Local/Mobile Strategies & Tactics

Chris Silver Smith of Argent Media

Local and Social: Trends and Tips for Growing Your Business

Google Local Rankings 2012

  • Now over 200 Ranking Factors used
  • Human ratings of webpages included
  • Humans perform varying levels of local listing verifications too.

Classic SEO elements still effect local rankings: Title, description meta, domain name, image alt text, keywords in text, etc.

Categories that Influence Local Ranking Factors

  1. Relevance: keywords in the business name, keywords in classic onpage SEO, business category match
  2. Distance: radius of distance from city centroid, City/ZIP code outline region, user’s geolocation (IP address/cellphone)
  3. Prominence: relative popularity determined by pagerank, this can be effected by a business. Mentions and citations also play a factor, as well as “PlaceRank”–the popularity of a location.

Google matches business listing data with website data. Basic business listings info from data aggregators effect your local listing, aggregated from its own data as well as third party business listings. Make data matching easy for Google–use semantic markup to ensure Google interprets your local business site properly. USE BOTH:

  • hCard Microformat/RDFa
  • Micro Data – Schema.org

Both aren’t that difficult to implement so it’s best to use both on your local business site.

Google uses citations throughout your site and across the web to figure out your listing. Number of mentions of your business name plays a factor, mentions of your street address and telephone also play a factor. Links are also influential.

Business Data Sources for Basic Citations

Superpages.com, New York Times, Hotels.com, Yellowbook, Dex, any business directory. Register for free on as many of these as you can. This process can be done by hand or paid for via a 3rd party service.

Analyze competitors place pages to discover more citation opportunities.

Wikipedia data has been integrated by Google for quite some time. Wiki mentions can place prevalence on your local place page.

Participate in local events, street fairs, etc., and get mentions to bolster your local presence.

Unorthodox Citation Sources

  • Wikipedia Articles (your business, it’s historic building, shopping center, founder page, etc., if they’re noteworthy enough.)
  • Wifi Hotspots–add your free hotspot to hotspot directories for citations
  • Geo Cache Locations
  • National Register & State Historical Marker Locations–is your business in a historic building or location?
  • Chamber of Commerce Websites (and other member organizations)
  • Pressed Penny Machines, pinball, classic video games, ATM locations
  • Weather reporting stations
  • Specialty directories–spanish speaking business, asian-owned business directories, etc.

Rapidly Developing Location Popularity Signal: Check-In Services

Google may be starting to use check-in data to rank business. There has been some correlation between check-ins and relevance of local search results. Encourage employees, customers to check in on sites on 4Square, Facebook, etc. Google Latitude has implemented Leaderboard to gamify check ins in the Google social scape. It’s only a matter of time until we’re able to find proof of check ins effecting local search results. Google+ and Hotpot Data is being incorporated into local search results.

Mobile Ranking & Optimization Factors

Web pages that have been optimized for mobile may be getting a bump in local SERPs. The user’s geolocation can effect SERPs. Make sure your Google Map page is optimized. Hours of operation is particularly important on Bing, so having hours of operation may be an important factor in appearing in the local search result.


Greg Sterling of Sterling Market Intelligence

If You’re Not Doing Mobile . . . You’re Committing Marketing Malpractice

Google in Q3 2011: 79% of its top advertisers didn’t have a mobile-optimized site.

In Q4 2011, only 37% of Internet Retailer 500 had mobile sites.

Mobile Web vs. Mobile Apps

Perennial debate; both will co-exist (mobile web won’t “win”). Mobile sites are a must for all search marketers. Mobile HTML sites have 100% reach.

  • Smartphone penetration: 48% (over 50% for younger, affluents)
  • 120 Million us mobile internet users
  • Mobile first: 25% of smartphone owners say they mostly go online using their phone
  • iPads/Tablets: 45M in US (doubling by 2014)
  • Android has a larger user base; Apple OS drives more traffic.
  • Mobile is still only 9-10% of web traffic–but growing.
  • For women, Facebook is the top Android app after Android Market (Nielsen 7/11)

Mobile Advertising

Time Spent vs. Ad Dollars: 1% ad spend per mobile media vs. 23% time spent on mobile media.

US Mobile Advertising 2012: $2B+

The mobile ecosystem consists of:

  • Search (Google PPC, Click2Call)
  • Display (Publishers/Developers, networks, ad exchanges, mediators, banners, rich media, video)
  • Networks (Google, Apple, Millennial Media, Jumptap, Microsoft, others)

Mobile Display Ad Unit Standards have been winnowed down from 60 formats to 6.

Both Google and Yahoo are pursuing cross platform targeting in search and display.

Mobile Search

The top categories searched in mobile are news, restaurants, maps, shopping, entertainment, sports.

Mobile search is stimulated by a response to a traditional media/ad, word of mouth, seeing something in a store, responding to a mobile ad, or responding to an online ad.

Google reports 29% of restaurants search queries are coming from mobile. Hotels 19%, Autos 16%, Consumer Electronics 15%.

Mobile Optimization Required by Google

Mobile optimization is now part of AdWords quality score for mobile and will be for organic as well.

Mobile-only campaigns drive 11.5 percent more CTRs than campaigns simply imported from PC AdWords. Why? Possible reasons: use of location, phone extensions, greater relevance and more precise targeting of mobile.

Mobile Bidding Advice from Google

You must be in the top 2 slots. Nobody’s going to scroll. Ensure are you are bidding for positions 1 or 2. Try bidding 2x as much as desktop ad campaigns.

Use click to call. Conversion metric is easy to track ROI.

Local numbers in search ads have a higher CTRs. Have one.

Location is a ranking factor. Optimize your geolocation.

Local content boosts CTR.






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