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Smartphones are becoming so advanced that many people are throwing away their personal computers altogether. After all, what is the use of a personal computer if you can search for local restaurants, do your grocery shopping, find a date for the evening, and share photos on social media platforms all from your smartphone? For this reason, businesses who wish to optimize their search results need to be thinking more and more about mobile search. But which are some of the ways that your business can target mobile searchers in 2014?

  1. Google Places. In 2014, Google are placing a greater emphasis on local search than ever before. Why so? Because smartphone users need geo-targeted results while they are on the move. Whether a person searches for the best local Italian restaurant, a local handyman who can put up shelves or the nearest public toilet – these are all examples of localized search. For your business to show up in Google’s local search results on mobile, it is important that you create a Google Places page for your business. Google Places pages often rank higher than business websites and can be populated with photos, videos, and customer reviews.
  2. Mobile Keywords. If you are using Google Adwords to target potential customers through a Pay Per Click campaign, you now have the option to focus your keywords towards mobile search. The Mobile Keywords tool will only show ads to people searching via mobile so that your research into your mobile audience is channeled into an effective channel of marketing communication. Keep an eye on your Google Adwords dashboard as it will be imperative that you identify which keywords perform well for your target audience and which keywords are underperformers in order to optimize your PPC Campaign.
  3. Responsive Design. Google has become so smart that it can recognize if your site has responsive design and ranks it accordingly. Having responsive design very simply means that the design of your website will respond to the type of device it is being viewed on, whether a home computer, tablet, or smartphone. Google favors websites that provide an intuitive user experience, and thus also favors websites with responsive design. If you have yet to update the design of your website for mobile users, you should set a graphic designer to the task as a priority.
  4. Promote your business on FourSquare. People are not only searching for things to see and places to go on Google, they are often using mobile apps such as Foursquare. You can promote your business across these platforms and reach a new audience of mobile searchers by offering attractive promotions for people who “check-in” at your business. By doing this, they will be encouraged to share promotional details (as well as reviews and photos) with their FourSquare network. For smartphone users on-the-move, one quick glance at Foursquare can become a regular appointment at a local spa, restaurant, bar, or fashion boutique.

Implement these 4 practices into your mobile search strategy for 2014 and your business will be able to effectively target a whole new audience of smartphone users.