Connect with us

MARKETING

How to Build Effective Location Pages

Published

on

Protect the Hours of Operation on Your GBP from Unwanted Google Edits

The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.

Location pages are an important part of multi-location SEO for enterprises and SMBs alike, but they aren’t easy to get right. At best, they should give potential customers zero excuse to choose a competing business. Often, though, they struggle to provide unique value and offer essentially the same information as the home or service pages — but with a different city in the H1 and meta title.

This happens because unique content is hard to come by when every location does or sells the same thing.

The question isn’t, “How should I go about creating an awesome location page?”, but rather, “Am I giving customers enough unique value to even justify this page in the first place?”

If the answer is “no,” it’s time to find new opportunities for valuable content. Read on for ways to determine whether you’re offering unique value for your location pages, and how to make them better.

Is your content actually unique?

When it comes to building awesome location pages that will impress your customers and search engines, content is your most powerful tool. And I’m not just talking about words-on-a-page, paragraph-form content. Content is any information on your page, in any medium.

Regardless of the way you communicate to customers (text-based content, video, images, etc.), location page content will fall into one of three buckets:

1. Boilerplate

    Boilerplate content can be copied and pasted across all locations and remain accurate. A brand’s mission statement falls into this category, for example. The good thing about boilerplate content is it doesn’t require much work to implement. It also doesn’t provide the unique value we’re looking for.

    As a rule of thumb, use boilerplate content when it’s necessary (and it will be) but avoid creating pages where the majority of content falls into this category.

    2. Technically “unique”

      Let’s say you want to avoid duplicate content across location pages so you rewrite the same information (business description, services, etc.) over and over again. Voila! It’s unique, right?

      Not exactly.

      Technically, it’s unique — but it’s not saying anything new about that location. (Hence the quotation marks.) In other words, the content isn’t duplicative, but it’s also not that valuable. You’re simply using different words to relay the same message.

      This type of content is, in my opinion, the worst of the three because it takes manual effort to create but isn’t more helpful to customers than copy-and-pasting the source material.

      3. Unique value

        The third, final, and best type of content is “unique value.” This content only applies to the location the page is about. It can’t be copied and pasted anywhere else because the value of the content is tied to the value of the location itself.

        While this type of content takes a lot of work to create, it’s also the most helpful and should account for the majority of the content on location pages.

        What should a location page include?

        Creating enough unique value on location pages to outweigh boilerplate content isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible either. The following list includes content features that can add new layers of unique value to your pages — or close to it.

        1. Paragraph-form content

          Paragraph-form content is a great way to provide information to users about your location. When writing location pages, focus on information that is specific to the storefront the page is about. Here’s an example:

          • Diluted Value – “All of our locations have great customer service and we’re super passionate about offering [product / service] to people like you!”

          • Unique Value – “We’re located at the corner of [Street] and [Avenue] and a five minute walk from [Landingmark].”

          There is a time and a place for “diluted value” content, but your goal should be to provide as much unique information as possible.

          2. Location attributes and features

            If you’ve optimized a Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business or GMB), you’re familiar with location attributes. In short, these are a list of features that help customers plan their visit to your location.

            If you’re not sure what to include in your attribute list, check your GBP and carry over any boxes you checked there. That said, don’t limit yourself to those items — feel free to add as many attributes as are helpful to your customers.

            3. Staff profiles

            One of the things that is (almost) always unique to each business location is the people who work there. Highlighting notable staff members’ profiles is a great way to show humans and search engines what (and who) to expect when they arrive.

            4. Hours & NAP

            Hours of operation and NAP info (name, address, and phone number) are the most basic form of unique content, but don’t forget to add them to your location pages. Additionally, make this information easy for customers to find on the page so they can get in touch or get directions quickly. NAP information can also be accompanied by an embedded map.

            Illustration of a mobile phone showing a location page with hours and NAP info.

