Local Search Highlights in the 2015 Internet Trends Report

Jon Schepke (with Search Engine Watch) pulled some great insight from Mary Meeker’s 2015 Internet Trends Report – and, in reading between the lines – could see that all lines point to… Mobile & Local Search.  So if you’re still on the fence about mobile and local search marketing & optimization strategies, you might as well hand in your Marketing Badge right now.  Here were his key take aways;

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Optimizing for Mobile is TABLE STAKES

  • Mobile searches have overtaken desktop search (sooner than projected)
  • Mobile use has also overtaken desktop use, on a daily basis (see the chart above).
  • 73% of the planet has a mobile phone
  • “if your local search strategy fails to address the mobile consumer, you might as well not have a local search strategy”
  • See Google’s recent release of Micro Moments noting that ‘near me’ searches have increased 34 times in 2011 (in Q4 2014, 80% of those searches were conducted via mobile devices).
  • See Forrester’s push of Mobile Moments, by definition, “a point in time and space when someone pulls out a mobile device to get what he or she wants immediately, in context.
  • See Facebook’s Retailer Beacons for businesses to offer deals & content for consumers in store via Place Tips.
  • In most cases, mobile (and mobile search) is the MOST direct connection between your company & consumer demand.

Get Ready for MOBILE WALLETS

  • “Brands that convert ‘near me’ searches into revenue through appealing mobile wallet offers are solving for the “last mile” of local search.” (truly creating a full circle consumer behavior).
  • Whole Foods has seen mobile payments surge by 400% since adopting Apple Pay.
  • Pep Boys has seen a seven-figure sales result from mobile wallet.

The 7 New Rules of SEO

Search Engine Watch and Pratik Dholakiya recently published a great list of seven ‘directives’ or rules for SEO today that sum up many of the questions we get on a daily basis – so here’s my key takeaways from the list;

  1. Link Building isn’t dead; it has evolved.  Building links is still a critical aspect of SEO (and equates to about 40% of search rank factors) – its just how you build these links that matters.
  2. If you want to build backlinks, build relationships.  High quality content and backlinks both take time, nurturing, and can’t be automated.
  3. SEO must be an enterprise-wide effort.  You have to go big or go home – SEO is so content driven that every aspect of the business has a need for it, and content worth producing (from operations, to supply chain, R&D to marketing).
  4. Long-Tail goes a Long-Way.  Google’s Hummingbird update made long-tail search more relevant than ever – and it starts with items 1-3 already on this list.
  5. Usability, UX and Mobile Optimization take you the rest of the way.  With Google’s mobile algorithm update, it’s a clear signal that Google is rewarding those that provide a great customer experience that aligns with the upward trend of internet & search use.
  6. Your brand is social, Twitter is more relevant than ever.  Now that Tweets are appearing in search results, implementing items 1-5 within social are critical.  Next  stop – Pinterest.  With an ex-Google team developing the algorithm for Pinterest, it’s set to head the same way.  And if you didn’t get how important video has been over the last two years, you’ll need to pick up on that, too.
  7. Do your thing – what is right for your business.  Google updates have, and will continue to come out on a regular basis.  Stick to what you know is right, and you’ll continue to stay in the good graces of Google.

Rand Fishkin + New Approach, CliffsNotes.

Brad Miller of Search Engine Watch sums up a recent interview w/ Rand Fishkin of Moz – to get his take on some of the hot topics for SEO in 2013 and a new approach for some…

  1. Local Search for National Brands (think nationally, compete locally)
  2. Content Marketing: How to Stand Out (‘industry source’)
  3. Where Should Content Live? (on your site – go long term)
  4. Getting Picked Up (more visibility & engagement, not dates)
  5. Link Building vs. Social Signals (corollary for holistic approach)
  6. Email Marketing & SEO (start connecting the two)
  7. Google+ (using it for authorship / leadership visibility)
  8. and the rest of the interview, here.

SEO Tips for 2014

Jayson DeMers of Search Engine Watch gave a great starter list of what to expect from SEO in 2014 – I’m only curious to see what our own Jason (Squardo) @ ZOG Digital would have to add to it.  Here’s Jayson’s top 10;

  • Strategic SEO Focus (evolving from tactics to strategy)
  • 2013 tactics are still relevant, but amplified
  • Content marketing is bigger than ever
  • …and the organization of SEO, Social, PR teams to support it
  • Social Media will be more visible, more valuable (esp. w/ hummingbird)
  • Time to invest in Google+ (if you haven’t already)
  • Hummingbird was just the tip of the mobile iceberg
  • Long vs. Short?  (both)
  • Using PPC  / Adwords to access keyword traffic data
  • Guest blogging most effective (but has to be SEO focused)