Chances are pretty good that your next new customer will come from a customer journey that included an internet search rather than a stroll past your storefront window. A diversified local SEO strategy puts your business where new customers can find it in the exact moment they are making a buying decision.
You already know how critical ranking high in local search is for the growth of your business.
(If you don’t, read Local SEO Checklist: 9 Basic Tips to Get Found in Local Search)
You probably already have some form of local SEO strategy worked out.
(If you don’t, read Local SEO in 2017 – How to Rank Higher in Local Search).
What do you need to add to your 2017 Local SEO Strategy to improve your visibility in local search results and conversions from your local digital marketing?
Adjust Marketing Budget to Focus on Mobile
As mobile search surpassed desktop searches, studies show that 70% or more of your traffic will come from mobile. With a lower return on investment from print advertising, marketing dollars are better spent on mobile SEO and the digital advertising that puts your business in front of qualified shoppers.
Your mobile advertising (including SEO) spend should be proportionate to your mobile revenue. To get that number you will need to track sales, clicks, and conversions from mobile local search whether they occur in-store or on the phone. Mobile user analytics help you determine the right budget for improved R.O.I.
Watch out for the ramp up for Google’s mobile-first index as it shows that in 2017 mobile-friendly websites and content will soon be the only competitors for the top spots in search engine results. First use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool to see if Google considers your website mobile-friendly. Then ensure you’ve applied local optimization to your mobile pages.
What can you do right now to improve your mobile 2017 local search strategy?
- Add meta tags to mobile web pages telling users your page is mobile ready
- Use concise titles and descriptions on mobile pages with terms mobile users search for
- Use schema markup to identify the page and content as a local business.
- Include conversions that mobile user search for like contact information, driving directions, hours, maps, coupons, local landmarks like shopping center or mall name, and links to apps
Build and Maintain Accurate Local Business Listings & Citations
If your business has been established for over a year, then your locations are already listed in hundreds of local directories, networks, and websites. Search engines and search engine users are relying on these listings to find your business and verify your contact information. It is vital that your business listings are accurate and consistent across the web to avoid lower rankings and confusion with shoppers making split-second decisions on which business to choose.
Since these business listings and citations are an important part of your business’ online presence, Business Listing Management needs to be part of your local SEO strategy. With thousands of directories and networks out there, it’s time to automate the process of building and monitoring your business listings and citation.
Adjust Local SEO Strategy for Growing Voice Search Audience
Google Voice Search allows you to use Google Search by speaking. It’s a hands-free way to get the information you are searching for faster. When you are in a hurry or driving, voice search is a handy mobile tool to find local results for your immediate needs. Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced in May 2016 that 20 percent of searches on its mobile app and Android devices were voice searches.
Google Voice Search is growing, and you can get a jump on the competition with local optimization tactics to rank higher in search results. Note that voice search queries are more action-based than typed queries. Meaning (in a simplified generality) we do more voice search to accomplish something, and we do more typed searches to learn something.
Local Optimization for Google Voice Search includes:
- Using natural conversational language in your site’s local content
- Ensuring your website is crawlable and indexed by Google
- Optimizing local language in Google My Business and Business Listings
ALSO READ: How to Optimize Google My Business Listing
Improving your 2017 Local SEO Strategy
When the customers who buy your products or services are located in your geographical area, a local SEO strategy is a must. It ensures you optimize for local search which makes up around 50% of search queries on mobile phones and tablets. Build a more comprehensive 2017 local SEO strategy to keep up with the changes in search engine marketing so you can meet customers where they start their shopping – online.
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