88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours, according to a Google Mobile Movement Study.
70% of all mobile searches result in action within 1 hour.
Businesses are missing 70% of local content on sites like Twitter and Pinterest because they don’t have location-based sentiment monitoring set up, according to a recent study by Venuelabs.
These are some pretty staggering statistics. You spend lots of time and money building a website and optimizing it for search engines (SEO). But are you optimizing your business for local searches on mobile devices?
Half of mobile users use a local search/map to find businesses.
Let’s start with defining a local search.
An iPhone user asks Siri to find them a nice local restaurant, while visiting St. Louis. Local searches will include a specific location, city, ZIP code, etc.
Local SEO has one goal: to get to the top of the search results. In this case businesses want to rank on top for local geographic terms related to products and/or services that their businesses provide. The typical consumer performing a mobile search probably won’t scroll through pages and pages of results. They want fast, easy answers; they will likely make their decision based on no more than the first page of results.
So, what do you do?
Here’s a few tips to get you started:
Yelp is a community driven review site that enables users to create locations, give details about the businesses, review them, and even post multimedia content.
It’s a major asset; you can thank Apple for that, and here’s why:
When an iPhone or iPad user uses Siri to search for a local business, the results are powered by Yelp. So, if you’re not on Yelp, iPhone users aren’t going to find you in local searches (unless they use their mobile browser and navigate to Google).
But there’s more. Yelp results returned to Siri are based on Yelp reviews. So, the top results returned are going to be the business with the most positive reviews.
But use caution, Yelp reviews can be tricky. If someone creates an account just to write a review for you, it’ll likely never be activated. Yelp likes reviews from active users. Ask your clients if they use Yelp, if they say yes, then ask for a review. Also, you can, and should, thank reviewers and invite them back for another visit, even offer a discount! That person, who’s already a fan, will often post a follow-up review, or answer others’ questions about your business. On the flip side, if someone posts a legitimate complaint, don’t be afraid to publicly apologize – but be sincere. Remember, a scorned customer doesn’t want freebies; they want to be heard.
Google Plus Local Pages
Google Plus Local pages are indexed in more than Android mobile searches. They’re also indexed in three additional types of searches:
- Google searches
- Google Map searches
- Google Plus searches
Google Plus Local Pages are similar to Facebook business pages, but they have better SEO. You don’t have to post to your Google Plus Local Page as you would on a Facebook business page, although it doesn’t hurt. The essential elements include a complete bio, contact information and some photos.
You’ll also want to ask for reviews. Just like Yelp, the more positive reviews you have, the higher you will rank in searches. And responses to reviews are important here, too.
Other Searches of Note
Not all users search using Siri or Android Google searches. Many people have a favorite app. You should try to have listings on these sites as well. Other sites to consider:
- Google Maps (all you need is a Google Plus Local Page from above.)
- Apple Maps (all you need is a Yelp account)
To make the most of these local searches, your website needs to be optimized for mobile viewing. Here’s why:
- 61% of mobile users are likely to leave a site that is NOT mobile friendly.
- 48% of mobile users who visit a site that is NOT mobile-friendly assume the company doesn’t care about their business.
- 40% of consumers will visit a competitor’s site after a bad mobile site experience.
There are plenty of apps, widgets and resources that can help you optimize your website for mobile viewing.
Now’s the time! Go mobile!
If you have more questions, or want to know more, give us a call!