Local Search and Mobile Search Optimization #Pubcon Austin 2015


This session at Pubcon Austin featured Loren Baker and Brian Combs addressing the overlap of local and mobile SEO

Loren Baker, VP of Business Development Foundation Digital

Localization of SERPs

If you’re using a rank tracking tool that only gives you Google USA data, then you’re not getting the full picture. Rank is based on personalization and geographic location. With the knowledge graph, any organic result beyond 1 or 2 shows below the fold. News, reviews, maps, images all draw users attention away from the top ranking organic result.

That’s why our ranking tools at AuthorityLabs enable you to account for rank variations by location, keyword usage, and desktop or mobile ranking. Our reports can also help clients understand their placement in knowledge graph and local pack positions.

Are you ranking along with blogs, guides, and things other than your direct competitors for key terms? Those results will change based on location.

Tactics for Competing

  • Geographical Hierarchy – prioritize
  • Nested URL structure. Include rich data with local schema markup
  • Local landing pages need to be authentic as well as relevant to the local customer base. Neighborhood guides help users discover you.
  • Local social profile must link to local pages. Specifically, if people are searching for you on their phone.

Produce content local influencers will like, link and share.

Brian Combs, CEO ionadas local LLC


Mobile matters because a larger and larger percentage of search users access via mobile. Second screen interaction happens on mobile. 40% of sites are still not mobile-friendly (portent.com study)

Google will determine on a page by page basis. It should affect mobile results only. It’s not tablet specific. Based on page cashe. Will affect organic rankings. May affect local.

Test your site for mobile-friendly results.

Responsive web design, dynamic serving, and separate URLs are all mobile friendly.

Responsive Design

  • Easier to share and link
  • No redirection required
  • Less content engineering
  • Easier for googlebot
  • Implementation is generally easier

Dyanimc Serving

  • Easier to share and link
  • No redirection required
  • cContent can be specific to device

Separate URLs for Mobile

  • Two versions of the site
    • www.yourbrand.com
    • m.yourbrand.com


  • javaScript, CSS and images must be crawlable
  • check robots.txt
  • Optimize titles and meta descriptions
  • Use schema.org for rich content
  • Google mobile-friendly test
  • Test with different devices

Design Recommendations

  • Avoid flash
  • Avoid pop-ups
  • Format for mobile – font size and content formatting
  • Watch out for faulty redirects
  • Design for fingers

Not Ready?

  • Don’t panic
  • Use appropriate speed – don’t rush a crappy mobile site out
  • Benefits will happen quickly

Check out the one easy-to-use tool to set benchmarks and track how these suggested updates affect rankings over time.

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