Smartphones have become a standard device that almost every person carries with them on a daily basis. Worldwide, there are over 2.6 billion smartphone users! With so many connected devices, it’s no wonder that the focus has shifted away from desktop users and over to mobile-- and that there’s been a huge push for mobile-focused websites and marketing. All of this is well and good, but it’s missing a key ingredient: local SEO. Today I’m going to show you how to create a mobile-first strategy by combining a mobile responsive website with a focus on local SEO for maximum results.
How to Create a Mobile-Focused Website
There are plenty of reasons to focus on mobile websites. Here are some compelling statistics to help showcase the importance of a mobile responsive web design:
The evidence is clear: mobile design is a must for present and future websites. This should be at the forefront of your mind as you make a website and design its layout. When someone comes to your website, they should be able to easily view and navigate it on a mobile device.
Things like horizontal scrolling and using video platforms that aren’t mobile-friendly need to go out the window right now. While there are multiple ways to design a mobile website, the most recommended option is a responsive design. The appeal behind this type of design is its ability to tailor dimensions and layout based on the size of the screen accessing the web page. This flexibility is key to matching the varied sizes of smartphones and tablets.
Here are three options for achieving a responsive design:
- If you use a content management system that offers responsive design, the answer is simple. For example, WordPress has numerous options for mobile responsive themes.
- The second option is a more hands-on approach that involves using CSS3 media queries. If you have experience with this type of development, or you need a refresher, here’s an excellent resource for learning about media queries.
- Finally, you can hire a freelance designer to do the programming for a responsive design. You’ll find plenty of options online at places like Upwork or
Once you’ve implemented a mobile responsive design, you should see a much better user experience for your mobile users, but it doesn’t stop at design. Consider these tips for creating mobile-friendly content and webpage designs:
- Capture their attention immediately. Smartphone users have a much shorter attention span than desktop users.
- Keep them reading by telling a story within your content marketing. Give them a reason to stay.
- Smartphone users read on-the-go, so make the content easy to scan.
- Calls-to-Action should be clear and concise on mobile landing pages.
Optimizing For Local SEO
The second part of our strategy involves further enhancing the mobile experience by optimizing for local SEO. Research has shown that smartphone users are interested in local results more often than not:
- A study done by comScore found that 78% of local-mobile searches resulted in offline purchases.
- Research done by Ipsos MediaCT also found that 88% of smartphone users conduct local searches.
- Ipsos also found that 60% of mobile users interacted with location information in search ads.
This all points to a veritable gold mine in the realm of local SEO. Mobile users are looking for solutions nearby and your business could be one of them. Let’s walk through the steps to optimizing your site for local SEO.
- Google My Business Page--Our first step takes us to the Google My Business page. Here you can fill out your business information and provide accurate and up-to-date data that Google can use in searches. It doesn’t stop with simple contact information, though, there’s more you can do with this. Begin by selecting categories relevant to your business, followed by a detailed description with links to your website and relevant blog or social media. Upload photos of your business, your employees, anything you have. Finally, make sure you have a cover photo and that your phone number and address matches your website. In short, make sure this profile is complete and accurate across the board. Once you’ve done this, encourage your customer base to start adding reviews which will give you a huge boost.
- Key Information on Your Website--On your website itself, you want to be absolutely certain you have your business name, address, and phone number present across every single page. Usually this information can be placed in the footer. Furthermore, use Schema.org markups to include this same information within your search results.
- On-Page local SEO and Link Building--Finally, you should optimize your pages and your content for local keywords and on-page factors. Include your city/location and relevant keywords in your page titles, headers, and within the content as well. Make it natural, but also make it clear where your business is located, what you sell, and what areas it serves. You can also embed a Google map with a marker on your business into relevant web pages. Once you’ve done this, look for link building opportunities to get your business listed on local directories. Make sure these links include your business name, address, and phone number. Finding these links can be done manually, or with a service.
Bringing Everything Together
Local SEO and mobile responsive design go hand-in-hand. Mobile users are the majority of online visitors and they are consistently looking for local results. By meeting both of these needs, you can bring countless new visitors to your business and your website.
How do you optimize for mobile design and local SEO? Which one do you prioritize? Let us know in the comments!