Many people that are new to SEO are often wondering whether mobile and local search go hand in hand. The experts know that the answer is definitely yes!
Mobile and local search are a powerful SEO couple. When optimizing your website for mobile devices as a general SEO practice, you should optimize it for local search too.
Based on a comScore study, 61% of mobile users are searching for local things, and 58 % of respondents consider local search results reliable. Which means that the majority of websites have to be optimized for local SEO and mobile search.
All too often, the reason for the poor search results is a drawback of basic settings. By doing the following quick fixes, you will make sure that your mobile website is well-optimized for local search.
Tip #1 – Localize your SEO efforts
Everyone who serves their business communities face-to-face should care about their local SEO. Among these are brick-and-mortar businesses with physical locations (dentist offices, barber shops, real estate agencies, etc.) and service-area businesses operating in a certain geographic area (electricians, repair services, and so forth).
Today localization has a slightly different meaning. It is not just about changing a state, a city, a geographical region or a headline of your business, it should focus more on a neighborhood or a smaller locale. It includes everything from claiming a business listing to confirming that your business location appears in Google Local search. While also managing reviews, online ratings, and local-centric social media engagement.
All localized websites, even if they have a public domain, should create header tags and unique URLs for their specific location. Adding your region in your URL is a strong signal, but it is not always convenient for a website. Here is an example from Nike:
In that case, you should have a landing page for your location, specify the region name in the URL, and add toponym to the semantic core. If you have different locations, you can create a page where you can list each of your locations with a link to a map or with an H1 tag. Here is a good example from Magnolia:
Creating a page with the contact info with the full address, postal code, phone number and store hours listed is a key differentiator. You can do this by adding your NAP to your Schema.org markup. You can get more information on how to optimize your local business site with Schema.org.
Google My Business
Once you are done with on-page factors, you should keep an eye on Google My Business to attract users’ attention to the fullest extent.
Your Google My Business Page should include your address, working hours, phone number, images, popular times, reviews, and links to your pages. Here’s an example from the Victoria’s Secret’s site:
Make sure that the content on this page is consistent with your brand, the categories and description are on point, and the images are in high resolution.
Links from social media sites are getting more and more juice, so updating your business social profiles on a regular basis is important. Adding social sharing buttons for a specific location could also prominently increase your local Google-search unit.
Once users find your business, they might check the reviews from your customers posted on different online directories, social media, forums, etc. Based on a BrightLocal survey, 93% of consumers read local reviews to decide if a business is good or not. That’s why it is crucial to keep an eye on reviews and respond to them timely and appropriately. The more reviews you get in your region, the better your local SEO will be.
Local search external location signals
External location signals involve the visibility of your NAP and other business information on online directories, such as Yellow Pages, Yelp, TripAdvisor, CitySearch, BBB.org, etc. It is essential to have the right NAP, as these online directories will extract your information from that. Some people also keep track of your reviews on these websites, and you should also pay attention to them.
Links are very important for your local SEO, so you should link to other resources, local businesses, government websites within your content. The main thing is relevancy. It should be useful and relevant to your website and your users. To obtain good links, you can be involved in hosting events in your community.
Tip #2 – Be mobile-friendly
Today a growing number of mobile users look for local businesses every day. Based on comScore’s 2016 Mobile App Report, total digital media time increased by 53% in 2016, and 80% of that increase was due to mobile apps. That means that we need to adjust to this new world with mobile-focused efforts.
Check if your website meets Google’s requirements.
You can do this with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
Online businesses need to make content available to their audiences where they spend most of their time. The focus is to have a mobile responsive website that will actually end up helping SEO and engaging with mobile users.
Make your mobile users satisfied and follow one of these methods:
- Responsive web design (RWD) – the server always sends the same HTML code to all devices and CSS.
- Dynamic showing – the server responds with different HTML (and CSS) on the same URL depending on the user agent requesting the page.
- Separate URLs – different URLs for displaying the site on the desktop and on mobile devices (i.e. example.com and m.example.com)
Check your mobile and desktop rankings.
Once Google announced that they started testing their mobile-first index, mobile rankings have become important for everyone. This makes total sense as mobile rankings differ from desktop. To check your mobile rankings with precise accuracy use SE Ranking SEO Software or similar software that handle this SEO task with ease and precision.
Tip #3 – Promote the right pages
When search engines identify different URLs leading to the same web page, it creates a variety of problems for the website eventually resulting in a rankings drop and possible penalty. Try a few of the techniques below to help search spiders find the page that’s relevant for a specific search query.
To prevent duplicate content issues, you should add to relevant pages the element with rel=”canonical”. The search engine determines this web page as the primary one, and it will be shown in the search results.
Tip: However, use the canonical attribute as the last resort to avoid duplicate content. Before trying this element, you should try the following solutions:
- Use multiple CSS files to make mobile versions of your web pages.
- Put 301 redirects from your old pages to your new pages.
- Update your robots.txt file with the list of unnecessary directories from search engines.
It is essential to use the canonical attribute the right way. If you put the wrong URLs, it can have a detrimental effect on your search engine rankings.
Breadcrumb navigation for product pages
Breadcrumbs serve as a great visual aid showing the location of the user within your site’s hierarchy. Without breadcrumbs on a product page, it’s difficult to find a collection of products that often causes users to get stuck on the product page.
It is essential for users to find certain products regardless of whether they are reaching the product page from a different part of the website or from another website.
Hierarchy breadcrumbs work well for search, non-linear paths and promotions because users can easily turn their attention to linear product browsing. At Glasses Gallery, you can easily navigate to a product’s category to find related products with all previous filters and settings.
Make the products titles unique
Product titles create the first impression about the goods. If they are long and confusing, it can endanger the sale. In this case, Amazon can be a good example that values the right title formatting on product titles that helps to define relevancy.
Here is how a title might look:
Brand Name + Series Name + Model Name + Form Factor + Unique Identifier (color, capacity, pack size, etc.)
The ideal length for Amazon product titles is around 80 characters. Although brevity is a plus, you should be careful about product titles and explain what a product does. Titles that are crammed with keywords, offers, and claims, make a bad impression. Here is an example of a product description that is too long and confusing:
Include information in the title that differentiates the product from other similar or identical goods. Take a look at an example of a perfect product title:
Paying attention to product titles is an integral part of selling online. Make sure that every product you list online follows these simple rules to ensure you maximize reach, discoverability, and engagement.
A combination of these quick fixes between local and mobile search will help you improve your search rankings and sales results. Make sure to integrate these tips into the creation of your mobile site and become the king of local mobile search.
Guest Author: Irina Weber is a blogger and marketing manager of SE Ranking. She creates and develops new marketing campaigns, writes articles about online marketing, social media, conversion optimization on popular websites like Jeff Bullas, WordTracker, Onblastblog and other authoritative websites. If you have any questions, you can reach her on Twitter.