To say that mobile devices have taken over is a dramatic understatement. This truth is boisterously obvious to anyone who pays attention. Go to your local café and you’ll see nothing but a sea of smartphones and tablets, with their owners browsing the web, communicating with their friends, or using it for work. Many business owners see this as a challenge or a conundrum that they can’t solve. Few business owners know how to market their business in this accelerated, active terrain.
But there is gold in this terrain, if you know where to dig. All these people that you see attached to their mobiles are often using their devices to search for something—it could be a silly search term to pass the time, maybe it’s to find out what time their favorite TV show comes on, or they could be searching for a business like yours. And if they are searching for a business in your niche, then you need to take advantage of that.
Local SEO and mobile marketing are intertwined. A good local SEO strategy is also mobile-minded and vice-versa.
According to the Mobile Search Moments Study (Conducted in 2013):
“40% of mobile searches have a local intent.”
That is a huge chunk of searches that are local. Now, why does that matter?
We need to look at the reasons why someone would search for a business using a local keyword.
If you’re a dentist in Scranton, Pennsylvania, what search term would be best to pursue:
“dentist in Scranton, Pennsylvania”
Easily, it’s the first search term. Even if the second term has higher search volume, it’s inferior to the first option because it is geographically relevant and targeted to that dentist’s business. Something as generic as “best dentists” would be hard to rank, and it could very well be useless, as it is not geographically relevant. If someone searches for your business niche + your city, they can be in the buying or shopping mode. They need a solution that your business can fix.
All of that is amplified with mobile devices.
According to the Mobile Search Moments Study:
“3 of 4 mobile searches trigger follow-up actions, whether it be further research, a store visit, a phone call, a purchase or word of mouth sharing.”
So, the average mobile search (in the business context) is not casual. Mobile searches are looking for results in a lightning-fast manner.
The Local-Mobile Strategy
Step 1: Start Ranking Locally
Let’s start with the basics. You need a Google+ Local page. Google are really pushing their G+ Local platform, so you need to hop on it. Google actively looks for factors that signal how well your site and G+ Local page are optimized. Think of these factors as a checklist you need to adhere to when you’re trying to climb the local rankings. *Note: these are just the basics you need to cover. This is not the end-all to local SEO.
- Have your business listed in the correct category. When using the G+ Local platform, categories are very important. If you’re a dentist, don’t list your business as chiropractor. Simple and obvious, but some people trip up on this.
- Consistent name, address, and phone number (NAP). This information needs to be consistent across all online platforms, sites, and social media accounts.
- Quality Citations. A citation is a listing on a directory or index. A listing on an authoritative site or directory is a good signal to send to Google’s algorithm.
Step 2: Make Sure Your Site is Mobile-Optimized
However you want to do it, whether it’s with a separate mobile site or a responsive site that will condense naturally when being visited with a mobile device (like we have recommended on this blog), make sure your site is mobile-optimized.
Step 3: Convert Your Mobile Site Visitors
Remember, 3 out of every four mobile visitors will complete a follow-up action. Your job is to facilitate that follow-up action. Figure out the purpose of the mobile site: is it meant for people to give you a call, for them to enter in their email, to buy your product or service? You need to know what action you want your visitors to take, and logically design the mobile process to ensure that they do what you want. If you want them to call you, have a bold “click to call” button in the site. If you want them to purchase your product or service straight from the mobile site, you need to make sure that your checkout process is smooth. In some cases, depending on the market, you may need more than a simple mobile site—you’ll need a fully functioning app. This can be especially true if your checkout process for your product or service is a bit complicated.
The Local-Mobile strategy is a symbiotic relationship that uses a proven, but simple, formula for gaining new business:
Increased visibility/traffic + conversions= new customers
Local SEO gets the potential customers through the threshold, and your mobile presence and authority keeps them there.
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