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Local SEO is Going Mobile: Start Here

Shane Barker
Local SEO is Going Mobile: Start Here

Local businesses like flower shops, restaurants, and boutiques are always on the lookout for different avenues to grow their customer base. Local SEO provides a much better ROI than traditional advertisements, making it a great choice for these businesses. Using local SEO strategies could also help your business bring in more customers and increase sales.

Local SEO Tactics You Should Know

Take a look at some of the local SEO tactics below to catch up or refresh your memory. Here's a convenient local SEO checklist for future use too.

Keyword research – Proper keyword research can go a long way in search engine optimization. Look for “long tail phrases” because they involve more specific terms and are, therefore, more likely to rank higher. • Content optimization – Focus on optimizing your site's content for both customers and search engines rather than just stuffing keywords. Come up with a meta-description that clearly mentions your location. Remember that Google will analyze your company's location. Adding your location into content in a manner that flows will help search engines highlight your business for relevant local queries. • Social media presence – If you don’t have a social media account for your business, it’s time to get started. Make sure you get listed as a local business on Facebook, Twitter, and all other major social networking sites. This makes it easy for customers to check in and boost your visibility. Create a Google+ page with your precise address because it's integrated with Google Search and will be highlighted for relevant local queries. • Customer reviews – Reviews can have a huge impact on your local search rankings, which makes them crucial for local SEO. Ask customers to give your business a review on Google+ or any other reputable review site to show your authority. • Mobile website design – More people are accessing the Internet through their mobile devices than ever before thanks to their portability and convenience. In fact, Google recently announced that mobile searches now outnumber desktop searches. It’s important for businesses to build a mobile responsive site for customers to seamlessly access their information on-the-go.

Local SEO Mobile

Look at this example for a local dentist SEO step-by-step to better understand how these tactics are placed into motion.

Why You Should Go Mobile for Local SEO

Going mobile can be a great way to boost your local search rankings since more and more people have chosen to use their smartphones for accessing online information. According to ComScore, 2014 saw the number of mobile users crossing the number of desktop users worldwide. This is clear proof that going mobile could be the best thing for your local SEO campaign. Some of the most notable benefits of going mobile are:

Mobile users search local – According to an online survey conducted by Ipsos, 88% of smartphone users conduct local searches. The survey involved 4,500 consumers in various segments of the industry, including restaurant, retail, auto and entertainment media. The queries usually involved questions about business hours, directions and addresses to local businesses.

Local SEO what people search for

Local searches aid the entire purchase process – While a lot of people assume that local searches are part of the final action, the survey discovered that consumers use it throughout all the phases of their purchase cycle. People actively use local searches to research products and form the right purchasing decision.

Local search results = higher purchase rates – The same survey also found that local searches were two times more likely to result in conversions than non-local searches. 18% of local searches on a smartphone resulted in a purchase within one day, whereas it was only 7% for non-local searches. Also, one out of three local smartphone searches were made right before a consumer visited a store.

ComScore discovered that nearly 80% of all local smartphone searches resulted in a purchase and almost 90% of those purchases were made at a physical store. This means that going mobile could be the ideal way to get potential customers into your store.

People search local for different reasons – ComScore found that the top reason why people make local searches is to find specific businesses. Another common reason was to find a business with the desired product or service. So, a horde of potential customers could find your business if you’re selling what they desire.

Consumers want local ads – In a new study from Google, it was found that 67% of smartphone users want to see advertisements that are relevant to their city or zip code. 61% of smartphone users want to see ads customized according to their immediate surroundings. Consumers are craving a more personalized shopping experience from their mobile device.

Local SEO Customize Ads to Location

Mobile sites direct calls– 61% of mobile searches result in a phone call if you properly place your phone number on the site. Local SEO could connect you to a slew of mobile customers to get your phone ringing off the hook.

Mobile users spend more time on apps– According to data from Nielsen, 89% of the time spent on smartphones is through mobile apps. This might make you want to consider launching a handy mobile app for your customers.

People search for directions and phone numbers – Google’s study also revealed that 73% of smartphone users believed that a mobile advertisement should have directions. 70% of mobile users also wanted to see a phone number along with contact info in the ad. Add these key fundamentals in to maximize your results.

From the above findings, it's clear that your local SEO plan should not overlook the importance of mobile and how it can benefit your site traffic. Mobile SEO can also benefit non-local businesses according to Rand. Before going mobile, it’s crucial that you understand all the available options and choose the best in mobile SEO. When creating your mobile SEO campaign, consider all the latest updates in Google’s algorithm that affect mapping and local search results.

How to Achieve Local SEO Success with Mobile

Local Search and Local SEOStart with choosing the best possible configuration for your website on mobile devices. When creating a mobile friendly version, you can choose from a responsive web, Mobile URL, or dynamic serving design. Choose wisely for your business to make sure redirects are optimized for user-friendliness and do not affect the user experience.

• With small screen devices, it's highly recommended that you keep your call-to-action very prominent. Show your phone number on the header proudly for everyone to easily see. • Keep your address and location visible on the home page. • Make certain you're adding clear call-to-actions in your meta description. • Use semantic markup like review, organization, product, etc. to generate rich snippets and land a high click-through rate (CTR). • Avoid interstitial or unwanted popups that annoy users into abandoning the site. • Focus on page speed. Your site should load in three to four seconds because the abandonment rate spikes sharply after that time frame. • Maintain a Google Places listing with lots of positive reviews. Encourage your customers to write positive reviews through special offers or incentives they can't refuse.

Case Studies That Mobile SEO Works

Many local businesses have been able to increase their bottom line and boost their conversion rates with the help of mobile SEO. Here are few success stories on local SEO for mobile presented by Econsultancy:

• Lovehoney was able to increase their mobile conversion rate between 60% and 100% with the help of a responsive web design. • Optimizing their mobile site enabled Harviestoun to experience a 28% increase in mobile traffic within six months. • FreshSparks implemented a responsive web design for their mobile site. They realized a 42% increase in revenue growth. They also saw a 13% increase in conversions and a whopping 377% increase in iPhone revenue. • The equestrian retailer, Horze, was able to get a 19% increase in mobile conversions with the help of an optimized design. • For Baines & Ernst, there was a 51% increase in mobile conversions thanks to a brand-new responsive web design.

Overall, remember that mobile searches have already overtaken desktop searches. If you’ve been ignoring local mobile search optimization, you could be headed for trouble in the near future. It’s time you go mobile for your local SEO to improve your customer prospects and thrive in the evolving market.

Does your business have a site optimized for mobile search? Do you show up in local search results? Let us know in the comments!

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Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.
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