So, you want to start marketing to a local audience via search. That should mean the campaign strategies are simpler than those used for a larger, national initiative, right?
Marketers focused on local search will tell you that between regular product updates, changes to search engine algorithms, the constant changes in PPC bidding, and the increasing number of mobile devices in use, it is hard to stay ahead of the curve.
That’s probably why 62% of marketers say local search is getting harder instead of easier, according to a recent InsideLocal poll. Local search marketing is a relatively complex undertaking with extensive lists of best practices and tactics you can employ to improve visibility of your business and conversions. So while you are running through the gamut of local search tricks, what is important to keep in mind?
Make It Ring
To understand which PPC search campaigns, ads, keywords, and landing pages are generating the strongest responses, you should be keeping track of all marketing activities and analyzing the results based on initiative, channel, conversion rate, etc. Only with extensive data collection, reporting, and analytics will you gain actionable insight into campaign performance and overall ROI. So how do you do this?
One common answer is with Google Analytics and Google AdWords. It seems natural, right? These programs are designed to monitor your brand’s activity and campaigns across multiple platforms. These tools, however, may be lacking one key component to your modern local search: voice data.
That’s right, I said it. Voice. You may wonder why voice is so important to campaigns designed around online local search activity. Let me break it down for you:
- Google reports about 50% of all searches conducted on mobile devices have “local intent” and mobile search is set to surpass desktop search by the end of this year.
- If more local searches are being conducted on smartphones, that means searchers are out-and-about when they are inquiring about a company, product, or service. These consumers are seeking information to aid in an immediate action such as: visiting a store, contacting a company, or making a purchase.
- Local search marketing campaigns should be designed with mobile searchers in mind, especially when looking to convert each search into a sale. To do so, information provided in local search results should encourage immediate action be taken.
- It is more natural for a mobile searcher to call a company from a local search rather than browse a website or fill out a form on their device’s small screen. Therefore, local search ads and landing pages should not only be mobile-optimized but also offer an easy, one-click way to call a company from the device.
In fact, BIA/Kelsey reported 66.4% of businesses consider the phone to be a “good” or “excellent” source of leads. Why? Phone calls allow customers to speak directly with a brand representative who can address their unique needs and encourage purchases. In the case of mobile local searchers, these phone calls are often key to closing a sale.
Okay, It’s Ringing…
So you understand the importance of phone calls from local search, now what? Once the phone is ringing you will need the proper tools in place to track each phone call coming in to pinpoint the exact marketing effort that generated the lead.
Call tracking technology does exactly that. Call tracking solutions enable you to attribute each phone lead to a specific marketing effort such as:
- Keyword search
- Local search ad
- Landing page
- PPC ad
The data collected from call tracking technology is then integrated with analytics solutions such as Universal Analytics, Google AdWords, and bid management software. By connecting the dots between campaigns and leads generated, you will have a clear picture of overall marketing ROI across all channels. Based on the results, you can gain insight into campaign performance and fine tune initiatives that are underperforming, or allocate more resources to campaigns with the highest conversion rates.
For local search marketing campaigns, call tracking will fill in the gaps left by analytics reports that only focus on digital responses and conversions. And with so many local searches completed on mobile devices, it would be crazy not optimize all available voice data.
By Mary Velan