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Do Your Homework: Selecting the Right Influencers for Your B2B Brand With Tips from the Experts

Selecting B2B Influencers

Selecting B2B Influencers

The influencer identification, validation, and recruitment process is time consuming, resource intensive, and high stakes. Without the right mix of influencers to drive awareness, intrigue, conversation, and action, your marketing initiatives will miss the mark with your audience and fall short of expectations.

But how? How do you artfully and strategically find, vet, and entice industry experts to partner with you?

You need to do your homework—and fortunately, insights from several seasoned B2B influencer marketing experts can provide some great guidance.

Read on to get perspectives and advice from leaders serving a range of B2B brands, as well as some of our own resident experts.

#1 – Set the bar for quality—not quantity of audience reach.

Analyzing an influencer’s social reach and following is certainly par for the influencer identification and qualification course. Amplification and reaching new audiences are primary objectives for most marketers‘ influencer marketing efforts.

But seasoned B2B influencer marketing leaders have some words of caution: Don’t let large follower counts be a distraction or the only means of qualification.

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via GIPHY

It’s critical to dig deeper to truly gain an understanding of who an influencer is, what they can offer your audience and brand, what they’re talking about, the kind of content they’re sharing, and the list goes on.

“Go beyond what the numbers are and see what that data really means,” Amisha Gandhi, Vice President of Influencer Marketing and Communications for SAP Ariba, shared with us. “Look at who influencers are engaging with, how many comments they receive and how long they’ve been engaging.”

[bctt tweet=“When identifying and qualifying influeners, go beyond what the numbers are and see what that data really means. – @AmishaGandhi“ username=“toprank“]

And as Martin Jones, Senior Marketing Manager at Cox Communications shared: “Selection of the right influencers for your campaign will be one of the single most significant factors in its success or failure. It’s easy to get excited about a big name or an influencer with a large following, but neither of those will necessarily translate to your ultimate goal of delivering results to your organization.”

[bctt tweet=“It’s easy to get excited about a big name or an influencer with a large following, but neither of those will necessarily translate to your ultimate goal of delivering results to your organization. @martinjonesaz“ username=“toprank“]

#2 – Keep relevance at the forefront.

Relevance is a key success driver for any marketing initiative. Relevance breeds resonance, which is key to connecting with buyers at every stage of the funnel and building trust. Working with influencers who don’t topically align or lack the right expertise simply won’t produce fruitful results for either party—or your audience.

As Ashley Zeckman, TopRank Marketing’s Senior Director of Digital Strategy, has said: “First, you’re going to want to identify the topics that are most important to your audience and how they align with the topics you want to be known for. Then, you’ll need to determine what types of influencers (aligned with your target topics) will be the best fit based on your objectives. Each influencer type holds a different value for your audience and your brand.”

Here’s an example of a topical alignment score Ashley shared. (See if you can guess the „client.“)

[bctt tweet=“Identify the topics that are most important to your audience and how they align with the topics you want to be known for. Then identify the right types of relevant influencers. @azeckman“ username=“toprank“]

Influencer types include brandividuals—those recognizable experts who have an extensive network size—as well as up-and-comers, niche and internal experts, and current customers and prospects.

One great way to ensure relevance is to do some old-fashioned crowd sourcing, according to Lucy Moran, now the Senior Vice President of Brand, Digital, and BU Marketing at Dun & Bradstreet.

“Ask your customers who they follow or read,” she said. “They are your target audience and you want to be where they are.”

Finally, finding the right fit also comes down to shared values, according to Abobe’s Head of Social Influencer Enablement, Rani Mani.

“My main tip is to make the upfront investment to ensure the influencer is the right cultural fit for your brand,” she told us. “Ultimately, ask yourself pretty much the same questions as you would if you were going to hire this individual because, at the end of the day, they will be representing your brand.”

[bctt tweet=“Make the upfront investment to ensure the influencer is the right cultural fit for your brand. At the end of the day, they’ll be representing your brand. – @ranimani0707″ username=“toprank“]

Read: Creating Content Connections: 10 Lessons in Resonance from Content Marketing Pros

#3 – Take an always-on approach to vetting existing and prospective influencers.

As TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden is often quoted as saying: “Everyone is influential about something.” This means that there’s always opportunities to connect and work with relevant thought leaders—and you should be looking at those opportunities on a regular basis.

[bctt tweet=“Everyone is influential about something. @leeodden “ username=“toprank“]

Perhaps one of the biggest opportunities in this arena is identifying and nurturing up-and-coming experts. As Lee also says: “Work with an influencer, you’re friends for a day. Help someone become influential and they’re a friend for life.”

But from an even more practical perspective, regularly vetting your influencer partners and prospects helps ensure you’re keeping your eye on relevance.

“A sophisticated influencer program doesn’t rely on a single identification method or one-time vetting process to start and maintain a relationship with an influencer, but rather develops a scorecard that gets constantly reviewed and, most importantly, evolves as this emerging field matures,” Dr. Konstanze Alex, Head of Corporate Influencer Relations at Dell, so eloquently said.

[bctt tweet=“A sophisticated influencer program doesn’t rely on a single identification method or one-time vetting process to start and maintain a relationship with an influencer. @Konstanze“ username=“toprank“]

#4 – Aim to build long-term relationships, not one-time transactions.

At its core, influencer marketing is all about brands engaging and developing relationships with individuals—individuals who have relevant topical expertise, reach, and resonance that aligns with the goals of the brand. But strong, lasting relationships aren’t built in a day.

We’re big believers in growing partnerships long before you make your first collaboration ask. But the linchpin of this approach is showing influencers the value a partnership with your brand can bring.

“We’ve scaled back the scope of our engagement activities to focus on developing collaborative relationships with fewer individuals,” Angela Lipscomb, Influencer Relations Manager for SAS, shared. “That means that sometimes we focus on influencers who may not have the largest reach, but have greater engagement and subject-matter authority and the ability to inspire.”

“I want to get to know what makes that person tick, and how SAS can be of help to the influencer, and not just how they can be of value to us,” she added.

[bctt tweet=“We focus on influencers who may not have the largest reach, but have greater engagement and subject-matter authority and the ability to inspire. @angelalipscomb“ username=“toprank“]

Read: Why Always-On Is Always Better for Driving B2B Influencer Marketing Success

Do Your Homework, B2B Marketers

Your brand, industry, product or service, and audience are undeniably unique—and influence varies. Furthermore, it may be easier than ever to give the perception of influence. (Here’s looking at you fake follower counts.)

As a result, you need to look beyond metrics to qualitative indicators to get to know prospective influencer partners. You need to keep relevance top of mind. You need to consistently be vetting and refining your list of partners and prospects. And you need to put effort into building relationships, rather than engaging in a one-time transactions if you want to scale.

Want more B2B influencer marketing insights? Get inspiration and insight on Influencer Marketing 2.0 from our own Lee Odden.

The post Do Your Homework: Selecting the Right Influencers for Your B2B Brand With Tips from the Experts appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Source:: toprankblog.com

New visual search innovations tap human emotions and biological buying triggers

There’s a science behind what engages shoppers and gets them to purchase and new visual search tech implementations promise to exploit that and reinvent ecommerce as we know it.

A shopper’s decision to buy products is more influenced by the primal brain areas and less from the analytical side. Us humans are hard-wired to our emotions which spring from the same areas of the brain, the right side, that processes and reacts to visual stimulation. In the early days of mankind, it’s largely how our ancient ancestors survived in the wild.

Similar to Facebook’s emoticons it rolled out as “reactions” in 2016, our modern emotions emerge from four core feelings, happy, sad, afraid/surprised (“wow”), and angry/disgusted, based on research conducted by the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Glasgow.

Smart marketers can appeal to our right brains that communicate in feelings and respond to images that increase conversions and sales because people tend to act based on emotions. Most of the purchase decisions people make are emotional, not practical. Retail shopping therapy is, perhaps, an offshoot of this science-based truth.

When it comes to shopping, decision-making, and conversions, another experiment conducted by the George Washington University and UCLA, found that playing to the emotional side of our brains is a far better strategy than using too many facts and figures that appeal to the decision-making areas of the brain.

