Google Mobile Searches Jump During the Weekends

While desktop searches plummet on weekends, mobile searches tick upward on Saturdays and Sundays, Google reported at its Inside Search event this week. What’s more, Google says, mobile search traffic stays consistent even during traditionally slow periods such as holidays and summertime, according to a CNET News report.

Desktop searches peak at mid-day, but mobile traffic is highest during the evening hours, with heavy activity until 9 p.m. Mobile search also rises around noon, when consumers step away from their computers to get lunch. In the past three years, Google has seen its mobile traffic increase five-fold, according to a Forbes’ The Tech Trade blog post.

As smartphones with web browsing capabilities become more popular, Google is working to improve its mobile search functionality. New enhancements include icons that make it easier to find restaurants, coffee shops, bars and other places people search for when on the go and instant search suggestions to speed up the process.

While the power of the mobile web is obvious, many businesses that would greatly benefit from leveraging it are not doing so. If you want to enhance your mobile presence, here are just some steps you can take:

Create a mobile-friendly site

If your site is not easy to navigate on iPhones, Android phones, BlackBerries and other mobile devices, users will be frustrated and go elsewhere for information. Some content management systems make it easy to create a mobile version of your site.

Optimize your Google Places listing

Google’s free local listings are given prominence on mobile devices. Users can call an establishment and get directions to it without even leaving the search results page. The higher you are in the results, the more business you’re likely to get from it.

Protect your reputation

Places listings include reviews compiled from Google users and external sites such Yelp, Trip Advisor and Yahoo. Listings include 1-to-5-star ratings. Most users are clearly going to choose a 5-star business over a 2-star one. By encouraging your customers to write reviews of you online, your Places listing will probably rank higher too, since Google uses online mentions as a relevance signal. Of course, this will only work if you give your customers an experience worthy of a glowing review.

Optimize your social media presence

Many smartphone users actively use Facebook, Twitter and other social networks on their devices. Social media is a great way to keep your existing customers in the loop about your products and services as well as reach people who might otherwise never hear about your business.