“Obviously Google still controls a fair bit of the searcher’s pre-purchase mindshare, and they obviously want to retain that role,” writes Mike Blumenthal. “They are also fighting like crazy to be relevant in a world where 50% (and growing) of users’ total digital media time is spent in Apps.”
A lot of local marketing companies are operating in the shadow of prior practices and companies that created a lot of distrust in the market, says Moz CEO Sarah Bird, who will be a speaker at Street Fight Summit West next week: “Part of the vision of online-to-offline attribution is to overcome that snake oil effect and build trust so you can point to data.”
Merchants and marketers have to be findable and present useful information regardless of the searcher’s context. And that’s where the mechanics of local search marketing get messy. It feels like a great opportunity for tools and managed services that help break down those silos, and measure effectiveness across or between them.
It turns out reports of voice calling’s death are greatly exaggerated. Despite an explosion in data usage and mobile messaging, voice calling — facilitated by search and virtual assistants — remains a popular activity among mobile users. A lot of those calls are going to local businesses, where they are more likely to convert to revenue than web forms or emails.
The importance of relevant searches extends beyond search engines. For publishers, custom site search that helps make better decisions about how to maximize the impact of their content, know and understand the likes of their users, and increase their level of engagement can make a material difference in their business. “The key to building a relevant search experience is blending complex signals together and ensuring your site search algorithm is always improving,” said Swiftype co-founder Matt Riley.