Today, we decided to tackle one of our favorite topics – local listing management– in a new way. We’re all busy people; whether we’re running our own local business or reselling others’ services to potential clients, sometimes we don’t have time to read a lengthy article. So, we decided to make life a little easier and spell out the importance of local listing management in good ol’ question and answer form! Here are some FAQs on the topic that may offer new information – and get potential clients on board with what you, as an Advice Local partner, can do for them!
Why Is Local Listing Management Important?
Local listing management is more than just one thing; it’s several moving parts that come together to create a stellar digital presence on the web. From a comprehensive Google My Business listing optimized for search to submitting correct data to a variety of directories, the goal of these efforts is to circulate a business’ information to get them seen by potential customers. Proper local listing management also includes profiles on review sites and social media pages – which is where many people find local business information in today’s on-the-go world!
Why Should You Partner with a Local Listing Management Provider?
Or simply, why should a local business have their listings professionally managed by a company? Ongoing upkeep of citations is vital, because when a potential customer finds the wrong information about a brand, it typically means their business is lost. Seriously! A wrong phone number or the incorrect hours of operation is enough to deter someone from buying from a business altogether – there are no second chances.
It all comes back to the NAP (name, address and phone number.) Not only do we distribute detailed business listings to the most important directories and data sources, but we monitor the listings and maintain accuracy in real time. The technology and expertise of listing management providers like us provide invaluable help to agencies, brands, franchises and SMBs. Read the comparisons of listing management services at different companies here!
How Can a Reseller Help Get Local Businesses Visible Quickly?
Companies such as Advice Local have the capability to circulate local business data to directories quicker than an individual business because of their technology. Agencies and businesses can submit local business data manually to directories and data aggregators, but the process is time consuming. We can vouch for it at Advice Local! We have the ability to submit to top directories and utilize data aggregators to help spread local business’ information almost instantly. Not sure what a data aggregator is? Read on!
What Is a Data Aggregator and How Does It Help With Local Listing Management?
There are four major data aggregators utilized for businesses in the nation: Neustar Localeze, Factual, Infogroup and Foursquare. These aggregators partner with directories to distribute a business’ information online. Sometimes through this submission process bad data will creep out onto the web. So, what happens when bad data gets swept up in the mix? Well, bad data can hurt a business if it’s not caught.
To stop bad data from hurting businesses, we constantly monitor citations at Advice Local, as they are invaluable when it comes to local listing management. Data aggregators can manufacture large amounts of data much faster, and their connections go beyond directories. They can connect the dots to GPS and mapping services and pass on information to targeted, geo-specific areas. Data aggregators are key to local listing management, and always will be. For example, Localeze is important to get a local business found in voice searches on Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa!
What If a Business Has Multiple Locations? How Does That Affect Local Listing Management?
The short answer: it doesn’t at all! But it’s important to partner with a company that knows what they’re doing. Each location of the business is treated like an individual client, and a single location’s visibility will not diminish because they’re one of many. In fact, there is strength in numbers, and brands can get higher visibility in search if they do things the right way. Some sites, like Facebook for instance, will let a brand have a main Facebook page with their locations nested underneath them.
Are Directories Still Important for a Business’ Local Visibility?
There has been some recent discussion that directories are not as important as they once were when it comes to visibility and web placement. Well, we disagree – so much so that we write an annual post every year on the best directories! Correct NAP data that is sent to directories that are both authoritative and have the trust of the masses helps get businesses seen by the right people. We’ve seen it time and time again, and we don’t think directories will lessen in importance anytime soon. In fact, the 2018 Local Search Ranking Factors Study revealed the following influences local placement:
- Google My Business 8.85 percent
- Citation Signals 8.41 percent
- Review Signals 6.47 percent
- Social Signals 3.47 percent
Access the rest of the factors that influence local business placement here.
How Can You Tell If a Local Listing Management Is Improving a Business’ Local Visibility?
Besides the increase in site traffic and visits to a business’ storefront, most listing management providers have a reporting solution integrated within their technology. If they don’t, this should be a red flag.
We believe in giving our partners and business owner clients control of their data, so we share it constantly through our dashboard solution. Our visibility report shows the increases in visibility from the baseline, which is established when the business is entered into our system. On average, a business listed with us starts with a visibility score of 35 percent, and we increase it to 99+ percent!
What Else Can Help a Business Improve Placement and Increase Visibility?
We mentioned above a list with the local search ranking factors. The list also highlights some other important criteria to improve a local businesses rankings. Link signals was the top factor at 27.94 percent!
There is no limit to the importance of quality links when it comes to improving a business’ placement in search results. Joe Youngblood says that his go-to marketing strategy that makes the biggest impact for local businesses is link building.
“Most local businesses do not have good, quality links to their website. There are lots of other things that will have an impact, but the largest impact will probably still come from good link building. If you have limited time and resources, get your link building nailed down before you run off chasing other endeavors. Once you’re going good and getting new, quality inbound links on a fairly regular basis, turn your attention to other things.”
Of course, there’s more that will make a difference in local search placement and ranking! We’d be remiss not to point you toward the impressive list of digital services we perform in-house for our partners, franchises, brands and SMB clients.
So, Is Local Listing Management Important?
YES! If you take anything away from these FAQs, it should be that local listing management is just as important going forward as it has been in the past.
Correct NAP data, directories and data aggregators will never go out of style, and we’re only grazing the surface of what can be done to help! We can manage each business you represent to create and claim their business’ listings.
We know the importance of outsourcing local listing management to the pros. We’ve helped more than 1.5 million business locations since our founding… is your client next? Request a demo today to get started!