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Local Search: An Overlooked Digital Strategy for Effective Lead Generation (Part 2)

In Part 1 of our post on local search, we talked about how a digital, local search solution would be a worthwhile part of your customer acquisition efforts. Having an online presence and reaching customers at the moment when they are searching locally for your product or service supplies an additional, cost-effective channel for sourcing qualified leads.

So how do you get started with local search? Using an integrated platform that does much of the work for you by allowing for updates on a large scale is the best way to develop custom landing pages for each of your locations, as well as to optimize search and track performance and leads for each local office. Enter our newest offering, SiteAxys!

SiteAxys is a single interface that allows you to manage all of your locations’ online presence, including social media, and empowers you to rank well in local search. SiteAxys addresses the various factors that go into local search ranking, such as, first and foremost, having optimized landing pages. When customers search for your business online, you want to direct them to the appropriate page for the office located closest to them. After creating these pages through SiteAxys, you will be able to manage all of them and make updates automatically and across the board. You will also have optimized local listings on Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. per location. Furthermore, SiteAxys boosts your local ranking by making sure consistent business information appears across search engines, online directories, and other key sites where you want to be found.

The end goal, of course, is to drive more local, qualified leads to your offices; a platform like SiteAxys delivers optimized pages with this in mind. A customer visiting the landing page is likely looking to contact or visit the location; thus, business information (business name, address, phone number, map and directions) is featured prominently, in addition to a variety of calls-to-action, along with quote/email tools. Having mobile and tablet versions of landing pages is also important for lead gen. All SiteAxys pages are optimized using responsive design for desktop, tablet and mobile devices, in order to serve up the most ideal user experience, based on the device being used.

Reporting and Compliance Needs:

After adding local search to your customer acquisition efforts, you will certainly want to track the amount of leads coming from online. We believe it’s a must. Reporting should be relatively easy and whatever local search tools your using should include built in tracking and reporting. From the interface, you should be able to access customizable analytics, see exactly where your leads are coming from and measure performance month over month.

One potential challenge of having individual location pages and local listings for all your locations is ensuring that what customers actually find online is brand and regulatory compliant, especially if you are in industries like financial services, including brokerage or insurance services. The platform chosen needs to provide a tight means of control by allowing corporate to manage and/or approve what content is available to individual locations. Your platform or local search solution should also have the ability to review and approve any updates and messaging going out to customers. Location landing pages, almost by definition, will have to accommodate disclaimers and ensure that you are FINRA, IIROC, SEC, FSA compliant at all times. Without these assurances, there’s little likelihood of this strategy ever being approved.

Even for businesses that recognize the value of local search, taking this on internally can be time-consuming and labor-intensive particularly given the fluidity of this ever-evolving space.  Individual locations typically find it difficult to keep pace with a dynamic local search landscape and generally have other, more pressing priorities. Utilizing an integrated platform solution to facilitate much of the work of local search marketing lets local offices focus on other aspects of their business and still reap the benefits of a robust local online presence.

We are pleased to add this digital solution to our suite of services at Harland Clarke Digital and look forward to answering all of your local search questions.

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Harland Clarke Corp. is a leading provider of best-in-class integrated payment solutions and marketing services, serving multiple industries including financial services, retail, healthcare, insurance, and telecommunications.

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