This is our Deep Dive Into Local from May 13, 2019. In our Deep Dive series, we take a closer look at one thing in local that caught our attention and deserves a longer discussion.
Join Carrie Hill & Mary Bowling from Local University as they discuss the robust and useful mobile tool set from Mobile Moxie with Clint Murphy and Cindy Krum. Learn the best way to use these tools to improve your SEO, usability, SERP appearance and tracking across multiple geographies and devices. This tool set is a must have in your arsenal if you’re doing any kind of SEO!
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Mary: Hi, everyone. Welcome to our Deep Dive for May 13th, 2019. We’re really lucky today because we have Cindy Krum of MobileMoxie. And I met Cindy I’m thinking maybe 2007 or so, maybe 2008.
Cindy: Yeah, that sounds right.
Mary: And the one thing that really impressed me about Cindy is while the rest of us were worried about local SEO, Cindy pretty much zeroed in on the fact that mobile SEO was gonna be the way to go and just got right on it. And in my opinion, she’s the foremost expert on mobile SEO in the world. And today she has with…
Carrie: Sorry, guys.
Mary: Today she has with her someone who’s coming up through the ranks of mobile SEO and I’m gonna have her introduce him to you.
Cindy: Exactly. Hi, everybody. My name is Cindy like she said, and with me today is Clint. Clint is in charge of managing the development for the MobileMoxie toolset that helps companies check in on how their mobile search results and mobile SEO is working and preview pages and do stuff with apps. We have a really awesome toolset and he’s in charge of it. So, I’m gonna hand it off to Clint and let you guys talk to him because he knows so much and he’s a really cool resource.
Mary: Thanks, Cindy.
Clint: Hi, everybody.
Carrie: Hi, Clint.
Clint: My name is Clint. How are you guys doing today?
Carrie: We’re great. I was just thinking, Mary, you said that Cindy was tuning into mobile SEO in, like, 2007, right? That’s what you said, about 2007.
Mary: I think it was around there 2007, 2008.
Carrie: I was trying to think of what kind of phone I was using in 2007 and I think it was like this black Blackberry work thing. And I thought I was the shit. I was so awesome.
Clint: I probably didn’t have a smartphone yet. Still on the flip phone game.
Mary: For sure.
Carrie: Awesome. And it was so awesome, and that thing is such a piece of junk. I just can’t imagine. Can you imagine if we all had to go back to…? I saw a guy on the plane back from Austin last week and he had a Blackberry and I was like…
Clint: Wow. A little outdated there.
Carrie: It was kind of a shiny, fancy Blackberry, but I was like, “I didn’t even know they still worked.”
Mary: They do.
Carrie: So, one of the things we’re really excited to do today with Clint and Cindy is kind of go through the MobileMoxie toolset and all the different things that SEOs and agencies and people who do audits can learn from using their tools, especially like the emulators and how to track those mobile results for their clients or for an audit. I’m interested in how somebody who does…because Mary and I do a lot of audits, so I’m always interested to see how I can use the emulator to improve my audits from a mobile standpoint because we say, “Oh, it’s too slow on a mobile phone because that’s easy information to get, this is what it looks like. And they’ve got like this big black header at the top of the page and it doesn’t go away for mobile.” We can tell them things like that, but I think we need to get more advanced in how we talk about mobile search and mobile rendering. And I think that this is a really great opportunity for us to kind of talk about that a little bit.
And then we’re gonna kind of…Clint is gonna walk us through kind of a demonstration of how to use the MobileMoxie tool, so I think that’s gonna be very helpful. If you’re interested in signing up for MobileMoxie, please get in touch with them. Mary and I do actually use the tool quite a lot when we do our audits, but I’m always interested in ways I could do it better or more efficiently, so for sure.
Clint: And we’ll provide you guys with a free promo code at the end giving you 30 days free access to the tool.
Mary: Sweet. If you don’t take advantage of that, you’re crazy.
