How Multi-Location & Franchise Businesses Can Drive More Leads from Local Search

min read
How Multi-Location & Franchise Businesses Can Drive More Leads from Local Search

I don’t know about you, but when I run a local search for “burrito near me,” the stakes are pretty high. Before I even finish typing, I’m already salivating at the thought of the warm fluffy tortilla, the creamy guacamole, and the juicy carne asada. If I don’t get my hands on one, the hunger pangs might just end me. This is why, no matter your industry, local searchers are among your most valuable customers — they’re in your area right now and they’re ready to put down their cold hard cash! 

Google’s research shows that 76% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a physical place within 24 hours. As a search marketer, you simply can’t afford to overlook these high-intent leads. But capitalizing on this channel can feel daunting, as there are a wide range of factors that influence Google’s algorithm, and a host of different paid advertising options you can experiment with.

In this post, I’ll share our top 8 tips for driving more leads from local search. I’ll also talk about how you can get credit for the phone leads you’re driving (if you aren’t tracking them already!) and how you can improve the full funnel conversion path. 

1. Optimize Your Google Business Profiles

When you run a local search, Google Business Profiles (formerly known as Google My Business) are often among the top results. These listings provide a quick overview of your business on the SERP, including its address, hours of operation, Google rating, and a click-to-call button. Clicking into the individual listings provides additional information like reviews, photos, directions, and a link to your company website.

To ensure your Google Business Profile listing ranks well in local searches, you need to include information that is accurate, complete, and helpful. First, make sure your addresses, hours of operation, and phone number are up-to-date. In addition, including appealing photos on your profile can help you tell the story of your business and increase engagement. Finally, you’ll need to have a strong review management strategy in place, as your star rating and quantity of reviews are key ranking factors for your Google Business Profile (more on this next). 

2. Employ a Review Management Strategy

As mentioned above, reviews are one of the most important ranking factors for Google Business Profiles. They’re also important ranking factors for other local listing sites your business may appear on, such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, Angie’s List, Zocdoc, and more. And, beyond rankings, they also heavily influence if local searchers will engage with your listing and ultimately become customers. 

Below are some quick tips you can use to manage your reviews:

  • Provide incentives for customers to leave reviews
  • Educate customers on how to leave a review
  • Showcase good reviews on your website (with the reviewer’s permission)
  • Continually monitor your reviews
  • Respond to every review promptly and honestly
  • Provide outstanding service that gives customers a reason to review you

Learn more tips for managing your online reputation in this post

3. Create Pages for Your Different Locations 

If you have more than one brick-and-mortar location, you should consider creating a page for each store. Location pages provide local searchers with helpful information about each storefront, such as the address, phone number, store hours, unique store descriptions, parking/transit information, promotions, a Google Maps embed, and testimonials from happy customers.

In addition to providing valuable information to your audience, location pages can also give you a bump in the search rankings. For example, when someone searches “Dentist Office Chicago,” you’ll have a much easier time showing up in the results if you have a page for this location that mentions Chicago in key areas like the title tags, meta description, H1s, body copy, URLs, and image alt tags. 

Just make sure you avoid duplicating content across your locations pages, as this could cause your pages to cannibalize traffic from one another. 

4. Use Local Search Ads to Increase Your Presence

In addition to the organic strategies mentioned above, you’ll probably want to use local search ads to bolster your presence. These can give you coverage where your organic rankings are lacking and give your customers even more opportunities to find and engage with your brand. 

Below are a few different local ad formats you can experiment with: 

Google Location Assets

Location assets (formerly “location extensions”) enable you to list your nearby locations in your ads with a phone number or clickable call option (on mobile). They’re useful for helping customers easily find and call their closest location, without having to go through transfers or research locations on your website.

Google Local Search Ads

If your Google Business Profile listings are a good source of leads, consider investing in Local Search ads to boost your visibility, especially for locations that aren’t getting as many new customers. These ads give your locations a boost in local search results, putting them at the top of the list.

Google Local Services Ads

For some industries, Google offers a special Local Services ad unit to drive appointment calls. The ads appear at the top of the search results, with your business name, your Google reviews ranking, and an option to call. Businesses must first pass a background check and license/insurance verification to be eligible.

5. Get Credit for the Phone Leads You Drive from Local Search

One of the most common next actions after placing a local search is to place a phone call to a business. According to research, 24% of people who click a Google Business Profile call directly from the listing. But are you getting credit for the phone leads you’re driving from local search?

