Each year, an abundance of changes take place in the local search landscape. In fact, during a recent webinar we hosted, Google Business Profile Expert Stefan Somborac noted more changes have taken place with Google specifically in the past two years than the previous five years before the pandemic. We anticipate these quick and abundant updates to continue into 2022, as businesses need to communicate essential information faster than ever before to better keep their customers informed. In turn, Rio SEO will continue to evolve and reshape our local marketing platform features to enable businesses to share timely and accurate information across all their locations.
In 2021, we made several notable enhancements to better meet the needs of our clients and search platforms. In this blog post, we will call out five of these updates to bring attention to features you may not be aware of and can take advantage of to amplify your 2022 local strategy.
Without further adieu, let’s dive into each of the top five Rio SEO platform enhancements in 2021.
Google Posts Enhancements
Google Posts are growing in popularity, as they are a free feature for brands to share offers, events, COVID-19 information, and more for each of their locations. As more of our clients use posts to communicate timely updates for their businesses, we’ve in turn added new features to make creating and sharing posts even more seamless for multi-location brands.
One of those new features is the ability to create trackable URLs for each location to ensure you know exactly where Post traffic is coming from. This enables your brand to gain more insight into how Posts are performing at each of your locations.
Another new feature of interest is dynamic text insertion, an efficiency improvement when creating Google Posts that are catered to local audiences. A tremendous amount of time can be saved by creating a single post across many different locations with dynamically changing values that are bespoke to each location. Examples of dynamic text insertion within a post include:
- ~address_1~ for the street address of each given location making a post
- ~city~ for the city of each given location making a post
- ~url~ for the specific local page for each given location
- ~google_store_code~ for the store code tied to each given location
So, if your brand uses ~city~ or ~url~ in your post it would insert the city or the url of the local page of the location making that post.
Here’s an example of how a business would create a Post using dynamic text insertion values:
The post can be assigned to any number of locations and the city, address, local page url, and even the customized trackable url in the CTA link are populated with the information specific to each location.
Here is more information about the types of Posts available to you as well as other functionality available by Post type in our platform.
Types of posts available to businesses:
- What’s new
Posts that can have images:
- What’s new
Posts that can have coupon codes:
Durations of Posts metrics collection:
- Covid-19 – 14 days
- What’s new – 7 days
- Offer – Can specify start and end dates for the campaign
- Event – Can specify start and end dates for the campaign
Google Posts insights will also become available in our January release to give brands a more accurate representation of performance.
Scheduled Fields in Advance
Have a change planned for the future and want to set this change in advance? Our scheduled fields feature allows for field-level scheduling for as many changes as your business has planned. Each change will automatically “publish” the value at the scheduled time.
For example, if your business offers additional services during certain time periods of the year, such as a pet store hosting adoption days on weekends, you can schedule these services to show up on your listings on those specified dates.
Another example, if you’re a retailer that changes your store layout for the holiday season, you can set your holiday season store photos to appear only during the holidays. This would enable your brand to give customers a more accurate representation of what they can expect should they visit your physical storefront during the holidays.
Associate People to a Location
If you’re a medical provider who practices at a clinic, you’ll want your local listing to be associated with that clinic so patients know where exactly they can find you. Additionally, if you’re a medical provider who practices in an office a few days a week and performs surgeries at a hospital the other days of the week, you’ll want to be able to have your listing appear at both the office and the hospital without the risk of appearing as a duplicate listing.
Our Parent/Child feature allows businesses in diverse verticals to associate people to multiple locations. Another example of this feature in use would be music teachers that give lessons at multiple retail locations.
Visually Clear and Concise Reporting to Improve Interpretation
Over the past year, our Local Reporting solution received a significant user interface improvement for more streamlined reporting. Some of these new reporting updates include:
- Less tabs to navigate to when reviewing granular reports
- A simpler layout for the reporting tab
- Created a single date-picker and filter experience
- Improved the visualization of the Summary and Rank reports
- Created a consistent header across all aggregate reports, clearly displaying the reporting period, the presence of any filters applied, and count of entities with data reflected in the results
- Added a new “Build Reports” button that fully controls the loading of all aggregate reporting screens
We also added the ability to create schedulable reports based on dynamic time ranges such as last # week, last # month, last # quarter, and last # year (# to be replaced by the desired numerical value). The report can then be sent to an email address on a respective cadence to the dynamic date range. This allows your business to gain a transparent look at your performance on a consistent basis, as determined by your unique needs.
Introduction of Lookup API
Our new Lookup API is a modern reboot of our real-time web API, ideal for use as a service API in consumer websites and mobile apps. In our modernization of this API, we offer geographical lookups, but even went a few steps further and introduced the ability to use any number of custom groupings.
For example, if a customer wanted to search for a location that is best suited to service a given area, but may not be the nearest location to that area, then they could use custom overrides to easily achieve that goal.
Stay on Top of Future Rio SEO Platform Updates
These are just some of the Rio SEO platform enhancements to take place in the last year. Stay up-to-date on future platform updates to come by subscribing to our newsletter and reading our blog. We also share industry news and updates, best practices, and more on a regular basis.
You can also check out our previous product update announcements as well to ensure you’re up to speed on the features your business can be taking advantage of.
Interested in learning more about Rio SEO’s Open Local Platform? Schedule a demo today. For existing clients, reach out to your Account Director.
For all other support needs, contact us. We’re here to help.