Carrie: So, do you wanna share your screen now, Clint, and we’ll kind of talk about how to use the tool? I think that maybe we could talk a little bit about why is it so hard for SEO tools to give accurate results, especially on mobile? I mean, obviously, we have ranking tools that can give us maps rankings and things like that, but mobile returns different results. So, why is it so hard and what can we do to give more accurate information?
Clint: Yeah. So, there’s a couple of different factors that play into this, one of them being localization. So, a lot of other tools aren’t gonna necessarily localize you whereas, in some tools, they will pinpoint you down to a zip code or a street address, but the majority of them will go to a country and kind of have an aggregate data there.
Cindy: I think we’re the only one that will really localize you down to a street address. And most of them don’t even go down to a zip code. The best you can get is country or state in most tools.
Clint: Yeah, exactly, exactly. And then there’s some other things like the differences of phone operating systems. So, there’s Android and iOS, and there’s difference from one search result to another on different operating systems there, or there can be. It’s not always the case, but we’ve seen that happen. And then there’s also a personalization. So, search results will be based on your past search history, your local information, whether you’re signed in and you’re signed out, and our tools will be sort of an unbiased way of not taking in all this personalization information there.
Carrie: Gotcha. So, do you find that like super-hyper local businesses, I’m thinking like coffee shops, where they rank is really reliant or the information on how they rank is really reliant on a very small radius around their specific address. So, like, in my little town, ranking for a zip code wide, that’s not hard. We have one coffee shop, so it’s not like it’s…
Clint: That’s .
Carrie: We didn’t even have that till a year ago. But if you’re a small indie guy in downtown Denver and there’s 30 Starbucks within a three-mile radius and you’re really relying on people in the hotels around you to come in, then putting your address in is so much more important than just saying, “Hey, I’m in Denver.”
Clint: Yeah. Pinpointing that address is pretty huge especially being in somewhere like downtown Denver or any city for that matter, any bigger city I should say, unlike where you’re from.
Carrie: Right. And then the flip side of that is like the service area business where the plumber is driving across multiple metros to get to different… How do I rank when I’m on in this neighborhood versus how do I rank when I’m in this neighborhood? Because we all know those plumbers and HVAC guys and carpet cleaners, and they really rely on being able to rank well in the areas where their customers are which is not necessarily tied to a brick and mortar, it’s tied to being around here.
One thing I really like about the MobileMoxie tool is the ability to bulk upload a bunch of addresses and then you can get how you rank for that list of addresses out of the tool instead of having to type in one address and get to working and then type in the next one.
Clint: Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. And going off that, we’ll get to a demo of uploading a CSV of addresses that you can use once we kind of introduce our SERP test and go over that.
Cindy: Why don’t you do that? Why don’t you show the simple SERP test?
Carrie: Let’s do that.
Clint: Okay. And maybe right now we’ll start off with that simple SERP test.
Clint: So, let me go ahead and share my screen.
Clint: And we can go from there. You can see the screen now.
Carrie: Yep. You’re set.
Clint: Great. All right. So, this is the MobileMoxie SERP test. And as you can see, there’s all these search parameters. So we have country, we’ve chosen Japan, the state Tokyo, the city is Tokyo as well. We’ve put in a zip code specific, and we’re searching for best ramen on Google with the English language. We’ve then chosen two devices, an iPhone and an Android, and we’ve hit Run Test. So, this is gonna show our results on a local basis where you’re getting the map app up at the start of the SERP. And then you’re scrolling down and you’re seeing the SERP in a live snapshot. So this is the gist of the MobileMoxie toolset and the SERP test in general. You’re seeing a live version of a SERP.
But then you can go further, and you can click around within the SERP, you can hit Back, Refresh, and Forward just like you would in a normal live version if you are on Google on your phone.
Cindy: And what’s important here is that these are real Google results. And when Clint says live, what he means is this is exactly what’s happening on this day at this time. So if Google has like a fun Google Doodle that day, you’ll see it. Google thinks we are phones and thinks we are standing in Japan with these results. So, it’s not a synthesis, it’s not a fake result, it’s actually Google, and it’s clickable.
