Local business listing management is crucial for any business to put your business on the map for customers searching within an area. As Google and other search engines place an increasing emphasis on local results, it is critical to reaping the growing benefits of optimizing local directories.
There are currently dozens of free-to-use directories, from Google+ to Yelp plus paid ones, and managing all of these is often best left to marketers. However, when allowed to work their local business cards continuously, many companies want to know: why can’t I fix them permanently?
The local data industry is insanely hot, hotter than space veterans thought. With recent IPO, acquisitions, and more focus on local, space is on fire, and the stakes are higher than ever.
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The advantage of a warm market is that the money flows in and further stimulates innovation. The downside is that misinformation is also starting to creep in as vendors struggle to find ways to differentiate themselves. For marketers, this misinformation has created a wave of confusion.
local business listing services in Chicago researched the market and uncovered the local listings industry’s central myths. If you hear a vendor telling you these “truths,” you have to run the other way around.
MYTH#1: Master List
Ba common misconception is that there is a “master list” from which the other directories pull their data, the truth is that there is no such thing. Some also think that merely claiming a generated listing creates a permanent record. Still, the truth is that even if each of your company’s listings were accurate at this current point in time, ongoing maintenance is always necessary for your listings to turn a profit indeed—your business.
Many directories wrap their information in the file based on the incoming information. This data can come from various sources, from government data to information submitted by users. Since this data collected on an ongoing basis, it may change companies’ lists or add more information that may need to be corrected or applied differently.
For example, your listings could end up looking like this
777 Main Street, Suite 100
Houston, TX 77057
777 Main St. # 100
Houston, TX 77057
Although these subtle changes understandably convey the same niche to a live customer, search engines will view it as inconsistent, which can reduce the SEO benefit of your business listings.
Even the slightest difference can make your local business listing management inconsistent and less likely to show up in local results. With dozens of directories providing an instance of your business information, and many of them regularly update, this can quickly lead to many inconsistencies. Search engines tend to trust listings consistent across many directories, so it is essential to ensure that they are constantly corrected and kept constant.
Additionally, many algorithms used by search engines extract signals of how recently a list has update when deciding rankings. Updating your listings regularly with photos, promotions, and other information is vital to show Google and other search engines that your listings provide accurate and up-to-date information.
Regularly updating the message presented on your ads will tell search engines that your ad is active.
Drive more traffic to your website; local listing for a business is a valuable resource for your business. To make sure you don’t waste money on a service that doesn’t ultimately benefit your business, make sure you invest in the ongoing management, as there is no one-size-fits-all solution that will increase your traffic. And your sales. As will faithful and coherent management of your local advertisement.
Professionals can effectively keep their local listings up-to-date and consistent, often at a great price. When you consider the benefits of excellent enrollment management, the return on your investment can be significant for your business.
MYTH#2: Some list providers steal your data or hold it hostage & reset your information when you cancel
Sites offering manual claims will ask you to create an account with them to submit your changes. More and more, some services do not provide the possibility of making manual complaints because they are not traditional business listings (Siri or Snapchat, for example).
Instead, companies that can help update these services have APIs with individual vendors to share data and make changes.
Automating the process means you get faster updates and better control over the information posted. And just because you don’t have an account you can log into manually doesn’t mean your data held hostage.
However, suppose you have hired a contractor to manually update your ads, refusing to give you your usernames and passwords. In that case, your data likely held hostage, and you should take action to report this behavior and get back what is rightfully yours.
There are many ways to manage your local business listing management. Whatever way you want to choose to do it, you pay someone for their service – as you would, for example, with your cable company. When you stop paying your cable company bills, you no longer receive their service. The same goes for listing services. When you stop paying them for assistance, they stop doing the job.
Lists are a utility, not an object. To keep their data up-to-date, map providers use dozens of data sources and continuously update their map data with the latest available.
So if, for some reason, a data source goes missing (maybe a location was receiving dozens of user-generated changes and suddenly shut down), then the provider’s algorithm will respond by prioritizing the data that he has. A newer data source may overwrite the user-generated change, or it may remain because the mapping provider still considers it the most accurate. So there’s the best chance that if you stop publishing your data through a particular source, that data will come back.
MYTH#3: Google, Apple, Facebook, and aggregators matter for listings
I understand – local listing for a business is a large, time-consuming, and ongoing project. It can be fantastic to take shortcuts to save time. But if you focus on Google, Apple, and Facebook and ignore the rest, you’re only missing out on business and putting your brand at risk.
Any good SEO knows that consistency is essential. Search engines work by compiling several different data sources. If you update only three, you’re exposing your business to insufficient data on dozens of sites. And that means your customers can have a less than positive experience with your brand. Every customer deserves the best possible experience.
Aggregators are the base file. Data aggregators are companies that efficiently analyze the world, creating large datasets of millions of companies across the country. Their business model is to sell the data they collect to other companies (including many of the most popular map vendors), so their goal is to collect data on the enormous scale possible. The perception of its scale is what created this fake news about serving as a primary archive.
This one doesn’t make sense to me because if one data aggregator was the core file, why would there be multiple data aggregator companies? Here’s the reality: No company has an accurate data set for everyone.
With search being predominantly mobile and voice-based, it’s more important than ever for brick-and-mortar businesses and retailers to optimize local business listing management. If this is something that you are not dealing with now, you will soon regret it. So, when discussing local data during your vendor research process, consider these clarifications exposed by local business listing services in Chicago to make a wise and informed choice.