If you’re just reporting the online leads you’re driving from local search, you’re probably vastly undercounting your impact on revenue generation. So, how can you fix this data dead zone and get credit for the phone calls you drive? By implementing a call tracking solution. 

When you place Invoca trackable phone numbers on your Google Business Profiles and website pages, you can see not only the quantiy of calls you drive, but also the quality, and how many result in revenue. With these insights, you can report the full impact of your search marketing efforts to your leadership team. You can also make smarter optimizations to your Google Business Profile and webpages to drive higher quality phone calls.

Don’t worry: adding DNI (Dynamic Number Insertion) trackable phone numbers to your website and listings doesn’t impact SEO. Call tracking numbers don’t interfere with Google’s NAP guidelines, which require a consistent name, address, and phone number for your locations. 

6. Optimize Your Landing Pages to Drive Calls

As I mentioned in the section above, phone calls are one of the most common conversion paths for local searchers, since they have high intent and want to engage with you ASAP. Therefore, you should make it as easy as possible for them to place a call to your business.

One of the best ways to do this is by adding “call now” CTAs to your landing pages, so they can seamlessly place a call to your business. Don’t forget to make sure those CTAs are clickable on mobile devices! You may also want to experiment with different versions of the call to action, depending on your industry and services, such as: “Talk to an expert,” “Call an agent,” and “Call for a free consultation.”

Another high-converting tactic is to send people from geo-targeted ads to localized versions of landing pages. This will ensure the content is relevant to their region of the country. Pro tip: using local phone numbers on your pages drives 3x more calls than toll-free numbers! Invoca’s DNI also lets you choose to display local or toll-free numbers. 

7. Analyze Phone Conversations for New Trends and Keyword Opportunities

Your customers’ search behavior is continuously changing over time. The issues they care about and the services they require are not static, and will shift as the world changes, the economy shifts, and technology advances. It’s critical to keep an ear to the ground so that you can stay on top of trends and meet your customers where they are. 

One of the most effective ways to do this is by using a conversation intelligence tool. With Invoca, you can tap into the voice of the customer and hear exactly what people are saying about your products and services. To get these insights, you can globally search phone call transcriptions or use Invoca’s AI to identify trends at scale. This allows you to discover new keywords and phrases that customers are using to talk about your products and services. You can also sort by location to understand different trends and regional dialects. 

For example, if you’re a pest control company, you may discover that there is a new invasive species of beetle that’s wreaking havoc in Indiana. You could then adjust your service offerings to address the beetle problem, and run search ads in Indiana talking about how you can neutralize it. Or, you may discover a regional term used to describe a certain grub that you weren’t previously incorporating into your keyword strategy.

When you use a conversation intelligence tool, you can stay in-step with your customers’ demands and ensure that you’re speaking their language.

8. Collaborate with Locations to Ensure Your Leads Are Converting

As a search marketer, it’s vital to prove your impact on revenue generation. However, as you know too well, your organization’s bottom line doesn’t just depend on how well you drive leads — it also depends on how well your sales team converts those leads to customers. 

When your potential customers call, they want to speak to the right person at the right location right away — our research shows over 60% of people have hung up after being placed on hold and 79% report their call being transferred at least once. If you don’t create a seamless phone call experience for your customers, you run the risk of frustrating them and increasing your churn.

To create a frictionless call experience for your customers at every location, you can use Invoca for Multi-Location CX to:

  • Route calls based on digital intent: With Invoca, you can use all the first-party intent data captured during a consumer’s digital journey — things like Google search keywords, website clickstream data, caller location, and other unique digital identifiers — and use that to inform call routing in real time. Understanding your callers’ intent before they call can help them bypass the IVR and get connected to the right location the first time around, so they’ll be more likely to convert.
  • Create easy-to-navigate conversational IVRs: Invoca makes it easy to create and modify voice-based IVRs. It’s made for non-technical users so you can create your own intuitive IVR and make changes to it without involving IT or telephony vendors.
  • Reduce missed calls with sequential routing: With Invoca you can route calls to a list of numbers sequentially, simultaneously, or via round robin until someone answers.
  • Arm agents with digital intent data: Invoca tracks the consumer’s entire digital journey, including keyword search terms, ads clicked, and products viewed on the webpage. This data tells agents exactly what callers want and how they can help, allowing them to have personalized conversations that increase conversion rates.

Additional Reading

Want to learn more about the latest search marketing trends and strategies? Check out these resources: 

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