Mary: So, I’d like to add how powerful this is when you show it to clients because as SEOs we’re most of the time we’re sitting in offices looking at desktops. Most of our business owners that are our clients are looking at things on a desktop and showing them what people are actually seeing on mobile devices, not just, “This is what some people see sometimes.” This is what people are seeing on this day, at this minute, and this place. It’s really powerful in showing people what’s happening with their sites and also what’s happening with the mobile results and how much they differ from the desktop results.
Clint: Yeah, absolutely. And the mobile results there being stacked one on top of another because it’s a lot less screen width, so you’re taking a lot more room up at the top and people aren’t getting down to those organic blue links.
Cindy: Well, and I know, if you ladies have seen this on Twitter, but I’ve seen a lot of really smart SEOs that are like begging their SEO friends to do searches and send them screenshots.
Mary: Yes, really.
Cindy: And with these tools, you don’t have to do that. You can see the Save button and the Share button, those allow you to save this result to your account or even share it on Twitter exactly as it is. And so, yeah, you don’t have to look like you’re begging for favors and it saves you a lot of time that way.
Carrie: Well, and I think it’s super powerful from presenting this to a client’s standpoint because if you take a screenshot of a desktop result, it’s long. But if you take a screenshot of a full mobile result, that’s a lot of scrolling, and it helps you kind of add a visual too. This is why it’s important to be towards the top in a mobile query because people are not going to scroll all the way down to even halfway down the page, below three-quarters of the way down the page. And so when you’re trying to convince them, “Hey, we need to do better. We need to move this stuff up the fold.” Those types…or up the screen to get it above the fold, those types of issues, these kinds of visualizations are super helpful for sure.
Clint: Yeah, definitely. And especially nowadays where we’re seeing over 50% of all Google search is done on mobile, right?
Cindy: So, show ’em how to do this en masse with the CSV.
Clint: Yeah. One more thing before we move to the next demo, you can save these tests and you can save them to run on a weekly or a monthly basis.
Carrie: Oh, nice.
Clint: So you can… If, say, your analytics are showing you something weird, you can go back in and see if something has taken up space in the Google SERP and that’s huge for us.
Carrie: Well, sure. And then does it, like, send you an email to say, “Hey, I just ran this for the week so that…” It’s also a reminder. I need to be reminded to go look at things because I’ll forget.
Clint: Yeah, you’ll get an email notification when your results are ran on a weekly or monthly basis there.
Carrie: Right on.
Mary: And this is also really useful for you as a local SEO in coming up with a strategy for moving forward to try to improve mobile results. For example, I had a client one time who was a local flower shop. And the big 1-800-flowers and all these big flower consortiums had mobile ads that were hugely long, had all these pictures in them, you probably had to scroll down through two screens’ worth before you get to anything else. And sometimes you need to look at what’s really going on before you can decide what you need to recommend to those clients to improve their sales.
Clint: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. All right. And now we’re gonna jump into a bulk address or what we’re calling the business area radius. So, this test is, again, a SERP test. We’ve put our report name in there, our search term just like our regular SERP test, our engine, and our language are there. And now you see the video running. But then we localize this down to country, state, Texas City is in Dallas, and then a zip code again. And we can set our radius. So, we’ve done this to five miles in a grid increment of two miles. And we will click Preview Business Area here in a second and you’ll see the radius pop up.
Cindy: And you can…
Clint: I guess we’ve done 10.
Cindy: You can do it with a street address or you can just drop a pin.
Cindy: And then it just shows like that. And you can even drag and drop your pin if you look at that and you’re like, “No,” then you can just kind of pull it and drag it over a little bit to make sure all of this stuff is in the red circle, that all of the area that you care about. And then this one you can see right there has the ability to run once or weekly or monthly.
Mary: So, are you guys charging by how many calls you make on the APIs or how is your charging setup, your pricing?
Cindy: Right now, it’s just a monthly flat fee because we haven’t had anyone who’s really broken our servers yet.
Mary: Okay. So, again, if you don’t try this out, you’re crazy.
