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How to Optimize Your Site for Local Search on Mobile

We live in a world that becomes more mobile with each passing day.

When the time comes to optimize your website for mobile, your SEO expert should also suggest you consider local search when doing so.

Of those searching on mobile, 61% are searching for local places, according to comScore. Additionally, 58% of those believe local search results to be reliable.

The numbers speak for themselves. You must optimize your website for both local SEO and mobile search.

Doing so can be quick and simple to achieve. Here’s how:

Tip #1: Focus Your SEO Efforts on Local

Anyone with a brick and mortar location should focus on local SEO.

Local doesn’t have to mean your city or state either. Think about the neighborhood or community for which you are a part.

This process includes claiming a business listening, doing the work to ensure you appear in Google Local search, managing reviews, ratings and localized social media interactions.

On-Page Factors

In addition to using header tags to signal your location, you can also do that with unique URLS by creating landing pages focused on your location (especially if you have multiple locations). You should also add toponym to the semantic core.

Additionally, if you have multiple locations, you can create a page that lists all of your locations that includes a link for a landing page for each location and a map. You’ll also want to use H1 tags for each location.

It’s very helpful to have a page that includes your physical address, zip code, phone number and the hours of business. This can be achieved by adding your name, address and phone number (NAP) to your Schema markup. Schema.org has helpful information to assist you in optimizing local.

Google My Business

The next step in this process for optimizing local is Google My Business.

Make sure that your Google My Business Page includes your address, hours of operation, phone number, photos of the business, peak hours, customer reviews and links to the important pages on your site (like menu, book a reservation, etc.).

The content in your Google My Business Page must match your branding in every aspect.

Social Signals

Social media holds water when it comes to SEO, especially when it comes to local search.

Keep your social profiles up-to-date. You may also want to consider social share buttons for specific locations to increase the odds at ranking for local search.

Online Reviews

Word of mouth plays a big factor in getting customers in the door.

A whopping 93% of customers look at local reviews when considering your business, according to a survey by BrightLocal.

Staying on top of your online reviews and responding to them in a timely manner will go a long way towards helping your local SEO.

The more reviews you get, the better.

External Location Signals for Local Search

Keeping your NAP front and center in online directories like Yellow Pages, Yelp, TripAdvisor, CitySearch, the Better Business Bureau and more is essential to your local search success.

It’s also a good idea to track the reviews that come through those sites.

Link Signals

Linking your site to other local resources will also help your local SEO.

However, you need to keep all links relevant. Any link on your site must create additional value to your site visitors.

One way to create these types of links is by participating in, sponsoring or hosting local events.

Tip #2: Mobile-Friendly Is the Way To Be

As mentioned before, mobile users are searching for local businesses.

So, your site must be optimized for mobile.

Google considers how mobile-friendly your site is in its rankings. You can test your site with their own testing tool.

Here’s how you can make your site mobile-friendly:

  • Responsive Web Design (RWD). Your site should work on any device or browser by serving the same HTML code to every device.
  • Dynamic Showing. This is achieved by sending different HTML code, from the same URL, dependent on the device the site visitor is using.
  • Individual URLs. For this solution, you’ll have a different URL for mobile and desktop users. For example, yoursite.com and m.yoursite.com.

It’s also a good idea to check and compare your desktop and mobile rankings. Since they differ, and we’ve already told you why you have to consider mobile, you should seek out a tool to monitor and track your mobile rankings.

Tip #3: Highlight the Right Pages

You don’t want multiple pages on your site competing for the same searches.

Here are a few tips to help search engines crawl your site and find the right pages for a specific search:

Canonical Attribute

Duplicate content will confuse search engines and the competing pages can tank your rankings.

To avoid this, you should include a canonical link element in a page’s code. This is done with rel=canonical. It will signal to a search engine which page should be the focus of that search query.

It should be noted that a canonical link element should be your last choice.

You should first try these options:

  1. To create a mobile version of your website, use multiple CSS files
  2. Use 301 redirects to guide visitors from old pages to new ones
  3. Include a list of directories to avoid from search engines in your robots.txt file

Get help with the canonical attribute if you need it. Doing it incorrectly can tank your rankings on search engines.

Breadcrumb Navigation for Product Pages

Create a secondary navigation scheme that lets your Hansels and Gretels know where they’re at on your site.

They should be able to get to your product pages with ease from anywhere on your site.

These hierarchy breadcrumbs help visitors that come into a specific landing page from search, for those that take a non-linear path or for promotions, because it funnels them into linear product browsing.

Make Your Products Titles Unique

This is the first impression of your wares.

Long, complex product titles can cost you a sale.

To gain an understanding of a good product title format, you can turn to Amazon for inspiration.

Here is how a title might look:

Your Brand + Series Name + Model Name + Size or Dimensions + A Unique Identifier such as color, quantity, etc.

In the case of Amazon, best practices are a product title of about 80 characters.

Brevity is ideal, but don’t lose the explanation of your product along the way. However, don’t get too thirsty and include every possible keyword, deal or claim under the sun. It leaves a bad impression.

The info in your product title should also help you stand out from the competition.

A focus on your product titles is integral to your sales success. If you stick to these tips, you’ll maximize your reach, discoverability and interaction with your products online.

Any Tips?

These simple and quick fixes for local search on mobile will increase your search rankings and ultimately sales.

Have you successfully optimized your site for local search on mobile? Leave your tips in the comments below!