Navigating Through the Path to Purchase: Local Listings & Local Advertising

Posted by Amber Kazalbash on Feb 19, 2015 12:14:00 PM

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When customers search for your brands, they can easily end up somewhere you don’t intend for them to. In this installment of “Navigating Through the Path to Purchase,” we’ll help you understand how to make sure that this is not the case. You should help customers get and stay engaged with local listings and local advertising.

Local Listings

Last week, we stressed the importance of local SEO through customized local pages, locators and on-page ranking factors. But aside from these .com properties, we know there to be countless external directories and social engines driving even more local traffic on the Big Six channels like Google My Business, Facebook (child pages), Yelp and Foursquare. These are all channels that customers innately rely on, and management of these profiles can’t be ignored.  When a customer is searching for a brand, they are looking to find easily accessible information on whatever page ranks highest. Often times, that means these searchers are depending on properties that are not being maintained by a brand itself. This is why local listings management also crucial.

Because there are so many sources for searchers to find a brand’s information, it is also important to make sure that the experience across these channels is seamless. By this, we are referring to having consistent, clean and accurate data quality in order to improve your brand’s visibility. Protect your core data, first and foremost, by routinely managing, updating and optimizing business listings, and take it a step further by synchronizing the local content consistently. Some of this content includes:

  • Business Name, Address, Telephone Number (NAP) and description

  • Hours and Events

  • Cities, Areas Served

  • Brand Logo and Images

  • Categories according to services s

  • Holiday Hours & Products

  • Social Profile, Local Map and Review Site URL

But how can a brand manage all of this for hundreds of locations? You will need a tool that can:

  • Claim (Take control) - Cleanse your local data and  claim your profiles to regain full control. From there, use a tool to monitor and maintain your business listings.

  • Connect (everywhere)- Make your listings data indexable & discoverable. Use a tool that distributes consistent, optimized local business data on all claimed directories.

  • Syndicate (to a network) - Distribute consistent to well-reaching data publishers to get the optimal amount of visibility to omni-channel searchers.

  • Cloud (centralized point of data)- Use a tool that serves as a one-stop point for all of your data and digital assets to be distributed at scale.

Once these four steps are taken, your brand has set the stage for a marketing strategy that will be sure to engage with customers upon search, regardless of the directory. And even as search algorithms changes, this is a solid basis to make sure your brand presence can endure any changes in search engine algorithms.

Local Advertising

Once your brand is on the right track to getting found through local listings data, it can move forward with helping customers stay engaged on the path to purchase.The way to do this is though hyper-relevant local advertising. It may seem less complicated for a national brand to allocate its whole budget into pushing out blanketed ads, but to resonate with local customers and improve the bottom line, ads should actually have to have a geo-targeted, local context. Sometimes, the best method is through a campaign per location.

In general, there are three local advertising campaign approaches that can effectively use data to convert users on the path to purchase:

  1. Search- This is probably the most frequented campaign tactic for brands. Search advertising allows brands to target on search engine results pages (SERPS) with keywords for products and services. Unfortunately, however, search ads can be limited in their effectiveness because they can only be formatted in a static way.

  2. Display- In comparison to search ads, dynamic ads give brands a lot more flexibility to brands. After cleaning your location data, you can display ads it to target more narrowly by putting location information into dynamic display ads, or even use more attractive imagery with static display ads.

  3. Social media-According to a study published by comScore, “The ubiquity of smartphones has created a mobile audience of scale,” and a major part of mobile-mindedness includes a focus on social media. Within the past few months alone, we’ve seen social networks like Facebook and Snapchat work closely with brands to bring about relevant, localized advertising that gives customers context and value within their localities.

In our experience, guiding customers through the path to purchase means that the advertising must be effective and resonate with customers. Google reported that 4 in 5 customers want ads customized to their city, zip code or immediate surroundings. With this high of customer expectations, brands must deliver through geo-targeted search, display and social ads. In comparison to national advertising, local advertising increases the chances that consumers will visit one brand's store over the others. Local advertising also proves to be the most cost effective method for brands with limited budgets. You will get more actionable data from these efforts and when developing this sort of visibility, use your budget more efficiently.

When search engines change their algorithms, your brand’s visibility shouldn’t have to suffer. Realize the ubiquity of mobile in both local listings management and local advertising across The Big Six. Set yourself competition by utilizing your data in the most targeted and accurate way possible and work to help your enterprise win Local. And before you can clear these obstacles on the path to purchase, get your free trial of Brandify to help you benchmark your efforts along the way.

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Topics: Data Quality, Brandify, Listing management, Online-to-Offline Attribution