Carrie: That’s a bargain.
Mary: So, those local SEOs out there who have been impressed with Local Falcon as I have, this is operating pretty much the same way Local Falcon does where it’s…
Carrie: On steroids, though, because it’s mobile.
Mary: On steroids for mobile. Yeah.
Carrie: Yeah, yeah.
Cindy: Right. Well, and Local Falcon only searches maps at google.com. It doesn’t show you what the rest of the SERP looks like.
Mary: Oh, nice. Yeah.
Clint: Yeah. So, we get to see the rest of the SERP. It’s not just the map pack that you’re seeing in Local Falcon. And then these are actually the results. So, we set up the test there for the business area radius for Chevrolet dealerships, and then now you can see the list of addresses that ran. You can see the radius over there. And then you’ll see the SERPs for the two different phones that you chose. And now, these aren’t actually interactive, but you can see what the SERP look like in that given time.
Cindy: So these ones are just a snapshot because we archive them forever for you. So, if it’s run last week, you can see what it looked like last week. And then where you can switch tools and go to the live test and see what it looks like live as well.
Carrie: That’s really handy. That’s something that we’ve kind of been nagging Yan at Local Falcon about this, to be able look at the history, because it’s so important to be able to show growth as a marketer. When somebody hires me, I want to say, “Okay, here’s where you were when we started and here’s where you are now, and here’s the progression.” So, that’s so helpful as somebody who has accountability. I have to prove I’ve done something good.
Cindy: Well, and this one is great for showing how far out your ranking persist, how far you are in the map versus when someone else jumps into the map pack and pushes you out.
Clint: And even not even just the map pack, but other things that Google is putting into the SERP as well, seeing where you’re at and how visible you are within the SERP.
Carrie: So, tell me how you would use like, say, I’ve got some really weird results in my Google Analytics or in my search console and they don’t really make a lot of sense. How can I use your tool to kind of help me decipher these weird traffic/spikes or whatever weird information I’m getting?
Clint: Okay. So, say you’re in Google Search console and you see something like your average position improve, but your total clicks just dropped down and you want to know why because your numbers aren’t really telling you what you want to know, and a lot of these SEOs that are seeing this are kind of just shrugging their shoulders and being like, “I don’t know.” But, of course, your boss or whoever’s in charge, your client wants to know an answer. So, the way we’re presenting this, for those mistakes, is that you can go back in to these SERPs that were ran on a weekly or monthly basis and you can see whether Google added a featured snippet or a new map pack or something that’s ahead of your organic blue link that actually improved in position, but you’re getting less clicks on it.
Carrie: So, you can like match those screenshots from week to week up with like your data graph, so when things go up, you can say, “This is why it went up and here’s the visual of that. And this when it dropped back down. This is why it went down and here’s a visual of what that looks like.” That’s great.
Carrie: Very helpful.
Cindy: Well, and sometimes too, like the map pack is good for some things but it doesn’t always look good in search console because that takes clicks. So that’s one of the reasons you might see clicks go way down is you get a map pack, and so that’s good because you’re in the map pack and you’re driving foot traffic, but it means website traffic. It might trade off with website traffic a little bit.
Carrie: Well, and so…
Mary: I’m sorry. Go ahead.
Carrie: One thing that we talked about before, Cindy, is how language especially when we’re talking like local search, but international language makes a big difference. Like the result, if you set the language, say, in your Japan example, you’re setting the language to English, but if you set the language to Japanese, you get a whole different set of results. And if I have clients all who have… If I have a client who has locations all around the world, I’m gonna want to show them, this is what a native speaker sees, and this is what somebody who speaks English looking for something in your area sees. And a use case would be like a hotel or something like that where they might have people from in country that come but they also have a lot of people internationally that come. And what does your ranking and your search results look like in both languages? And I think it’s really helpful to be able to show that from one tool instead of having be like, “Well, why don’t you search it and send me a screenshot?”
