Greetings from the Mile High City of Denver, Colorado. I must admit that my coverage from the SMX Local & Mobile (SMX LoMo) conference was delayed due to the 13 innings that the Colorado Rockies baseball team went through to secure their wild card spot in the playoffs. As a native Coloradan, this is a big day! So in the spirit of 13, let me share with you 13 key takeaways from the three sessions I attended today.
- Local Search isn’t going away, instead it’s just getting started. And advertisers don’t want it to go away since they receive the highest conversion rates from local search – 38% of users who search using local search actually go on to buy. That’s a pretty high conversion rate.
- Spend time building out your content or even consider a dedicated mobile microsite but make sure that the site has a link back to your main site. And provide a skip to content link to bypass images and super cool flash your designer talked you in to.
- My new BFF (best friend forever) is the HCard, which will help format addresses to be better read by business databases
- List your address twice on the page – once in the footer and once in a side navigation bar
- Use the “tel” tags on phone numbers for click to call ability, along with listing the number with the area code or toll free prefix
- Use a mobile simulator to see what your content will look like on any device. Of course Google has one to use for free.
- Build out content by creating dedicated pages for information on the state, region, county, metro area, city, street, etc. Also create content for related information such as area attractions.
- Tap users for content. We all know the benefits to user generated content, but one that I had forgotten – it’s a great way to incorporate keywords like “best”, “top”, “great”, etc. which you normally wouldn’t use in your copy.
- Once users are tapped, then go out and review content that is written about you off your site and participate in the conversation
- Local SEO doesn’t start and end on your site, make sure that all your business listings are accurate and optimized and that you beg for relevant and quality local inbound links
- Don’t just focus on the online community; make sure that your offline experience is “optimized” too. Is your store a nice place to shop? Are your clerks knowledgeable?
- Remember to include the traditional three-letter postal abbreviation in your campaigns. Prior to the 1987 change, Colorado’s postal abbreviation was Colo. And according to Wikipedia, the AP Stylebook still uses the three-letter abbreviation.
- Of course you will test this on your own, but panelists said that “Keyword + state” (spelled out) out-performed “Keyword + ST (abbreviated)
That’s about it – more on Mobile search and optimization.