            5. Photos

            Photos on your location page (and GBP for that matter). Should be of the location the page is about. Avoid generic, santistized storefront images that aren’t of the actual storefront. Instead, include photos that show customers what they’ll experience at the store (inside and out).

            Both of your audiences (humans and search engines) are very good at detecting these types of patterns and, should a website visitor become foot traffic, customers are more likely to be disappointed, confused, or frustrated if the photos don’t match reality.

            Screenshots of location page examples of Sprinkles shops showing unique storefront images.

            It goes without saying that stock photos shouldn’t show up on your location pages, either.

            6. Reviews

            Think of reviews as user-generated content for your location pages.

            When you add them, make sure you’re including ones specific to the location the page is about, as opposed to one feed of every review for every location.

            The goal is to provide a realistic look at what potential customers can expect based on the past experiences of others. Additionally, reviews about the location itself (and only that location) add another layer of unique value to the page.

            7. Products and inventory

            I recommend adding product information or an inventory feed to every location page, even if the products offered at each location are the same.

            Your customers only care if a given product or service is in stock near them, so inventory information is, in a way, another form of unique value content.

            8. Nearby locations

            Nearby locations are great if you have multiple storefronts in close proximity. They’re also another opportunity to add unique information to your location pages.

            These can be added as their own module on the page or integrated with an existing map. I personally prefer to dedicate an entire page section to them to avoid confusion for readers who land on the page to get directions.

            Illustration of a mobile phone showing an example location page with unique reviews, other locations, and what's in stock.

            9. Offers and specials

            Specials and offers don’t have to be unique for every location. I just wouldn’t make sense. That said, coupons and offers that are geographically relevant can be an opportunity to build additional value for local customers. Coupons, offers, deals, etc. by state or metropolitan area are one way to accomplish this.

            10. FAQs

            Frequently asked questions are one of my favorite ways to create rich, in-depth and unique content on local landing pages. I’ve seen a lot of businesses add FAQ modules to their pages, but I’ve also seen a lot of businesses only add generic questions and answers to those modules.

            When adding FAQs to your local landing pages, ask questions that will elicit a unique response. Also, try to avoid yes or no questions, unless you plan to expound on the answers.

            Generic:

            Unique Value:

            • Question: “Can I get to {Location} from public transportation?”

            • Answer: “You sure can! We’re a five minute walk from the {specific} bus stop. Just head toward {street} and take a left at {street} and you’ll find us on the right.”

            11. Departments and services

            Departments and services are another example of content that can be unique, but isn’t always. For some business types (automotive dealers, for example), departments are clear: Sales, Finance, Repairs, etc.

            For other business types, this content type isn’t as obvious. A bakery chain, for example, could include services in their location pages to highlight which locations offer wedding cakes versus their typical inventory.

            Like inventory, the value of these departments or services comes from the fact that as a customer, I only care if the location nearest me offers the specific thing I’m looking for.

            Illustration of a mobile phone showing an example location page with geo-specific specials, departments, and unique FAQs.

            A few words about structured data

            Schema (also called structured data) is code that tells search engines about your website content. Often, your customers won’t even know the schema is there — it’s strictly for search engines, with the exception of rich results.

            Schema is important for two reasons:

            • Context: It helps search engines understand how the “things” that make up your business form a larger entity.

            • Specificity: It removes the natural ambiguity caused by keywords (and language).

            If a website mentions the word “Avocado,” for example, it could be talking about the fruit or the mattress brand. Language alone isn’t enough to clarify without context. Marking up your content with schema removes this margin for error when it comes to Google understanding your content.

            Structured data can also help you qualify for rich results like FAQs or review snippets for products.

            Location page Schema best practices

            When it comes to location pages, there are a few things you should keep in mind regarding schema markup.

            First, make sure you’re using as many relevant schema types as possible. If you’ve optimized your page with unique images, FAQs, and staff bios, don’t add LocalBusiness schema to the page and call it done. Mark up every available item on your page to give Google as much information as possible. After all, search engines have to understand your content in order to index and rank it.