Cindy: Yep, exactly. Well, and then the other thing is, when you’re using the live version of the tool, some local SEOs don’t even know this, but Google is already translating reviews for restaurants and stuff like that. So, if I’m in Germany looking for a restaurant, it’s gonna give me a bunch of reviews on the restaurants that I’m deciding between, but those reviews that they give me will be English and often they are English translated from German. And so if you’re a big tourist attraction, it’s worth looking into how well Google is doing on the translations. If you have a lot of a certain language speaking group coming to your place, then you might want to make sure that Google is getting all those translations right, for instance.
Carrie: And just on curiosity, you know if there’s any… What can you do if they’re not getting those translations right? I mean, is there like a…
Cindy: You can actually suggest a different translation. And Google used to let you do that directly from the map integration with the reviews, suggest a different translation, because when it shows you the translated like from German to English, you can click See Original and then after that you can click Suggest Different Translation.
Carrie: Oh, nice. I didn’t realize it had that capability. That’s really handy. The other thing you can do is get people, like if I’m a hotel in Germany and I have a lot of people who are American or English and they come a lot, getting them to review in their native language, or if they’re Japanese and they come a lot, getting them to review in their native language is helpful as well. So, it’s always good to kind of see what people from other areas see when they come to you especially if there’s a language barrier involved.
Clint: Definitely, definitely. And going back to one of your beginning points, Carrie, we can also upload a CSV of addresses where you can upload addresses from all around the country or all around the world, or if you just want to do a city, you can do that as well, if it’s not within that radius that we’ve previously showed you. So, here, we’re gonna upload a CSV of addresses. This report is for a franchise and we searched for best pizza near me. So, as you can see, the second step is to choose an option to load addresses, and we have picked a CSV that we’ve uploaded. We’ll open up that, and again, run it on two different devices, one iOS and one Android. And we have almost 50 devices that you can run these tests on now. Some of them are severely outdated, but some people…like you said, you saw somebody using a Blackberry. And this particular test can be run on the first of every month.
So then it will show you the results of what that looks like again. And it’s very similar to the way that you saw the radius run, but this is on a country basis. So, these are addresses from all over the country, say, you had a pizza franchise that had locations in Los Angeles and New York and Florida and Denver, Colorado, then look at how these are differing from location to location on a much larger scale from distance.
Carrie: So, insanely useful if you’re an enterprise, for sure.
Clint: Definitely. Yeah, and you’ll…
Carrie: And things can be quite different from locality to locality because, for instance, you’re gonna have way more pizza competition in Manhattan than you are gonna have in rural Nebraska, maybe.
Mary: So, Colorado where Carrie lives.
Carrie: Well, actually, I have one coffee shop and two pizza shops in my town now and, like, three liquor stores. You know how we prioritize shit around here.
Carrie: And no grocery.
Cindy: No grocery? What?
Carrie: No grocery store in… Well, we have a Dollar General. I don’t think that counts. No grocery store. That’s 10 miles away.
Mary: And another thing that sometimes I do with the MobileMoxie tool is you can use it a couple of times for free. So, sometimes it makes sense to tell a prospect or a client, “Go use this tool and see what that looks like on a mobile phone.”
Clint: Yeah, exactly. And you can use it up to five times daily for free as of right now.
Carrie: I think that that’s so powerful because a lot of small business owners or prospects don’t understand the density of the real estate on a mobile SERP. Where can you potentially show up? How hard is it to get there? And where am I now? I don’t think they get it, to be honest. They just want to be able to turn it on and do a search and be right there at the top. And the difficulty in that process is completely lost. “Well, just put me at the top.” “Okay. Well, then give me an unlimited ad budget? Thank you. Have a nice day.” Because that’s what it’s at the top. That’s how you do it.
So, being able to give them a visual to go along with. We can talk and talk and talk about how difficult it is, how much stuff there is in there, and you have location extensions and review extension and site links and all this other stuff that can be added to a pay-per-click ad that just makes it that much further until you even get to the map pack, let alone the organic results. So, that visual is so important and I think that…well, I know that there’s no other tool out there that does anything similar that I’ve ever seen.
