Search Data Can Inform Your Store Location Strategy is part of a series on using search data to inform 5 key areas of your marketing strategy. If you haven’t already, be sure to read previous posts on how SEM data can help you to build your strategy around Product, Competition, Branding and Pricing.
Let’s say you are considering expansion into a new market; perhaps you are a retailer trying to determine the next best place to open a store location. There are many questions that arise such as “which region should we launch in?” “How much revenue can we project from this market?” Fortunately, marketers can analyze SEM data which is rich with insights on these questions.
Find high demand, low competition niche locations
SEM reporting is rich with granular geographic data. Here’s a fun example we’ve come up with to illustrate this point. We want to know the best locations to open a new superhero supply store. Let’s look at example data to find out in which cities people are most frequently searching for our product: superhero capes. Cross-referenced with data on the population of each location and the number of competitors per location, the following metrics can prove useful:
In the example above, we are looking at non-branded search volume on keywords like “superhero cape” and “superhero mask.” The metrics used are impressions divided by population and impressions divided by number of competing retailers. We see that Gotham City has the strongest demand for superhero products relative to population size, but there are a lot of competing cape sellers. Whereas Diagon Alley has an average demand for super hero capes and a relatively low number of competitors, making it a prime location to open our next store. (These findings are surprising considering that the inhabitants of Diagon Alley generally wear robes rather than capes. But hard data can be surprising sometimes!)
Find fans who will evangelize your new store location
Another great indicator to help determine your store location strategy is to evaluate brand search volume by location. Look at data for locations with spikes in brand search volume that are far away from an existing store location. These are hot spots where customers are interested in your brand and are underserved by existing store locations.
Better yet, look for spikes in brand queries modified by terms like “map,” “directions,” “hours,” “store locations” or other terms that indicate interest in finding your nearest store location. If you find a high instance of these searches in areas far away from existing stores, there is a good chance that you will have fans knocking down your doors on opening day.
What is your store location strategy?
Whether you sell superhero capes or any number of other things, look to your search data when determining a store location to open. Of course there are many other considerations when choosing a new store location. But if you have access to AdWords search data, you may as well utilize it as a directional indicator. Even if you aren’t involved in these decisions, share the data with your team.
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