Mobile devices have made our lives easier. We can get information more efficiently and effectively than ever before. The popularity of mobile devices has created a seismic shift in consumer behavior. The 2 most notable advantages exclusive to mobile devices are the click-to-call feature and location-based services.

If you try to view a standard company website on a smart phone, there are disadvantages. Mobile devices have smaller screen sizes and have a variety of different-sized screens. Additionally, they can sometimes take longer to load than a website viewed on a desktop. Finally - and this is critical - consumers using mobile devices are using different search terms than a desktop user (for example, more location-based searches are conducted on smartphones or tablets).

Unless you have a website that is accessible to the mobile user, you are missing out. According to Yahoo!, Google prioritizes websites that easily adapt to both desktop and mobile web users.

Here is why a mobile-optimized site is so important:
• According to a recent study by Telmetrics and xAd, 46% of mobile users use their devices as their main research tool, and 50% of mobile user activity results in a purchase (directly or indirectly).
• The same study cited that 50% of mobile users begin the search process for goods and services via a smartphone, with a full 31% continuing to use their mobile device throughout the purchase.
• It's estimated than 1 out of 3 mobile users are primarily searching for phone numbers, maps and driving directions. Some industries, such as restaurants, gas stations and convenience stores, draw a larger number of mobile users (for obvious reasons).
• Local relevancy is the number-one motivation for mobile users when searching for a business; 60% of users expect a business to be within walking or driving distance of their location.

Go from Invisible to Visible – 6 Tips to Being Found and Seen on Mobile Devices

1. Responsive Website Design - This design type automatically adjusts the layout and content of your site to fit each device and screen, whether you're on a desktop, tablet or smartphone. Design with the end in mind. Keep the site simple and easy to navigate for a mobile user.
2. Keyword Search - Know what keywords and search phrases your potential customers are searching for, and include them in all versions of your site (good SEO, search engine optimization, applies to all websites - even mobile).
3. Page Titles - Pages should be labeled accurately relevant to content, load quickly and require a limited amount of data-entry. Content should be relevant to a mobile user.
4. Social Media - Include links to Google+, Facebook, Twitter and other relevant social media sites. Also include a sign-up form to receive SMS (text messages).
5. Google Maps - Take advantage of click-to-call and mapping resources on your mobile site. An app is a great resource for any business interested in mobile marketing, but it should never be in lieu of having a mobile-friendly site. Google's algorithm will not recognize your business site if it simply links a mobile user to an app.
6. Test and Tweak - Regularly test your mobile site, one variable at a time, and tweak as necessary. Websites are never static; as new technology arises, especially in the mobile environment, your website needs to take advantage of it.

Integrating these 6 tips will give the major search engines (Google, Yahoo! and Bing) a way to index your website. This is vital and essential to your online marketing efforts. If the search engines cannot see and evaluate your website, then your target market will not likely see your website. Remember, successful marketing is a multi-channel effort, and mobile marketing is a valuable tool in any marketing campaign when integrated with other strategies.

Author's Bio: 

Lynn Pechinski, President of 1st Straw Marketing and Promotions (www.1st-Straw.com), is a results-driven, resourceful marketing professional, trainer and professional speaker. Lynn has over 30 years of experience working for Fortune 500 corporations before launching her company 11 years ago. She creates dynamic marketing programs for clients that produce measurable results. Her specialties are marketing and event planning, copywriting, graphic design, printing, and promotional products. 1st Straw's newest programs - Cross-Platform Marketing and Local Search Website Marketing - help businesses take advantage of online opportunities to attract leads. Lynn was named as a finalist for Leading Women Entrepreneurs and Business Owners by New Jersey Monthly Magazine (May, 2013). Lynn was named one of 25 Women to Watch 2013 by South Jersey Biz Magazine. Lynn won a Shattered the Glass Ceiling Award (November, 2012) presented by NAWBO South Jersey. She has a Honorable Mention for the 2011 Enterprising Women of the Year. Lynn holds a B.S. from Rider University with a double major in Economics and Management.