It is especially important for mobile websites to focus on Local Search Engine Optimization (Local SEO). The following is an overview of the importance of local Internet marketing as it pertains to wireless devices and the web.
The Internet on the Go
Studies show that users are more likely to search for local listings while away from home. While people are at home, they tend to use a laptop or desktop to search for information. While on the go, Internet users utilize a cell phone to find something in the immediate area more than to find general information.
That does not mean that users are not looking for information on their mobile devices. For example, a person searching for local restaurants may use their cell phone to find out what the operating hours are for a particular location. On the other hand, it is less likely that a person will attempt to write a research publication on their handheld device.
Local SEO and Businesses
This means that businesses which target local customers should be especially concerned with search engine optimization for mobile devices. Here are a few tips to ensure increased search engine visibility:
- Submit your business to Google Places.
- Utilize other directory websites such as Yelp, Yahoo, Merchant Circle, etc.
- Use rich snippets and other structured metadata for contact information throughout your website.
- Include the city and state of your business location in the HTML title tag.
- Use geographic targeting in Google Webmaster Tools.
- Create accounts for social networks for your such as FourSquare.
These simple tactics will help search engines become aware of your business’ location and therefore display your company as a local asset to the user.
Search engines have begun to include a user’s location data along with his/her search query. The goal of the search engines, by including local businesses, is to provide users with the most relevant information. This enables businesses to take the simple actions listed above to enhance a business’s Internet presence.
For example, a person located in New York who is searching for a doctor would not expect to view results for a physician in California. Search Engines, such as Google, attempt to determine the most relevant results based on the user’s location. Therefore, an Internet surfer located in New York who is looking for a physician will only get results for doctors in New York.