Local SEO A-Z #4: Local and mobile SEO – the perfect match
Local SEO is becoming increasingly more competitive. Previously, Google displayed seven businesses in the “Local Pack” but this is now reduced to only three listings. This aimed to improve user experience, especially on mobile. However, it means that businesses with multiple local presences simply can’t afford to not implement a fine-tuned local SEO strategy if they want to rise to the top. Today we are exploring how local SEO and mobile-friendliness go hand-in-hand and what useful tactics can enhance your local visibility on mobile devices.
Ever since Google announced that mobile searches outnumber desktop ones, the importance of having a mobile presence is ever-growing. In addition, people searching on mobile are also more likely to convert to an in-store purchase, a fact confirmed by this study. According to this survey, 4 out of 5 local searches converted. This makes being discoverable on a mobile device an essential requirement for any business that has a local presence.
When it comes to optimising for local SEO a business can essentially target the searchers through,
- Local specific landing pages
- Google My Business
The following blog will explore the role mobile-friendliness plays in both strategies.
Local specific landing page strategy
The most common way to search for a location-based search is to type the name of the service along with a city or area name as shown below.
One of the easiest way to dominate search listings is to create city or location-based landing pages for the Google to index. When you create these landing pages the rules of the SEO game remain the same, namely:-
Think user intent
When building and optimising your local business for mobile searches, you need to keep in mind the intent of the user. Answering queries through FAQ-type quick answers will go a long way in fulfilling user intent instantly. In essence, the goal should be to inform about your services and answer any possible customer query.
Have mobile-specific keywords
When it comes to people searching locally on mobile, ‘near me’ based keywords are highly important. It is important to put together a list of these mobile-specific list of keywords and then optimise the landing page copy to incorporate such keywords naturally. Also ensure, that the name, address and phone details are added accurately to each such location pages. This is because Google is now incorporating machine learning to fulfil user intent. Therefore providing your address will prove very useful to help the intelligent Google bots to position your site in front of a searches based on the location detail it has detected on your landing pages.
Test and go
Now that the landing pages are created, it is paramount that these landing pages are mobile-friendly and quick to load on mobile browsers. Therefore, ensure strict tests are conducted using Google’s Page Speed Insights tool and the mobile-friendly testing tool. Run the test and follow-up any recommendations that might come up in order to further optimise for mobile.
Google My Business strategy
Other than location-based landing pages, the other strategy to position your business for a local search is to get the business listed through the Google My Business Interface. While Google My Business was not affected by the mobile-friendliness (as Google My Business is a Google tool and is mobile-friendly) it has constantly added features and functionalities that can help your business appear attractive for mobile-searches. Here is a recap of some of the features that stand out,
- Latest offers by businesses is now visible on the local search panel
- Live update on popular times is now available for the searches
- Reviews by critics and from the web are now prominently visible on the local pack
- Google has now started reporting how busy parking is near a business
A quick read of the latest additions to the Google local knowledge panel features makes it clear that all these are mainly to assist a mobile-searcher. Perhaps, the recent changes to the local knowledge panel is the best to exemplify how being optimised for local and being mobile-friendly merge together as a business objective.
If you need any help with local and mobile SEO our Tamar experts are always here to help!