Location Marketing Buzzwords You Needed to Know in 2019

Local marketing

This glossary is intended to be a quick reference guide for Marketers, Social Media Managers, and anybody else interested in learning about or brushing up on their location management vocabulary. Let's dive in.



This is a catch-all word for content that consumers can access digitally as a direct result of paying. Google AdWords, Facebook ads, boosted posts, and so on... This excludes traditional print advertisements, television, radio, and other physical items.


Customers' actions are the aggregate word for the actions they take after receiving search results. These acts are specifically related to viewing an individual's location online, whether on Facebook, Google, or another site. Understanding client behaviour and analysing seasonal trends rely heavily on actions.


API is an abbreviation for Application Programming Interface, which is a technical word for a set of rules that allows two systems to exchange data. In layman's terms, an API allows two pieces of software to communicate with one another. It is the digital counterpart of an adaptor that allows you to charge your phone while travelling overseas, or, perhaps more aptly, a translator that allows two people to communicate while speaking different languages.


Awareness is a blanket term for any action, function, image, post, etc that increases people’s knowledge of your company and brand. 


The brand or your brand refers to the images, logos, slogans, and general descriptions associated with your company. 

Branded search

Branded searches are a new category on Google and are the result of someone searching for a specific brand of product or service that you are associated with or sell. In addition, it is possible to show up in a branded search if the person looked for one of your competitors specifically but Google is aware that you also operate in this market space. 

Brand Page

The company brand page on Facebook is essentially a mini-version of your website. It should not have a physical address, but should rather reflect the organisation as a whole. If properly configured, it will also provide a "locations" tab where users can see each of your local stores, complete with logo and any important business information. It is worth mentioning that Facebook has a history of gradually decreasing brand page exposure in terms of the visibility of material shared on the platform. The more the number of fans a brand page has, the fewer people will see unpaid posts to that page in their feed.

Business Accounts

Business accounts are higher-level accounts that require different setup and login procedures than a typical user account on a specific network. Furthermore, business accounts will typically have more stringent restrictions and requirements for establishing ownership and control of a certain page or account. They also have more reporting capabilities and support, and they exist purely to promote corporations, not individuals.


Check-ins generate a "was here" status on Facebook and have the inverse value of fans. Check-ins generate a higher amount of impressions in a shorter period of time than fans, making them ideal for social advocacy and brand exposure. There is no universal system for collecting check-ins, and the frequency varies greatly by industry. In general, the more desirable it is to be linked with a location or activity, the higher the number of check-ins. Hotels, gyms, spas, restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops, for example, have considerably more check-ins than other typical stores.


Claimed locations are owned and maintained by someone who has in some capacity demonstrated their legal right to have access to that page or location. This is most commonly accomplished by providing a valid email with the appropriate company domain.


Cost Per Click is a common metric for advertising sales and bases the price on the number of clicks on a piece of content. CPC is often used when marketing has a set daily budget. Once the budget is reached, the ad is removed from rotation for the day. CPC can also be used retrospectively as part of a deeper analysis into the cost of acquiring a new customer.


Cost Per Mille (thousand impressions) is a commonly used metric for advertisement sales. CPM is useful in a number of ways. First, impressions are far simpler to calculate than reach. Secondly you can pre-purchase an audience size. Thirdly, CPM tends to be one of the cheapest ad sets since it focuses on overall visibility over any other metric. CPM costs differ significantly from industry to industry, from region to region, and even from network to network. 

Customer Journey

The customer journey in this context is mostly concerned with online to offline behaviour. That is, purchases made in a local store that started with some type of digital activity, such as a search. Removing as many steps as possible between a search and actionable results is a big part of simplifying the customer journey. One of the most effective ways to simplify is to have local stores publicised and visible in as many places as possible.

Driving Directions

These are directions generated automatically after clicking on directions from a local store page. Generally, these will only occur on mobile devices and will open a default map service on that device.

