‘Twas the night before Christmas; all was calm, all was Bright(Local), *insert more Christmas cheesiness here*.
In all seriousness, it’s been a pretty big year for us here at BrightLocal — in fact, it’s been a pretty big year worldwide, but that’s a conversation for another time.
As the year, and the decade too, draws to a close and we prepare to get festive, we thought we’d reflect on just some of 2019’s major milestones as a team.
Without further ado, I present to you The 12 Yays of Christmas (aka BrightLocal’s top highlights from the past year).
On the first day of Christmas, my true lo- I mean BrightLocal – gave to me:
1 shiny new website
2019 was the year that saw BrightLocal’s website completely made over – and in its place a shiny new website, fit for customers and BrightLocal staff alike, was born. With the dawn of a new website also came BLOB – the story of a BrightLocal rebrand.
We’re pleased to say we’re ending the year with a brand to be proud of and one that aptly conveys the spirit of BrightLocal. Plus, who could forget the addition of our personal favorite – the Bright Ideas section?
2 free local SEO tools
Our first-ever free tool introduced pre-2019, Local Search Results Checker, has proved itself well-needed among the local search community, allowing users to view their rankings within their chosen proximity (say goodbye to hours of driving around your local neighborhood and Googling in Incognito Mode…).
As a result of its success, in 2019 we made it our mission to provide local businesses, and the agencies that serve them, with even more free tools to help boost their local SEO efforts.
Our most recent addition, Local RankFlux, took center stage during November’s ranking turbulence – the result of which was revealed by Google to be the Bedlam Update. Meanwhile, our Google Review Link and Place ID Generator continues to provide a quick and simple way for businesses to connect customers with their GMB listings and reviews.
3 insightful webinars
In 2019 we welcomed numerous local SEO experts to discuss the industry’s most pressing topics, from pay-to-play to fighting spam. Stay tuned in 2020 as we’re planning to host even more information-packed webinars in an effort to assist your local search ambitions, starting with the State of Local Search in January 2020 (details to follow on Twitter).
4 times more customer engagement (and even more live demos)
Throughout the year, our Business Development team has worked tirelessly to engage and educate users through live demos and more. This year, that hard work resulted in four times the number of customers being spoken to than the year previous.
To ensure we’re doing the most we can when it comes to customer engagement, this year we brought on our very own demo specialist, Oliver James. Oliver and the rest of the team are looking forward to increasing customer outreach even more in 2020 with more frequent face-to-face time and additional live demos. After all, what is BrightLocal without its customers?
5 go-ooold stars! (almost)
With customers at the heart of what we do, it’s vital that we accrue as much of their feedback as possible. Tackling that challenge for the year was Customer Success’s Heather Blankley, who did everything in her power to reach out to customers and hear their thoughts.
The result of Heather’s continuous efforts? A 4.8-star rating on Google My Business, plus a bunch of other stars on other platforms (when it comes to diversifying reviews, we practice what we preach!). We’d like to say a big thank you to all those who took the time to share their feedback and who made that rating possible.
6 (hundred and 45) hours spent building the Help Center
As if we haven’t shouted about it enough, our brand-new and improved Help Center went live this year after an impressive 645 hours of work went into it. Now, we’re happy to say the Help Center is packed full of useful info and guidance to help you navigate through the BrightLocal experience!
And if that wasn’t enough, we’ve also got active online support for 23 hours a day, 5 days a week, and across 4 different countries. Plus, in an effort to satiate your requests, we’ll be introducing additional phone support in 2020 to make the support process even simpler.
7 brand-new features
Serving the customer is at the heart of BrightLocal’s ethos, which is why we added seven new features to our tool this year, ranging from the more recent Review Inbox to Kiosk Mode way back in February and many more, including:
- Report Creation Wizard [pictured]
- 40+ New Niche Review Sites Added
- Client Access
- Link Mode
- Enhanced Overview
On top of new releases, our Product team is constantly tweaking, improving, and updating tools throughout the year to make sure you’re getting the best from BrightLocal.
Keep your eyes peeled for yet more new releases in 2020 – and if there’s an improvement idea you’ve been sitting on, why not send it our way?
