5 SoLoMo-Minded SEO Strategies
Social (So), local (Lo) and mobile (Mo) drive real opportunities to businesses paying attention to it.
Integrating SoLoMo into a brand's offerings can not only benefit its user experience, but also increase its visibility on the mobile Web. There are a number of SoLoMo-SEO minded strategies to consider implementing today. Here are five such tactics.
1. List Management
As the number of local search inquiries skyrocket in large part to smartphone usage, it’s not enough for SEOs to just claim businesses in local listings. They must also ensure their business listings are accessible, consistent and optimized for search engines, social engines and data aggregators. There are many tools that can help, some even free.
Companies like Infogroup provide a single-step process for both its data partners and local businesses to add, update and enhance business listings. It enables these listings to then be distributed to top global search engines, navigation devices, Internet Yellow Pages (IYPs) and directory-assistance (411) services – something it’d be hard press (if not impossible) to manage single-handedly. With Infogroup’s Express Update product, small business owners can build their profile for free (for up to 10 business listings).
Infogroup also offers a Bulk Update solution for businesses that have multiple listings to claim and update. Rio SEO, a provider of software solutions for earned and owned digital media programs, recently began using this service to enable its multi-location customers to submit optimized and enhanced local business listings.
Bill Connard, vice president of local search solutions at Rio SEO said that search engines use information services like Infogroup for contextually relevant real-time information. Supplying enhanced and consistent data to all of the information services and local search engines can provide relevant back links to local business listings across the Web.
Yext is another viable option for location management. With its platform, businesses can manage and update their locations by instantly adding and updating missing listings and information, including critical fields like addresses and phone numbers. In true SoLoMo fashion, Yext also syncs location information on Facebook and offers Rich Listings to enhance listings with photos, product lists, offers, menus, etc. to stand out from the competition.
Finally, Surefire Social offers a free analysis for SEOs wanting to see how their businesses appear in 40-plus online local search sites.
2. Social Branding
Social signals are deeply ingrained in today’s search experience. As Catalyst’s Organic Search Director Clayburn Griffin detailed in, “2013: Social SEO Required,” these signals range from simple votes (likes, +1’s) to shares (tweets, posts) to comments. Search engines (Bing, Yahoo, Google) integrate these social signals into their ranking algorithms, which makes it imperative for businesses of all sizes to not only keep social media profiles up to date with items like addresses, phone numbers and email addresses, but also encourage and participate in conversations.
Tools that offer cross-platform monitoring can save time and boost social-SEO efforts. Sprout Social is one such option, as it can monitor conversations from a unified inbox and publish posts across Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn, as well as collaborate with internal teams. HootSuite also provides social network management, among other options.
HootSuite’s dashboard gives teams the ability to listen, engage and measure. Furthermore, its Foursquare management adds a local flair, so businesses can see who is checking in at their locations and alerting their friends of their whereabouts.
3. Google+ (Enough Said)
Establishing authority (and thus increasing visibility) on the SoLoMo Web requires businesses to go through Google+. One way to incorporate the social network is by leveraging the rel=author and rel=publisher tags, which will link an article or website back to a corresponding Google+ profile. By building out Google+ profiles, a brand can improve their chances of showing up in local listings.
BrightLocal offers a Google+ Local Wizard tool that compares a company’s page against its competitors and provides suggestions to optimize the profile for greater visibility. The Google+ Local Wizard report extracts data from a company’s Google+ Local profile (e.g. reviews, score, categories, 'owner verified') and supplements it with extra, valuable information such as citation count, citation authority and inbound link count. The “Wizard” also reports on other important local search ranking factors like, “Is the phone number a local phone number?” and “Do you use your city name and state in website page titles?”
4. On-Site SoLoMo Optimization Tactics
So: With comments, shares, likes and +1s playing an instrumental role in search rankings, businesses need to give Web visitors a way to share information. ShareThis offers the ability to customize their sharing buttons to enhance a site’s social experience.
Lo: Nothing may be more local than contact info and a map. The Local Search SEO Contact Page plugin for WordPress displays microdata formatted business information for both Schema.org and hCard formats, while also generating a Google map with Google Place or directions, geo-tag coordinates and more. Yoast also offers a Local SEO plugin for WordPress to make local sights more findable.
Mo:Google ranks businesses that offer a high-quality mobile experience higher than those who don’t. Google outlines two mistakes that can damage a company’s search experience for on-the-go users, including faulty redirects and smart-phone only errors.
5. 1 Second or Less
Google’s updated PageSpeed Insights tool is a quick way to understand a website’s performance across a variety of devices, which is especially important as more and more consumers research companies on their smartphones and have local intent when doing so.
PageSpeed Insights analyzes a page to see if it follows Google’s recommendations for making a page render in less than 1 second on a mobile network.
“Research has shown that any delay longer than a second will cause the user to interrupt their flow of thought, creating a poor experience. Our goal is to keep the user engaged with the page and deliver the optimal experience, regardless of device or type of network.” ~Google Developers
Sites that don’t offer an “optimal experience” will dip in the SERPs and not be accessible to on-the-go, social shoppers.