6 Reasons to Focus on Social Local and Mobile in 2014

Feb 13, 2014

How Social, Local SEO and Mobile Will Impact Digital Marketing Success in 2014

Once upon a time, keywords and backlinks were all any website needed to ensure first page ranking in Google’s search results. Like the horse and buggy, those days are long gone, and today’s savvy digital marketer needs to adapt to the changing times or be left in the dust. That’s not to say that keywords and backlinks no longer have a role in ranking websites – they’ve simply become part of a greater overall formula.

Digital marketing success in 2014 will largely depend on how well social, local SEO and mobile are integrated with website content to match the new demands and expectations of Google’s evolving algorithm. Despite an average of 500 algorithmic changes each year, Google’s primary emphasis remains on providing the user with the most relevant and useful search results possible.

social local and mobile

The Importance of Social Media

Social signals will continue to impact the search engine algorithms, playing a significant role in providing proof of a website’s relevance and authority.

  • Social media strategy should be expanded beyond Facebook and Twitter. Digital marketers should engage existing and prospective consumers across as many social platforms as possible, including the newer single-service networks such as Pinterest, Instagram and Vine.
  • Posts and customer reviews should be shared across all social media platforms, especially Google+, for maximum ranking leverage.

Local SEO: Focusing on the Basics

Despite the impact of algorithm changes for organic search over the past few years, Google has made comparatively few changes to its basic model for local search results. Quality citation building and proper optimization of the Google+ Local listing remains the cornerstone of an effective local SEO strategy. With more than 43 percent of all searches either local or location based, local search will continue to be a major component in Google’s quest for maximum relevance and positive user experience.

  • Business information needs to be consistent across all citation listings.
  • Map markers on Google Maps as well as on other local sites should be carefully checked for accuracy. Inaccurate map markers could cause a website to be omitted from a local mobile search because the algorithm places the business further way from the searcher’s location than it really is.

The Impact of Mobile Marketing

The critical role of mobile marketing to an overall digital marketing strategy is underscored by a recent Nielsen study that concluded that 74 percent of mobile users use a search engine prior to making a purchase, and that 83 percent of those users intend to buy within one day.

  • A business website needs to be optimized for the mobile user; if prospects have to scroll left and right, up and down to find the information they need, chances are they’ll go elsewhere. Although some 59 percent of all local searches are made on a mobile device, only 10 percent of local business websites are either mobile-responsive or dedicated mobile sites.
  • To maintain a positive mobile user experience, Google believes mobile sites should load in 1 second or less. The way Google sees it, the faster the load, the more apt the user is to stay engaged; the better the user engagement, the higher the search ranking.