The researchers found that ads that use logical persuasion (for example, “this car gets 42 miles to the gallon”) scored lower for conversions than those that “seduced” people by circumventing “consumers‘ conscious awareness by depicting a fun, vague or sexy scene”.

Visual search will revolutionize ecommerce and SEO

The rise of visual search is powered, in part, by people’s desire to discover products and brands, and it’s playing out now in the new trend of shopping on social media channels such as Instagram and Pinterest that’s spreading most quickly amongst millennials as the next big thing.

Yet, “creating technology that can understand images as quickly and effectively as the human mind is a huge undertaking”, wrote Adam Stetzer in a trend piece on visual search last year. “Visual identification is a natural ability made possible through a wonder of nerves, neurons and synapses. We can look at a picture, and in 13 milliseconds or less, know exactly what we’re seeing”.

Google is making rapid advancements tied to the increasingly visual nature of the search for ecommerce. For example, in early March it rolled out a new pilot program to digitally connect retailers and consumers, who can now make purchases from results of Google Image searches.

For the pilot’s launch, Google cited a figure that 50 percent of online shoppers said images of the product inspired them to purchase. Google is currently testing its “Showcase Shopping” ads on what it calls “a small percentage” of traffic with select retailers, surfacing on broad queries such as “home office ideas”, “shower tile designs”, and “abstract art”.

Certainly, the visual search trend will impact the programmatic ad industry’s innovations for future offerings. Advanced AI and computer imaging will be two core technologies that power dynamic personalization and highly customized ads that boost campaign performance tied to consumer’s visual search behaviors. For instance, it enables offering up winter jackets in the shopper’s favorite colors as fall approaches, or quickly serves up visually or stylistically complementary dining sets to match a new dining table or tablecloth search or purchase.

Adtech leaders‘ R&D programs have already begun to focus on new AI-powered marketing innovations, including research and development from Facebook, Google, and Pinterest, and new strategic partnerships such as the one announced by Amazon and Snap last year.

Shoppable visual ads take off on social media platforms

The powerful combination of influencer marketing, using emotional buying triggers we’re hard-wired to respond to, and the highly visual nature of popular social channels such as Instagram and Pinterest have sparked the fast growth of shoppable ads on social media platforms.

Many industry watchers are betting that Instagram and Facebook will lead the pack here. Late last year, Salesforce predicted that Instagram will grow 3X faster than overall social-traffic boosts, citing data from Cowen & Company that 30 percent of internet users reported purchasing a product they discovered on Facebook or Instagram.

The overall trend of social media’s impact on purchase behavior is well-documented. As many as 76 percents of consumers have purchased a product they’ve seen in a brand’s social media post, per data from Curalate.

Influencer marketing and consumers‘ purchase of products, as a result, is nothing new. For example, many kids who grew up in the 1970s and their parents bought Wheaties back then based on the cereal’s “Breakfast of Champions” campaign because they were inspired to be like Bruce Jenner after his decathlon triumph at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

While the mediums have changed, and we can now click on ads and have products delivered within the same day, and be much more granular in terms of micro-influencers‘ campaigns that pinpoint targets and conserve campaign budgets, the psychology of why it works is the same.

New platforms such as Shopify make it easy for brands and merchants of all kinds to create engaging, highly connected sites that are helping to energize the social aspects of the web.

Large companies such as Amazon, Pinterest, and Instagram have done an excellent job of figuring out consumer sentiment, emotions, and online behaviors. We’re getting much closer to narrowing down to a “segment of one“, a trend that many retailers today are focused on in order to increase the personalization of advertising and improve the experience for consumers so that promotional offers to purchase products become more like a personal shopper catering to them instead of a pushy salesperson who annoys them to the point of departing the store.

And if Pinterest is any indication with more than 600 million visual searches each month, and fact that image-based Pinterest ads have an 8.5 percent conversion rate, the role of visual search in helping to capture our attention, personalize the advertising experience, and seduce us to buy is here to stay as ecommerce and SEO evolve around it.

Gary Burtka is Vice President of U.S. operations at RTB House, a global company that provides retargeting technology for global brands worldwide. He can be found on Twitter @gary_burtka.