8 international office visits
With teams operating across the globe, it’s important we take the time to unite and meet with friends new and old. That’s why we took part in a total of eight international office visits – connecting the UK, Ukraine, Philippines, and US-based teams throughout the year.
In this increasingly digital landscape, setting aside the time to meet face-to-face is more important than ever, which is why we’ve even more trips planned for 2020 to ensure we stay connected.
9 new UK team members
Our UK team continues to grow, with 2019 seeing nine new members across the year – just look how many of us there are now!
In addition to new members to the Marketing (yours truly included) and Business Development teams, 2019 saw the introduction of our fully-fledged Finance and Operations team, who have worked endlessly to ensure a happy workplace, as well as organizing our Christmas do, fundraisers, and much more behind the scenes.
While our UK team continues to expand, as do our teams in the Philippines and Ukraine. Our team in Kyiv grew by (not-so-unlucky number) 13, while our Head of Submissions Renier Alfeche welcomed more than 15 new additions to his team. Welcome one and all!
10+ UK work socials (it’s tough to keep count!)
A team that works hard together, plays hard together – and in 2019 we played a lot! From escape rooms (winners pictured) to scavenger hunts and many pub visits in between, BrightLocal’s UK team enjoyed plenty of work socials (when your team’s growing as fast as we are, it’s important to get together for valuable bonding time).
And that’s not including the festivities teams in the Philippines and Ukraine got up to!
11 research pieces
In addition to our suite of tools, at BrightLocal we pride ourselves on our unique and actionable research. These insights aim to answer the unknowns of local SEO and help local marketers do their jobs better.
Our in-house research team published a whopping 11 research pieces in 2019, as well as sharing additional insights over at Search Engine Land.
As well as some old favorites (I’m looking at you, Local Consumer Review Survey), we dipped our toes into new research pieces, including:
- Google Analytics for Local Businesses Study
- Google My Business Insights Study
- Local Business Websites and Google My Business Comparison Report
We’ve got even more exciting content planned for 2020, so make sure you’re signed up to our emails to catch them as they land!
12 record-breaking months for Customer Success
Just one of the ways we measure customer satisfaction at BrightLocal is through a Net Promoter Score (NPS). In 2019 our Customer Success team achieved 12 record-breaking weeks of a ‘world-class’ score (over 70), 2 weeks over 90, and if that wasn’t enough to impress you, one perfect week with an unbeatable score of 100.
As if they weren’t working hard enough, the Customer Success team also achieved an applause-worthy average customer satisfaction score for the year of 95%. Here’s to breaking yet more records in 2020!
All that and more!
And because we couldn’t quite fit all our achievements into this novelty rendition of a beloved Christmas song (it only goes up to 12 after all), here are some other achievements we were proud of in 2019:
10 years of BrightLocal! This year we celebrated 10 years of BrightLocal. Why not take a look at what’s changed throughout the decade?
20 guest bloggers. A great big thank you to all those who shared their insights with us this year and continued to position BrightLocal at the fore of local search conversations.
61 live servers under management (with a total storage capacity of 364TB). If you don’t know what that means, trust me, you’re not alone. Put simply, it means that, as BrightLocal continues to grow, our Tech team works tirelessly to ensure our servers are as efficient and secure as possible – even if it means staying up until 2 am to fix a problem.
150 team members trained in GDPR. To ensure all customer information is being dealt with as securely as possible and all teams are following best practices when it comes to customer data, we undertook a company-wide GDPR training project.
53,205 citation campaigns built (and counting!) An oldie but a goodie, our Citation Builder service is still proving popular. The year’s not quite over yet, but so far we’ve completed more citation campaigns than ever before thanks to our endlessly hardworking Citations team.
With so much to be proud of from the past year, we can’t wait to see what 2020 brings for us as a team.
But in the meantime, we hope you have an otterly delightful holiday season…
Ask and you shall receive…? pic.twitter.com/oEJTGDCnui
— Andy Simpson (@ndyjsimpson) December 17, 2019
…And while we’re in the holiday spirit, why not share your biggest achievements from the year in the comments below?