I think it’s safe to say that mobile devices are here to stay. According to Pew Research, 68% of adults in the US own a smartphone – a number that has increased by 35% over the past four years. Businesses that aren’t making every effort to cater to this trend toward mobilization, particularly as it relates to their local SEO strategy, are living in the past and run the risk of survival.
Mobile devices have changed the way consumers browse and gather information. We now live in a world of what Google refers to as ‘micro moments.’ The number of mobile browsing sessions is increasing, but the length of those sessions are shrinking. That means that in the quick swiping world we live in, marketers have fewer opportunities to attract attention and engage consumers.
Because of this, businesses need to be ready to pounce at any opportunity where the consumer is showing purchase intent. That is what micro moments are all about, consumers having a question they need to be answered immediately. If your business doesn’t pop up during a consumer’s initial search, odds are they will take their business to a competitor – even if they have done business with you in the past.
‘Near me’ searches on the rise
Today’s consumer values convenience more than business relationships. That is why you need to optimize your local SEO strategy and make it as easy as possible for customers to find you. Recent changes to the Google search algorithm have given more weight to ‘near me’ searches. In fact, according to an informal study conducted by Search Engine Land, non-branded keyword searches for generic terms like ‘accountant’ or ‘bank’ autocompleted to ‘near me’ nearly 90 percent of the time on desktops and 78 percent of the time on mobile.
Mobile devices are significantly accelerating the purchase process. Individuals can quickly go from the awareness/investigation phase to the decision phase in a matter of minutes because access to information is more readily available, and buyers know what they want so searches are more targeted.
Optimizing for local SEO
To make sure your business is prepared to take advantage of the ever-changing mobile landscape, there are a number of steps you can take to improve local SEO. First is to make sure location data is up-to-date on Google My Business. Having your business’ name, address, and phone number consistent across all of your business listings is a significant factor in the local search algorithm. Adam Dorfman sums it up nicely by saying, “If you are not optimizing your contextual content and location data for mobile search, you are living in an unpleasant past.”
Second, implementing an online review strategy can boost your local SEO rankings. Additionally, online reviews will provide potential consumers with relevant information that will help them make purchase decisions. Without access to that information, it is more likely than not that consumers will move on to another business.
Finally, incorporating a link-building strategy will significantly improve local SEO. This is because links are one-way search engines can determine the popularity of a website and the value of the content. The process isn’t going to be easy at first, but if you put the time in and make sure you do it correctly, it will pay dividends in your local SEO standing in the long run.
How Podium can help
Request a demo to see how Podium’s cloud-based solution can help your business take advantage of the rise in mobile devices by utilizing text messages to invite your happiest customers to review your business. Podium’s efficient, mobile process can help your business collect 15x the reviews that traditional platforms produce, which in turn will improve local SEO and ultimately boost revenues.