SEO means the world for small businesses these days. But most searches these days are local and mobile. Is your web presence prepared for that shift in online behavior?

So you have a website that you’re working on and got the hang of the basic philosophy behind Search Engine Optimization that we discussed in the previous post? Good, now let’s get into some trendy topics from the SEO world at the moment.

Get local with your SEO strategy

Your customers are probably mostly local, and you need to be there when they do their web searches. A recent report from Google stated that the local interest searches have multiplied by 34 times only in the past few years.

Ranking well in local search terms like “cafe + Birmingham” is crucial. And make sure you have your address, opening hours and contact information readily available already on the homepage.

Create a Google Business Page on Google Plus and optimize it accordingly by claiming the name and filling it with relevant information and images. Google uses information from this page in the search results.

But don’t stop there. Build and maintain your presence on Yelp, Tripadvisor, Facebook and other social media as well. Always include this basic information along with your website address. Why is this important? Well, because 88 % say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations these days.

Encouraging online reviews is a great way of getting traffic, customers – and (hopefully) some constructive feedback. And if your business gets below a 2-star rating online, almost 90 % of the potential customers won’t even be bothered to show up.

Focus on mobile searches

2015 was the first year that there were more mobile Google searches than on desktop computers. The mobile searches very often convert into actual purchases – 50 % visits a local store within 24 hours after the search.

You don’t have to develop an expensive app for your local business. The main thing you need to do is make sure you have a mobile-friendly – responsive – webpage that adjusts itself according to the screen or device. Most new themes on WordPress are responsive these days.

If you’re being mobile-friendly Google states it in the search results. But more importantly you keep a good customer experience on your webpage.

To keep track of everything, use Google Business insights, Google Analytics and Google Search Console.

Cater to the tourists

Don’t forget that you may have guests from other countries that are interested in your business. Add different landing pages in other languages with just a short summary and basic information. But remember to use help, don’t just go with Google Translate.