Mobile Is Local: Quick Wins and Fast Fails

I had the opportunity to attend the ClickZ Live event in New York City last week and came away impressed.

The sessions that I attended were topical, the speakers knowledgeable, and the presentations included actionable recommendations. One of my favorite sessions was presented by Jori Ford, head of SEO at Spothero, Inc.

The premise of her presentation was that mobile search is local search. Currently, 20 percent of ALL searches have local intent.

What are the results of local searches?

  • 94 percent of smartphone users search for location info
  • 51 percent visited a store
  • 48 percent called a store
  • 29 percent made a purchase

Source: The Mobile Playbook.

If you run a local business, this data cannot be ignored and should be embraced to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

But where does one begin?

Claim Your Web Business Listings

According to Ford, only two listings matter: Google and Yelp.

business-listings-google

Undoubtedly, certain niches will have other citations that are important, but this is the first place to start and you need to get these two right. Ford offered some specific tips for optimizing these listings:

  • Use the business service, product type, or category in your business description
  • Update Google+ with links to the top pages on your website
  • List hours of operation
  • List a local phone number and NOT a national toll-free number

Use Schema Markup

Ford touted the advantages of adding micro data to your website. She specifically, mentioned Ratings & Review schema. If you aren’t familiar with schema, here’s a quick start guideto get you started. Her pro tip was to host ratings and review pages on your own website, rather than rely solely on third-party sites. Why? She says that customers are more likely to leave positive feedback on your own website.

Create How-To Videos

I did a quick search for “how-to” on YouTube for this post and it returned 200 million search results. Video tutorials are HUGE and your business should capitalize on it. The “secret sauce” is adding schema.org on page markup for videos.

Check out this “how-to” video explaining the use of Schema.org for videos:

Mobile Rush Hour Management

The majority of searches occur in the afternoon and evening:

rush-hour

Make sure that you are prepared to handle calls during these peak times. Ford claimed that 75 percent of customers think it takes too long to reach a person. Here’s an easy way to stand out.

Get Social

Nearly one-third of all Facebook users are MOBILE-ONLY. With 1.3 billion users, that represents a population of 390 million people. This trend is expected to continue. Your customers EXPECT you to be on Facebook.

fb-mobile-only

Connect Google Services

By connecting Google Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics and Google+, you will be rewarded with:

  • Potential instant verification
  • Visibility into local search terms
  • Organic, mobile, localized impressions data

Nominal effort can yield huge insights.

Viva La Hamburger!

hamburger-menus-czl

This popular mobile navigation icon can be your best friend. Check your analytics for the most popular pages and include those as well as contact info and FAQs.

Tools

Having the right tools can significantly improve the time spent as well as the quality of your work. Ford declared the following list as “Tools That Rule”:

  • Local feed management and reporting: RioLocal, allLocal, or Yext
  • Click-to-call: CallMe or Twillio (Cisco & Oracle have integrations for enterprise)
  • Social posting management: BufferApp
  • Local and map tracking: ProRankTracker

Ford labeled all of the above as “quick wins.” How does your website and marketing campaign stack up? And are you ready for mobilegeddon on April 21?

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