Local Optimization Drives Conversions, But Your Local Page Won’t
When people in the online marketing community talk about the mobile shift, they usually do so in the context of one of these three things:
- user experience, specifically, how yours will suck for smartphone users if you don't have a mobile version or don't use responsive web design (RWD);
- tasks, specifically, how your mobile users are trying to accomplish different things than your desktop crowd, and what that means for your website; and
- page load time, and what that means for your smartphone crowd (CliffsNotes version: if it's scary that desktop visitors have the patience of a lit match, just note that your mobile visitors have only a fraction of their patience).
Those are all important topics, and they're definitely worthy of the attention they're getting. However, let's not forget the other big shift mobile is affecting — online marketing for local visitors.
Your Traffic is Turning Local; Get Your Schema.org Game On
I use Google's figures below (as I do, please bear in mind that it's not a neutral player in this space). Saying local is sort of important to Google is like saying that your lungs are sort of important for breathing. Nevertheless, the numbers are impressive:
- four in five consumers use search engines to find local information;
- 50 percent of consumers who conduct a local search with their smartphone visit a store within a day; and
- local searches lead to more purchases (18 percent for the study) than nonlocal searches (7 percent for the study).
Think about what that means for a second. This behavior is beyond your control — users will look for local goods and services online whether you want them to or not. The choice you have is whether you'll learn all you need to learn about using tags to get your name, address and phone number optimized.
Tim Ash is the author of the bestselling book Landing Page Optimization, and CEO of SiteTuners. A computer scientist and cognitive scientist by education (his PhD studies were in Neural Networks and Artificial Intelligence), Tim has developed an expertise in user-centered design, persuasion and understanding online behavior, and landing page testing. In the mid-1990s he became one of the early pioneers in the discipline of website conversion rate optimization. Over the past 15 years, Tim has helped a number of major US and international brands to develop successful web-based initiatives. Companies like Google, Expedia, Kodak, eHarmony, Facebook, American Express, Canon, Nestle, Symantec, Intuit, AutoDesk and many others have benefitted from Tim's deep understanding and innovative perspective.
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