If you have a brick-and-mortar small business that sells products or services to local consumers, I have two questions for you…How large is your local footprint? How aggressively mobile are your customers?
Chances are good that your customers and prospects are already using their Smartphones and Tablets to conduct local searches. In fact, three out of five consumers already use a mobile phone to search for local businesses now. By 2016, mobile local searches will overtake desktop local searches.
In May 2014, Google published a report called Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior. In it are nuggets of great information including how consumers conduct searches based on their location and proximity, the numbers of consumers who take action after conducting a local search, and how important location information—product availability, business address and directions—are for consumers. Check out these statistics in the inforgraph to the left.
Numbers and statistics are great. But, how do you get a piece of the action? Right?
Benefits to being mobile local include improved brand awareness, lead quality, and lift over traditional search programs.
Here are seven steps you can take now to take your small business store to the mobile local level.
How To Go Mobile Local: 7 Steps to Take
Take Your Website Mobile. A report by BaseKit released in April 2014 revealed a surprising 91% of small business websites are not optimized for mobile use. Not only will a mobile-friendly website help your online results, Google is now sending emails to webmasters who haven’t updated to mobile yet….which could be a sign that Google is planning a new mobile ranking algorithm. Google offers a Mobile-Friendly Test if you’re not sure about the mobile status of your website. Responsive design, which detects a visitor’s screen size and orientation and changes the layout accordingly, is recommended.
Get Google My Business. Google My Business replaced Google Places and is great for improving your local visibility. It puts your business information on Search, Maps and Google+. It will help improve your search engine page ranking and put you on Google Maps.
Optimize Location-Specific Content. Does your website content contain location-specific content? What location keywords have you used? Location-specific content is usually found on the Contact Us page of websites. But, it’s important to optimize other website content with location keywords and information.
Optimize Local Listings. How visible is your business on local listings? How accurate is that information? Local SEO is about both visibility and accuracy. This means making sure your listing on Yelp, Yahoo, Bing, Foursquare, MapQuest, etc. is accurately maintained. Optimizing local listings takes this a step further by adding content, hours of operation, promotions, images, videos, price menus and more based on your customers’ needs and expectations.
Go Local With Ads. Consumers want to know if you have the product and where you’re located. Ensure that product availability, address and directions appear in your ads across venues.
Gather Customer Reviews. Eighty eight percent (88%) of consumers trust online reviews. This is huge. Having customer reviews on your website and/or on your Google+ page
Be Consistent and Maintain Presence as Mobile Local. Search engine optimization of your website and local listings is not a one-and-done step. It requires consistency of local information across online venues and ongoing maintenance to ensure that information and keywords reflect what your customers want and look for.
Need help going mobile local? Misaki Digital Marketing can help. Contact me today.