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Local Search Success in the Age of Automation

Marketing Automation Assembly Line

Local Search Success in the Age of Automation was presented at the 2019 Rocks Digital Marketing Conference by Joe Youngblood. Here are the takeaways from his session.

The age of automation is coming, whether you like it or not. Self-driving cars are a example of the automation that is already in place.

When Siri first came out people thought it was ridiculous, but within two years it became cool.

How to be successful – Voice search is designed to restrict consumer choice. The goal of AI services in this blossoming age will be to emulate an actual human’s psychological process, but more quickly, with more data points, and then to offer one or a small handful of options to the human. So, the goal is to remove consumer choice but to deliver an excellent consumer experience.

How a Person Might Select a Local Business

  • Has someone I know had a good experience with a business?
  • Which businesses are at the top of Google?
  • Which of these are highly rated by other consumers?
  • Which of these are near my location?
  • Which of these have I used and been satisfied with in the past?
  • Which of these have similar consumers used, and been satisfied with in the past?

How an A.I. Attempting to Emulate a Human User Might Select a Local Business

  • Has someone my human knows had a good experience with a business?
  • Which businesses do my algorithms recommend?
  • Which of these are highly-rated (within past X time frame) by other consumers?
  • Which of these are close to my human?
  • Which of these has my human used and been satisfied with in the past?
  • Which of these have similar consumers used, and been satisfied with in the past?
  • Have any of these businesses broken my rules?
  • Do any of these businesses pay me money?

Signals an A.I. Assistant Might Consider for a Local Business

  • Inbound links to a website from known and trusted local sources.
  • Mentions of a brand name on known and trusted local websites or media determined to be discussing the local area.
  • Reviews and ratings by consumers that have a high probability of being legitimate. (If that consumer has reviewed other businesses in the area recently, for instance.)
  • Profile on the same platform as the A.I. Helper that is fully filled out and looks legitimate.
  • Any proprietary data my system has on this business.

You MUST Diversify Now – Choose Any 3 of These

  1. Local SEO / Google My Business
  2. Google Ads
  3. Yelp
  4. One other directory (Avvo, HomeAdvisor, GrubHub, etc.)
  5. Facebook or Instagram Organic
  6. Facebook or Instagram Ads
  7. Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, Tumblr, Snapchat, or Pinterest

You NEED to get reviews – because you need to be #1 or you’re out of the running (because, remember, the goal is to limit consumer choices).

You need to get local media coverage. If a local news outlet talks about you it gives you relevance to the search bots.

Recent Important Research and News on This Topic

  1. How Many Links a Website Needs to Rank #1 in Google: https://www.joeyoungblood.com/seo/how-many-links-a-website-needs-to-rank-1-in-google/
  2. FreshChalk 150k Website Teardown on SEO Factors: https://freshchalk.com/blog/150k-small-business-website-teardown-2019
  3. Roughly 3.25 billion voice assistants installed globally: https://voicebot.ai/2019/02/14/juniper-estimates-3-25-billion-voice-assistants-are-in-use-today-google-has-about-30-of-them/
  4. GrubHub found to own as many as 23,000 domains for restaurant clients without those restaurants’ permission. Websites help GrubHub charge a commission: https://newfoodeconomy.org/grubhub-domain-purchases-thousands-shadow-sites/
  5. Yelp wants to be a “remote control of your life” http://fortune.com/2019/06/25/yelp-growth-plan/
  6. An Official Survey Shows That Google My Business Wants to Charge For Some Features: https://gainlocal.net/blog/local-seo/an-official-survey-shows-that-google-my-business-wants-to-charge-for-some-features/

Laura Darkstar

Laura Darkstar, owner of Adminderella, is an Administrative Strategist, Blogger, Entrepreneur & Aspiring Novelist. She loves social media and small biz owners.

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