Last year, Ofcom published a report that mobiles are now the most used device in the UK. Mobile devices have revolutionised the way we search online and transformed the way we communicate.
In October 2014, a Google & Ipsos study, concluded that 3 out 4 people were more likely to visit their local stores in person, after finding them in online search results. Local businesses should optimise their sites for mobile to make the most of Google searches with a local intent and connect with over 40 million mobile users in the UK.
Nowadays smartphones act as sales assistants for local retailers. Consumers visit stores for more than just a purchase, they look for a brand that they can connect with on a personal level, one that offers a friendly experience both online and offline.
Not sure how to upgrade your site to be mobile friendly? We offer UX focussed design and development services at Quadra and have recently completed a mobile friendly site for one of our long-term clients, Ski Cuisine. Ski Cuisine are catered chalet operators in Meribel, France and needed a mobile-friendly site that not only showcased their properties but also allowed guests to book online. Take a look at Ski Cuisine’s website or read more about our design & development services!
The great thing about updating Ski Cuisine’s website was the impact it had on their search rankings. Google now boosts websites that are mobile-friendly (just one more reason to update your site!) If you’re not sure whether your site is mobile friendly you can test it using this tool from Google and read more about how to update your site in Google’s technical guide on mobile-friendly websites.
Once your site is mobile friendly, the next step is optimising to ensure you reach mobile users in your local area. Below we’ve listed the steps we take for our local clients, if you’re unsure about anything below you can contact a member of our team and they’ll talk you through our optimisation services.
1. Create your business profile on Google My Business. This allows you to add contact information and list a location to appear in search results and on Google Maps. Your place of business will appear in the Google Knowledge Panel shown below. Over 60% of smartphones are GPS enabled so we really can’t recommend this enough.
2. List your business in online directories. This is one step up from the local phone book and much more beneficial for your business! Being listed on sites like Yelp means users can gain more information about your business and leave a review.
3. Advertise online locally. Google Adwords allows you to add a location extension which can be opened in Google Maps and a call extension so users can contact you in one click from their smartphone. You can also add sitelink extensions to drive traffic to particular pages.
We recommend that local businesses take advantage of the opportunities listed above to quite literally put their company on the map. Get in touch with us to discuss our digital optimisation services, and find out how to turn Google into your new sales assistant!