Local SEO & Being Mobile Friendly

Written by: Jason Bayless | December 15, 2015

The Return of the Local Shopper: Why Your Website Needs to Be Mobile Friendly

Back in the dark ages, otherwise known as the 1990s, the Internet was a vast place. Although the number of websites was countable, around 1 million, the web was known for connecting people around the world.

Today, the Internet is still synonymous with global connectivity, but with a nudge from Google, the Internet as it was is changing. Rather than connecting people from different areas of the world, the aim of a website is now to connect with local people, as well.

This change can be attributed to one major catalyst: mobile Internet. The rise of mobile Internet and smartphones has revised the way the world uses the Internet. Rather than using their phones to explore the wider world, many people now use their phones to explore their immediate area, too.

Because of this change, the way that websites are designed and built has changed. You now need two websites: one for the web and one for the mobile web.

This requirement is the direct result of the new popularity of mobile Internet, and it has changed the way that people search. Now that people look for things that can be found nearby, you need to make yourself found to people looking for local businesses.

Mobile websites and local SEO go hand in hand to complete this task. Each completes an essential job that is now required by search engines to ensure that your website is found by your target consumers.
The impact of the mobile web and local SEO are not only due to the rising trend in mobile activity, however. Google, the king of search, recently announced that businesses that want to succeed in its search engine rankings need to have a mobile website. In fact, Google is now prioritizing websites that are mobile-optimized.

Thankfully, mobile websites are not difficult to build. For now, mobile screens are smaller than those of computers. They also have less functionality, so your mobile website does not need to be as complicated as your desktop site.

Google’s encouragement is a good reason to go mobile. But, because customers are now reaching out through their phones, you want to show a gesture of good will and make your content accessible. The mobile website is a great way to do this because it is compatible with all device operating systems. Unlike applications, which can be expensive to design and build, people only need a mobile web browser to find your website.

However, these celebrated differences between desktop and mobile sites need to be considered carefully. Choosing a mobile template for your site is not enough. You may also need to curate your content for the mobile market.

This goes back to the devices people use. In most cases, customers view websites with smaller screens. Hence, you need to make sure that the most important content on your website is available immediately without too much scrolling or squinting.

You also need to make sure that your mobile website is found. Getting to grips with the basics of local SEO is essential for making sure that people even make it to your carefully created content.

When people are on the go, they want to be able to get their information fast. Making sure they receive it quickly is one of the pillars of success in building a mobile website.

Mobile websites are not the new way forward, but they are now an essential part of your overall online marketing plan. Both the customer and Google are demanding it. With 60 percent of online traffic now coming from mobile devices, you’re not just missing out on specific customer groups. You will be quickly be missing out on all of them.