As 2017 comes to a close, here are the top lessons we’ve learned from local searches this year:
- Customer data levels the field
Collecting customer data has never been easier, and better data means better targeting. This enables local businesses to compete with larger companies for consumer attention with lower costs and greater ROI.
- Offline behaviour predicts online behaviour
Tracking customer’s offline behaviour is a far better indicator of real-life actions and habits than their clicks, page views and search history.
- Facebook improves local search
Since 2015, Facebook has made a priority of improving local search with better indexing, more complete business profiles and incorporating its vast stores of customer data to allow for better targeting and audience profiling.
- SEO solutions cannot be one-size-fits-all
Recent changes in the way Google uses ranking factors to determine search results means that SEO has to be analysed based on business-specific characteristics.
- Local is closer than you think
Data shows that consumers tend to make frequent purchases like petrol, groceries and eating out close to home – often less than 10 minutes away. This means that local businesses should adjust marketing strategy to target these nearby customers.
- Optimise for Google image search
According to recent data, searches on Google Images occur significantly more frequently than searches on Yahoo, Bing, Facebook, YouTube and other Google platforms. Local businesses are missing out on a huge opportunity by failing to use images to optimise search results.
- More than 85% of consumer brand engagement is local
Local search results drive over 85% of consumer brand engagement. The use of location data to create marketing that targets local customers is a key to success.
- Consumers are no longer easily swayed by PR
Social media platforms, online reviews and other user-generated content are more of a driving force behind brand identity and reputation than a slick marketing scheme. Savvy consumers are leading the charge and good marketers should adjust their message and approach accordingly.
- Location marketing can be tricky
Many brands continue to struggle with location marketing, missing a key opportunity by failing to make location a priority in their overall marketing strategy.
- Technology is changing the marketing industry
There seems to be a shift away from agency-based marketing as businesses increasingly take advantage of new technology like social media and review sites, software products that consolidate media platforms into a single interface and ad matching services.
Learn from these ten lessons and localise your content so that you optimise your engagement with a valuable component of your customer base.