Accepting the BIAKelsey GOLOCAL Award

go-local-logo-agendaThis past week, at The BIAKelsey Leading in Local conference in Atlanta, Kelsey distributed its new GOLOCAL awards in three categories – Sales/ Revenue, Innovation and Strategic use of digital marketing.  Nearly forty entrants were considered for these three categories and three finalists in each category were brought to Atlanta for the announcement of the winners.

Placeable was a finalist in the Strategic use of digital marketing for the successful partnership with AAA CarolinasHeather Mcbrien of AAA Carolinas and I represented the team and I presented an overview of what we had accomplished together to the audience, which included empowering AAA Carolinas to emerge as a fierce competitor in their local markets across all three of their primary business units (car care, travel and insurance).  These results included:

  • Indexing some 1200 authoritative local landing pages for 230 locations
  • Generating 800% increase in organic traffic
  • Producing 35K new visitors per month
  • 25% conversion rate on all unique visits to phone calls, registrations and appointments

Included in Heather’s description of some of the softer benefits that have been generated by our campaigns together was that of the decrease in the number of tire kickers that have been generated.  Specifically, Heather described that the quality of leads generated are now far more qualified and in active transaction mode as opposed to window-shopping.

Prior to the announcement of the winners, I was afforded the opportunity to share some of the specifics of the campaigns that have contributed to AAA Carolinas’ success.

Placeable’s data management platform has been leveraged to capture and convert multiple sources of AAA Carolinas location data into accurate information that remains current and flexible.  Placeable Pages expresses this unique content with smart locators, search optimized local landing pages and a supportive CMS system designed to optimize for local search.  Placeable Passes are used to syndicate AAA Carolinas data to the primary ecosystem including Google, Bing, Facebook, Foursquare, Acxiom and Factual.  Yahoo and Yelp are next.  Placeable Pages are leveraged to facilitate the expansion of unique location content and a fueled link marketing campaign for cities and agents further drive impactful results.

Although a finalist in the category of Strategic use of digital marketing, we in fact did not win.  However, had we won, I would have shared some of the following…

First I would have graciously thanked BIA and the esteemed judges on the panel.  I would have also thanked AAA Carolinas and Heather McBrien for being such a wonderful client and for joining us at the conference and for providing such a valuable endorsement for my company in such a spirited fashion.  And then I would have recognized my account teams who made everything really happen.  They are the real winners.

One of the guiding principles that makes Placeable such a special company is our call to our employee-owners to demonstrate their value everyday.  This means to demonstrate their value to themselves – to the company – and especially to their clients.  Being a finalist for this award – and the recognition by our peers – is a testament to that commitment and effort.

Placeable is dedicated to the ROI challenges that our enterprise customers face every day.  We attack the cost of waiting head-on.  We believe that nobody would accept a 76% confidence level in a pregnancy test.  We believe that nobody would accept a 51% confidence level that the surgeon might operate on the right leg once they go under.  And we feel that nobody should accept a negative consumer experience due to some level of inaccurate information about their company, when it is preventable.  We do not accept mediocrity, and neither do our customers.

Lastly, I would have invited members of the audience who feel the same way about perfecting customer experiences to come talk to us about how we can help them, overcome their data integrity issues and compete fiercely in local search as we have done with AAA Carolinas and so many other enterprise brands.

Local Retailers Win When They Optimize for Local Search

modifiedA related article entitled “Local Search Marketing, Accuracy Trumps Distribution” may be viewed on CMO.com

Retail success has long been largely dependent on physical location. Selecting commercial space requires consideration of many factors including demographics, socio-economics, competitive proximity, traffic patterns and more.  Multi-location retailers apply a great deal of strategy when opening a store.  Mall retailers will swap locations when premium space becomes available so that they are more visible to consumers passing by.

Today, however, location means more than capturing the passer-by.  Location also means being found by the digital searcher.  70% of consumers research local products and services on a desktop and then use their mobile device to get where they want to go.  A consumer that has decided to visit your store is in buy-mode.  Will they find you?  Did you take steps to ensure that a consumer would know that you changed locations in the mall?  Will your store be located where the “X” marked the spot?  Is the premium location really premium if a consumer shows up at the doorstep of another business instead of yours?  How much revenue will you miss out on?

I recently shared the results of our original research, which examined local search behaviors of more than 1,000 consumers in the United States. We discovered that consumers are frustrated with location search. The frequency of time that a consumer is led to the wrong destination using web-based directions is unacceptably high.  The impact on brands is significant and you have the power as a retailer to prevent a negative experience with your brand.

If a consumer can’t find you, especially when they are ready to buy, what is at stake? Revenue for sure, but brand loyalty will also suffer as a result of a negative experience.  We actually found that 73 percent of consumers say they lose trust in a brand when the online listing shows incorrect information. Specifically, 67 percent lose trust if they get lost walking or driving to a location.

Our research showed that 56 percent of consumers rely on Internet search engines to find retailers. Therefore, you should pay attention to optimizing Internet search engines with location data that will help customers find you.  Search engines are powerful mechanisms for capturing and converting prospects into customers.  The availability and accuracy of searchable information online about your business is paramount to building and sustaining a solid customer base.

5 Leading Indicators of the Future of Local Search

logo041211The local search market is changing. On the buy-side, enterprise advertisers are starting to assert their control, demonstrating that they can leverage large footprints to compete in local with clean distributed data, and accurate claimed citations. Consumers, meanwhile, increasingly want to use their mobile devices for more activities than navigational search, expecting to be able to buy and not only find goods and services nearby.  Read more at: StreetFight Magazine

So you think that Google owes you something? Local SEO may not see what’s on the way…

screenshot_543

Some operate under the assumption that Google, and all search engines for that matter, owe them something, namely traffic. The prevailing attitude is that it’s Google’s obligation to put the most relevant (or best optimized) content at the top of the result pages. These folks expect to have their information ranked, links posted and traffic sent to them.  In exchange, Google and other search engines get to peel off a portion of the traffic as ad-based clicks.

Talk about naïve. Continue reading

facebook

Is the Social Graph larger than life or just larger than Google?

What does Facebook’s social graph really mean?  Single sign-on through a Facebook login, anywhere you go online, means simple access for the user and access to likeminded associated content with networked friends.  It means no longer having to keep track of multiple usernames and passwords but rather having a single login that is web-wide.  It means having a single web-wallet for processing transactions.  For the user it is all about simplifying the web.  Whew – it’s about time. Continue reading