The world of search continues to evolve – is your business website keeping up, are you using local search?
In case you didn’t know, Google renewed its search algorithm last spring. Its intent was to effectively drop the hammer or punish websites and blogs which were not mobile friendly. The scary part is, your site might be seen by Google as mobile-friendly, but that doesn’t mean that you’re ready to rank higher on the search engine result pages (otherwise known as SERP).
While responsive designs are great, it’s only a starting point to optimization for mobile devices.
Here are a few ways to improve your mobile optimization and get your sites to rank higher in the search engines.
1. Optimize Content for a Great User Experience (UX)
Optimizing mobile content is not just about removing flash content and using mobile responsive designs. You must start by considering where the content on your site will be consumed. Much of it will be on mobile devices. Mobile users are more likely to read a blog post on the go, rather than wait until they’re at their desk. Typically mobile sessions occur while waiting in a queue at the supermarket, or waiting in line for coffee.
However, when there is little time, and too many distractions, even the most interesting post will be at odds with either social media or text messages. Your content structure needs to allow for easy readability. Try to use bullets, list whatever need be listed, use subtitles for fast skimming.
- Related: 5 Forecasted SEO Trends for 2018
Keep paragraphs short, with very few sentences in each paragraph. Alternatively, you can skip the paragraphs completely and make lists under the subtitles instead. According to a report by Searchmetrics, 72% of 30 of the top mobile sites have an unordered list (at least one).
Finally, do your best to keep the interactive elements to the barest minimum. Avoid annoying features.
For example, a video that plays automatically when a page is loaded.
2. Optimize for the Intent of Local Search
We know keyword optimization is important, but keep in mind that mobile searchers on the search engines use different terms. The keywords/phrases used might also be relative to their location. Remember that Google search users (especially those who need a service) on smartphones have a local or location-based purpose. While the searcher doesn’t include a search location/ location reference, Google can add one automatically.
Optimizing your site for mobile search also means optimizing the same for local searches. Mobile search users do not attempt to browse through 10 different sites to get the information they need before deciding. They are B2C users. They want to know the nearest bar, car repair shop or Tex Mex restaurant to suit their desires. The same is demanded by those who seek B2B services, such as searchers who need a quick answer to a question.
3. Optimizing Your Site for Local Search
Geographic segmentation is the delivery of content to a consumer via the Internet using the geographic location information of that person. At the smallest level, a company/brand may limit its reach to consumers/customers who are only located in a geographical area, such as the state level or even in a city. But the location-based targeting even provides much deeper, identifiable and more meaningful features that tell you what a person needs, wants or what his interests are.
The effectiveness of geographic targeting will continue to improve with the increasing use of mobile devices and the availability and more accuracy of location data. The Local Search Association (LSA) has released data showing that mobile devices (or users) were for the first time overtaking the use of PCs in their search for local activities and services. As reported, most searches (about 52%) for local information which are done on mobile are done in cars or outside the home or from workplaces.
At this stage, there are multiple strategies a business can employ to ensure they are being ranked for these local parameters. This includes having the applicable locations you service from listed on your website but additionally ensuring your credentials are up to date with the search engine directories, such as Google Places.
Simple Tips for Optimizing Websites for Location Search
Sign in to Google Places
A company’s local search visibility is greatly improved by its presence in Google Places. Creating an account is free and easy, and usually wouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to complete.
Claim Your Listing with Yahoo! & Bing
Also, apart from placing your business on Google Places, you can also take advantage of Yahoo local and even on the Portal of local businesses and Bing. They offer free listing options and is a great way to get your business in their search and get an additional backlink to your website.
Utilize the Other Local Directories
Currently, there are many local web directories that can be useful for boosting your position in the local search rankings. But it can be difficult to determine how long it takes to complete a list. Although not all these local directories are good, you might want to carry out an SEO check to know which will further boost the SEO of your website.
Subscribe to Different Local Review Sites
Search engines have respect for the comments and reviews from customers. Potential customers also select their vendors by looking at the reviews from previous clients. If you can, it’s best to use local review portals/sites which are in line with your business. It’s also of benefit to get your customers to share their experiences about how they have been served by your product or services.
Use Social Networks
Social signals and social cues are very important to Google and other search engines. Although Google+ may not work for all businesses, Google+ business pages may appear in Google Places search results. For retailers and local restaurants, Foursquare can also be a valuable platform.
With any known local SEO strategy, it’s important to spend time finding the right keywords and evaluating the competitive landscape. For addressing the off page SEO to optimize your website, The above will help you do the job.
Simple Tips to Help Improve On-Page SEO:
Include the Location You Want to Rank for in Your Posts.
If you’re a Dentist, based in New York, you might want to write “10 Bests Dentists in New York”, instead of “10 Best Dentists”. And in the body of the text, try including the city, and names of regions within the city.
Include the Keywords in Your Meta Tags and Titles.
It’s good to be placing keywords into the text of the article to be published. But don’t forget to include these same keywords inside your Meta Tags and also in your Page Title.
Your Image Should Have the Keyword in it.
Include Alt Tag information on your images which are location related. It’s another way to encourage local search with the search engines.
Variations of Keywords Goes a Long Way.
Try to use related keywords too. Instead of only “Dentists in New York,” also include related phrases such as “Best New York Dentists”.
These tips will help you optimize your site for better mobile and local search rankings. Their effective application will over-time, produce increased measurable traffic. But it takes time, so the sooner you start, the sooner you will see results from your efforts.