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Local SEO expert Jonathan Evans breaks down Starbucks vs. Dunkin’ – Who is Winning the Local Search War?

(PRUnderground) July 14th, 2022

Forget which brand has the best coffee.  Rather, which has the best local search visibility?  Both companies want to sell more coffee and keep expanding, but to win new customers, they’ve got to win local search.  In other words, when people whip out their phones and ask for phrases like “coffee near me” – if you’re a coffee shop and not in the top 3 results, you might as well be invisible.  Because you are.

 First, companies need to drop their egos.  Only 20% of local searches are for specific brands.  That means at this very second, 80% of people looking for coffee aren’t typing in Starbucks or Dunkin’.   There are nearly 100 million searches for “coffee shop” in the US each year – and that’s just one of many phrases they might use.

They are asking Google or Siri or Alexa for Cafes, Lattes, Espressos and Cappuccinos.  And unlike funny cat videos, people searching for coffee nearby aren’t doing so for entertainment.  They want to buy, and buy now.  It’s actually the most perfect moment to acquire new customers because they are searching with intent.  You have what they want.  But can they find you?

While both companies spend a lot of money on their website SEO, when people search for coffee, sites like Google and Yelp will favor local SEO data, which is an entirely different game.  And a game that both companies are underplaying.

For example, when I ask Google for “coffee” it assumes I’m wanting local providers and so it serves up 3 recommendations here in St. Petersburg, FL.   The first, Bandit Coffee, is 1.4 miles away.  The next is Bravado Coffee at 1.6 miles.  And finally Bula, at .07 miles.  Notice that the results aren’t based on distance.  If that were the case, then the Dunkin’ across the street (400 ft) would have made the cut.   And the nearest Starbuck?  .08 miles away.

This same scenario is playing out every minute of the day in every corner of the country.  And in this case, neither Starbuck or Dunkin’ scored a Win, Place or Show.

There are many factors that influence local search ranking.  These include reputation (star rating);  responding to reviews and Q&A; social signals; photos; accurate business information; local pages; local competitors; keyword strategy and more.  It’s clear that both companies are managing some of these, but not all.  A change in tactics would help them rank higher, attracting more new customers.

Chatmeter’s platform helps enterprise companies continually assess all the local search visibility data unique to each location, and recommends exactly what needs to be done to improve.  If interested in a deeper dive into how your locations are doing, please pop me a note:  We’ll provide a free audit.  I’ll also buy you a coffee from whomever Google recommends in your area.  I’m not sure who that’ll be… but let’s call them “the winner.”

The post Local SEO expert Jonathan Evans breaks down Starbucks vs. Dunkin’ - Who is Winning the Local Search War? first appeared on PRUnderground.

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