Local and mobile go hand in hand and getting your website to just turn up well for both local and mobile searches is vital.
If you ever meet Josh Baldwin, LoMo Search Specialist and resident trivia powerhouse, he will give you a LOT of stats to convince you of this fact. In his Digital Gaggle talk he not only wowed the audience with his statistical facts (seriously, one zettabyte = Footloose x 265 billion), but gave away his toolkit for testing and improving a website’s LoMo search presence.
Why LoMo for Local SEO?
Because mobile search is HUGE and getting bigger all the time. We've been banging on about it for ages (check out this video of Jon giving it plenty about ranking signals for SEO from a few years ago). We're told by 2020 there will be 5.5 bn smartphones and right now, there are more searches made on mobiles than on desktops in many countries in the world.
In the UK, 53% of mobile searches have a ‘local intent’. That makes sense, think about how you use your mobile phone. Whether you are hunting down the opening times of the bank, the nearest coffee shop, a local accountant or the directions to your mate’s house, you are using your mobile within the context of a location. Local and mobile.
It’s not just shops and petrol stations, any business that has a local component, needs a website that works in a local and mobile context. That means accountants, dentists, dog walkers, astrologers, solicitors, tree surgeons, plumbers . . .
What are you aiming for?
The critical place to be is in the list of business below, or sometimes next to the map on Google. Also known as the map pack, three pack, six pack, stack pack . . .
How do I know if my website is LoMo-tastic?
Test it! Josh suggested using a free tool like Google’s Mobile Friendly Test to see how your site measures up. It's not infallible - but it's a great place to start and easy for the non techie to see if they have a problem.
Improve it. If your web page doesn’t score well, then talk to your web developer about how to improve how it works on mobiles. Depending on your business, you may need a responsive site or a mobile site. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.
Fixed it? Then don’t forget to test it again.
Improving your site’s local visibility is more than just ensuring it works on mobiles. Each year Moz – one of our search Hero companies – produce a survey on local seo ranking factors: https://moz.com/local-search-ranking-factors. This is an in depth piece of work that goes into serious technical detail about the factors that impact on local ranking and particularly the ‘map pack’ search listings.
In many senses what you need to do to rank well locally is just the same as you need to do to rank well:
- Good trust signals, including reviews
- Key information marked up using local business schema
- Page titles and H1s that have a local component
- Back links from other local organisations
It all comes back to telling a strong and consistent story about your location on your website.
Need more LoMo loveliness?
The Local Search Checklist what Noisy Little Monkey use with when we are doing a local audit. It’s based on the Moz survey, but tailored to the UK.
If the local checklist doesn’t bring zen like clarity to your local SEO, then why not come along for a training session with Josh? We run both bespoke and group sessions where we work with you to audit and improve your local visibility. The added bonus, Josh can regale you with even more amazing LoMo facts!