The post New visual search innovations tap human emotions and biological buying triggers appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Source:: searchenginewatch.com

A summary of Google Data Studio: Updates from April 2019

Sample Google Data studio dashboard

April was a big month for Google Data Studio (GDS), with Google introducing some significant product updates to this already robust reporting tool.

For those not familiar with GDS, it is a free dashboard-style reporting tool that Google rolled out in June 2016. With Data Studio, users can connect to various data sources to visualize, and share data from a variety of web-based platforms.

GDS supports native integrations with most Google products including Analytics, Google Ads, Search Ads 360 (formerly Doubleclick Search), Google Sheets, YouTube Analytics, and Google BigQuery.

GDS supports connectors that users can purchase to import data from over one hundred third-party sources such as Bing Ads, Amazon Ads, and many others.

Source: Google

1. Google introduces BigQuery BI Engine for integration with GDS

BigQuery is Google’s massive enterprise data warehouse. It enables extremely fast SQL queries by using the same technology that powers Google Search. Per Google,

“Every day, customers upload petabytes of new data into BigQuery, our exabyte-scale, serverless data warehouse, and the volume of data analyzed has grown by over 300 percent in just the last year.”

BigQuery BI Engine stores, analyzes, and finds insights on your data Image Source: Google

Source: Google

2. Enhanced data drill-down capabilities

You can now reveal additional levels of detail in a single chart using GDS’s enhanced data drill down (or drill up) capabilities.

You’ll need to enable this feature in each specific GDS chart and, once enabled, you can drill down from a higher level of detail to a lower one (for example, country to a city). You can also drill up from a lower level of detail to a higher one (for example, city to the country). You must be in “View” mode to drill up or drill down (as opposed to the “Edit” mode).

Here’s an example of drilling-up in a chart that uses Google’s sample data in GDS.

GDS chart showing clicks by month

Source: Google

To drill-up by year, right click on the chart in “View” mode and select “Drill up” as shown below.

GDS chart showing the option to “Drill up” the monthly data to yearly data

Visit the Data Studio Help website for detailed instructions on how to leverage this feature.

3. Improved formatting of tables

GDS now allows for more user-friendly and intuitive table formatting. This includes the ability to distribute columns evenly with just one click (by right-clicking the table), resizing only one column by dragging the column’s divider, and changing the justification of table contents to left, right, or center via the “Style” properties panel in “Edit” mode.

Example of editing, table properties tab in GDS

Source: Google

Detailed instructions on how to access this feature are located here.

4. The ability to hide pages in “View” mode

GDS users can now hide pages in “View” mode by right clicking on the specific page (accessed via the top submenu), clicking on the three vertical dots to the right of the page name, and selecting “Hide page in view mode”. This feature comes in handy when you’ve got pages you don’t want your client (or anyone) to see when presenting the GDS report.

The new “Hide page” feature in GDS

Source: Google

5. Page canvas size enhancements

Users can now customize each page’s size with a new feature that was rolled out on March 21st (we’re sneaking this into the April update because it’s a really neat feature).

Canvas size settings can be accessed from the page menu at the top of the GDS interface. Select Page>Current Page Settings, and then select “Style” from the settings area at the right of the screen. You can then choose your page size from a list of pre-configured sizes or set a custom size of your own.

GDS Page Settings Wizard

Source: Google

6. New Data Studio help community

As GDS adds more features and becomes more complex, it seems only fitting that Google would launch a community help forum for this tool. So, while this isn’t exactly a new feature to GDS itself, it is a new resource for GDS users that will hopefully make navigating GDS easier.

Users can access the GDS Help Community via Google’s support website or selecting “Help Options” from the top menu bar in GDS (indicated by a question mark icon) then click the “Visit Help Forum” link.

The Help menu within GDS

Source: Google

Conclusion

We hope that summarizing the latest GDS enhancements has made it a little easier to digest the many new changes that Google rolled out in April (and March). Remember, you can always get a list of updates, both new and old by visiting Google’s Support website here.

Jacqueline Dooley is the Director of Digital Strategy at CommonMind.

