LoMo is a relatively recent entry to the grandiose glossary of marketing acronyms, uncomfortably sitting somewhere between KPI (key performance indicator) and MoFu (middle of the funnel).
LoMo is short for ‘local mobile’ and it’s becoming increasingly vital to business success, with 53% of mobile internet searches showing ‘local intent’ – i.e. users are actively seeking out services within their geographical vicinity.
Nearby pubs. Pub opening times. Pub phone numbers. Directions to the pub. Taxi numbers for getting back from the pub. A lot of similar searches that have nothing to do with pubs. Searches for pharmacists, doctors, painters and decorators – any business that has some form of local component.
SEO specialists are well aware that changes in user habits – like using search terms that include ‘nearest’, ‘near me’ or ‘local’ – demand a response.
Said specialists will also tell you, at length and with diagrams, that search engines respond to user behaviour by changing how information is displayed, which, in turn, means that new tactics are called for in order to top the results page.
If you search on a mobile device, the top results on that list are the sites which are best optimised for mobile devices.
Search results take up space, and mobile displays don’t have much of that to offer. In desktop SEO, the top seven slots on the search results page are the most important; in mobile SEO, that’s cut down to three.
Clicking on one of the top three results then brings up more detailed info, such as opening times and reviews, alongside a bunch of tappable icons that allow you to easily call or map your route to the location – the sort of action you’re likely to take on a mobile device.
Getting into the coveted three-pack demands a change to your SEO approach – and that’s where we get into ‘LoMo marketing’. There are three basic principles:
- Have a responsive website: You’ll never make it onto the mobile specific list if your site looks awful on mobile devices. It’s easier to show what responsive web design looks like than to tell, but the key word is ‘scaling’. As the size of the screen gets smaller, fonts need to be bigger and options need to be tucked away inside a simple menu, not left where a careless thumb can set them off
- Create a ‘Google My Business’ profile: Google’s mantra is all about improving the user experience, and the ‘Google My Business’ platform makes it easy for people to find the information they’re looking for, so you should treat this as an extension to your website. Add a unique business description, link to your website and encourage customers to leave reviews. The more complete your profile is, the better chance you have of people actually finding you
- NAP consistently: Your business’ name, address and phone number need to appear on your website, on a ‘contact us’ page that’s listed in your sitemap so the blind and armless Google crawler can find it. The name, address and phone number should also appear on local search directories. Oh, and the name, address and phone number need to be the same wherever they appear
If we’re being honest, this is all good sound SEO strategy, with a local twist. Building credibility through being referenced by reputable local websites (and hopefully having them link to your site too), designing your own site for accessibility and responsiveness, and keeping your content relevant and accurate – we’ve talked about these things before and we’ll doubtless do so again.