#LSA18: Recap of Local SEO & Social Workshop

To kick off LSA18, the Local SEO and Social Workshop focused on the latest tactical and best practices on a range of topics critical to marketers representing multi-location brands or local businesses. Speakers included:


Here are some important takeaways from each session:

Knowledge Panel Tsunami: What Google Updates Mean for Your Customers (Mihm, Blumenthal)

The speakers shared a timeline of Google’s latest updates, discussing the changes that seek to help businesses interact better with their customers. Additionally, they talked about the fact that most conversions are actually taking place directly on the search results pages and won’t appear in Google Analytics. Some of the takeaways include:

  • An increased focus on reviews.
  • Google Posts – Allows businesses to share relevant content (photos, videos, etc.) to the people who are searching for them.
  • Google Messaging – Allows businesses to answer their customer’s questions in real time and communicate with them directly.
  • Google Q&A – Allows users to ask relevant questions about a business. Both customers and the business itself can answer these questions.
  • Google Business Descriptions – Allows businesses to write descriptions about their product and service offerings.
  • Google Services and About tab
  • Google Bookings – Allows businesses that use a supported scheduling partner to see insights and other information on the bookings received from Google.
  • It’s wise to start offering photos, posts, reviews and Q&A to increase engagement and ranking.

SEO: Think Global, Optimize Local (Herrmann)

  • Businesses can’t control local listings in certain parts of the world on search engines.
  • Managing listings at the enterprise level allows businesses to manage thousands of locations on multiple search engines and directories, upload mass collections of data, aggregate data, and have expert customer service.
  • The more people use their mobile phone, the more they are going to need a business’s local listing.
  • The knowledge graph has become the new source of information for SEO and businesses need to be sure that their information is correct.
  • Mobile has led to a decline in organic page views.

Reputation and Review Management Best Practices (Holesh)

  • Reviews aren’t new, but they are handled completely different now that they are online. Consumers read an average of seven reviews before trusting a business. People will go with a brand they don’t know if the reviews are compelling.
  • Mobile is changing the way we shop. Consumers are actively seeking out reviews prior to making a transaction.
  • It’s important to respond to reviews in order to lead a discussion and engaged with customers.
  • Fake reviews have become a big problem for businesses. The term “astro-turfing” refers to the practice of preparing or disseminating a false or deceptive review that a reasonable consumer would believe to be a neutral, third-party testimonial.
  • The Dos and Don’t of reviews: don’t incentivize customers to leave reviews, don’t “bulk solicit” new reviews, don’t pay for reviews, do build a loyalty program, do encourage happy customers to leave reviews, and do ask for testimonials for your site.
  • How to respond to reviews, positive or negative: be honest, take it offline, be real and ask questions, own up to your mistakes.

Facebook Local Ads & O2O Retargeting (Pireddu)

Facebook allows businesses to reach customers in the most compelling moment and location because of:

  • Unmatched engagement of logged-in users
  • Location services are always on
  • Hyper targeting without limitations

Local awareness ads: The most efficient ad for promoting local businesses. These ads combine reach (number of users), targeting (delivered to users in a precise location) and frequency (the right number of times) and utilizes them in the right timeframe.

Lead ads: Allow businesses to collect user’s information (email, phone number, etc.). This is a big component of the future of Facebook advertising.

Achieving online to offline attribution on Facebook:

  • Local Insights: The signals Facebook uses to calculate store visits and allows businesses to see a direct connection between visits and advertising.
  • Ad-Hoc Integrations
  • Pre/Post Location Tracking: Utilizes custom audiences and 3rd party tracking. Targeted devices IDs a pool via Facebook custom audiences and after the campaign it matches the IDed devices that visited the store.

Facebook’s marketing partner’s campaign models:

  • Reach & Clicks: Guaranteed number of users reached and estimated range of clicks generated by the campaign. These are ideal for website visits, messenger conversations and online conversions.
  • Reach & Frequency: Guaranteed reach and frequency. This is a unique value-added model offered only by GotU. This model is ideal for increasing local awareness and driving store visits.
  • Leads & Automation: Optimization towards leads generated by the campaign and real-time lead delivery via email/SMS. These are ideal for lead generation, appointment booking and building CRM.

Twitter 2.0: Creating Content that Outperforms (Wadlington)

  • A small Twitter campaign may not yield a global impact, but it can win the corner of the world you care about.
  • People follow each other on Twitter because they are interested in the same topics. Twitter allows for immediate conversation, topic control and creative back-talk.
  • GIFs garner 56% more engagement on Twitter, but only 2% of Tweets feature GIFs.
  • Tweets with 1-2 Hashtags gain 100% more engagement than Tweets without them.
  • Tweets with video are six times more likely to be retweeted than Tweets with pictures. Adding subtitles and showing clear branding can help video engagement.

Advanced Attribution: Simple to Sophisticated (Porter)

  • Attribution is the process of identifying a set of user actions (“events” or “touchpoints”) that contribute in some way to a desired outcome, and then assigning a value to each of these events.
  • Google Attribution May 2017 – Highlights Google’s use of machine learning in integrating AdWords, Google Analytics and DoubleClick Search data to properly assign credit to each step in the customer journey. It allowed for more seamless optimization of paid advertising campaigns using attribution data.
  • The 5 steps for attribution: 1. Define your goal, 2. Build your team, 3. Prepare the data, 4. Utilize modeling, 5. Use the results
  • Actionable attribution tips:
    • Start with a clear strategy and set of goals.
    • Get internal buy-in for attribution.
    • Build a strong case to make the necessary financial investment.
    • Focus on defining the customer journey.
    • Focus on physical as well as digital touchpoints.
    • Use data sets that are clean & accurate.
    • Invest in technology that allows continued optimization.
    • Try different models, depending on business goals.
    • Use a test-and-learn approach.
    • Hire the right people.

Optimizing Content for Voice & Virtual Assistants (Bianco)

  • AI is technology that can perceive, learn, reason, assist in decision-making, and act to help us solve problems.
  • Consumers don’t think in terms of channels, their focus is on their experience.
  • To deliver amazing customer experiences, marketers must have a deep understanding of their audience and cutting-edge technologies.
  • The future of marketing will encompass voice search, local search, visual search and chatbots.
  • Voice search queries are becoming more conversational in nature. They are also longer than traditional queries.
    • Marketers looking to capitalize on this should include question words and phrases in paid search keywords and in organic on-site content. Use the following steps:
      • Identify the questions and evaluate the opportunities
      • Choose how to structure your answers
      • Provide a reach and detailed answer; add value
      • The Voice Check: Does the answer make sense when read aloud?
      • Make sure the answer fits on a mobile screen
    • Paid campaigns for voice queries
      • Identify the questions
      • Check your negatives
      • Use the right match types
      • Device targeting
      • Ad copy and extensions
    • Tips for optimizing SEO for voice
      • Use structured data and schema markup
      • Structure content appropriately
      • Write in conversational language
      • Create useable and valuable content
  • Before building a chatbot here are some questions to ask:
    • Why do you want a bot? More to the point – what will it do? What problems will it solve?
    • How will people engage with your chatbot? In which channels? Which bot framework are you going to use to develop the bot? (I recommend the Microsoft Bot Framework)
    • Who is going to your bot? (Why would they?)
    • How will people find your bot?
    • How will you measure success for your bot?

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