Improve your Google business visibility on mobile devices

Ensuring visibility for your company in local search requires a mobile-friendly website, involvement with social media and backlinks from directories.

social media smartphone
Google has pushed very hard to encourage businesses to be highly visible on mobile devices. It feels that this is the way of the future. For Google, it is critical that they be the preferred search engine that people use since this then allows them to show advertisements in among the search results.

It certainly looks as though Google is succeeding as you can see from the two images below.

The first image shows the Desktop Search Engine Market Share in North America as documented by NetMarketShare.

desktop search share

The results for mobile devices is even more in Google’s favour as can be seen by this image of the Mobile/Tablet Search Engine Market Share.

mobile search engine share

Google is now displaying the information on any business in what it calls the Google Knowledge Panel, which is described as follows:

When people search for a business on Google, they may see information about that business in a box that appears to the right of desktop search results. In a search on your smartphone, this box takes up the full screen. The information in this box, called the Knowledge Panel, can help customers discover and contact your business.

This Knowledge panel is based on Google’s Knowledge Graph.  This is a knowledge base used by Google to enhance its search engine’s search results with semantic-search information gathered from a wide variety of sources. Semantic search seeks to improve search accuracy by understanding what the searcher intended and the contextual meaning of the words used to generate more relevant results.

The following video gives a simple explanation of this Google Knowledge Graph.

How will your business rank well in Google Local Search

The most important step in ranking well Google Local Search is to ensure your company appears in the Google My Business website: the URL for this is Google provides support on how to do this on its Google My Business Help page

There’s no way to request or pay for a better ranking on Google Search, Google Maps, or Google My Business. Details of the search algorithm are kept confidential to make the ranking system as fair as possible for everyone. You can learn more about local results rankings on this Support page.

Local search ranking results are based primarily on relevance, distance, and prominence. These factors are combined to help find the best match for your search.

  • Relevance refers to how well a local listing matches what someone is searching for.
  • Distance is measured from the location term used in the search
  • Prominence refers to how well-known a business is. Some places are more prominent in the offline world, and search results try to reflect this in the local rankings.
That Prominence factor is very important. It is based on all the information that Google has about a business from across the web (like links, articles, and directories). Google reviews count and the reviews score are factored into local search ranking as well: more reviews and positive ratings will probably improve a business’s local ranking. Your position in traditional web results is also a factor, so SEO best practices also apply to local search optimization.

Actions needed to achieve local search visibility

There are three main parts to the work you have ahead of you.

  • Your website and the technical work needed to make it mobile friendly
  • Your visibility in social media such as Facebook or Twitter
  • Your listings in business directories, particularly for your local region
In this article, we will not cover the work needed to make a website mobile friendly since this information is widely shared and available on the Internet.

Visibility in Social Media – Is your company Product Driven or Customer Centric?

The notion of being Product Driven or of being Customer Centric became a topic of discussion at the start of this century. In 2000, Harvey Thompson suggested that an organization like was one of the best examples of a customer-centered company. At the other end of the scale, he put Microsoft as an example of a product-driven company. Nevertheless, even if the latter is thought to be preferable, it still may be difficult to accept. The lists below show why your decision may be difficult:

product driven customer centric

Ensuring a customer is completely satisfied can take a great deal of effort. Check out 7 Habits Of A Truly Customer-Centric Selling Organization  to see just a few of the things that are involved.

Nevertheless, there are real rewards to the company by becoming customer-centric. In 2005, there were even signs that Microsoft Was Becoming More Customer-Centric

Social Media give the Customer a Voice

In February 2004, Facebook was founded. In March 2006, Twitter was founded. Social Media such as this gave everyone a voice. That included customers, and particularly those who were not completely satisfied. This means that Social Media Forces Customer-Centric Marketing. You certainly require a more responsive Customer Service approach In The Twitter Age.

Another important factor – People prefer to buy from People

The other factor to consider is that people do not wish to buy from a faceless corporation. They prefer to buy from people they can meet and who are genuinely concerned to ensure they are completely satisfied. If a company works hard on customer satisfaction, then getting involved in social media is likely to bring benefits rather than headaches. For example, having a Facebook page where the company, its employees and customers can express their views will be an encouragement to other prospects who like what they see.

Having active social media pages can also help the online visibility of a company in a Google local search. It will also mean that anyone who looks at the page may well be more likely to purchase from the company when they see that others enjoy their customer experience. Remember that some people spend most of their online time on social media so the only way to reach them is to be where they are.

You still need those Directory Listings

The other factor that still influences visibility in Google or Bing searches is the number of backlinks that point towards the company’s website. This means that whatever a company may be doing with social media, it is nevertheless important to develop as many such backlinks as it can. Directory Listings are a useful and important way of developing these. Here are appropriate links for some of the most important directories in Canada.

Primary websites

Secondary websites

Local websites

Sometimes there are local directories dealing with a specific area. This is an example of this:

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