            Second, use the most specific schema type available. Within the “LocalBusiness” schema category, there are 145 types of schema for specific businesses. Dentists, for example, should use “Dentist” schema instead of “Local Business,” and restaurants should use (you guessed it!) “Restaurant” schema.

            Conclusion

            Creating valuable location landing pages takes time, effort, and a bit of creativity. As you review the elements above, don’t gloss over the ones that seem the most difficult or time-consuming. That’s what your competitors are already doing.

            Instead, prioritize the value you’re providing to potential customers because strategies that don’t scale may be your competitive advantage.

Source link

MARKETING

45 Free Content Writing Tools to Love [for Writing, Editing & Content Creation]

Published

on

45 Free Content Writing Tools to Love [for Writing, Editing & Content Creation]

Creating content isn’t always a walk in the park. (In fact, it can sometimes feel more like trying to swim against the current.)

While other parts of business and marketing are becoming increasingly automated, content creation is still a very manual job. (more…)

Continue Reading

MARKETING

How data clean rooms might help keep the internet open

Published

on

How data clean rooms might help keep the internet open

Are data clean rooms the solution to what IAB CEO David Cohen has called the “slow-motion train wreck” of addressability? Voices at the IAB will tell you that they have a big role to play.

“The issue with addressability is that once cookies go away, and with the loss of identifiers, about 80% of the addressable market will become unknown audiences which is why there is a need for privacy-centric consent and a better consent-value exchange,” said Jeffrey Bustos, VP, measurement, addressability and data at the IAB.

“Everyone’s talking about first-party data, and it is very valuable,” he explained, “but most publishers who don’t have sign-on, they have about 3 to 10% of their readership’s first-party data.” First-party data, from the perspective of advertisers who want to reach relevant and audiences, and publishers who want to offer valuable inventory, just isn’t enough.

Why we care. Two years ago, who was talking about data clean rooms? The surge of interest is recent and significant, according to the IAB. DCRs have the potential, at least, to keep brands in touch with their audiences on the open internet; to maintain viability for publishers’ inventories; and to provide sophisticated measurement capabilities.

How data clean rooms can help. DCRs are a type of privacy-enhancing technology that allows data owners (including brands and publishers) to share customer first-party data in a privacy-compliant way. Clean rooms are secure spaces where first-party data from a number of sources can be resolved to the same customer’s profile while that profile remains anonymized.

In other words, a DCR is a kind of Switzerland — a space where a truce is called on competition while first-party data is enriched without compromising privacy.

“The value of a data clean room is that a publisher is able to collaborate with a brand across both their data sources and the brand is able to understand audience behavior,” said Bestos. For example, a brand selling eye-glasses might know nothing about their customers except basic transactional data — and that they wear glasses. Matching profiles with a publisher’s behavioral data provides enrichment.

“If you’re able to understand behavioral context, you’re able to understand what your customers are reading, what they’re interested in, what their hobbies are,” said Bustos. Armed with those insights, a brand has a better idea of what kind of content they want to advertise against.

The publisher does need to have a certain level of first-party data for the matching to take place, even if it doesn’t have a universal requirement for sign-ins like The New York Times. A publisher may be able to match only a small percentage of the eye-glass vendor’s customers, but if they like reading the sports and arts sections, at least that gives some directional guidance as to what audience the vendor should target.

Dig deeper: Why we care about data clean rooms

What counts as good matching? In its “State of Data 2023” report, which focuses almost exclusively on data clean rooms, concern is expressed that DCR efficacy might be threatened by poor match rates. Average match rates hover around 50% (less for some types of DCR).

Bustos is keen to put this into context. “When you are matching data from a cookie perspective, match rates are usually about 70-ish percent,” he said, so 50% isn’t terrible, although there’s room for improvement.

