It became evident last year that local searches can change drastically during times of crisis. The goals for local digital marketing got completely upended in March 2020 with the Google algorithm update. Digital marketers had to completely change how they looked at local marketing success in terms of channels and campaigns.
As a result, they had to make some significant alterations to the key performance indicators (KPIs) to appease Google searches and provide what customers expected from brands. For example, curbside pickup lost its value as a unique service and became a necessary norm for food outlets.
That is why digital marketers had to redevelop local digital marketing strategies and ways to measure their success. In this post, we will share some of the best practices to measure the success of local digital marketing campaigns.
Focusing on Previously Overlooked Google My Business Metrics
Every industry in the world was affected to some extent by the pandemic. Most digital marketers had to scrape their content calendars and recreate new ones with fresh topics. Most of these topics were intended to provide information to the target audience and make them feel safe.
Similarly, they had to repurpose Google My Business listing to reflect the changes made according to the current customer requirements. For example, enterprises have to emphasize aspects like safety protocols or contactless delivery on their Google My Business profile. Several businesses started using Google Posts to share information quickly with their target audience.
Google also created specific COVID-19 Post options so businesses can share their steps for health and safety. They gained more importance over the key metrics before the pandemic, such as map views or directions.
Boosting Local SEO Strategies to Generate Leads and Sales
Even though local SEO algorithms are constantly changing like general SEO, some rules and practices are different. Local SEO is largely dependent on Google My Business listing management because search engine algorithms continue to suggest results based on the business and user location.
Companies also have to ensure that local pages are found independently as well as through their website. That is why they need to include the following in their website code.
- Title tags should include city, state, and location.
- Meta descriptions should include product categories or details along with the brand name.
- The schema markup must get optimized with business NAP (name, address, and phone number).
- Businesses should include street names or localities in the URL structure.
Local SEO is one of the most crucial ways to ensure business success, and many owners rely on professional service providers. But they should be careful while hiring them because several Australian business owners recently lost thousands of dollars by hiring dodgy digital marketers.
Most of these marketers focus on social media visibility and think that it is the extent of their services. Unfortunately, likes and comments on social media do not affect SEO and may not reflect on sales. Experts feel that it is best to hire local digital marketing services as it is easier to chase them.
So a business located in Melbourne should look for SEO experts who specialize in working for companies in the city. These agencies can be directed to ensure that the brand’s digital marketing in Melbourne is focused on increasing leads and sales instead of only fetching likes on social media.
Local Reputation Management Through Online Reviews
With the increase in preference for e-commerce businesses, people have started relying more on user-generated reviews. It is more important for local companies because online reviews can affect the ranking for local searches. That means local businesses can utilize the power of positive reviews and ratings to improve their local ranking.
Customer reviews are also a great way to manage local reputation and use them to influence potential customers. Businesses can ask their local customers to write reviews for them without implying a quid pro quo.
Most review platforms like Yelp or Google prohibit reviews influenced by offering money or free products. However, companies can always ask local influencers to try out their products and post their reviews on websites, youtube, or social media.
It may be impossible to avoid negative reviews, but they should be managed intelligently. Businesses should always follow up with the reviewers and try to solve their problems.
If the organization can turn the reviewer's experience into a positive one, it can influence the local market. Companies should also monitor their brand on social media to influence discussions and opinions to optimize their local reputation.
Investing in Paid Local Search and Social Marketing
Paid media for search engines and social avenues must be a part of any company’s local digital marketing efforts. Consumers always look for local searches and content relevant to their requirements. Therefore, businesses should use geographically targeted search engines and social advertising across Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other networks.
They should also customize their messages for users in the local market to communicate the right educational or promotional information. To achieve the desired goals, organizations should research the current popular search terms in their locality to use them as focused keywords.
It is necessary to track trending keywords that are specific to the industry, or local businesses will miss the opportunity to convert high intent customers. They should also review the top terms from Google My Business insights to find out the keywords that will allow them to reach present and potential customers.
Redefining local digital marketing strategies has become crucial to succeed in the coming years. Businesses will have to take steps to redefine their marketing KPIs and metrics that are most relevant to them.
The pandemic has introduced several new areas of opportunities for every industry. Organizations that take the necessary steps to optimize their local marketing efforts will gain the most from favorable circumstances.
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Robb Fahrion is a Co-Founder and Partner of Flying V Group. He is passionate about helping businesses grow using the power of the internet. Robb graduated from Chapman University in Orange, CA and currently resides in Costa Mesa, CA. Robb enjoys writing about digital marketing, helping his clients turn their dreams into reality, and he is a HUGE Mike Trout fan.