Converting your website so it is mobile phone compatible is essential to any SEO campaign. You can throw any hopes of first page rankings for local results if you fail to do this crucial step. In 2014 mobile searches surpassed desktop searches by 10%. I am sure, the gap has widened even more in the year 2015. Smartphone sales are always rising and you can bet your mobile website will continue to make even bigger impacts for future results.
How can I go Mobile?
I use websitebuilder.com to host seoguidesfromboise.com because 1, I got a smokin’ deal at $31 a year for premium services and for 2, because the extra functions they provide. websitebuilder.com automatically converts your website to a mobile format without any added costs. They also decided it is better off providing this without any promotions from them on your mobile website, like dudamobile.
When making your site mobile you may have to fork up some extra cash if your website provider doesn’t provide this in your package. I know if you do use a program like dudamobile you are stuck with their ads at the very top of your mobile site and the bottom. This is understandable, I guess, because it is an essential tool to SEO and should be paid for, but every newb knows that the first thing Google sees is what they take priority in.
However, if you do decide to use duda, you will end up paying $159 to get rid of those ads. The upside to this is it is only a one time fee and they have an awesome interface to manipulate your website to how you want it to look on a cell phone.
Why bother with a mobile site?
Here in Boise, I did some simple, quick research and decided to find out how important it is for mobile websites. I went on my cell phone and typed in two different searches. The first one was “restaurants near me.”
The top two restaurants that came up were Bardenay Restaurant & Distillery and Bonefish Grill. Both these are local restaurants native to the Boise, ID area. The next three were P.F. Changs, Carl’s JR and Chick-Fil-A.
Out of these five restaurants, the top three were mobile websites. The last two didn’t have mobile websites, but, understandably ranked well, simply because these are two national chains. Both these I am sure have multiple million citations across the internet from throughout the nation.
This does demonstrate, however, it doesn’t matter how big your chain is. If you properly perform your SEO strategy on the local level, you can compete with any national organization in your area. The key is not to miss out on simple things even though it may cost you a few extra dollars.
The next search I performed was for “Mechanic Near Me”. This search query kicked back six results for local business listings. They were, in their respective order: Hurless Brothers Foreign Car Service, Ken’s Auto Repair, Tune Tech Downtown, Dietz Automotive, Boise Foreign Car Services and Dale’s Auto Care.
Can my small business compete?
The first thing I noticed about searching this niche is 5 out of 6 were small businesses, which makes more sense to me. Why you ask? Because major corporations don’t have the time or energy to doing local SEO work for each major city for their branches. On the contrary however, small businesses are always trying to out maneuver the big guy and will put more effort to where they know it will count i.e., local SEO.
How can I do it too?
A common factor five of the six businesses had though were they all went mobile. You can guarantee too the top three were mobile friendly. This is key because if you have not noticed yet, when you search Google for local businesses listings, you no longer get 5-10 listed, only three. I am sure if I repeat this experiment 8 more times, 9 times out of ten, it will be the same. All top three results are mobile friendly.
Going mobile maybe a costly effort to some small businesses. You may be deterred because you have to put some green from the black into your SEO campaign, but without taking this crucial step, you are literally dead in the water.
I went mobile. I’m done right?
Once you do go mobile however, you need to optimize. If you fail to optimize your mobile site as well as you did your main website, you are taking one step forward and two steps back. A critical factor Google looks into, besides bounce rate, is site load time.
You are going to have to keep in mind users are not using broadband internet from their phone all the time. Many of the service providers giving people service only provide 3G data. This is not at all equivalent to 60/MBPS, which means if you are overloading your mobile website with photos, way too much text, videos, music and other non-essential items, you are hindering your performance to your users and well as your results.
Also remember to revamp your Header, Footer, h1, h2 and all your text content. With websitebuilder.com, however great, still requires some extra modification. Thanks to their tools though it is ultra simple and quick. I literally can make the adjustments necassary in thirty seconds every time I post new content to seoguidesfromboise.com I can make adjustments from the mobile site app right on top of the builder.
NAPs too are extremely important to have on your mobile website. Your phone number and address, plus your name, should be the very first thing users see. Remember, when people are using their mobile phones for search, 4 out of 5 times they are going to do preliminary research. If you make it difficult for people to find out who you are, where you are or how to get a hold of you, you are going to deter people away very quickly.
Don’t forget too to list your hours of operation. Through my research of other businesses on the search rankings, it does not matter if the hours of operation are on the homepage, but all of them do list them somewhere on the mobile website.
To make things even simpler for the potential customer seeking you out, is include a Google Map right on your website. This too is a deciding factor for the local results. All the websites for the “Mechanic Near Me,” all included a Google Maps on their website, with exception to the major corporation. Not all of them had a picture of the map, but some just used the link leading to the the URL which had their location pinned on Google Maps.
Well, do I have to go mobile?
Now, referring back to our list of results on mechanics once again, the only website that was not mobile friendly, did their onpage SEO very well. I am sure also, if they did their onpage SEO to a T, their off page SEO was up to par too. I say this because all these things I talked about, including NAPs and the Google Maps, every single business in the result had all of these things.
These tiny things add up to big results. If you decide to take a shortcut somewhere, I will tell you right now, later down the line you will pay the consequence. Do not rush this to go live. We are in a new age of internet marketing and the only thing that is rewarded is quality. Take your time, revisit your past work, and make sure your errors are corrected. This will sometimes help even more verse 10 new more citations. Good Luck.