Direct searches

Direct searches happen when someone searches for a specific company by name. These are important in understanding your overall brand awareness with the public, especially when compared to other search types. Direct searches must also be very specific, so the more complicated a company name is on Google for instance, the fewer direct searches it will have. Direct searches often imply strong purchase intent and users are most likely looking for additional information such as driving directions, opening hours, contact information, or offers.  

Discovery searches

Discovery searches are the consequence of someone searching for a product or service and may include "near me" features. Discovery searches are crucial because they reveal how frequently someone has made a purchasing choice and your company appears as a potential source. These are especially important for those who rely significantly on impulse purchases, as the closest location may become the preferred provider. The more frequently your locations appear in discovery searches, the more likely you are to earn the customer's business and steal a possible purchase away from a competition. Discovery searches rely significantly on having your Google locations properly configured. This includes information such as free wifi, outdoor seats, and so on.


The term "engagement" refers to a wide range of activities. In a nutshell, it indicates that someone has had some sort of interaction with your brand. Engagement on Facebook might take the form of a "like", "share", or "comment." While different networks have varying engagement standards, the core concept is the same: someone has interacted with your company in a social setting. The general rule is that the more engagement a piece of material receives, the more successful it is deemed to be.


Fans is a Facebook-specific phrase for someone who has "liked" a page. When someone likes something and becomes a fan, they make it possible for unpaid posts to appear in their Facebook page. Facebook has also created a "top fan" label to identify those who interact with a page frequently. Fans have long-term value for businesses because they can be chosen to receive advertisements and are excellent for repeat business. In comparison to a check-in, "liking" a page on Facebook generates essentially no viral visibility. While they are not ideal for virality, they are critical for brands and businesses.

Facebook Business Manager

Like Google, Facebook has a complete business portal complete with setup guides. You can read more and get started here. One notable difference between Google and Facebook is how companies are structured. In Facebook, you company will consist of one or more Brand Pages with a Location Structure nested beneath. In other words, there will be a layer that represents your brand as a whole as well as individual Facebook locations for each of your stores. 

Facebook Packs

Facebook has recently released a new method for displaying relevant search information to its users. Searching for a company or a specific company location on Facebook will not display a block of locations, similar to Google’s packs. This is extremely helpful for businesses who have properly set up Facebook locations as in greatly increases local store visibility. 

Foursquare For Business 

This is Foursquare’s business portal with guides for getting started publishing, claiming, and maintaining your local stores on Foursquare. You can read more here. The value of Foursquare cannot be understated as it acts as a source of local store information for over 100,000 apps and services globally. While many people will be vaguely or completely unfamiliar with Foursquare changes are that the average person uses their data multiple times a day via apps and services on their mobile devices.

Google My Business

This is Google’s business account layer that allows validated users the ability to create, update, and even close local stores on Google and Google Maps. There are reporting features, brand support, and tools that are not available to average users. There are also specific rules for naming, branding, and promoting your company. You can read more about GMB and how to set up your company here

Google Packs

Google pack is the term used to describe the block of information showing the three nearest locations when someone searches for a company or location on Google. These count directly as maps views (See: Map Views) even though they are the result of a regular search and not a search within Google Maps itself. In order to have your packs displayed, you have to properly set up your Google My Business account, publish, and verify all locations. 


Impressions are a type of visibility metric that is frequently used as a criterion for ad sales (See: CPM). The only criteria in calculating impressions is how many times something was seen. Impressions ignores distinct individuals and only counts overall views. As a result, impressions can often be deceptive, as one individual can conceivably generate an infinite number of impressions.


Insights is another blanket term that is used to describe any metric that gives some information about a company, brand, it’s locations, its audience, or its data. What is significant about insights is that they differ from analytics significantly. Analytics manipulate data in some way in order to draw conclusions or at least imply causality. Insights report raw data only. 


