By Karisa Macias / Marketing Director, Rio SEO

Costs continue to rise in the increasingly competitive paid search market. To that end, Google pushes companies to improve quality and mobile-friendliness to improve user experience. As a result, marketers wonder where the most impactful local search optimizations today truly lie.

The evolution of organic search to a largely mobile pursuit (Google confirmed recently that mobile search has indeed surpassed desktop) presents an incredible opportunity for local marketers, especially given the high proportion of mobile searches with local intent.

In fact, we found in a recent client study that mobile is prolific in organic search across verticals. It drives more than half the traffic in the travel and hospitality and health/fitness retail industries, with others not far behind.

Lowest Cost Search Traffic

We held a webinar recently with the Local Search Association to share with local marketers the most lucrative, must-conquer mobile strategies today for local marketers — we’re calling this the untapped gold mine for lowest cost search traffic. Jodie Roberts, digital marketing manager at Fred Meyer Jewelers, joined Rio SEO’s Warren Raisch, CCO, for a one-hour session. In it,  they plotted a step-by-step process local marketers can begin implementing today, to attract the most qualified traffic at the lowest possible cost — as much as 90% lower than SEM.

Sure, you could pay to play and buy your way to the top spot in AdWords for each of your keywords. That is, assuming you have money to burn and don’t care about ROI.

Or, you can get serious about your local-mobile strategy, stop wasting time on small search engine optimizations that don’t move the needle, and home in on the most effective optimizations in today’s local search ecosystem.

Lowest Cost Search Traffic

In our recent webinar, Warren and Jodie explained how marketers can get in front of consumers in their I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do and I-want-to-buy moments using 4 simple mobile optimizations.

Marketers definitely don’t want to miss out on those mobile moments, Roberts said, because of the higher tendency to convert. “It’s impossible to ignore mobile and last year at Fred Meyer Jewelers, we saw a huge increase in our mobile traffic, especially in Q4,” she said. “It’s no longer possible not to optimize for mobile.”
mobile best practices Lowest Cost Search Traffic

Adhering to mobile best practices is great. However, it takes more than best practice to outpace the competition in hypercompetitive local markets. These 4 mobile optimizations are key in moving beyond “good enough” and into the realm of top performers. The goal? To attract more organic mobile traffic and more in-store traffic.

The Mobile Experience As Mapping Experience

“We’re in an adapt-or-die moment and mobile is the centerpiece of that,” Raisch said. He also noted that Google’s search dominance is largely driving the necessity of mobile-friendliness. More often than not, a mobile experience today turns into a mapping experience. Consumers try to navigate their way to stores to find the products and services they need right now, in the moment, as they’re on the go.

It can be incredibly frustrating for searchers to be fed a generic map, or imprecise (or even outright incorrect) maps and directions. This is especially common in busy neighborhoods and shopping malls. In these places, directions to within a few hundred feet could still leave dozens of stores in which the consumer needs to find yours.

The good news is local marketing tactics are proven attract highly qualified traffic. And it comes at a fraction of the cost. Most importantly, these tactics are yours for the taking. Even top retailers have yet to employ these critical optimizations, marking a massive opportunity for those companies that can get it right.

Watch Rio SEO’s Mobile: The Untapped Gold Mine for Lowest Cost Search Traffic webinar below to get started with these 4 key mobile optimizations that will change your local search fortunes from the time of implementation.

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