Why Do SMBs Fail at Local Search?


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local search fail SMBsLocal marketing is a tricky game. The competition is fierce. Every day is a street fight for eyeballs, local market share, and revenue. Local marketing–and local search specifically–is hard.

Why do so many SMBs fail at local search?

Not Everyone Fails…

After this blog is published I expect a deluge of comments that ridicule the title by pointing out that many SMBs don’t fail at local search.

Of course they’re right. Not every SMB fails at local search. But many do.

The 4 Factors of SMB Local Search Failure

1) National Brands Doing Local SEO

Do a little test. Do a Google search in your city for a tires, for example, or for restaurants, or a plumber.

Over 50% of the results–maybe more–will not be local businesses at all. They won’t be SMBs. Instead they will be local locations of national brands.

These national brands spend hundreds of thousands of dollars–maybe more–on local marketing. They pay companies like ReachLocal, Balihoo and others to ensure a local presence. They have entire departments dedicated to local SEO and local search. These national brands are desperate for local search traction. Desperation + resources = results.

How do true SMBs compete with that?

How does Jim’s Tires in Austin Texas compete with major national brands with locations in Austin, Texas?

They largely can’t.

This sad fact is a reason that some SMBs are failing at local search. Simply, their competitors–national brands–have more resources.

2) Lack of SMB Call Tracking

Every national brand that does local marketing–at least that we’re aware of–uses call tracking. Companies that specialize in local marketing for national brands–I mentioned two above–include call tracking in their offerings. Do you think a massive company with 1000+ local locations isn’t going to track their marketing spend with call tracking?

Of course they’re using call tracking.

Conversely, many SMBs don’t. They don’t see the importance of call tracking, or they’re unfamiliar with it.

So, to review, on one side, a group (national brands with a local presence) that uses data to make decisions and, on the other side, a group (SMBs) that don’t use data to make decisions.

Who do you think is going to win?

3) Late-Adopters of Local SEO

SMBs have been late-adopters of SEO tactics and strategy. Many SMBs haven’t optimized their listings, others have outdated websites, others just barely hired their first local SEO firm.

How can these firms compete with national brands?

4) Not Enough Resources to Keep up With Changing Trends

Google is pushing algorithm updates constantly. Matt Cutts recently said that Google pushes new updates every couple of days.

SEO is always changing.

How is someone at a local pizza shop supposed to keep track of and manage all these changes?

Most SMBs simply don’t have enough resources.

How to Level the Playing Field

SMBs can’t make up for resources they don’t have. But they can level the playing field a bit by at least trying to figure out what marketing works and what doesn’t. Call tracking levels the playing field for SMBs.

Call tracking won’t fix your local search problems, however, it will give you data so YOU can fix your local search problems. You simply can’t make decisions about your local marketing unless and until you have local marketing data.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

McKay Allen
LogMyCalls is the next generation of call tracking and marketing automation. The award winning product from ContactPoint, LogMyCalls provides lead scoring, conversion rate tracking and close rate mapping. For more information visit LogMyCalls.com and call (866) 811-8880.


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