Key Performance Indicators are specific metrics chosen to help determine how successful a marketing activity has been. These can be comprised of any number of measurable variables (See: Insights) or cost analysis (See: CPM and CPC). Correctly determining KPIs can help a company understand where they should focus their marketing activities and in some cases, even when those activities should take place.


Likes to a Facebook page result in the person becoming “a fan” (See: Fans). Likes to a post, image, or other piece of content generate a small number of viral and organic views and are more associated with engagement statistics (See: Engagement). 

Location Structure

Location structures are the methods through which local stores are added and managed in a given business account. These vary by network, but Facebook is the most well-known. Because Facebook and Instagram both support locations, if the locations are properly published on one, they will be taggable on the other. Facebook location structures also enable for the building of a searchable map that may be shown on the company brand page. This map will display all Facebook Business account locations, regardless of nation. Location structures effectively generate a native version of your website's store locator on Facebook, but with the added benefit of social interactions. Each network has its own set of regulations about location structures, which must be followed.

Location Page

Location pages are digital representations of individual stores within a company. So if you have 200 stores, you should also have 200 location pages. Setting up location pages properly ensures maximum visibility for your local stores and your company as a whole and significantly simplifies the online to offline customer journey on Facebook. In addition, these pages then to be far more popular in terms of engagement that a brand page. Location pages allow your customers to check-in, like a single store, comment, rate and review, and share location information. These pages also have significantly higher organic reach for posted content compared to a brand page. So while the local audiences may be smaller, the audience is more likely to see your content and engage with it.

Local SEO

Local Search Engine Optimisation is a modern phrase that focuses on ensuring that local store information is not only correct, but also optimised for maximum exposure (See: Network Optimisations). These local SEO initiatives not only help to streamline the customer journey as much as possible, but they also help to boost a company's overall SEO efforts by ensuring that information about local stores is consistent across networks.

Location Descriptor

Location descriptors are unique to Facebook and serve as a geographical reference to a specific location. They are not and should never be full addresses. Landmarks such as public squares are examples of location descriptors, and if your store is the only one in a city, the city name is also appropriate. Location descriptors are easily recognisable because they come within () after the company name. PinMeTo in Stockholm, for example, will appear on Facebook as PinMeTo (Stockholm). If there were more than one in Stockholm, additional particular names would be required, such as PinMeTo (Gamla Stan). Following these names will not only enhance your general visibility on Facebook, but will also help your SEO position on Google.

Map Views

A properly set up Google My Business account will mean increases in all Google metrics, including map views. If all of your locations are published and verified on an account that you own, you open up the possibility for the nearest three locations to be shown in what is known as a Google Pack (See: Google Packs). These packs make it extremely convenient for users to identify the closest location suiting their needs as well as access all the information needed to contact that location or get directions to the store.

Naming Conventions

Naming conventions are the set of rules networks use to define what exactly a brand and its locations should be called. On both Google, Facebook, and Foursquare the rule is very simple: Whatever is on the sign out front is what the location should be called. No more, no less. So all PinMeTo locations are called “PinMeTo” regardless of where they are geographically. Many times companies make the mistake of trying to add additional information to make things easier for their customers but this should be avoided. While it may seem better to call an office in Stockholm “PinMeTo Stockholm”, this information is not only unnecessary, but it will lower direct searches and can damage your SEO in general. In some special cases such as hotel chains, it is possible to request a waiver for naming your locations, but as a general rule they should all share the exact same name. 

Network Optimisations

This is another broad term encompassing any activity, account set up, or updating of business information that provides the maximum exposure on the given network. Where companies often damage their own exposure is by violating individual network guidelines, in particular with regards to naming of local stores. Google determines ranking in part based on how many times it sees the same store information in different places and many companies, while well intentioned, unintentionally reduce the effectiveness of their own SEO expenditures by not optimising their locations across networks.

Organic Impressions

Organic impressions are views that are not the result of ad spend. That is to say that they are unpaid and happen because someone saw a piece of content or a location for whatever reason. This metric is of particular interest to companies using Facebook as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg made a prominent statement regarding how content would be delivered and prioritised to users in 2018. The general rule on Facebook is that the larger a company’s brand page audience is, the lower their organic reach will be. 


