The Secret to Mobile? Just Show Up Strong.[ Edited ]
June 2016 - last edited June 2016
The Secret to Mobile? Just Show Up Strong.
by Michael Johnston, Google Small Business Advisor
Many people think that in order to truly adapt to the mobile Web, you have to revamp your business and all of your marketing. As a digital marketer at Specialized Digital Marketing, I’ve helped many clients to go mobile, and the truth is, the single most important thing you can do to be mobile-friendly is to simply show up strong.
The following are two examples where just showing up (or not) made a big difference:
A Cautionary Tale
Just this week, the president of one of our local chambers of commerce sent me an email describing an incident that happened to one of our local businesses. As she and a friend from out of town were looking for a lunch spot, their Google Search results indicated that a nearby restaurant was “vegetarian.” Because this wasn’t what they wanted, they ended up going to a different restaurant.
In actuality, the restaurant does have a vegetarian component to their menu, but it’s not exclusively vegetarian. This would’ve been the kind of place the visitor was seeking, with its selection of free-range meats, as well as locally sourced fruits and vegetables. When I looked into why this may have happened, the answer was simple: When the restaurant’s owners filled out the information on its Google My Business profile, they picked the category “Vegetarian Restaurant” as one of the five categories they could choose. That single (not entirely accurate) category was being returned when someone did a general search for restaurants in my town. In this case, that inaccurate information cost the restaurant a customer, potentially many.
If you want to succeed in appearing high in Google Search results in your local area on mobile searches, you = must be aware of the best platforms to use for your business and update them with accurate and consistent
A Mobile Success Story
A local engineering firm asked for our help with its existing website, which wasn’t getting any traffic or showing up on the first page of search results. Their site’s Google Analytics data showed that 48% of its traffic was
coming from mobile devices, which was a surprising revelation for the business owner.
Knowing that mobile was a big part of its customers’ journey to finding them, we implemented a few simple changes in order to improve its visibility:
• Created listings for it on the local directories of Google, Bing, and Yahoo
• Optimized social network pages and videos by updating page titles, descriptions, and unified their branding across all channels with vanity URLs (where possible)
• Created page title and page description meta tags for each page on the site, and updated its sites with the most relevant keywords for its industry
• Updated the website theme and plugins to ensure mobile friendliness
• Updated all of the alt image tags on the website
Although these changes were relatively simple and were usually the bare minimum of what we’d recommend to a client for digital marketing, they alone resulted in the firm’s appearance on the first page of search results in several positions and often in more than one type of search (Web, images, video). A year later, despite their competitor’s website improvements, our client’s website still ranks just as well in search results.
In summary, here are a few best practices for showing up strong in mobile:
• Make sure that the information you have everywhere on the Web is accurate and up-to-date.
• Use free local directories offered by search engines to make sure that you show up in specialized search results.
• Design your website to translate across all types of devices.
• Follow current principles for search engine optimization.
• Make sure that all of your web assets are optimized to work together in search results.
Michael Johnston is the owner of Specialized Digital Marketing, a boutique “one stop
web shop” that specializes in small to medium sized businesses and entertainment
Michael has over 20 years of experience writing and promoting content both on and off
the web as a freelance writer and as a service provider to clients. He is active in many
groups on the web and is a Google Advisor to the Google Small Business Community.
Originally published June, 2015