The post A summary of Google Data Studio: Updates from April 2019 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Source:: searchenginewatch.com

Trust Factors: The (In)Credible Impact of B2B Influencer Marketing

How Influencer Marketing Can Help B2B Brands Build Trust

How Influencer Marketing Can Help B2B Brands Build TrustTrust is a currency. It’s arguably the most valuable currency in today’s B2B marketing environment. And much like real money, it needs to be earned; the risks of attempting to counterfeit trust are grave.

In the first installment of our Trust Factor series, we discussed how creating best-answer content serves a long-term trust-building strategy. Today we’ll examine the ways in which partnering with influencers can provide a dramatic boost to your brand’s credibility and authority in the eyes of your audience. We’ll also share some examples of companies that are already doing this effectively, and the lessons we can draw from them.

There are no shortcuts when it comes to developing genuine trust with your customers. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take the shortest possible path, so long as you know where you’re going. Walking this road with the right influencers at your side can expedite the journey.

Coordinating Content, Co-opting Trust

In the past, we have defined influencer marketing as “the practice of engaging internal and industry experts with active networks to help achieve measurable business goals.” Building trust should be a primary goal for virtually every business, and is a helpful guiding imperative as you start building out an influencer strategy.

Sometimes, objectives tied to influencer marketing campaigns can feel ambiguous. Usually, brands are looking to gain reach and visibility with targeted audiences. But it’s not just about getting in front of those people; it’s about the perception of your company’s association with the influencers in question. It’s also about trusted voices delivering messages with expertise and credibility in a time when buyers are increasingly wary of advertising and marketing messages.

A strong influencer candidate already has trust equity built up with their (your) audience. They speak knowledgeably and persuasively on topics that align closely with your business. They’ve developed a sturdy reputation in their industry or niche that holds weight with the people who follow it.

It’s a level of credibility that can’t be matched. Data shows that an increasing number of B2B buyers trust digital content from influencers, more so than content from the brand itself. According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, the three most trusted voices are “company technical experts,” “academic experts,” and “a person like yourself.” All three represent common influencer profiles.

Edelman Trust GraphicIn large part, this resonance owes to relatability, which brings us to our next point: engaging the wrong influencers can be detrimental to what we’re trying to achieve.

How NOT to Build Trust with Influencer Marketing

The caveat here is that if you don’t do it right, influencer marketing can actually diminish trust with your audience. So before we dive into practical examples of trust-building influencer engagements, let’s outline a few things to avoid.

Don’t Prioritize Quantity Over Quality

It’s one of the most prevalent pitfalls in the influencer marketing universe: “This person has a huge following! Let’s partner with ‘em!” In fact, research from Influencer Marketing Hub for the 2019 Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report actually found that larger followings, on average, correlate with lower ROI.

The same report shows that 48% of brands are smartly treating audience relationship as the most valuable factor in working with influencers, higher than any other benefit. And while this isn’t always true, influencers with smaller (not tiny) followings can often foster more tightly knit communities, with more meaningful bonds.

Don’t look strictly at popularity when selecting influencers. As our CEO Lee Odden has written: “Relevance, resonance and reach metrics should be used for influencer identification and validation.”

[bctt tweet=“Relevance, resonance and reach metrics should be used for influencer identification and validation. – @leeodden“ username=“toprank“]

Don’t Try to Buy Trust Equity

Influencers should always feel like their efforts in a brand partnership are worthwhile. Sometimes, it makes sense to compensate them financially, but the most fruitful deployments of this strategy tend to take shape when both sides are invested beyond a simple money exchange.

“The real goal should be to develop mutually beneficial relationships with experts to co-create content that works for your audience, their audience and your mutual audience to build credibility,” writes TopRank Marketing Senior Director of Digital Strategy Ashley Zeckman.

Internet users are becoming smarter in general. If the extent of your motivation is to simply to associate your brand name with Instagram celebrities in a pay-to-play scenario (I’m looking at you, Fyre Festival), it’ll be transparent to your audience, and is likely to do more harm than good.

Creating a mutually beneficial scenario, as Ashley referenced, means that influencers see incentive in growing their own personal brands by partnering with yours. Establishing this dynamic is key to genuine and lasting influencer relationships.

Create Something Valuable

So, you’ve recruited an influencer to join your cause. Great! Now what are you going to do together? Too often, it seems like this is a secondary concern when it should be a foremost priority.