This is essentially exactly the same as organic impressions (See: Impressions) except that it only counts unique individuals and not views.

Paid impressions

Paid impressions are exactly what the name implies. They are views generated as the result of ad spend. This money could be in the form of traditional Google or Facebook ads or from “boosting” content on Facebook. One item of note here is that organic impressions tend to follow the same curve as paid ones on Facebook but at a much lower volume.  


This is essentially exactly the same as paid impressions (See: Impressions) except that it only counts unique individuals and not views. 

Phone Calls

These are calls made to a local store that originated from search results. On Facebook and Google it is possible to directly call a local store from search and maps results if you are using a mobile device and the location is correctly set up.


Reach is a measure of online visibility but it differs significantly from impressions in that it counts single views from unique individuals. For that reason, counting reach over time becomes difficult if not impossible. The reason that reach is not often used as a metric is that unique individuals must be counted only once per span. That means that if a company attempts to calculate reach over a week, they must remove duplicate views for unique individuals for each day. It also means that if you ever see that your reach is higher than your impressions, something has likely gone very wrong. For this and other reasons, impressions is generally the metric of choice for advertising campaigns and insights.


Return On Investment is a method for calculating how successful a marketing activity actually was. Properly selecting the criteria for an ROI calculation is crucial to ensuring that your marketing focus both correct and timely. ROI is generally calculated using three items: an initial budget, final earnings, and a time period. 


Searches as an insight are a measure of how many times a location was shown to a user as a result of some sort of query. These can be the result of a number of criteria such as name, category, or even “near me” queries on multiple networks. As a rule, companies want to show up in as many relevant searches as possible. When it comes to impulse purchases in particular, showing up in a search can be a deciding factor in a purchase decision.  


Search Engine Optimization is a term that covers any number of activities designed to increase a brand’s unpaid visibility on digital search channels. Historically SEO has been focused on driving traffic to a company’s website by ensuring that keywords, images, etc associated with a brand are detectable by search engines and thus maximise exposure. 

Unclaimed / Unofficial

Unofficial is a term describing content or pages that are not owned and maintained by the parent company. On Facebook these are especially problematic as unofficial pages can be created simply by attempting to check-in to a location. If Facebook cannot find the proper location a new page will be created representing that place. These pages often lack proper branding and business information and the companies rarely know that they even exist. These pages can become quite popular over time which is also problematic for businesses as they are missing out on valuable organic and viral exposure while simultaneously having content online that damages both their brand and SEO efforts. 

User Edits

User edits are a set of tools that allow users on various networks to recommend modifications to locations, whether they are owned or not. In many circumstances, users can recommend any number of changes to a certain location, such as a new phone number, website, email address, opening hours, or even that the business be permanently closed. User edits become even more problematic for multi-location companies because there is no clear direction on how or why these edits are accepted, and there may not be an alert in every case. Because of this well-intended collection of services, marketers must be extremely vigilant in ensuring that local shop information is correct.

Viral Impressions

Viral impressions are views generated by someone else acting on your behalf. This might include tagging a buddy, sharing content, checking in to a place, leaving a public comment, like a page, or any other online behaviour that produces views from a third party. Viral impressions are a wonderful statistic for determining how popular your material is and are frequently used to measure content generating performance. If content "goes viral," it can increase brand or place recognition even if the content itself does not promote the brand.


This is essentially exactly the same as viral impressions (See: Impressions) except that it only counts unique individuals and not views. 

Website Visits

These visits refer specifically to local websites, not a corporate landing page. So if your company is called “Blue” and you have stores in Malmö, a website visit to www.Blue.com would not count here. Instead, it would require a visit to www.Blue.com/Malmö or similar.

Reviewed: August 25, 2023

Give us an overview about your business below and we'll prepare a free local visibility audit.

Recommended articles