How People Search for Businesses

Online search plays a crucial role in today’s local business success. Businesses that are well positioned in the search engine results pages, or SERPs,  for the various search engine’s such as Google, Bing and Yahoo will benefit the most as they have increased visibility, more brand exposure and an opportunity to sell their products or services to their target customers.

Woman searching using a mobile device

Mobile Search

While traditional search that is best on desktop computers and has been the mainstay of businesses globally, a rapidly emerging trend in the recent years is that of mobile search. This is a scenario where buyers make use of various mobile devices such as smart phones, PDAs or iPad’s in order to conduct search queries.

Mobile search has proven to be a very powerful marketing platform because of its localized nature and the fact that it is a very high-converting form of online marketing. Most importantly, modern search engines, by default, will show the top 3 to 7 local results when a search is performed. If your business is not found in those results, then you are losing out on a huge opportunity!

Local Search

One of the best advantages of the mobile search is its location-aware nature. Mobile search is made local thanks to its global positioning (GPS) capabilities. As a result, it is possible to give users spontaneous access to a variety of nearby services where they can access products and services that they are looking for at that very instant.

Apart from the increased awareness that local marketing delivers, it is also good for brand awareness and better quality leads. These are advantages that companies investing in comprehensive mobile marketing strategies can reap over the long term.

According to industry research by Google, a search that is carried out on a mobile device is likely to lead to a store visit or phone call 50% of the time. This is in contrast to the 34% of searches on laptops and desktops that will result in a store visit or purchase.

Mobile search is convenient and often used on the go. For this reason, it is the best converting form of online search. It is important to optimize your store in multiple ways in order to deliver the best experience for your customers. To go even further, in order to illustrate the importance of mobile search, about 18% of mobile searches will lead to sales compared to 7% of non-local searches.

Making Your Site Mobile Friendly

There are several techniques that you can use in order to optimize the local presence of your site so as to maximize on the opportunities of mobile search. Because 20% of all searches generally have local intent, it is important to allocate a significant amount of time and resources preparing your business for mobile and local search. Some of the tips that you can incorporate include:

Build a Responsive Design: Responsive Design will ensure the uniform rendering of your business across multiple mobile platforms with varying screen resolutions.

– Optimize for Mobile Targeted Keywords: There are generally slight variations on the keywords that mobile users use to search for your products or services. For example, people are more likely to include location specific words in their search. You will need to factor these into your marketing campaign.

– Images: If you are using responsive design, then this aspect will take care of itself. If you are not, then ensure that the images are well compressed as well as consolidated via the CSS image sprites in order to ensure optimal rendering.

– The On-Page Optimization: Ensure your site contains pages that are location targeted for the areas your business serves.

– Add to Local Listings: List the business in the right local business directories and create a Google Local Business profile.

– Make Use of Structured Data: These are also called rich snippets which are additional snippets of information that show up in search results. These are good for optimal mobile search experience.