Business owners and marketing managers must adopt mobile phone strategies to increase their visibility on Google search results. This will drive more traffic to their websites and physical stores.
Ever wonder how local search engine ranking affects retail sales? Here, we’ll explain it and also detail ways to improve ranking while avoiding the pitfalls.
We’ll also take a look at Google’s free tool, Google My Business, to boost your local search rankings, increase traffic to your website, and bring customers into your physical store.
Optimized local search results and search ranking
Google provides Webmaster Guidelines to provide tips which increase your website’s Google Search ranking. These guidelines concern high-quality content, credible links, keyword usage, and integrity in dealing with those who visit your site. Ranking for your site will go down if deception or misleading is found.
Following Google’s easy-to-understand Webmaster support can help your business appear nearer the top of search results.
There are several ways to improve your business’s online presence and rank, including:
- Search engine optimization (SEO): using keywords
- Search engine marketing (SEM): purchasing ads
- Google My Business: a free Google tool to share information about your business
Other ways to improve your business’s ranking
Google’s Mobile Friendly Tester can test any of your website’s pages to determine if it displays and functions properly on mobile devices.
Pages should be mobile-friendly (also known as “responsive”) because Google can downgrade your search results if not… meaning you won’t be seen on a potential customer’s mobile phone. More than half of all internet usage occurs on mobile devices.
In April 2015, Google expanded its search rankings to include mobile friendliness. So having a mobile-friendly website, one which is understandable and usable on mobile devices, can increase your local search ranking.
Google My Business
According to the 2016 Mobile Retail Report, although “…consumers are living in a mobile-first world, the retail industry is stuck in the past.”
The mobile screen is now the “primary” screen for businesses and marketers to understand, target and employ. Since 2015, Google has reported that more searches are being made on mobile devices alone, than on desktops, laptops, and tablets combined.
Businesses use Google My Business as an additional online local listing (other than a website) so customers find out more about its products and services and, hopefully, pay a visit to its physical store. By maintaining accurate and updated contact information, more people can find and visit a business.
Google’s free tool helps you manage how your local business appears in Google products like Maps and Search.
Google My Business offers multiple benefits that can help grow your business, such as:
- Maintaining accurate contact information, business hours, street address and directions
- Interacting with customers by providing photos of your products or services
- Seeing and responding to reviews from your customers
- Increasing online traffic and sales by directing customers to your website
Seamless, Multi-Channel Shopping Experience
A “seamless shopping experience” is one that crosses between in-store, online, mobile and social channels. It’s now considered the ultimate goal of online and offline marketing–the omnichannel.
The 2017 Mobile Retail Trends study says that “brick and mortar stores must increasingly invest in new mobile technologies to draw customers to their stores and create a smooth shopping experience.”
More than one-third of all US consumers research an item on a mobile device and then proceed to a store to buy it. A very high percentage of customers who mobile search a business call or go to that business with 24 hours.
Multi-location retailers are focusing on bridging the gap between their digital presence and their stores. Today’s consumers search for products and locations for their purchases using their smartphones. Most will visit the store on the same day as they did the product research.
Google My Business maintains local search results, which are tailored to a particular geographic area through Google Maps and Google Search. This helps users find a nearby business, the phone or website contact, and/or the location of a business they wish to visit.
Retailers who know more sell more. Knowing that Google My Business, Google Webmaster guidelines, and up-to-date mobile strategies will increase sales and impact your business’s community profile. Savvy marketers and retailers can learn how to optimize their local search results while optimizing their mobile online presence.
Start increasing your website’s visibility today; driving more traffic to your physical store is closely and easily connected.