Monthly Industry Roundup: July 2017

Location3 News: We hit the road last month for an important two-day conference in Atlanta, GA, site of the 2017 Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference. We were excited to share our thoughts and strategies on the quickly evolving industry, while also exploring new ideas with some of the brightest minds in franchise marketing. Here are a few tweets from Location3 President Alex Porter during the conference.

It was an active month for Porter, who shared his insights on local SEO with several publications, including BizReport, MediaPost, and The Shelby Report (links included below).


How To Improve Local Search Efforts

Location3 President Alex Porter sat down with Kristina Knight of BizReport to discuss how businesses can boost their local presence through a well-managed local search strategy. An excerpt from the interview:

Kristina: How does local search impact the consumer?

Alex: Local search is an important customer touchpoint since most customers, vendors and potential employees will likely conduct research online for information about, or directions to, your location. A bad online experience can quickly wreak havoc on the customer’s experience, which might deter them from visiting your store or even discovering your location in the first place.

For further analysis, the Q&A can be read in its entirety here.

Can Google Posts Help Franchise Systems?

 Google recently released posting capabilities through Google My Business – allowing businesses to create content directly on Google. Several recent Google features have actually “limited opportunities for retail locations to increase their local presence in search results,” notes Loaction3’s VP of Agency Development Tom Lynch, but Posts “swings the pendulum back in the other direction. It allows a business owner to directly control what search users will see for their business during a search.” Lynch takes a closer look at the feature in this blog post, and considers its potential impact on franchise systems.

Top 3 Tips to Improve Local SEO

Porter once again teamed up with BizReport to share his top three tips for bolstering your local SEO strategy. Porter’s first tip: Know the keywords that matter.

 “The first step should always be linking your brand with keywords that consumers associate to your industry, even if they are not aware that your company exists…”

To read the rest of Porter’s tips, the full post can be read here.

Amazon, Whole Foods and Grocers – Why Local Search is More Important Than Ever

Porter continued his local SEO tour via The Shelby Report with a detailed look at what Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods means for local supermarkets and grocers. While Porter uses the Amazon-Whole Foods scenario as an example, he notes that local search strategies are applicable to a wide range of local stores and businesses looking to increase foot traffic.

“Often, shoppers do not start searching with a particular brand in mind, but for a few keywords that will cater to their needs.” For more insight, read Porter’s post here.

Facebook Ramping Up Its Local Search Efforts

In March 2017, Facebook confirmed that it’s testing a more robust version of its current local search function. A Facebook spokesperson added, “We’re testing a new way to discover where to go and what to do around you.”

Facebook has been dipping its toes in the SEO waters for a few years, but the enhanced local search functionality is the most serious development we’ve seen from the social media giant.

Lynch, who has been on top of all of Facebook’s efforts, including earning Facebook’s Blueprint Certification for Facebook Advertising, tested the new functionality and posited the idea that keeps popping up here at Location3: “Is Facebook the next big search engine?”

Porter and Location3 Director of Marketing Josh Allen give us all of the latest on that very topic in our most recent Digital Shoptalk.


Google Makes Play For Mobile Native Advertising

Google is addressing a long-standing weakness of mobile advertising – native ads. Google announced two weeks ago the release of three types of native ads for all AdSense publishers: in-feed, in-article, and matched content. Each of the formats can mimic the look and feel of the publisher’s mobile site. This is a long-anticipated response as Facebook’s native ads continue to drive the vast majority of its ad revenue.


Six New Ways to Use Location Targeting

Carrie Albright recently shared with Search Engine Land a few of her geotargeting ideas for PPC campaigns. Here are a couple tips that stood out:

  • Target competitors: According to a study by DMI, 80 percent of shoppers used a mobile phone inside of a store to read product reviews, compare prices, or find other store locations. By targeting your competitors’ locations, you stand a chance to flip that customer on the basis of better prices or convenience of location.
  • Target complementary behavior: Your consumer doesn’t operate in a vacuum. Someone purchasing a coffee may also be in the market for a morning snack. Consider how your services align with other products and services, and you can capitalize by providing relevant copy to a low-funnel customer.

You can find all of Allbright’s tips here.


New Study Emphasizes Success of Educational Content

Consumers are 131 percent more likely to buy from a brand immediately after they consume educational content, according to the latest research from Conductor. Study participants read three educational articles from three different mock brands. When given the choice between four brands, 83 percent of participants chose the brand that offered the educational content. Not only did they purchase from that brand, but they also found the brand more trustworthy a week after reading the content compared to immediately after reading.

These findings might seem obvious, but they further solidify the real impact that educational content has on consumer trust, loyalty, and of course – purchases. Further analysis can be found here.

Have any questions or thoughts about these updates? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet us @Location3.

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