2023 has seen a massive shift in consumer trends and search engine optimization strategies. Consumers are now more informed, have higher expectations, and are more likely to engage with brands that provide personalized and localized experiences. As a result, many businesses must rethink their SEO and marketing approaches to meet the demands of these shifting trends.
Netsertive hosted a live webinar with Google to take a deep dive into these changes and the blog post below outlines the main takeaways franchise brands and multi-location marketers need to know. Key takeaways this blog post covers includes:
- Consumers now have higher expectations when it comes to personalized experiences.
- Digital ads, location pages and content must be localized and optimized for both search engines and consumers.
- Businesses must leverage analytics and data points from different channels to gain deeper insights into local customers.
- Multi-dimensional search optimization is an important factor for staying competitive in 2023.
Consumers Demand Personalized and Localized Experiences
Consumers are now seeking more personalized and localized experiences when engaging with brands online, which means that businesses must focus on delivering unique experiences to their customers to help them stand out from the competition. Localized digital advertising and content is also becoming more important than ever before due to the rise of multi-dimensional search options, such as a voice, google lens, and photo searches.
As a result, brands must ensure their digital ads, location pages, and content are optimized and localized for both search engines and consumers. At Netsertive, we see many struggles on the path to realizing this ideal state, where all franchisees and locations are working with the home office in perfect harmony to execute one digital marketing plan. We see the most success when marketing teams approach digital marketing at scale in a few ways:
- Utilize first-party data for better personalization, localization, and cross-channel orchestration. It can also be used to link all relevant data sources, online and offline, to define their target audiences and build a more complete picture of customers. A BCG study found that companies that link all of their first-party data sources can generate double the incremental revenue from a single ad placement, communication, or outreach, and 1.5 times the improvement in cost efficiency over companies with limited data integration.
- Consolidate and simplify digital partners at both the corporate and local level. Monitor adoption at the local level through granular local insights to coach the under performers and enforce required local ad spend.
- Drive program and vendor adoption through monthly marketing webinars, meets ups and shared content and case studies. The more other location owners and operators can see their colleagues being successful through a corporate program, the more they’ll want to get on board.
Check out this real life case study to see how Netsertive powers localized digital marketing campaigns at scale to address the themes above.
Rise of Multi-Dimensional Search Near Me
Google is changing the way we search, to make it more intuitive, local, and natural to the way we want to look for information. This includes new ways to search via voice, text, and images, such as Multisearch Near Me which will be available to use your camera’s phone to search by an image (powered by Google Lens) with a text query. The image and text is used to show you visual search results to better find exactly what you're looking for.
In order to use Multisearch Near Me, users can snap a photo with their camera or long-press an image they've discovered via Google Search, add the phrase "near me," and voila, they'll get results on local businesses that carry the object they desire.
Like everything, local authority, visibility, and discoverability will be important for local businesses to surface at the top of Google’s results and recommendations.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been making its presence known in many industries, including marketing. AI-powered solutions have become extremely useful providing insights into customer behavior quickly and automating tasks, such as content development and marketing assets. AI tools can also help marketers develop effective strategies based on data gathered from past campaigns, allowing them to make more informed decisions about their current campaigns and plan ahead for future ones.
In addition, Microsoft announced an extended partnership with OpenAI, the startup behind art- and text-generating AI systems like ChatGPT, DALL-E 2 and GPT-3, and is rumored to be integrating ChatGPT and Bing search results. This would indeed reinvent the search box and how we find information, which would mean a new world for franchise brands and multi-location marketers.
Performance Max is a new goal-based campaign type that allows performance advertisers to access all of their Google Ads inventory from a single campaign. It's designed to complement your keyword-based Search campaigns to help you find more converting customers across all of Google's channels like YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail, and Maps.
This new ad format tips the hat to where AdTech is going, heading towards more and more automation and machine learning to power performance marketing. And while at Netsertive we have seen an increase in performance for test campaigns that incorporated the new ad format, it’s by no means an end all be all for franchise and multi-location marketers. We recommend testing it out alongside your existing search, localized CTV, and other digital channels to test its efficacy.
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is Here
Additionally, businesses must take advantage of the latest tools available to help them understand customer behavior, such as AI-driven analytics platforms. Google Analytics (GA4) is one such platform that is evolving to better measure and analyze new digital journeys and starting July 1, 2023 Google Universal Analytics (UA) is getting replaced by Google Analytics 4 (GA4). Here’s the top differences franchise and multi-location brands need to be aware of:
- Universal Analytics Relies Heavily on 3rd Party Cookies, GA4 Does Not - GA4 uses its own first-party cookie (which won't be deprecated) and combines it with data from other sources such as Google Ads, Firebase, and BigQuery. This allows marketers to collect more accurate data without relying on third-party cookies.
- Universal Analytics is Session-Based, while GA4 is Event–Based - This means that the way marketers track website traffic will not be apples to apples comparison between the two instances and you need to run the two instances in parallel to understand what the new metrics equate to in the old world.
- Universal Analytics was Built Around Desktop Web Traffic, While GA4 Provides Visibility Across All Websites and Apps - This provides more accurate tracking when measuring user engagement across multiple devices because there is no need to rely on cookies or other identifying markers.
- GA4 Uses Machine Learning Technology to Share Insights and Make Predictions - enhanced machine learning capabilities that allow you to gain deeper insights into customer behavior over time.
As franchise and multi-location marketers enter 2023, it’s important that they stay abreast of the latest search and consumer trend behaviors in order to stay ahead of the competition and keep their marketing efforts relevant and effective. By incorporating localization at scale, AI-powered solutions, Google Analytics 4, and Performance Max testing into their strategies, marketers will be able to better meet the needs of today’s local consumers while staying competitive in an ever-evolving landscape.
At Netsertive, we live and breathe localized digital marketing and would love to connect if you have any questions or need help with your digital strategy.