We consistently find that the most effective influencer marketing programs involve co-creation of content, where the expert perspectives lend tangible value to something your audience wants. Given the knowledge and authority held by niche influencers, this can greatly enhance the credibility of your best-answer content, which also supports SEO efforts.

If you want to see what this looks like, I invite you to peruse some of the examples below.

Examples of Trust-Building Influencer Engagements in Action

Trust is difficult to measure. But when you’re building it successfully, the impact tends to ripple outward into other metrics, like earned media value, prospect quality, and positive brand mentions. Here are a few campaigns that delivered results thanks, in large part, to an infusion of influencer content.

SAP SuccessFactors

Focus is an important aspect of any well conceived influencer content campaign. You want to address a direct pain point for your customers in a substantive way. SAP SuccessFactors, a provider of cloud-based human resource management software, wanted to zero in on employee health and well-being.

In partnership with our team at TopRank Marketing, SAP SuccessFactors created an eBook featuring unique insights from respected executives and leaders in the human resources space. One contributor, Chris Paine, even has “Chief HR Geek” for a title.

SuccessFactors Well-Being eBookThis collaborative influencer marketing campaign surpassed download benchmarks by 272%, and most pertinently, organic social messaging (via SAP and influencers) drove 69% of conversions.

Cisco Champions

This program exemplifies an influencer ecosystem that is driven by mutual benefit. Through its Cisco Champions community, the company nurtures a collection of brand enthusiasts who are also industry experts and active social media participants. By participating, these influencers are able to grow their own personal brands (while tethering themselves to the “single biggest player in enterprise networking”), and they also get special access to groups, training, and new products.

Cisco Champions Community“The program reaches a diverse audience and allows Cisco to earn the trust of the IT community with authentic and relevant content. Our community views the information as ‘for us, by us,‘ ” according to Cisco’s social media marketing manager Linda Hamilton (via Influitive). That is precisely the outcome any similar initiative should aim for.

Prophix

For this highly successful influencer program, Prophix tapped TopRank Marketing to help showcase powerful influencer content in action. The series of Pro Talks interview clips align with Prophix’s model as a provider of finance software, offering practical guidance for delivering finance presentations. The angle of the topic meant that this content was oriented directly toward CFOs and other business leaders that Prophix most wanted to reach, while also helping industry leaders showcase their expertise in an impactful way to grow their own influence.

Prophix ProTalksPresenting insights through video, with the speaker talking directly into the camera, helps enhance the trust-building qualities by simulating a face-to-face conversation with subject matter experts who embody the “trusted advisor” persona.

Supported by a mix of blog, social, and paid promotion, this campaign drove big results. An impressive 42% of viewers completed each video (7-to-9 minutes in length) and conversions exceeded the benchmark by 200%. Prophix captured multiple enterprise-level CFO leads.

Trust in Influencer Marketing

Even if trust is tough to measure, marketers are clearly seeing the value in influencer content, and trust is a key (if subtle) component of that. In the aforementioned State of Influencer Marketing report from IMH, 92% of respondents said they believe the tactic is effective and 86% plan to dedicate budget to influencer marketing activities this year.

These are further reasons to trust in influencer marketing, but I’d argue that the No. 1 driver should be the trust these strategic collaborators can imbue into your brand. By choosing the right influencers, creating mutually advantageous programs, and jointly creating content that serves your audience, you’ll be on your way to earning the kind of trust that simply cannot be bought.

Want to learn more about TopRank Marketing delivers trusted influencer marketing solutions for B2B companies? Check out our influencer marketing service page.

The post Trust Factors: The (In)Credible Impact of B2B Influencer Marketing appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Source:: toprankblog.com

Local SEO for enterprises: Optimizing for the Local 3-Pack

how often do consumers research products online before shopping for them in store

Fifteen years ago, if a customer needed a hammer, they’d probably get out a phone book, look up “Hardware Store,” choose the hardware store closest to their house, drive there, go inside, and ask the clerk “Do you sell hammers?” If they happened to be out of hammers, the clerk might draw the customer a map to the next closest hardware store and the process would start all over again.

