Home Blog 5 CX + LX priorities for 2024 (and what to leave behind)

5 CX + LX priorities for 2024 (and what to leave behind)

5 CX + LX priorities for 2024 (and what to leave behind)

In our most recent Local Experience & Search Consumer Behavior Study, Rio SEO made a striking discovery: 90% of local consumers are now using online search daily. It’s a significant increase from 83% in 2022 and 76% in 2021, and underscores just how essential search has become within the local customer experience.

As we delve into the priorities that will shape CX (Customer Experience) and LX (Local Experience) in 2024, five key areas demand attention and investment. In this article, we’ll explore the rising significance of visual engagement, the pivotal role of AI in local search, the art of measuring CX effectively, the importance of diversifying beyond Google, and the essential tool known as Google’s Business Profile API.

But that’s not all. In this ever-transforming marketing landscape, we’re also saying goodbye to outdated strategies. We’re bidding farewell to inactivated customer data and legacy tools that no longer serve us. It’s time to embrace the dynamic possibilities of the modern era. Join us in navigating the evolving world of local experiences and search in 2024, leaving behind the relics of the past and embracing the future of customer-centric marketing – in other words, the human experience. Let’s start with a deeper dive into top CX + LX priorities for the year ahead.

1. Increasingly visual ways to connect and engage in search

Forging a lasting impression kicks off with the very first encounter potential customers have with your brand in their local search results. You see, 59% of folks out there consider photos to be the MVPs of local search. The game-changer? High-quality, professional photos. They’re like the red carpet for your brand, setting the stage for the grand performance.

But here’s the kicker: high-quality photos don’t just look pretty; they make the cash register ring. Google’s got the receipts, showing that businesses with photos in their Business Profiles get 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps and a cool 35% bump in clicks to their websites.

So, what’s the secret sauce for a photogenic GBP? Let’s break it down:

Size and swagger: Your images need to fit right in, no awkward cropping or pixelated blunders. Google’s got its content policies, so play by the rules. And remember, too much text can be a buzzkill, especially on those tiny screens.

Stock shock: Stock photos? Nah, we’re not fans. They’re like a bad date, leaving a sour taste in users’ mouths and making Google grumpy. If you’re using them as a temporary fix while you’re out hunting for professional shots, replace them pronto.

Cover star: The cover photo’s your chance to shine. It’s the face of your brand, so make it count. Google’s got its standards, so show off that building’s exterior like it’s the star of the show.

A picture’s worth a thousand updates: Change is the name of the game. Keep your images fresh, like a brand-new coat of paint on a classic car. Regularly check and update your snaps to keep your GBP in tip-top shape.

In 2024, the visual game is stepping up. Get ready to dazzle your audience, one snapshot at a time.

2. Harnessing AI brilliance for local search domination.

In the ever-evolving landscape of local search marketing, AI emerges as a powerful ally. AI empowers multi-location brands to craft personalized content at scale, catering to unique local preferences while maintaining authenticity through human oversight. Using customer data, AI ensures your messaging aligns with unique needs and interests. Flexibility in adjusting content for different local preferences is AI’s forte, but human creativity remains crucial.

Voice search optimization also becomes seamless with AI, ensuring that content aligns with conversational queries and technical requirements. AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants elevate customer engagement, providing instant support, personalization, and convenience. Visual content optimization benefits from AI’s ability to analyze and understand images and videos, enhancing search visibility.

AI helps simplify data management across directories and platforms, maintaining accurate and consistent business information. In 2024, AI is your key to thriving in the competitive world of local search marketing – not only by applying it yourself, but in understanding how Google is using AI in search results, too.

3. Improving your CX measurement game.

Enhancing customer experiences is mission #1 for brands worldwide, but quantifying the impact of these efforts, especially at the local level, is tricky business.

Measuring local customer experiences means scrutinizing every interaction, from initial discovery to post-purchase engagement. These experiences are deeply shaped by localized elements like in-store environments, personalized interactions, and community engagement. It’s a complex undertaking that calls for a creative mix of qualitative and quantitative methodologies.

Social media stands is a rich source of real-time customer feedback, and there’s much you can learn by tuning in to brand-related conversations, mentions, and sentiments across social media channels. Customer journey mapping is another must-do, to visualize the customer’s journey from that first spark of contact to post-purchase interactions, shedding light on their perspective, pain points, and decision-making criteria along the way.

It takes data-driven analytics to distill actionable insight from vast troves of customer interaction data. Key performance indicators (KPIs) such as customer satisfaction scores, Net Promoter Score (NPS), customer retention rates, and average order value are major assists in quantifying performance across locations.

