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April 18, 2018

Local SEO part 1: location, location, location

Written by Investis Digital

One key aspect of our Connected Content™ approach involves uncovering the ways your digital solutions can work together to be greater than the sum of their parts. While we typically talk about this in terms of cross-channel efficiencies (paid, social, display, etc.), today we’re launching a three-part series that focuses on an oft-overlooked element of one’s digital presence: local visibility.

A business dealing with e-commerce or CPG products can usually draw a straight line between their marketing efforts and concrete results. However, companies with brick-and-mortar locations can have a more complex relationship with their digital efforts, which makes it harder to track that ever-important ROI: increased revenue.

That’s what a rapidly expanding restaurant chain was struggling with when we started working with them. Our answer? Drive local visibility to individual stores, and avoid the “brand awareness” trap many companies fall into. One year later, our client is having no trouble connecting the dots between their digital spend and the number of delicious beef patties leaving their kitchens.

A “taste” of the results:  

  • Google Maps views increased 256%
  • Search views increased 71%
  • Directions actions increased 33.5%
  • Website actions increased 89%
  • Phone calls from Google My Business increased 23.5%
  • Total GMB (aggregate of directions, website, phone call) actions up 47%

Even if you have just one brick-and-mortar location, it’s worth your time to invest in a local strategy. Ten or more? It’s critical. Here’re three reasons:

  1. Higher Walls in the Garden of Google. With their release of the knowledge graph and featured snippets, Google now keeps people in their environment longer. These different content types dominate local-related SERPs. Google aggregates local business information into portals that allow people to compare options with ease, often without clicking through to any site. This in turn means ...
  2. Homepages Take a Backseat to Location Pages. If a person decides to skip Google’s local listings and navigate to “regular” search results, they’ll still find that localized content receives priority. Instead of displaying your homepage as the go-to source for information, Google will attempt to display a page relevant to the searcher’s location. Is Store #72 as prepared as your homepage to convert a potential customer?
  3. “Near Me” Searches Are Taking Over: Google reports that “near me” searches continue to grow at astonishing year-over-year rates - as high as 146% in some instances. Aside from comprising a large segment of search traffic worth tapping into, these searches should be categorized by their very nature as “high-intent.” The opportunity cost of missing these prospects due to a poorly planned strategy is extreme.

If serving one or more local markets is part of your business model, these factors alone demonstrate why a comprehensive strategy is crucial to maintaining a competitive edge. High visibility in your target regions is key not only to growth but continued survival in the face of an evolving search landscape.

That’s the why.  Next in the series, we’ll get to the “how.”   

Want us to audit your location strategy effectiveness? Let’s talk.

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