4 ways brands are losing store traffic — and how to use location marketing strategies to reverse course
Many national franchise stores are failing to appear in Google Maps search results. Columnist Wesley Young's observations may help these brands improve their visibility.
Many brands continue to be challenged by location-based search despite its importance to customer engagement and store visits. Consider these numbers to understand why brands need to make location a priority:
- 85 percent to 95 percent of consumer engagement with brands happens through location-based assets.
- Use of location in advertising provided up to a 27 percent lift in specific campaigns run by Wendy’s.
Yet it is common for major brand stores to not show up in location-based searches. Alternately, some are outperformed in search results by other brands that are doing a better job managing their online location presence.
Some brands are much more visible in location-based search than others
Consider the dominance of two brands in a search for “fast food restaurants” in Google Maps (see below). The search area was randomly selected; I picked a non-urban area northwest of Philadelphia.
Twelve of 20 search results were from Wendy’s and Arby’s, with Wendy’s making up eight and Arby’s making up four search results. These two brands not only took the most spots, they also took the top results. The remaining eight search results were divided among five other brands: McDonald’s, Burger King, Dairy Queen, Popeye’s and Taco Bell. In a repeat of the test, Wendy’s and Arby’s actually increased their superior metrics, occupying 14 of 20 search results.
The numbers suggest more than coincidence. They reveal intentional and strategic decisions by the two brands — especially considering that there are easily over 20 McDonald’s restaurants in the search area.