Local Websites: The Key to Increasing Discoverability, Driving Traffic, and Brand Affinity
February 13, 2015
If you’re a marketer who is still not convinced that a local presence online significantly improves your brand’s discoverability, drives sales (on and offline), and builds customer trust thus leading to improved customer relationships, then consider these recent stats:
Knowing this, we would expect more national brands to start investing marketing dollars into localized efforts, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. So, for this week’s roundup we’re offering up even more proof that a local-focused online presence drives the right traffic to your local stores, dealers, and/or agents.
Lana Odintsova – Managing Editor
StreetFight Magazine: Case Study: Hotel Chain’s Hyperlocal ‘Microsites’ Increase Online Bookings
This StreetFight Magazine article highlights a case study from hotel chain, Red Lion. Last year, Red Lion was hoping to differentiate itself from competitors by launching a hyperlocal campaign. The move was backed by industry data showing that travelers are more interested in creating memories than receiving discounts. With this knowledge, Red Lion launched local “microsites” for each of the company’s hotel properties, along with localized menus, new transportation signage, and even employee name tags that offer localized tips for guests. A hotel representative reported that as a result, the hotel is seeing an increase in hotel reservations through Red Lion’s own websites versus reservation engines.
The biggest takeaway is that Red Lion has found itself ahead of the competition by capitalizing on the trend toward travelers wanting more local, unique experiences. Through the initiative, the company has found ways to give its guests the experience of staying at boutique hotel properties with personal recommendations from hotel staffers based on their local knowledge. These same initiatives are helping Red Lion differentiate itself from competing national hotel chains, without resorting to steep discounts that could negatively affect their bottom line.
Amanda Cash-Crowley – Marketing Demand Generation Manager
The Financial Brand: Increase Your Web Traffic With a Localized Search Strategy
An article on The Financial Brand last week breaks down the reasons that national banks are struggling get traction on search engines in the face of a few dominating brands. Not only are keywords for financial services – including mortgage, auto loans, and home loans – typically the most expensive paid keywords to purchase clicks for, they’re usually owned wholly by a few large brands organically.
The article covers how a regional search focus is bringing success to brands such as Citizens Bank, who uses regionalized landing pages on their corporate site to increase traffic. Citizens Bank has taken the first step by putting local context to work for them, but ultimately, true Local Websites and Regional Directories take search engine prowess to its highest potential.
Marcie Ellison – Marketing Manager
Search Engine Land: When Big Brands Fail With Local SEO
Today, big, multi-location brands recognize the importance of local search and the power it has to dramatically impact the customer journey. With studies showing that 80% of consumers use search engines to find local information and that 83% of consumers are more likely to visit a store if they can, beforehand, check the availability of an item online, it comes as no surprise that many brands aspire to continually improve their local online presence.
At first glance – based upon a big brand’s regional exposure, greater marketing budget, and brand recognition – multi-location brands should dominate local search listings. However, due to profile listing errors and data management issues, many brands continue to struggle.
This Search Engine Land article outlines various solutions that center around cleaning up online, local profile information and improving data management. Emphasis is placed on the importance of each location having their own, mobile-friendly, search engine optimized online environment.
At Balihoo, we believe that a national brand’s number one local marketing tool should be localized websites. Working with a variety of clients – across numerous industries – we’ve seen time and time again that the most effective way to drive relevant leads at the local level is to make sure your customers can find your products and/or services in their local area quickly and easily. Download this free white paper to learn how local websites can and will help your brand broaden brand visibility, increase sales, and expand market share.