We really enjoyed our two days up in Manchester at SAScon 2013. Unfortunately, with three tracks going on and only two of us, we couldn’t get to every talk. However, we did our best to attend as much as possible. So here are our top takeaways from our favourite talks.
Keynote – Alistair Thornton, Marketing Director thomsonlocal.com
The big focus of this talk was on local businesses and local search.
Some quick stats:
- £1 in every £3 spent in the UK is spent in small businesses
- 20% of UK business revenue comes from SMEs
- 20% of desktop search and 40% of mobile search has local intent
- In total, 61% of local searches result in a purchase
As such it’s more important than ever for small businesses to optimise themselves for search. However, it can be hard to balance the volume of leads they need to generate in order for it to be worthwhile with the costs of doing so.
To provide anything of real benefit to local businesses, you can’t use organic, paid, or local search alone. In isolation they don’t drive enough search volume at a low enough cost. Self-service isn’t a good option either, as it requires too much time and effort for the business owner, which they won’t get back in terms of leads or revenue.
The best option for local businesses is a solution which is as automated as possible and which will deliver multiple benefits. It needs to combine local, organic and paid results and deliver the maximum amount of benefits at the lowest possible cost per lead.
Small business owners are more interested in leads and conversions than they are in search rankings, so that’s what your focus should be. It can be best to find areas where they have already made some investment and build on it, rather than start from scratch – it’ll help lower overall costs which is essential.
The bottom line is to drive as much traffic as possible for the lowest possible cost. Small businesses can’t afford to spend too much time or money on search, but clever strategies can help to drive lots of traffic, improve conversions, and generate revenue. There is a huge market for local search, you just have to tap into it effectively.