mobile-friendly websites using Duda or Mobify (the latter is great for retailers and businesses in need of a mobile shopping platform).
Include basic local data. Be prepared when mobile searchers look you up and visit your page. You must have, at a bare minimum, your business name, a click-to-call phone number, your address, your hours, and products- or services-related information on the mobile version of your site.
Connect to Google Maps. Don’t make it difficult for mobile searchers who need directions to your business location. Add a link to your address on Google Maps, either by sharing the URL or by embedding the map on your site. You can also connect your Google+ business page to Google Maps to make yourself more easily discoverable to mobile users.
Claim your review site profiles and local business listings. Plant your flags across the Web, in places where on-the-go consumers can find you. Sites and apps like Yelp, Google My Business, Foursquare, TripAdvisor, and Citysearch are good places to start.
This has a great SEO benefit, too: claiming your listings and ensuring the consistency and accuracy of the business information you provide can also go a long way in boosting your visibility in mobile search results. If this is too much to manage, you can use a service like ReviewTrackers to easily manage your review data across the Web.
Engage socially. Some of the most popular apps on mobile devices are social apps: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and YouTube, to name a few. Establish your presence on these sites, then engage by responding to comments, posting fresh content, sharing updates, and getting customer feedback.
(Image credit: Mobile Worker)