The local search marketing landscape is constantly evolving. If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it’s that it’s almost never “business as usual” anymore and we must always be ready to pivot at a moment’s notice. As your priorities and strategies change, so too should the technology you leverage to run your business. Rio SEO’s focus has always been to advance our suite of local marketing technology and service-centric business model to meet our client’s ever-changing needs. In this blog, we will discuss the latest Rio SEO platform enhancements you might’ve missed.
When the pandemic first began to affect businesses globally in early 2020, our team worked quickly to develop the updates necessary, as updates were made available by search platforms, to ensure our clients were able to communicate any updates to their products/services, hours of operation, safety protocols, and attributes. It was a busy year keeping up with the numerous local updates released, yet we expanded our capabilities and continue this progress into 2021.
To make sure you don’t miss a single product update that can help your business further succeed in its local marketing efforts, we’ve rounded up the most recent improvements to our technology stack. We also regularly publish product update blog posts, where we share the top highlights of every major product release. Let’s dive into the product features and enhancements that are aiding our customers in being found in search.
1. Local Listings Updates to Support Businesses Amid COVID-19
No one could have predicted the influx of complications COVID-19 would present to businesses’ operations. And, no vertical was left untouched–from widespread shutdowns across every “non-essential business” to fear of potential exposure to the virus when shopping in person.
To prevent miscommunication and inaccurate information, we quickly pivoted our product roadmap to expand the functionality for supporting businesses in a COVID-19 world. As the need for accurately communicating store hours, temporary closures, health, and safety protocols rose, we made the following improvements to our product:
- Broadening business classifications for operating hours
- Temporary closures
- Pandemic-related amendments to service offerings, attributes, and directory specific messaging
2. Collect and Publish First-Party Reviews
In a recent survey conducted by Rio SEO publishing soon, we found 75% of our respondents said first-party reviews are likely to influence their purchasing decision. Knowing customers follow the masses and feel more at ease purchasing from businesses deemed to be reputable, it’s crucial to highlight these reviews on your listings and your website.
In the fall of 2020, Rio SEO introduced Local Ratings, a powerful tool that enables you to promote transparency and control your online presence. With Rio Local Ratings, multi-location brands can provide a seamless shopping7 experience for their customers by building trust through credible, on-page customer reviews.
3. Enhanced Visibility into Listing Health
Clients need a transparent, easy-to-digest view of their overall listing and any opportunities for improvement. The creation of our “Listing Health” feature allows for this, displaying all published content on specific directories in one, easily-digestible location. Now a business can ensure every location is taking full advantage of available listing real estate by directory, never leaving a single listing on any directory under-optimized.
4. Precise Local Rankings Within Specific Areas
Brands can see Google local rankings inside their Local Reporting dashboard by proximity in two radii, as determined by the brand.
These rankings are aggregated into top performers (such as #1 rankings, top 3, top 10, etc.) so you can view local rankings performance at a glance across the entire brand. You can also look at individual locations to better assess performance in specific markets. This data enables marketers to see how a location is performing in search within a specific proximity of the location.
5. Google Posts Bulk Publication
Google Posts are an effective method for sharing new products, location-specific specials, any safety-precautions your business is taking, and more. Yet multi-location brands were unable to distribute Google Posts in bulk until recently. COVID-19 highlighted the need for brands to share messages in mass, and in the spring of 2020, Google lifted the prior restriction to support their multi-location customers. Rio SEO in turn supports the distribution of health or promotional posts in bulk for brands, ensuring your customers never miss a timely update.
6. Collaboration Tools to Streamline Local Data Governance
Multi-location brands can maintain the integrity of location information across the brand while empowering local managers with data governance.
With Rio SEO’s Suggestion Engine tool, local managers can solicit location data from people in the field, get notified when there are new local updates to review, see if there are conflicts and share deep links with other collaborators. You also will have visibility into the full history of the data changed, who suggested the change, and who approved for every update.
7. Bulk Change Management for Enterprise-Grade Agility
If 2020 taught local marketers anything, it’s the ability to be agile and quickly pivot during times of uncertainty is a must. Yet, without the right functionality, making bulk changes on the fly is nearly impossible, such as needing to temporarily close locations or update store hours across multiple locations. In an effort to eliminate friction when quick changes are needed, Rio SEO enables brands to quickly submit bulk changes at their convenience.
For Local Manager users who have this feature enabled (access is dependent on role), the multi-edit feature can be found under the “Locations” tab. Once inside the Locations tab, select which locations (either subset or all) you would like to edit in bulk, then select the “Multi-Edit” button, next to “Export”. Thereafter, the interface will display all of the varying fields that may have bulk changes assigned. Lastly, click “Finish” to complete the changes.
8. Enabling Entity Management at Scale
For certain businesses, such as a physician who practices at different healthcare facilities or a musician who offers lessons at different retail locations, you need the ability to associate the person to multiple locations. The expansion of Parent Location ID allows for this, enabling people to be associated with all your appropriate locations.
9. Embeddable Solutions for Centralized Reporting
Rather than toggling between different software to get a comprehensive view of your metrics, Rio SEO now allows for embeddable solutions, like Google Data Studio, allowing Local Manager to be a singular CMS solution. This powerful integration allows your brand to pull in existing reports and measure your local marketing performance without the need to export reports.
Additionally, the Notes feature gives users the ability to embed numerous assets from Microsoft, YouTube, and other online sources, as long as they have an embeddable URL.
10. Local Reporting Interface Enhancements
Local Reporting users will notice a more intuitive interface when accessing their reports, creating a more seamless navigation experience. Rather than seeing individual location performance in different reporting tabs, users will have a clear view into both aggregate and individual location performance by navigating to separate tabs.
Users are now able to view data in aggregate, click the reporting tab. To dive deeper into location-specific metrics, navigate to the locations tab.
Learn More Today!
There’s much more to come in 2021! A few product enhancements on the horizon include:
- Deep-link from Rank to Locations and from Citation to Locations
- “More Hours” functionality for Google My Business
- Additional Google Posts bulk functionality and insights
- Map Pack Insights aggregated across industries
- Bing Insights
- Improve NextDoor listings in Listing Health
- Google Insights incorporating review content
- And more!
Want to learn more about these recent product updates or what’s to come? If you’re already a Rio SEO client, reach out to your Account Director. Otherwise, click here to request a 30-minute demo to see all the latest updates to Rio SEO’s Open Local Platform.