In the U.S., the point of digital saturation is nearly here. Almost 80% of American adults have smartphones, with prevalence highest between 18- to 29-year-olds. The number of desktop-only web-users is dwindling as well; only 17.9 million Americans search the web exclusively on a computer, while 40.7 million limit web use to their smartphone. Further, over 57% of all web traffic now originates from mobile devices.
So, what does this mean? While the implications are far reaching, the rise of mobile means that we have now entered an age of hyperlocalization. Mobile is an ideal format for local marketing, connecting users with area resources while they’re out, about, and on the go. And with 50% of mobile searches leading to a store visit in a day, how you market now means more than ever.
The Latest Trends in Local SEO
The average mobile user spends approximately 5 hours a day using their smartphone, doing everything from searching for products to watching Netflix. Due to the flexible nature of mobile phones, many consumers use mobile devices to address questions about local services. As such, you are in a unique – and highly beneficial – position to tap into your community in real time, leveraging SEO trends to get noticed in the midst of customer purchase decisions.
Embracing the Micro-Moment
Over the last year, Google has been emphasizing a concept known as the micro-moment, or the motivation behind a search. According to Google, these micro-moments can be broken down into four classifications, each of which influences the way a search engine results page displays content. They are:
- I-want-to-buy micro-moment
- I-want-to-do micro-moment
- I-want-to-know micro-moment
- I-want-to-go micro-moment
The category into which Google places a search drives the kinds of results available, with I-want-to-buy moments showing shopping results and the I-want-to-do moments offering tutorials and YouTube guides. When planning SEO strategies, understanding how and why information is displayed can be critical, helping local businesses to best target web users with the information they need to know in a format Google is most likely to show.
The Rise of Hyperlocal Results
Local SEO has long been a marketing tactic for small businesses with predominantly brick-and-mortar operations, but the rise in searches using terms like “near me” combined with Google’s geotagging capabilities has led to an evolution strategists are calling hyperlocal.
As opposed to isolating searches by general location data, Google goes deeper, offering suggestions in a user’s immediate vicinity. While there’s no way to force proximity to searchers, businesses are advised to optimize content to fit as many search parameters as possible to best serve those who do hit Google while close by. With new filtering options available right on the SERPs themselves, the more information you make available, the better.
Improving Your Odds
While the new tactics and strategies can help you learn how to rank better in Google’s ever-changing environment, it’s important to understand how and why Google ranks search results in the first place, especially for local businesses. A strong web presence isn’t enough; Google also emphasizes factors like strong reviews across multiple sites and prefers companies with easy access to the kinds of data consumers want to see. Rather than staying largely anonymous, be sure your listings contain things like hours, locations, menus, inventory, and contact numbers, increasing your odds of showing up on Google’s short list.
Staying relevant online can seem like a demanding objective, but the better your tactics are now, the more likely you are to see long-term growth. When you want to ensure the greatest possible performance in the SERPs, RivalMind is here to help. Contact us today to take your local SEO game to the next level.