The #1 Online Marketing Mistake for Brands with Local Network Members

December 7, 2012 Neil Ingalls

There are a number of reasons why creating unique and engaging content is invaluable to any marketing campaign. All marketing collateral should be engaging and fresh, and as marketers we are tasked with capturing the attention of an audience that is likely to convert into sales. One of the biggest mistakes being made right now is when brands create large scale messaging that is simply duplicated to all their network members. This process works for print and can even be successful in social media, but when it comes to websites it is a disaster.

The Problem

Websites and more importantly, individual webpages need content that is unique, especially if you want those webpages to rank locally in search engines. If the content is substantially duplicated from one location's page to another, the search engines will filter out one of the duplicated pages. These filters prevent copied pages from ending up in search pages results, guaranteeing that users receive a varied and relevant experience.

The Fix

If you want your local retailers to have an individualized online presence, first and foremost they should have their own dedicated website or webpage. These should all target local audiences, so make sure that your plans include a way to generate localized content needed for this task. To assist in this process, create and share a checklist of copy points that you want to make sure are present. For example:

  1. Street Address
  2. Descriptions of the food or service provided
  3. Specialties
  4. Promotions
  5. Community involvement notes
  6. About the Owner

It is also important to approve all of the content before it goes live, and ensure that it is NOT copied from other sources. Tools like Copyscape will be great for helping you catch duplicated copy from the beginning of the process. If the local retailers are not up to the task, you can always do it for them. By taking full control of the content you can ensure that unique quality content is produced.

The Results

Now that each location has a local webpage dedicated to them with some of the language of your brand, you have widened the organic search profile. Your brand can have a large scale message on its main website, but also have devoted pages to local markets and audiences. Therefore your online presence can have massive appeal AND a targeted approach.

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