This week on Found Bytes, David Mihm invites Will Scott, CEO and Co-founder of Search Influence, to share insights from his decades of experience in digital marketing, targeted content, and local search.
Note: Found Bytes is produced for the ear and designed to be heard. If you are able, we strongly encourage you to listen to the audio above. Or you can read our synopsis below to get an idea of what sorts of topics David and Will cover in this episode, which include:
Will mentioned that a greater percentage of new leads originates from direct advertising or Google paid search and display advertising rather than from organic sources like Google My Business. Will guessed the cause of this to be Google’s move to bring more advertising to the top of the page and the monetization of Maps. But he was also quick to point out that for local businesses, GMB is still a big lead driver. David asked if it differs depending on business category, but Will explained that it’s more about the size of the purchase the user is considering.
Will used zoos and aquariums as examples, explaining that a user looking to visit for a day may be able to glean all the info they need from your GMB profile. But if the user is looking to plan a corporate event at that zoo, they’re going to need to dig deeper beyond a GMB post. The importance of a business’s website increases with the complexity of the purchase. So it’s crucial to maintain content on both your GMB listing and website to provide essential information for all purchase considerations.
Will explained that creating content is always an iterative process. He’s seen businesses having great success by answering prospects’ questions and aiming for that answer box at the top of search results page because it’s such a prominent position. Will cited Google as one of the best research tools; the autocomplete function in the search bar can give hints on what kind of questions users are asking. Will also noted that longer tail search terms—15- or 16-word queries—have become more popular with users looking for more detailed answers.
David then asked about Google Q&A, mentioning Greg Gifford’s success with Q&A boosting lead conversion in the automotive vertical. Is that a good place to glean content inspiration?
“It’s still very directional, very transactional, like ‘What are your hours?’ But I can definitely see how over time as those questions get more sophisticated, they could start to drive a content strategy.” Will responded. He went on to encourage local business owners to track those questions for opportunities and to lean on staff to gather frequently asked questions they encounter with customers every day.
The two then discussed how to think about website architecture relative to conversion. Will explained that creating content architecture is part creative and part research-based, and about how it should reflect both the common questions your customers ask, but also support your business priorities to boost conversions.
“Just to tie the loop off here on profitable, slightly deeper content… What’s your strategy around getting reviews that speak to some of these longer tail transactions?” Will mentioned services like GatherUp as a way to help gather reviews, but also video as a strong driver for more complex transactions. Will explained that especially for testimonial types of content, video is more evocative because prospects can see themselves in the customers that share their experiences.
David closed the episode with the lighting round segment, where Will verified Facebook is alive and well as a medium for marketing storytelling. He also advised local businesses to focus on publishing engaging, shareable content to help boost their organic reach.