Practically every time someone searches on their phone, it’s local. Jori Ford, head of SEO for on-demand parking service SpotHero, believes the lines have blurred between mobile and local.
“If local is on demand, then mobile is as on demand as it gets,” she said during her session at ClickZ Live New York. “Google says 94 percent of mobile search has a local intent. Mobile is local.”
If you want to optimize your #MobLoc search (a new term Ford coined at ClickZ Live), she offers seven quick wins to try now.
1. Web Business Listing
There are only two important listings: Claim it in Google and Yelp, Ford says. The other listings are gravy. When claiming your listing, be sure to use a local number and remember that Google likes its own properties. “Including operating hours will ensure your listing shows up in mobile during the hours of your operation.”
2. Schema Location and Ratings Markup
If you are using local tags, you can get Map Pack, Organic, or Product – but you need schema to get category-level listings. “Aggregate your own good reviews into your corporate site, so that you can balance anything that may be on an outside site, like Yelp,” Ford says.
3. Create a “How to” Video and Video Markup
While Google prefers YouTube formats overall, other “how-to” formats will show up locally if you add the schema markup. “Note that even if video shows up on the desktop, it may not show up on mobile,” she says.
4. Mobile Rush Hour Management
Many mobile searches result in a phone call. Be sure to staff your call center during the busiest search times.
5. Get Social
Facebook may be a big mobile opportunity, as 30 percent of users only use their phone to access the service. “That is 390 million users!” Ford says. Use social to put your offers in front of those people in a mobile context.
6. Connect Google Services
The benefit of doing this extra work is almost immediate for having localized content rank, Ford says. “Connect your Google services first, and you are more likely to be able to verify via the Web or a phone call. This can save heartache later if you have a lot of remote locations.” She recommends using a combination of Google Webmaster Tools, Google+, and Google Analytics to ensure your results will satisfy all requirements.
7. Make Use of Mobile Menus
That “hamburger” icon that reveals a site navigation is often misunderstood. “Use the hamburger strategically and go beyond home or FAQ to include product, search, or chat,” Ford says. “Mobile users are more likely to click-to-call or chat if they are confused.”
People search with intent on their phone – and most of that is local, Ford says. There may not be time for the kind of protracted search results review that is common on the desktop. “When you are in trouble, you want a listing with good ratings that has some credibility – right now.”