Local Search optimization needs to be a on-going routine because the many things driving successful ranking in search engines are constantly fluctuating.

To make monitoring your local search success then planning and prioritizing your most effective next steps, we have developed our Local Search Marketing Scorecard.

It gives you a visual, coloured, display of your Local search health and what will make the biggest and fastest improvements.

How to read and use the information in each column of the Scorecard is explained below.  Either read all the material or click the topic of interest in the Table of Contents to go straight to that topic.

A personal copy of this Scorecard will be added to your personal Google Drive folder with 12Faces as part of the setup procedure.

Local Search Marketing Scorecard Example

Modular Approach

The Scoreboard is designed to allow you to monitor several aspects of your overall marketing efforts in the same way.

Covered in this version are;

  1. Market Focus: what products and services do you want to deliver to what catchment area.  As this will govern a lot of your downstream marketing effort and assets, this is a priority for early attention
  2. Local Search Marketing: covers tuning the several sources search engines use to assemble the information they use to decide how prominently to list you in search results.  We have a tool to help with this and an associated GamePlan
  3. Website:  your website might need attention to e.g. improve SEO and speed
  4. Google Business Profile:  The GBP is a major contributor to the Google search rankings and has its own group of attention areas in the Scorecard
  5. Outbound Marketing:  you may engage in active outbound marketing via social media and email
  6. Reputation management: reviews and your reputation in general are very important.  Up to 90% of people read reviews and 83% believe them.
  7. Socials:  you may have your own social pages and use them for e.g. paid marketing, review collection and community building
  8. Customer Relationship Manager software (CRM):  is used to nurture the client relationship

Item Column

This column lists the main aspects of successful Local Search Marketing to be considered.  

Each is then scored in the following columns.

Note that we suggest using scores that are fairly widely apart so that the resulting prioritization is very clear.  With scores close to each other, many will have virtually the same priority which makes it hard to choose which one next.

Our default scores are;

  • 4 for a low ranking or low scoring item in a particular column.  where there is a cost involved, this would be an expensive item (i.e. score poorly on cheapness).  We set a medium expense at $500 and assign it the score of 7 so anything much over that expense would get a “4”.  You can set your own figures for this.
  • 7 for a medium ranked item.  Where there is a cost involved, we consider this might cost $500.
  • 10 for a high scoring rank.  Where there is a cost it is under $500 and might be zero

Importance Column

Each of the “Items” is given a score that represents its contribution to the overall success of your Local Search Marketing.  The higher the number, the more important.

These are initially set by 12Faces but you can change at any time.

The score would not normally change very much over time unless Google changed its priorities.

Condition Column

“Condition” refers to the current status of the particular item.

If it is scoring well in the BrightLocal tests, it get 10.  Medium get 7 and poor gets 4.

Most will start at 4 while they are unknown or actually poor.  Then they will go up or down as improvements are made or circumstances change.

Clues on “Condition” come from the various testing tools in BrightLocal.

As it serves to indicate when an “Item” is as healthy as it can get this is shown by a green colour in the cell.  The goal is to get green in everything at some point.

Ease Column

“Ease” refers to how relatively easy it is to improve the “Condition” of an Item.

If it is easy, it will score a 10.  Medium scores a 7 and something that is hard to improve scores a 4.

Default scores are given but you can modify them.

Time for Impact Column

This refers to how long it will take for your changes to show up as improvements in marketing performance.

Items that respond in a few days might score a 10.  Where improvements might take several weeks, they score a 7.  If it is expected to take months for improvements to show as improved marketing, they score a 4.

For example, new webpages added for SEO reasons might take 3-4 months to show up ranking well.  Therefore, these types of changes might score a “4”.

Default scores are given but you can modify them.

Low Cost Column

This refers to the expense involved in improving the “Condition” of an “Item”.

Something that costs little or nothing to fix scores a 10.  Moderately expense (say $500) scores a 7 and anything significantly more expensive scores a 4.

Default scores are given but you can modify them. 

You can change the cell “7=$500” to be whatever dollar value you want for a “7” and a “4”

Residual Benefit Column

This score reflects the amount of benefit to be obtained from an improvement in an item.

If it is an important item and has a lot of improvement left to do, it will get a high score.  A less important item at the same “Condition” will score less.

When an item has a “Condition” score of 10, there is no improvement left to get so it will score a “Residual Improvement” of 0.  

The colour shows the “residual” left.  Red (for Stop) means there is little left to be gained whereas green (for Go) means there is still much to be gained.

All things being equal, we would work on the high scores first because that is where the most gain will be made.  However, you can use your personal preferences to decide to do something else.  The choice is entirely yours. Before choosing from this column, read about “Benefit / Cost” in the next topic

Benefit / Cost Column

This column goes one step further and incorporates the “Ease, Time for Impact and Low Cost” information into deciding which “Item” to work on first.

We think the best choice normally is the one that aims for fastest and cheapest improvement.  So the “Benefit / Cost” column incorporates this.

It considers all these factors and comes up with a score for how beneficial it will be to work on each item and suggests you choose the one with the highest score.  It will be the best combination of all these factors. These are the ones coloured green (for Go); meaning those coloured red (for Stop)  have comparatively little convenient growth left to offer.

So, when deciding the next “Item” to work on, you would normally start with the highest scoring and most green Item in the list as it will offer the most benefit for the time and money costs involved.  Red Items, in contrast, have little or no benefit to offer.  You can override this with your own personal preference.

Rank Column

The “Items” are “ranked” from 1 (most beneficial) and down (less beneficial)  on the basis of the “Benefit / Cost” column.

To make it easier to quickly spot the ones that the Local Search Marketing Scorecard thinks are most important, the top 3 are coloured green (for Go)  in the the “Rank” column.  The actual choice is up to you.

Current Constraint Column

We are fans of the Theory of Constraints.  This Theory essentially suggests there is just one place you should be working on at any point in time because nothing will improve your search ranking faster than working on this constraint.  Read more on Theory of Constraints

You pick the constraint yourself based on your understanding of your business.  We suggest you manually highlight that “Item” in black (for Blackspot) in this column just to quickly draw your attention to an important “Item” to monitor in your choice about what to fix next

Improvements

As with all our materials, you are encouraged to email us with corrections and thoughts on how to make this tool more effective.  We truly appreciate your feedback.  Mail to reception@backstop.business

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