Did you know, an average of 64% of Google searches come from mobile devices and the number is increasing daily. Mobile devices have revolutionised how consumers access information and their journey through the purchase cycle.

The search term “near me” and words such as “to buy” have also increased 500% in the last three years! This is a major shift and shows a huge opportunity for local businesses. The question then becomes, how do you make sure your business ranks for local search results as Google ranking on mobile devices equates to more foot traffic for you.

We have put together six of our top tips to increase mobile rankings to ensure your business shows up in local search results.

Location

To guarantee that you show up in local searches you first need to ensure that your store location is clearly listed on your website. This sounds obvious enough but there are some common mistakes websites make that could be hurting your chances for local rankings. Here are a few considerations to help you increase your chances of being found online:

  • Make sure that your address is listed on each page of your website. Some people may even decide to include it in the footer.
  • Your address should always be text – not an image – so that search engines are able to crawl it. (i.e. ‘read’ it.)
  • A relevant web address can make a big difference on search results. While it’s not often thought of as contributing to search rankings, a relevant web address that includes a key term of the goods and services that you are offering and your location is going to signal high relevancy for google search results. For example .sydney is only for people and businesses within the Sydney area. If people are searching “near me” in Sydney, a .sydney domain is going to give you an advantage over other domain extensions. Some examples of our favorites include:

Own Your Business Listings

Using business listings like Google My Business and Yelp can play a major factor in how your website shows up in search results. When people search “near me”, they expect search technology to find the places in their area where they can get exactly what they need. Consumers no longer want, or expect, to visit multiple stores to make a purchase. That’s why targeted local business listings are more important than ever.

  • Google My Business – is the largest search engine in the world, garnering 90% of all mobile searches. Your business MUST be listed in Google My Business if you want to be found in a local search. Google’s aim is to assist people in finding businesses close to where they are located, so you will want to be sure to optimize your Google My Business listing to include correct hours of operation, phone number, website, etc. The more information, the better! Google My Business also allows you to post (similar to a Facebook post) to let potential clients know of specials that can show up in search results.
  • Yelp / Zomato are two of today’s most popular review sites, with the power to influence a person’s purchasing decision. Claiming your business listing on theses platforms is free, and a study from Boston Consulting Group showed that it adds an additional $8,000 in annual revenue from the site.
  • TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel site. It provides travelers with more than 730 million reviews and opinions to help them decide how to fly, where to stay, where and what to eat, and what to see and do. Adding your local listing is free and gives you the opportunity to interact with reviewers.

There are many more business listings that you can claim in order to take advantage of your free listing. We encourage you to do a little research to see which ones are relevant to your industry.

Speed

A user will likely leave your website if it takes more than 5 seconds to load. A person’s patience when it comes to a loading screen simply doesn’t exist. People want a site that loads quickly and easily without any problems. The load speed on a desktop is very different than the speed on a mobile device. Search engines pick up on the speed of your site and drastically reduce rankings for sites that fail to load quickly. A way to help increase your load speed is to use Google’s Page Speed Insight. This free and handy tool will analyze your site and give you suggestions on how to increase the speed to make it user-friendly and fast.

Take Advantage of AMP

AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is a genius tool created by Google. Due to the performance difference in a desktop and mobile site, Google knew mobile-friendly sites needed some extra TLC. Simply put, Google takes your mobile site and increases the load speed almost immediately. This service is available to everyone and is completely free.

Compress Your Images

A site with images looks great and helps provide interactive. With that being said, pictures come in different shapes and sizes, this is a major factor in the slow load speed on your mobile site. Compressing your photos to a smaller file size will help your site load quicker, resulting in higher visibility on Google searches. A tip for compressing your images is to use a PNG file. This type of file can compress images up to 95% and still offer a high-quality resolution. To ensure your image size is compatible after compressing it, make sure the file size is no larger than around 150KB.

Inspect the Design

Along with the load speed of your mobile-friendly site, lies the design. Just because you need a fast, responsive site doesn’t mean you should compromise on the design. Make sure you optimize your design to compliment the variety of screen sizes available from desk top to mobile. This will allow users from any device to view your site the way it was meant to look. To test your site to see whether it is as mobile-friendly as it can be, use the Google Mobile-Friendly Test.

These tips can help you optimize your Google search rankings but what about local searches? A .sydney domain provides search engines with easier access to your location. If you are looking for more local Google rankings, a .sydney domain will draw traffic to your mobile site among other common domains.

People who use their mobile devices to search should be just as important to your website as desktop users, especially with the increasing number of mobile users. If you optimize your site by compressing your images, checking your load speed and reviewing your design, just watch your Google rankings drastically increase.