MMM: San Francisco Mobile & Local SEO

Everything these days is mobile, mobile, mobile! Walk into any cafe in San Francisco, whether it’s a trendy artisan cafe like Four Barrel Coffee on Valencia, or a national chain like the Starbucks that literally are a stone’s throw from each other in downtown San Francisco or near the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, ¬†and it’s people people people on their mobile mobile mobile phones. Everything has “gone mobile.”

Search Engine Optimization: Go Local, Go Mobile

San Francisco Mobile SEOAnd so, we are told has SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Google for some time has cajoled, begged, threatened, and pretty much coerced anyone who has a website into being mobile-friendly (responsive), and if not mobile first, at least taking mobile very seriously. If you have a website, it had a) better look good on a mobile phone, and b) better be fast to respond. Or face the consequences: a deprecation on Google results, at least on the phone, but possibly also on the desktop.

If you haven’t been paying attention, Google has also rolled out major changes in the so-called “snackpacks” – with now just three local listings appearing on local-related searches, and in many cases links deeper into Google maps than direct to your website. So the “phone” and the “desktop” have become one: the same look and feel of the phone, is now on desktop Google search.

San Francisco Business and Mobile First (or Mobile Friendly)

What does this mean if you are a local San Francisco business, say a coffee shop (cafe, for the snobbish at heart), an attorney, a psychotherapist or anyone else who depends on inbound local-related searches?

  • If you’re not already “mobile-friendly,” well you’re missing the train. It’s departed. Catch up. Oh, it’s MUNI so you can wait – it’s a bit late.
  • Become mobile-first – even if your customers aren’t. Google clearly wants us ALL to prioritize mobile, so make sure that you look good on mobile, period.
  • Be fast, be really fast. Pay attention to your server speed and response time. ¬†Google wants us all to be fast, really fast (good for phones).

One thing to ponder. Is mobile where the transactions are? For some types of complex purchases, say hair transplant in San Francisco, e.g., Dr. Neal Gorrin, or dental implants a la San Francisco Dental Implant Center… it’s hard to see people really pondering these things on their mobile phone. So the search might start on a mobile phone (on a whim), but end up on the desktop when they are really serious, and really thinking about a “buy.” So it might be mobile first, but desktop second, with desktop being where the real sale is.