When was the last time you hopped on a subway and saw the riders clacking away on their laptops? Probably five years ago. That’s because virtually everyone has a tiny computer in their pockets: their smartphones. Mobile technology has become so prevalent that PCMag.com reported that 1 billion units have been sold as of third quarter 2012, up from 708 million smartphones in Q3 of 2011. What do all of these smartphone users mean for small business owners and webprenuers? It’s time to get on board the mobile marketing train or risk missing out on some serious gains. Here’s how to optimize your sites for the mobile world.
Better design. If you have a website, you need a mobile website as well. Mobile design usually means bigger print, lower-quality pics that can be downloaded faster and easy-to-use controls for smaller screens. Without a properly working mobile option, you could miss out on hits from frustrated users who can’t properly view your regular site on their smartphones.
User action. When users visit your page, they should be able to quickly find the info they need and have tools for sharing that info through social networking or other avenues. Creating an easy way for user action, such as a “Tweet This!” button for new articles and blog posts, helps give users the tools to quickly interact with your information and share it with others.
Local content. B2C recently reported that 24 percent of Google mobile searches are local. Think about it: Smartphone users are out and about, looking for restaurants, services, hotspots and reviews. Making sure that you’re capitalizing on local search means you’ll point more users toward your site. Using geographical keywords can definitely help put you on the map.
New keywords. Keywords are king in SEO, but only if you use them properly. You might find that keywords used for your desktop site don’t always work for mobile users, particularly if they’re too long. Mobile users are more likely to use short-form search queries to save on typing time. Make sure that you utilize quick-type keywords to capture those clicks.
Directories. Finally, one of the best ways to apply SEO to mobile users is to make sure that your business is listed in local, reputable directories, such as Yelp and Urbanspoon. These directories usually have apps that users can load to search for local results, and you want to make sure you make the cut. See? Something as tiny as a smartphone has the potential to make a big difference in your web strategy.