Day Two And The Gloves Were Off
If you work in SEO or Social, you will have no doubt been hearing an awful lot about SoLoMo which is another very “cool” and “edgy” term which encompasses Social, Local and Mobile. It’s THE buzz topic everybody in the industry is talking about. Many have buried their heads in the sand, hoping that it will all blow over – us SEOs have enough on our plates without tackling another bunch of issues and problems. However, this insightful little talk gave us all some hope and encourages us to think laterally and simply transfer what we already know to this new trend.
In all different disciplines we are hearing the same advice – Segment! Dan Patmore is Head of Search at Argos and you can see how his advice is with the larger company in mind. an example included how social pages and micro sites can be used to isolate particular group of people under the same brand. Nike have created different marketing channels for Nike Football, Nike Tennis, Nike Rugby and so on. The idea works with these huge companies because they have the resources and funds to manage the amount of work that goes into running a system of this scale. Personally I can’t see how that would work for small to medium sized companies but it’s still worth thinking about.
Both Joel and Dan echoed the sentiments of almost every other speaker at SES: “If you can’t measure it, don’t do it”. You can see that as companies get bigger, the harder it is to monitor your budgets and control your costs. Joel actually mentioned a change in the industry whereby it’s becoming more normal for companies to monitor their social media in house and not just leaving it to their agency. Segment and Control!
With local and hyper local becoming much more important to the SERPS, it really is an area where almost all companies can improve their rankings and drive more business. Claiming your business accounts with local business directories and services like Google maps is only the beginning. Dan is fanatical about filling the the gaps and including accurate information like opening times and other time sensitive information. Sell running shoes? Great! But do you have them in stock?
With so much “local” content being available and generated by users, local is providing all the information a customer needs without even getting to the website. But can you measure this? Either they didn’t notice that they were contradicting themselves or I was too slow understand when they were explaining how to do so! Either are possible!
40% of local search comes from mobile devices, compared to 20% from desktop computers. The way we use our phones has changed search in such a big way that we are once again in a position where we “don’t really understand the way people are using mobile services”.
I’m going to try an bolt on lots of other “SoLoMo” tips here as there was a great deal of talk about the topic at SES London this year. Here are my notes from another good session with Angie Schottmuller.
*Optimise for “citation”
Be consistent (ALWAYS use same exact spelling and punctuation for addresses, phone numbers etc)
Be relevant (same domain on email, web, local phone) – Don’t use 0800 numbers, be location specific. Google knows area codes!
Leverage deals and offers by…
Being responsive – If you have reviews, comment on there! Follow them up, “glad you enjoyed your night, we have the same event going on next week”
Tools for setting up mobile landing pages
Angie also talked alot about how easy it can be to “go mobile“. For WordPress users, there are simple and easy to install plugins like WPTouch which transforms a standard WordPress sites into an easy to use mobile site. In fact, she really doesn’t suggest you bother putting money into setting up and running a completely separate mobile version of your site when it can be so easy to convert what you already have.
You want to use rel=canonical to maintain link juice to your desktop site, not just your mobile site. Detection software will automatically display the mobile version anyway so it kills two brds with one stone.
Citations on mobile are the equivalent of links – invest time and maybe even money in building local citations.
Use “click to call buttons” and use calls to action.
Remember that mobile needs to be “thumb-friendly” and offer a streamlined, easy and quick to use servi
Golden Rules of Mobile Bar Codes
Serve a business objective. What is the point in doing it?
Add value for the user – Save time, provide discounts, Enhance experience? Mobile friendly content
Provide contextual assistance – “how to” steps, link to where and how to get a QR code reader. Call to action “Do this because you will get this…”
Test to ensure codes are scannable – If they are too small, many phones cannot read.
Conversion optimizations – Mobile barcodes create the urgency. When will your users react?
SoLoMo Key Takeaways
We needn’t be scared of mobile! It’s a new exciting time and it’s already here, now, it’s happening! We need to familiarise ourselves with new tools and maximise the tools we already have and use frequently. The WordPress WPTouch is a perfect example of something which is under most of our noses, we just don’t know it’s there. Well NOW is the time to get looking!