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by Stephen Logan on 24th March 2010
As Google reveal that a third of mobile searches in the US are for local businesses and services, we look at how you can improve your visibility on the mobile Internet.
The Internet is constantly evolving. The way we interact with the web and one another is far from static. Just a few years ago the technology for widespread mobile Internet was still in its infancy, available to few and costing a small fortune to use. Today, the smartphone revolution and improved 3G/Wi-Fi connectivity has made the mobile Internet available to a vast, technologically advanced audience.
This is no small change. It is a seismic shift. People can connect wherever they are and at any time. No longer constrained by the availability of a computer, the Internet is more accessible than ever. Inevitably perhaps, one of the most popularly used online resources is the search engine. More inevitably still, Google is still the go to mobile search engine.
This week at Mobile Marketing Watch, Diana Pouliot (the Director of Mobile Advertising at Google) revealed that a third of Google searches on mobile devices are related to the searchers local area. Probably not a massive revelation to most, but the statistical evidence certainly backs up most people’s assertions.
In the past we have asked ‘Is Local Search Optimisation Now Essential for Business Websites?‘ Well, with this current information, you would have to believe so. Mobile users are able to quickly access search engines and get the information they need with equal haste. As part of the combined technologies of search engines and mobiles, location can be automatically determined and results shaped to fit. This methodology is slipping into the wider search culture. Now results don’t just need to be accurate, they need to be local too.
Last month we also looked at why websites need to take the mobile Internet seriously; well, this evidence, provided by Diana Pouliot and the Google mobile advertising team, is enough to back up our claim. Mobile is a growing market, just as with search and the Internet as a whole. Ignoring it in deference for more traditional (if that is the right term) Internet marketing.
Making your site compatible with mobile screen specifications, investing in mobile advertising and just doing a little local search optimisation could make the difference. With a third of Google’s mobile users focusing on local results, ignoring your website’s geographical position could be highly damaging.
Locating your site is simple enough to do. Or at least as simple as any other SEO technique is. There’s a decent summary in our FAQs section called, simply enough, What is Local Search? But basically it requires spending time optimising your site for local search phrases and ensuring that search engines know where you’re located.
Just a few tweaks and you too could be picking up highly targeted mobile search traffic. To better improve those chances though, investing in mobile marketing could improve your visibility. There are plenty of different types of mobile marketing available and, in the most part, they tend to be more cost effective than their conventional search engine equivalents.
Costs are kept down due to the comparative lack of competition that exists in the market. This won’t last though. As awareness grows and traffic volumes increase, you can expect to see prices going the same way.
So now is not only a good time to start developing your local presence online, but it is also time to be taking your presence seriously. Are you visible? Are you compatible? Can you be found? Are you advertising?
Don’t abandon your SEO and computer based visitors just yet, but it’s definitely time to start thinking mobile.