Now that most of us are walking around with tiny computers in our pockets, much preliminary research is taken care of in a matter of seconds via mobile search. If a customer needs a hammer, they simply google “Hardware Store,” and three nearby results pop up instantly.

Chances are, that customer will then be done searching. Any stores that don’t pop up will not get their business. Securing one of those top three spots in a Google search is an essential part of nailing local SEO.

This is especially significant for enterprise brands to be able to compete at the local level.

With hundreds or thousands of locations, it can be overwhelming to ensure data accuracy across the board. Partnering with a local search solution to maintain and monitor listings across all locations is a great way boost online presence and drive foot traffic.

Content produced in collaboration with Rio SEO.

If you’re just looking at website analytics, you could be missing out

Most consumers are researching businesses on mobile before they make decisions about which locations to visit in person. In fact, according to RetailDive, two-thirds of consumers conduct research online before even stepping foot in a store.

And while most businesses know that they should pay close attention to their website analytics, many are forgetting that preliminary online research also includes local listings. Research shows that while 75% of consumers use a business’s website as part of their decision-making process, an even greater number, 87%, also consider local listings.

Going beyond website analytics to understand how your ranking in local search results affects in-person visits to your businesses is key to understanding how to use local SEO for real-life traffic.

A study by Sparktoro found that in 62% of local mobile searches, the customer doesn’t click search results to visit a business’s webpage. Further, Rio SEO found in recent data from enterprise clients that just 1 in 60 Map Pack views resulted in a click-through to a website.

62% of Google mobile searches resulted in no-click search

Rather, they get the information they need from the local listings that come up at the top of their search results. For many businesses, this means that if you’re not at the top, you might as well be invisible.

Optimizing for the Local 3-Pack

Mobile users are most likely using Google to search for local businesses, and those searches are generally limited to what’s called the “Local 3-Pack.”

In Google’s search engine results, the Local 3-Pack is a colorful, prominent map listing that presents to consumers the three businesses Google considers most relevant to the query and searcher’s location (refer again to the image above).

Coming in as one of those first three spots is critical for making sure local searchers can find your business.

How can your business break the top three?

The key to breaking into that coveted Local 3-Pack is making sure your corporate and local site’s SEO are in order. And the best way to get your SEO in order is to optimize your Google My Business (GMB) page to give Google’s algorithm everything it needs to find your company in local searches.

Here are a few tips for optimizing your GMB:

  • Provide critical business information, such as business name and category, location, and/or service area, hours of operation (with special hours or holidays), phone number, website URL, business description, and more
  • Give advanced information, like store code, labels, or Google Ads location extension phone
  • Encourage customers to leave reviews, which you can respond to within the GMB dashboard
  • Upload photos, which appear in both the listing and Google Images

The right tools can boost your online presence

If you’re worried that your business isn’t coming up at the top of those critical mobile local searches, changing your SEO strategy to adopt the right tools could be your best bet for getting seen by mobile users. Join SEW, ClickZ, and Rio SEO in our webinar to learn more about how to choose the right SEO toolkits for boosting your local business into those crucial top three search results–and keeping it there.

What to know more about mastering local SEO for enterprises?

The brands killing it in local SEO now are freeing their corporate teams and local managers of complicated workarounds and messy, muddled local data.

In this webinar, you’ll explore the benefits of taking a toolkit approach to enterprise local search and discover the key tools that must be a part of your local marketing arsenal. Join us and learn how to:

  • leverage location-based martech effectively to optimize your brand’s online presence,
  • improve customer experience in decision-making moments,
  • track and measure location metrics that matter and stop wasting time on the wrong data,
  • gain and retain search engine trust in your brand and each of its locations to improve local rankings and visibility,
  • empower local managers to support the brand’s marketing efforts without losing control

It’s time to stop throwing disparate, disconnected solutions that only accomplish one or two things into your stack. Isn’t it time your brand’s local marketing efforts worked together to achieve the results your local stores and customers crave?

Join us for our webinar, “Scrap Your Stack: High-Performance Local SEO for Enterprise Brands, Simplified” to learn how.

The post Local SEO for enterprises: Optimizing for the Local 3-Pack appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Source:: searchenginewatch.com