Digital marketers have long been trying to decide how to reach and capture the attention (and dollars) of the ever growing population of web users. While the different tactics may change, the most common approach goes back much farther than the internet - Location Location Location.

In digital marketing, as it is in any type of marketing, you have to target your audience where they are. If you are located in their palms when they are searching, you have the premier location to capture their business. In the digital realm, that has meant ranking on the first page on Google for a very long time. What has changed, though, is the way those searches look and act, especially on mobile devices.


New Mobile SEO, Same as The Old Mobile SEO

Mobile marketing has been a trend since the iPhone became popular and as Google became the premier search engine for mobile devices, and just like any other industry there is always a new buzz word or term to describe the latest technology.

I’ve always been intrigued by the Marketer’s obsession with inventing a new word for something (and getting all the credit for it, see Gif) and there is nowhere that has had more of this than from the mouths of internet marketing gurus. It’s still fun to look back at the terms and how they were introduced, obsessed over, and then seemed to dissappear.

Four of the main terms when discussing mobile and local search technology have been Mobile SEO, Local SEO, hyperlocal, and SoLoMo (Social Local Mobile) marketing. As these things often do, we turn to Google Trends for insight.


Looking back at those phrases, we can see the popularity of each version have its day in the sun (with SoLoMo being much less popular). The interesting thing though, is that they all aren’t just buzz phrases, they actually hold meaning. I’ll show you the distinctions and how they work together to form a complete definition that helps you move your business forward when appealing to your customers

The Definitions

Mobile SEO - Working to make a website rank highly for searches on mobile devices. Has evolved to require mobile-friendly websites and includes a generally more competitive marketplace because there is less real estate on the search page on a phone then there is on a desktop screen.

Local SEO - Working to make a business or website rank highly for searches in the immediate vicinity of a searcher. Can relate to map searches and involves both, desktop computer searches and mobile device searches.

Hyperlocal - The early reference to search results and content in general that relates to a very immediate area around a searcher, from the city name, to a neighborhood, down to a particular city block, depending on the search term.

SoLoMo - Catch-all term for the combined acts of Social, Local, and Mobile marketing to reach searchers across channels that are relevant to location and local activity.

What Does it All Mean?

For your business, the important aspect of all of these phrases is that each one has been used to describe how to direct marketing towards your target audience when they are either located in an area where you do business or searching on a mobile device for your business.

User activity trends constantly change, and so will the buzzwords, so you should keep an eye on what remains consistent when coming up with new marketing strategies. The lesson is that with social media marketing or SEO, you need to maintain brand consistency and a web presence that delights your target audience wherever they might find you, and keep an eye on technology updates to be sure you're doing what you need to do.

Need more tips? Take a look at our Anatomy of Local SEO eBook to learn how to help your business appear more often, and more impressively in local searches.