Did you know that over 50% of Google searches performed do not result in a click? Did you know that Google is continuing to expand the number of queries to which they are applying zero-click SERP features?
Did you know that it’s not something that you should be too worried about yet?
“Wait… But it’s taking away search opportunities from my website!”
That depends on how you are defining search opportunities, so let’s jump to it.
Working with dozens of franchise brands, it’s been interesting to see how digital teams have structured their national pay-per-click (PPC) programs. Actually, maybe “interesting” isn’t the right word. It’s more so concerning. Many are so narrowly focused only on their national campaigns, they’re aloof when it comes to the local campaigns their franchisees are running. If corporate marketing teams are running digital campaigns on behalf of local franchises, they’re likely not set up and optimized in such a way where they’re being given enough TLC to drive meaningful results at the local level. While some brands get it right, many others have failed miserably.
The ideal scenario is executing local store PPC correctly alongside and in cooperation with national programs and gleaning insights from the data on one program to benefit the other in a symbiotic fashion.
Almost a month has passed since Google officially killed its ‘average position’ metric. The metric was retired on September 30, and marketers using Google Ads have been encouraged to transition to using ‘prominence metrics’—made up of the search top impression rate and search absolute top impression rate—instead. Google’s announcement was designed to give brands the opportunity to update their strategies before the average position metric was axed to hopefully make the transition a seamless process.
To understand how that transition is actually working in the real world, and how brands are adapting to the change from one metric to another, we connected with Walker Sands Digital’s Ryan Sorrell. A digital marketing expert with experience deploying competitive content analysis for B2B clients, Sorrell shared his thoughts on how Google’s decision to axe the average position metric will impact brands going forward and which new opportunities are at play as Google shifts its sights toward automated bidding strategies.
Local SEO is powerful. If you run an ice cream shop out of Wichita, Kansas, then you’d probably want to show up on Google when a person there searches for ice cream. Search engines have become crucial for existing and potential customers to connect with businesses.
Some business owners unintentionally set up obstacles to appearing on local search by improper site structure. Here are some low-hanging fruits to help your business appear for local searches.
Blumenthal to Mihm: It seems to me that Google could take the fake listings issue off the table by seriously investing in cleaning up the fake listing and fake review issue. I just don’t think that they think that way.
At a minimum, as the company that has the monopoly in the local space, Google faces the expectation and responsibility to provide a service that truly serves the public and businesses. And they seem to forget that.
Mihm to Blumenthal: I’m not averse to the idea of the government regulating Google’s practices in Maps or local search, but it feels like rewarding Yelp in particular is not going to bring consumers any particular benefit, nor will it meaningfully benefit small businesses, as Elizabeth Warren seems to indicate is a primary goal of her plan.
If anything, Google has gone out of its way to help small businesses compete in its search results with the introduction of the local pack and the Venice update, whereas small businesses continue to rate Yelp as poorly as any company in tech.
In their latest Street Fight conversation, Mike Blumenthal and David Mihm examine the state of the local reviews space and assess the reasons for Google’s dominance. “For me, the question of the future is whether Google’s behaviors will impact the remaining vertical sites over the next 10 years,” Mike writes.
“I am looking for a language framework that helps business understand that the idea of ranking only makes sense in the context of not just getting more customers but also keeping them. While businesses might want a floodgate of leads, there are many things that they could be doing that would be cost-effective and productive,” Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm in their latest Street Fight discussion.
“I think it makes more sense for a small business to buy ‘brand building’ that includes some community events and link building than for that same business to buy SEO,” Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm. Find out what tech tools can build a local brand and why David disagrees partly with Mike’s suggestion.
The web is filled to the brim with quick conversion rate optimization tips. These include changing the color of your CTAs, making headlines catchier, and changing the background image of your landing page, among many others. While these strategies have shown results, there are a few effective CRO techniques that are often overlooked. In this article, I discuss less common CRO techniques that have the potential to drive significant results.
Terry Cane: Search engine optimization isn’t just about on-page technical elements. Not anymore. These days, it’s as much about user experience as it is how well you can appeal to search engine robots. And a big part of that is conversion mapping—understanding the route your leads take from their first click to their purchase.
Consumer demand for voice technology has never been greater, and industry heavyweights like Google and Amazon are gearing up for a platform war as they work to integrate voice assistants into virtually every area of the connected consumer’s life. But behind the scenes, many brand marketers are struggling to connect the dots and design campaigns around a technology they don’t fully understand.
What are the latest developments in location-based advertising and marketing for large national brands? This question anchored the many topics we batted around with Location3 chairman Andrew Beckman on the latest episode of Street Fight’s Heard on the Street podcast.
The news is an important signal that local-commerce options like Reserve with Google will get sleeker and more dominant in the years to come. And it calls to mind a crucial local-search debate: Will Google SERPs and the many options for engagement with local brick-and-mortars on them effectively supplant the local business website as the crucial interface for interacting with customers?
What are the latest developments in local search ranking factors and SEO? These were a few topics we batted around with Local SEO Guide CEO Andrew Shotland on the latest episode of Street Fight’s Heard on the Street podcast.
Consumers frequently use the same terms in different ways, making it a challenge for marketers to accurately understand their online queries. Professors Jia Liu and Olivier Toubia found that digital marketers are at a distinct disadvantage as they attempt to infer content in quantifiable ways.
During September’s Brandify Summit, we listened to an in-depth case study from Dick’s Sporting Goods on sharpening a localized search marketing strategy for multilocation brands around things like Google Posts. We feature that talk in the latest episode of Heard on the Street (see above).
Street Fight Daily: Mobile to Surpass Traditional Media Combined; Brands: Be Wise About AI Use for Customer Engagement
TODAY IN LOCAL & DIGITAL MARKETING AND MEDIA… Mobile Ad Spending to Surpass All Traditional Media Combined by 2020… Despite AI Advances, Consumers Crave Human Interactions… Google Assistant, Search Add Best Buy and Nike as Shopping Partners…