If you are a national brand, chances are you have a pretty hefty budget for your online marketing efforts. In some industries, its a virtual dogfight - and only the best succeed while the rest die trying. But what if there was a better, easier and more cost-effective way? One ripe with missed opportunities and yours for the taking? It really comes down to one word - LOCAL.
Using local website automation software to create a network of locally relevant sites can help you in the land-grab play for local organic search listings. These listings are free relative to the competitive PPC world. And with more than 20% of searches being local according to Google, this number will only be growing. The reality is that most national brands are spending so much on their national SEM strategy that they are missing out on low-hanging fruit - particularly when their brand is being re-sold by small businesses at the local level.
If you are in charge of marketing for your national brand, see how you are faring by taking this simple test:
1. Type your Brand name and your product (Purina would be a brand, dog food would be a product = Purina Dog Food) into a search in Google and take a look at all the real estate served up in the Search Engine Response Page (SERP). If you take up a good portion the SERP in paid and organic listing spaces, pat yourself on the back.
2. Now try the same thing without using your brand name (in this case, dog food) so you are searching strictly from your generic product category. How are you doing? (This one is a bit more difficult) Now this is where it gets interesting....
3. Repeat 1.) but add your geographic location i.e. the city and state you are in.
4. Now try repeating 2.) but add your geographic location
Did your SERP change significantly? You bet. In both 3.) and 4.), many national brands will find that clicking through the newly served links may lead you to:
1. Local resellers with websites that are under-optimized (meaning they will soon be replaced by better sites)
2. Local resellers featuring competitor products
3. Online resellers carrying heavy discounts
4. Competitor's resellers or web properties beating out your brand in results
So what does this all mean? Your national marketing strategy could be doing a fantastic job of ranking and driving demand, but without the use of an effective local marketing strategy, you marketing funnel has a very big hole and you're missing opportunities.
Welcome to the world of Local Search
Recent studies show that aside from the missed opportunities, potential customers executing local searches are much further down the sales process with intent to make a purchase. And when combined with mobile, these numbers are staggering. Localizing search is a huge strategic priority for search engines like Google, so it should also be a priority for you.
About the Author
Jared is the Founder and Managing Partner of SproutLoud. Since 2005, he has been primarily responsible for strategic direction of the Company, as well as the oversight of SproutLoud's Partner ecosystem. Prior to SproutLoud, Jared worked in Thomas Weisel Partner’s internet and online advertising investment banking practice in San Francisco. He served as the lead analyst on a number of Corporate Finance and M&A deals including Newscorps’ buyout of Intermix Media (Myspace.com). Jared graduated with a B.A. in Finance and Marketing from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia. Jared has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and is a member of the Young President's Organization (YPO). Jared has been honored as one of the Top 40 under 40 entrepreneurs by South Florida Business Journal and a Top 50 Entrepreneur by Business Leader Magazine. Jared lives in South Florida with his wife and two sons.More Content by Jared Shusterman