Some new data has given us some “big time insight” into how Google is using authoritative local sites to inform local search rankings, says David Mihm. Mike Blumenthal agrees, saying that the prominence of local review pages and appears to be “transferring prominence directly to the local entity in a way that is totally independent of links.”
According to a new report from YP, 37% of consumers won’t consider local businesses with inconsistent information online, and 32% won’t consider a business with the wrong information listed on its website. Even inconsistent messaging and website content is enough to dissuade multi-channel shoppers.
Like it or not, SMBs have become far more educated and sophisticated with regard to digital media, and are in a much better position to hold their providers accountable. As a result, providers now must look for ways to more cost effectively provide higher quality products.
When a business launches a new product, or, say, the latest Harry Potter adaptation hits the market, retailers are often challenged to update their location pages in a timely manner to show the availability of the product for consumers who rely on local search to find what they want nearby.
“The biggest opportunity [will materialize] as we start to see technology platforms look at areas outside of their sweet spot,” says the company’s VP of business development. “We’ve heard rumblings around technology companies looking to purchase more agency solutions, as well as vice versa: agencies looking to acquire for tech.”
“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.”
The mandate for brands is simple: manage data attributes as a crucial element of your location marketing strategy. But it’s not enough to create attributes. You need to constantly monitor the ever-changing nature of your business and your customers and be ready to act on your attributes as needed.
A great site with proper titles, tags and meta descriptions alongside good and relevant ad copy, and an intelligent approach to drive the maximum number of relevant clicks, is the best defense for the local business against the self-awareness of the RankBrain machine.
Managing location data across hundreds and thousands of locations requires dedicated resources to scale the data and change it. Just as importantly, a business must treat location data as a competitive asset, organized and managed like inventory.
The reduction of local search real estate represents a huge challenge to marketers, who must work even harder to ensure their clients’ listings can compete in a shrinking field. It also suggests that a strategy combining organic and paid efforts is becoming ever more important.
Google continues to remind businesses that location data is the foundation of their brands. The question is whether your business is taking advantage of the opportunities Google is creating to use location data to build your brand.
So far, digital services, even those focused on local, have done more to atomize local communities than unite them, training us to rely on anonymous resources for the information and recommendations we used to get from our friends and neighbors.
Yelp took another step in its expansion into the online booking arena this morning, with the announcement that it would be adding five new platform partners to its roster: Whittl, TicketNetwork, delivery.com for laundry, Peek and foodjunky.
Pingup, which describes itself as a “transaction platform for local services,” announced a new partnership with Yahoo this morning. The move expands Pingup’s publisher network, allowing users searching for local services on Yahoo to book an appointment on-demand through the Pingup platform.
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.”
Google’s counter-attack to the world of apps can be seen in several places. In fact most Google moves are to drive mobile behavior through its front door. This principle underpinned nearly every announcement at Google I/O.
Google has been refocusing its efforts to create a “better web” by not only increasing the importance of mobile-friendly websites and better mobile browsing experiences but by fundamentally redefining what the mobile web experience is altogether.
With Google’s recent changes, Facebook may now offer small business advertisers a better way to reach low-funnel shoppers — those currently in-market for a product or service, not just those vaguely searching for the category. Google’s move could drive many businesses into Facebook’s arms.
Duplicate information — or information that is exactly like something else — isn’t the problem. The problem is publishing inconsistent data (or publishing two different listings) that are referencing the same location.
One theory among local agencies is brick-and-mortar merchants haven’t been as successful with paid search because they aren’t taking advantage of location targeting capabilities. Here are eight way that local merchants can take better advantage of location in these campaigns.