Mobile continues to gain market share and importance in local search and digital presence management. As rumours about a mobile-optimized search algorithm swirl, it’s clear that the mobile trend is now the mobile movement. Local marketers and SEOs need to not only be aware of changes and improvements in the local space, but also where customers are seeking out businesses.
As consumers continue to flock to mobile devices, your role shifts from on-page SEO to whole-page SEO and consumer friendliness. Put differently: your work will take on a user experience focus. As mobile devices become more and more of a consumer’s online time, you’ll want to ensure your clients are not only where customers are looking, but also that your clients are displayed in a way that customers want to see.
How mobile friendly is your client’s website right now? If you’re not sure. check: Google released a mobile-friendly page checking tool that shows you how friendly (or unfriendly) a website is for mobile users.
For email marketing campaigns, also check out Litmus, which will show you how an HTML-formatted email will appear in various browsers on various operating systems.
As Search Engine Land recently reported, search is the leading way mobile users discover content. This means that conversion (especially search to store) conversion is imperative. Janet Driscoll Miller for Search Engine Land has a great guide on understanding conversion metrics in Google Analytics, and how to build a site to better convert.
More broadly, strong calls to action and incentives to visit a brick and mortar location that aren’t discounts-based are two of the most powerful ways to drive conversation. However, these are not easy or quick-fix tactics. Good SEO, much like a beautiful plant, requires time, nurturing, and monitoring. However, once your efforts come to fruition, the results can be supremely satisfying.
iPhones alone account for nearly 1 in 8 phone-based website visits in aggregate traffic data — up 500% in under six months. iPhone models collectively account for 53% of the total mobile market in the US,
In a recent piece for Marketing Land, Andrew Waber says that iPhones continue to be an opportunity point for local marketers — even as Android slowly gains traction in the US:
This fact gets at the heart of marketers’ desire to take full advantage of some of the new functionality of the latest iPhones – primarily Apple Pay and HealthKit. While specific target markets may have higher rates of adoption (e.g., affluent, tech-savvy), marketers looking to address a larger cross-section of the country will likely need to keep those older iPhone users top of mind for the time being.
The launch of Apple Pay means that the future of mobile has more uncertainty and opportunity than ever before.
For example: Wearable tech, that perennial favorite talking point leading to a fabled “Internet of Things” will extend beyond quantified self and a network of internet-connected home devices. Instead, it could be the greatest boon for marketers: full demographic data, user behaviors, and predictive ways of determining what a person wants before even they know.
As consumers become more and more inundated and quantified, successful marketers (local and otherwise) will do best to double down on good fundamentals: a functional, readable website that is mobile responsive, perfect location information on every directory and publisher, and connecting individual location landing pages to the store locator to boost SEO.
Aaron Strout has more predictions for mobile in 2015 over at Marketing Land, but these points above are the most salient for local marketers and digital presence managers alike.
As we press into 2015, it’s imperative that local marketers continue to lean into the mobile movement. It’s no longer a trend, and compliance or lack thereof will soon be the delineating factor between those who succeed and those who are left in the dust.