One obstacle is a persistent lack of interoperability between identity solutions — although it does exist; LiveRamp’s RampID is interoperable, for example, with The Trade Desk’s UID2.

Nevertheless, said Bustos, “it’s incredibly difficult for publishers. They have a bunch of identity pixels firing for all these different things. You don’t know which identity provider to use. Definitely a long road ahead to make sure there’s interoperability.”

Maintaining an open internet. If DCRs can contribute to solving the addressability problem they will also contribute to the challenge of keeping the internet open. Walled gardens like Facebook do have rich troves of first-party and behavioral data; brands can access those audiences, but with very limited visibility into them.

“The reason CTV is a really valuable proposition for advertisers is that you are able to identify the user 1:1 which is really powerful,” Bustos said. “Your standard news or editorial publisher doesn’t have that. I mean, the New York Times has moved to that and it’s been incredibly successful for them.” In order to compete with the walled gardens and streaming services, publishers need to offer some degree of addressability — and without relying on cookies.

But DCRs are a heavy lift. Data maturity is an important qualification for getting the most out of a DCR. The IAB report shows that, of the brands evaluating or using DCRs, over 70% have other data-related technologies like CDPs and DMPs.

“If you want a data clean room,” Bustos explained, “there are a lot of other technological solutions you have to have in place before. You need to make sure you have strong data assets.” He also recommends starting out by asking what you want to achieve, not what technology would be nice to have. “The first question is, what do you want to accomplish? You may not need a DCR. ‘I want to do this,’ then see what tools would get you to that.”

Understand also that implementation is going to require talent. “It is a demanding project in terms of the set-up,” said Bustos, “and there’s been significant growth in consulting companies and agencies helping set up these data clean rooms. You do need a lot of people, so it’s more efficient to hire outside help for the set up, and then just have a maintenance crew in-house.”

Underuse of measurement capabilities. One key finding in the IAB’s research is that DCR users are exploiting the audience matching capabilities much more than realizing the potential for measurement and attribution. “You need very strong data scientists and engineers to build advanced models,” Bustos said.

“A lot of brands that look into this say, ‘I want to be able to do a predictive analysis of my high lifetime value customers that are going to buy in the next 90 days.’ Or ‘I want to be able to measure which channels are driving the most incremental lift.’ It’s very complex analyses they want to do; but they don’t really have a reason as to why. What is the point? Understand your outcome and develop a sequential data strategy.”

Trying to understand incremental lift from your marketing can take a long time, he warned. “But you can easily do a reach and frequency and overlap analysis.” That will identify wasted investment in channels and as a by-product suggest where incremental lift is occurring. “There’s a need for companies to know what they want, identify what the outcome is, and then there are steps that are going to get you there. That’s also going to help to prove out ROI.”

Dig deeper: Failure to get the most out of data clean rooms is costing marketers money


Get MarTech! Daily. Free. In your inbox.


Source link

Continue Reading

MARKETING

Ascend | DigitalMarketer

Published

on

Ascend | DigitalMarketer

At this stage, your goal is to generate repeat buys and real profits. While your entry-point offer was designed for conversions, your ascension offers should be geared for profits—because if you’re serving your customers well, they’ll want to buy again and again.

Ascension offers may be simple upsells made after that initial purchase… bigger, better solutions… or “done for you” add-ons.

So now we must ask ourselves, what is our core flagship offer and how do we continue to deliver value after the first sale is made? What is the thing that we are selling? 

How we continue to deliver value after the first sale is really important, because having upsells and cross sales gives you the ability to sell to customers you already have. It will give you higher Average Customer values, which is going to give you higher margins. Which means you can spend more to acquire new customers. 

Why does this matter? It matters because of this universal law of marketing and customer acquisition, he or she who is able and willing to spend the most to acquire a customer wins.

Very often the business with the best product messaging very often is the business that can throw the most into customer acquisition. Now there are two ways to do that.

