Challenges like the onset of COVID-19 can be challenging for local marketers. Back in March 2020, plans got completely upended, so we were forced to alter how we look at local marketing measurement. But, what do the resulting changes mean specifically for local marketing, and how can we measure success?
Pay Attention to Historically Overlooked Google My Business Metrics: In light of the pandemic, neatly packed content calendars were scraped and re-created with one topic in mind: how to keep customers informed while helping them feel safe. Whether that was indoor seating limits in restaurants or temporary closures for stores, most businesses were affected. Google Posts became a key tool for sharing information quickly. You can gain insights from examining the metrics.
Focus on Measuring All Device Types: Mobile is the primary way the majority of users access the web, and the pandemic only reinforced that, but you shouldn't only look at mobile. Look at desktop traffic at least monthly, too.
Use Referral Traffic to Measure Customer Engagement: Referral traffic to websites is not always the main KPI but can be secondary or supportive - depending on what it says about customer engagement. With changes in how Apple Maps, Yelp, and other such sources provided opportunities for brands to share COVID-19 details about brick-and-mortar, measuring referral traffic and upticks from these platforms showcase how people are checking additional sources to continually fact-check the information.
Focus on Holistic Search Strategy Performance: Holistic search strategies have been important for a while now. Google has forced brands to take ownership of valuable search terms with SERP layouts and integrations like Hotel Ad Feeds. You can add budget to Local Search Ads or integration Local Inventory Ads in listings may help your customers find what they're looking for more quickly. Measure your paid performance and add it to your overall search strategy if it's working for you.
Leverage Google Analytics to Measure eCommerce Performance: Now is the time to develop eCommerce capabilities if you haven't done so already. It's essential that businesses ensure a seamless ordering process with quick turnarounds to receive products to build a positive brand association. Google Analytics will help you compare how brick-ad-mortar and the digital shelf are performing when the pandemic ends.
Stay Current With Popular Search Terms: You'll also need to revisit your focused keywords with the pandemic shift in mind. [Near me] searches rose during 2020, and so did the terms [curbside pickup] and [drive-thru], as did newer terms such as [contactless delivery].