Clint: Yeah. And Carrie, going off, there’s just so much stuff within the SERP. This screenshot here just shows you really how much organic blue links value are decreased. We have all the paid ads here.
Carrie: So, site links, location extensions.
Clint: Yeah, the map pack is below that. We finally get to some organic blue links there. And we keep going, we see interesting finds, then a pizza knowledge graph is all the way down here taking up more space. Videos from the web, pizza ingredients people also search for. So, this is all just taking up so much more space from this.
Carrie: Well, it’s also helpful to demonstrate to a client where maybe ranking for pizza is not the best use of your resources.
Clint: Exactly, exactly.
Carrie: Because there’s a lot of junk in there.
Clint: A lot of junk. Or optimizing to be able to be featured in some of these things that Google is including.
Carrie: Yeah, that Barnacle SEO piece, for sure.
Carrie: For sure. So, we really appreciate you guys coming on and kind of doing the demo for us and showing everybody, like, how the tool works. I think that it’s super helpful and valuable. I will say, I think it’s great for local search. I think that any SEO, whether your focus is local or national or international, can use this tool very effectively and benefit from it a lot. Especially if you’re in, like, the audit business, I think there’s so much to be done with the tool from an audit standpoint. So, we really appreciate you coming on and showing us how all these different pieces work together and how we can use it to answer questions that we might have from our analytics or from our clients or from a weird search result. Because I don’t know about you guys, but every day, I search something and I look at a search result and I’m like, “What is that? Where did that come from?”
Cindy: Hey, Carrie. Can we tell you some stuff that we’re excited about that’s gonna be launched ?
Carrie: Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Cindy: New stuff that you haven’t seen yet?
Cindy: Okay. It’s exciting. I’m excited.
Clint: So, we got a couple of things in the pipeline regarding the SERP tests especially, and one of them is a visibility scale. So, this visibility scale is going to scroll down with your SERP on a particular test and show you a general idea of how many people are gonna actually see or a percentage of people that are actually gonna see that on the position in the SERP. And then further, we’re gonna be able to drop pins to track different things within the SERP, whether it’s a knowledge graph showing up, a featured snippet showing up, where your organic blue link is for that particular query.
Cindy: Or even, like, where PPC ends in this query and we’ll be able to line graph it over time.
Carrie: Oh, nice. So, it’ll show like, two… For this month in, there was two ads, and then it went up to four ads, and then it went down to one ad kind of thing.
Clint: Yep. And SEO is like graphs, so that’s why we came up with it.
Carrie: It makes my reports really long when I could put nice fat graphics in there.
Mary: They’re so pretty.
Cindy: We’re gonna also pull in search console in GA so that you don’t have to, like, take data from us and move it elsewhere. We’re just going to start pulling those APIs in.
Mary: Oh, nice.
Clint: Customizable dashboards with Google Analytics data in the MobileMoxie tools.
Mary: And another thing that I think a lot of people forget sometimes is that Google is now giving us most new features on mobile first, and some of them are never gonna show up on desktop, so you better be paying attention to what’s going on on mobile. And also, I have to pimp local. You advanced in Denver in September. Cindy will be there talking about mobile tools and case studies, and we’re really happy to have her.
Cindy: And I’ll see if I can convince Clint to come along and say hi too.
Mary: All right.
Carrie: Of course, we’d love to have you both.
Clint: It won’t be hard.
Carrie: It’s not like you got to go far this time, right?
Mary: So is there anything you’d like to add before we wrap up?
Cindy: All of these tools are also available in APIs, and we have the promo code for you.
Clint: Yeah, the promo code which it will also give you guys to put wherever you need to put it is DEEPDIVE2019.
Cindy: All caps, right?
Clint: All caps, yeah.
Carrie: I’ll put it over the bottom of our little video here, so it should be right down there.
Mary: All right. Well, it was great talking with both of you and we’re excited to see you.
Clint: Yeah. Thank you guys so much for having us on.
Carrie: Bye, everybody.
Mary: Bye, bye.