The first way is to just raise a lot of money. The problem is if you have a lot of money, that doesn’t last forever. At some point you need economics. 

The second way, and the most timeless and predictable approach, is to simply have the highest value customers of anyone in your market. If your customers are worth more to you than they are to your competitors, you can spend more to acquire them at the same margin. 

If a customer is worth twice as much to you than it is to your competitor, you can spend twice as much trying to acquire them to make the same margin. You can invest in your customer acquisition, because your customers are investing in your business. You can invest in your customer experiences, and when we invest more into the customer we build brands that have greater value. Meaning, people are more likely to choose you over someone else, which can actually lower acquisition costs. 

Happy customers refer others to us, which is called zero dollar customer acquisition, and generally just ensures you’re making a bigger impact. You can invest more in the customer experience and customer acquisition process if you don’t have high margins. 

If you deliver a preview experience, you can utilize revenue maximizers like up sells, cross sales, and bundles. These are things that would follow up the initial sale or are combined with the initial sale to increase the Average Customer Value.

The best example of an immediate upsell is the classic McDonalds, “would you like fries with that?” You got just a burger, do you also want fries with that? 

What distinguishes an upsell from other types of follow up offers is the upsell promise, the same end result for a bigger and better end result. 

What’s your desired result when you go to McDonalds? It’s not to eat healthy food, and it’s not even to eat a small amount of food. When you go to McDonalds your job is to have a tasty, greasy, predictable inexpensive meal. No one is going there because it’s healthy, you’re going there because you want to eat good. 

It’s predictable. It’s not going to break the bank for a hamburger, neither will adding fries or a Coke. It’s the same experience, but it’s BIGGER and BETTER. 

Amazon does this all of the time with their “Customers Who Bought This Also Bought …” But this one is algorithmic. The point of a cross sell is that it is relevant to the consumer, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be aligned with the original purchase. What you don’t want to do is start someone down one path and confuse them.

You can make this process easy with Bundles and Kits. With a bundle or a kit you’re essentially saying to someone, “you can buy just one piece, or you can get this bundle that does all of these other things for a little bit more. And it’s a higher value.”

The idea behind bundles and kits is that we are adding to the primary offer, not offering them something different. We’re simply promising to get them this desired result in higher definition. 

The Elements of High-Converting Revenue Maximizers (like our bundles and kits) are:

  1. Speed

If you’re an e-Commerce business, selling a physical product, this can look like: offering free shipping for orders $X or more. We’re looking to get your customers the same desired result, but with less work for them.

  1. Automation

If you’re a furniture business, and you want to add a Revenue Maximizer, this can look like: Right now for an extra $X our highly trained employees will come and put this together for you. 

  1. Access 

People will pay for speed, they’ll pay for less work, but they will also pay for a look behind the curtain. Think about the people who pay for Backstage Passes. Your customers will pay for a VIP experience just so they can kind of see how everything works. 

Remember, the ascension stage doesn’t have to stop. Once you have a customer, you should do your best to make them a customer for life. You should continue serving them. Continue asking them, “what needs are we still not meeting” and seek to meet those needs. 

It is your job as a marketer to seek out to discover these needs, to bring these back to the product team, because that’s what’s going to enable you to fully maximize the average customer value. Which is going to enable you to have a whole lot more to spend to acquire those customers and make your job a whole lot easier. 

Now that you understand the importance of the ascend stage, let’s apply it to our examples.

Hazel & Hem could have free priority shipping over $150, a “Boutique Points” reward program with exclusive “double point” days to encourage spending, and an exclusive “Stylist Package” that includes a full outfit custom selected for the customer. 

Cyrus & Clark can retain current clients by offering an annual strategic plan, “Done for You” Marketing services that execute on the strategic plan, and the top tier would allow customers to be the exclusive company that Cyrus & Clark services in specific geographical territories.



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

en_USEnglish