This is our first expanded post from our article on top 10 learnings about the hyperlocal digital publisher market since the LION Conference in October 2015. Our first learning was that local search is a differentiator on these hyperlocal sites. Here were the main points:
- There are different search experiences on a hyperlocal publisher site depending on what page you are on. News, Events, Businesses, Classifieds may all have separate search bars on the site. This is a bad user experience.
- There is no tracking of what (and how often) people are searching for things
- When readers do search on the publishers sites, time on site increased by nearly 10X and the number of page views increased by 6X.
There was another major point that was insinuated at the end, but not explicitly called out. Every search results page on a publisher’s site is a great opportunity for local businesses to get exposure. If you are a local publisher, it’s highly likely that your sales pitch to businesses goes something like this:
We get N number of unique visitors every month to our site, and they are just the people you want seeing your Ad!
The main problem with this pitch is that this business gets the exact same pitch from every other publisher. The only thing that changes is N. But how many of your competitors can say this:
Last month we got Y number of local searches for the exact thing that you want to be found for. How would you like to show up prominently when our readers are doing that search?
Recent studies have shown that display ads are now getting well below 1% click through rates on average, whereas people that do “near me” searches have a 75% chance of purchasing something related to that search. On your hyperlocal site, you can assume that nearly every search on your site will be a “near me” search!
Bizyhood will be launching a fully integrated search for local digital publishers. This will allow the publisher to have a singular search experience for their readers, and bring back relevant results from the News, Events, Promotions, Places and other local data. Each search results page will include sponsored content as well. All searches will be recorded and analyzed, and we’re even looking at a way to capture reader feedback on how accurate the search results were based on their intent.
Once the publishers have this capability and make it clear to readers they can be the best resource to find things locally, two things will happen:
- Page views and time on site will increase dramatically
- Ad sales will increase as businesses will want to place sponsored content on search results pages that matter to them
Anybody have issues with either of these? 🙂