Google has created a mobile-first world with its indexing requirement. However, following Google’s rules is not why your local business should have a mobile-optimized website. A recent survey found that consumers spend four times longer on smartphones than tablets, and Americans now spend an average of four hours daily on their phones.

Mobile-friendly websites are prioritized for mobile search. When your business website has a responsive design, you increase your opportunities to connect with your target audience.  

There are a lot of SEO companies out there that claim to be able to deliver things that just aren’t possible. Two of the biggest lies we see are, “We guarantee you the first spot on Google” and “One-time set it and forget it SEO Solutions.” Both of these statements are unreasonable and can cost your local business organic traffic.

SEO is both a science and an art. At SMA Marketing, we practice SMART SEO which focuses on building a strategy tailored to the specific needs of each individual business’s target audience. With the rise of mobile search, SMART SEO solutions are the only way to go.

While many SEO actions utilize the same platforms, each industry is unique. Additionally, no two businesses are exactly alike. A SMART SEO campaign centers around the specific business and its needs. While some elements of SEO are true for all industries, the ongoing search marketing efforts need a more specific approach. For example, a service-based business should focus on featuring the service areas. A brick-and-mortar or physical location-based business must ensure its location is accurate on Google Maps, Apple Maps, Uber, and other location-based map services. 

The next step in creating SMART SEO solutions is measuring your progress. You need to know whether or not what you are doing is working. Too many small business owners chase trends and throw money into short-term campaigns expecting fast growth, but more often than not, their ROI is either very low or nonexistent. 

To make sure that your strategy will meet your desired outcome, you need to develop goals. These business goals will become the foundation for creating a mobile search strategy that converts. Tie your goals to real business results rather than focusing solely on rankings. Rankings tell only part of the story. With goals set in place, you can begin to look for solutions that will help you achieve these results.

Because SEO changes frequently, staying on top of the changes is a must. Each year, Google alone changes its algorithm 500 to 600 times. Building time-bound solutions forces you to look at what you have done and determine what to do next. But it’s not just the search engines that change. Users have determined that mobile is their preferred means of searching for products and services online. As mobile continues to increase its impact on search, smart local businesses will look at how users are adapting and plan a course of action accordingly. Our agency runs our SEO campaigns in quarters so that we can ensure we have continued success throughout the year.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on October 12, 2015, and has been updated with fresh content.

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