This year had no shortage of updates in the local marketing landscape. From industry updates to pandemic-prompted technology enhancements, local marketers had their hands full and their schedules packed ensuring their locations were accurately displaying up-to-date information. Throughout the year, we hosted ongoing webinars covering a wide range of topics and invited renowned industry experts to share their insights. In this blog post, we will break down our top local marketing webinars of 2020 as well as key takeaways and highlights from each of the webinars.

As we wrap up the end of this year, we encourage you to stay tuned for more great webinars to come in 2021. You can find both our upcoming and past webinars here, which we update on a regular basis. Now, let’s dive into the webinars which made the biggest impact on our audience over the past unpredictable year.

1. COVID-19 and the Future of Local Marketing

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Every marketer’s plans were completely derailed once the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe. Metrics and endeavors that were set at the beginning of 2020 suddenly had to shift and companies had to adapt to a “new normal” for the foreseeable future, with no expected end date in sight. COVID-19 was the primary topic of nearly every conversation, and we felt necessary to discuss how it is shaping local marketing and what this means for the future. 

In this webinar, we assembled an expert panel to dive into COVID-related trends, how to adjust and optimize your content for social distancing nomenclature, and best practices for post-pandemic marketing. The panel featured Krystal Taing, Solutions Engineer for Strategic Partnerships at Uberall, Lauren Abramson, Account Director at Rio SEO, and Tyler Ludwig, Director of Enterprise Solutions at Rio SEO.

While we as a country remain in the midst of the pandemic, many of these strategies can be applied once stay at home orders lessen and in-store shopping becomes a preferred method for shopping once again.

COVID-19 and the Future of Local Marketing

2. Interpreting Metrics at Scale

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A marketing program can reach further success by monitoring where you are excelling and where there’s room for improvement. However, when tracking local performance across hundreds or thousands of locations, this can prove to be a challenge.

In a webinar we hosted earlier in the year, Chantel Green, one of Rio’s own Account Directors, walked through the metrics that are most important for multi-location brands to measure and how to interpret these metrics at scale.

This webinar was designed to help brands uncover the KPIs they should be focusing on and understand their Google My Business (GMB) performance. Learn more about which metrics matter most in local to determine where you should focus your local reporting efforts in 2021 by listening to the full webinar.

3. Leveraging Local Pages at Scale

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Local landing pages are a key component in any comprehensive local marketing strategy. They offer more insight into the individual location including services they offer, pricing, their staff, promotional offers specific to that store, and more. To shed more light on the importance of local pages, how they tie into your marketing strategy, and how to improve your rankings with local pages, we gathered a team of local marketing experts to walk through all this and more.

Our panel included Lauren Etter, VP of Client Success at LSM, Steve Wiideman, Senior Search Strategist at Wiideman Consulting Group, and Dani Owens, Local SEO Consultant at Pigzilla.

Additionally, our expert panel covered how to:

  • Optimize location pages at scale to get more traffic to your site and/or brick and mortar
  • Build a location page structure that boosts conversions
  • Build visibility for non-branded, product, or service-specific searches
  • Reduce friction in the consumer path to conversion with click-to-call, click-for-directions, etc.
  • Accurately measure online-to-offline across thousands of locations within a single dashboard

Learn more takeaways and how to effectively leverage your local landing pages by downloading our free Local Pages Playbook.

local pages webinar header

4. GMB Insights Study

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After acclimating to months of being on lockdown orders, we sought to measure the impact of the pandemic on businesses across multiple verticals. We analyzed 200+ multi-location brands to better understand how fear, anxieties, and the shift from in-person to online shopping impacted businesses.

After analyzing the search data over a ten-week period, we found many key takeaways and discoveries across the board. Our expert panel, featuring Krystal Taing, Solutions Engineer for Strategic Partnerships at Uberall, Marshall Nyman, Account Director at Rio SEO, and Ryan Weber, Director of Client Success at Rio SEO discussed their top takeaways from the research.

Some of these takeaways varied by industry, however, a few highlights of our research we discussed during the webinar include:

  • Even in times of crisis, consumers use organic and local search to find solutions to their immediate needs.
  • Consumers do not stop using local search (Maps) even in lockdown. Brands need to meet consumers at this critical juncture with up-to-date Special Hours, Menus, Order Ahead URLs, and other GMB features to help consumers navigate temporary changes in operation.
  • Phone calls may increase during times of crisis or uncertainty. Brands must ensure that if the preferred phone number has changed while stores are temporarily closed, that information is syndicated to all local listings in real-time.
  • Consumers in crisis have higher than usual informational needs. Brands should keep information about online ordering, curbside pickup, drive-thru service, and other lockdown related customer service issues on the website up to date and properly marked up for discovery in search.

Read more GMB insights from the accompanying whitepaper here

GMB Insights On-demand webinar

Want more local marketing resources?

We encourage you to check out our collection of ebooks, whitepapers, blog posts, and other local marketing resources, which we update regularly. Additionally, we will continue to hold webinars frequently. Visit our webinars and events page to stay tuned on what’s to come in 2021.