Diverse CX metrics, including Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Effort Score (CES), Churn Rate, Average Handling Time (AHT), First Contact Resolution (FCR), Customer Retention Rate, and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), are some of the other ingredients in your recipe for measuring and evaluating customer experience.

It almost sounds like another language but don’t worry – you don’t have to make sense of all this data on your own. Forsta’s Genius® Text Analytics, complementing Rio SEO’s Local Reviews, makes quick work of all of this analysis by putting machine learning and AI to work for you, unearthing profound insights within customer data and offering invaluable support in delivering exceptional local experiences.

4. Going beyond Google for local search.

It’s true: 99% are using Google Maps and Search to find information about local business (that’s not hyperbole – it’s our study’s finding for 2023!). But they’re also using Apple Maps (74%), Yelp (65%), Yahoo! (64%), and Bing (68%). That’s just the tip of the iceberg, too. Local searchers cast their nets wide, delving into industry-focused platforms, niche review sites, location-based apps, and specialized networks to find businesses in their vicinity.

For enterprise brands, embracing this diverse local search ecosystem is not just a matter of choice; it’s a strategic imperative. Expanding your local search horizons beyond Google opens up a world of opportunities to connect with potential customers where they are most active and engaged. Being present and accessible across a multitude of digital touchpoints enhances your visibility, credibility, and reach, thereby increasing the likelihood of attracting local searchers to your business.

Each platform and network within this vast ecosystem boasts its own unique characteristics, nuances, and user behaviors, too. Recognizing and adapting to these distinctions is the key to optimizing your enterprise local search strategy. Whether it’s the authenticity-driven dynamics of review platforms, the location-based precision of mobile apps, or the industry-specific focus of specialized networks, tailoring your approach to suit each context can significantly amplify your impact in the local search arena.

Take Apple Maps, for example – its Business Connect platform enables quick and easy distribution of up-to-date business location info to Apple Maps and across all Apple apps. Rio SEO’s API integration makes even lighter work of updating listing information including the business’ name, address, phone number, hours, website URL, and more whenever these key location details change. Check out or complete guide to getting started with Apple Business Connect here.

5. Getting your GBP house in order.

Speaking of API integration, there comes a point when manual location listing management and even bulk uploads become insufficient. Getting your GBP house in order is foundational for a seamless CX across the local customer journey.

Enter Google’s Business Profile API, designed specifically for multi-location brands and enterprises to streamline location management at scale. It empowers developers to create applications that simplify keeping Google local listings up to date for enterprise and multi-location brands. And it also allows partners like Rio SEO to handle data distribution via the API.

The GBP API enables marketing teams to efficiently edit location information, access reporting insights, manage Google Posts, update menu and product details, respond to local reviews, and optimize listings at scale. For global multi-location brands, this translates to saving countless man-hours.

This API enhances your brand’s online visibility, helping you appear in front of local audiences actively seeking your products or services. It ensures information accuracy, enhances search visibility, offers integration options for efficient communication, encourages customer engagement through reviews, and provides valuable customer insights. Any local enterprise business managing multiple Google Business Profiles can benefit from the GBP API, but prerequisites must be met to enable it. Proper setup and avoiding duplicates are essential, or you can opt for a local listings management solution like Rio SEO’s Local Listings to streamline the process.

What we’re leaving behind – and you can, too

The old adage “out with the old, in with the new” has never been more relevant. One major shift brand marketers are making as we look toward 2024 is bidding farewell to inactivated customer data.

In the past, brands accumulated vast amounts of customer information, often leaving it dormant and untapped. Today, we recognize the immense potential of this data and are harnessing it to drive personalized, data-driven marketing initiatives. With the right tools and strategies, we can now activate customer data to create meaningful, tailored local experiences that resonate with our audience.

Another practice that’s becoming a relic of the past is reliance on legacy tools and insights. Relying solely on traditional methods can hinder progress, so we’re embracing cutting-edge technologies and innovative insights that provide a real-time, holistic view of our customers’ behaviors and preferences. By doing so, you’ll stay agile and adaptive, ready to pivot and optimize our strategies at a moment’s notice.

Additionally, the days of siloed marketing efforts are behind us. The most successful enterprises are breaking down barriers between departments and fostering cross-functional collaboration, to deliver consistent messaging and experiences across all touchpoints. We’re talking a totally unified brand presence that resonates with customers, when and wherever they find you in search.

As we bid adieu to outdated enterprise marketing strategies, we’re ushering in a new era of data activation, technological advancement, and cross-functional synergy. Leave the relics of the past behind and laser-focus on CX + LX in 2024 to meet the evolving needs of your local customers.

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Local Pages Playbook

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2024 Local search consumer behavior study


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