Have you ever taken a moment to search for your business’s location information online? What about on your mobile device? Were the listings displayed in the results accurate? Meaning, were hours of operation, payment information, a list of products or services, etc. all served up? If they weren’t, take a minute to think about this; a consumer looking for information will be missing your company information, too! Worse yet, they may find one of your direct competitors.
Plus, last year, Google rolled out their Pigeon update, which affected the search results for Google Maps and Google Search. Basically, Google improved some behind-the-scenes location ranking algorithms, pushing search and traditional SEO signals together to reduce the duplication in organic and local results. Online directories like YP.com and Yelp saw an increase in their rankings, so businesses not listed in these types of directories will have to work that much harder so they appear on the first page of results.
According to Moz, people in the United States perform over 6.2 billion local searches every year. 61% of those users will call a business after searching, and 59% will actually visit the location. 90% of those searching will take an action within 24 hours of finding a business online. You can see how vital it is that your local listings are properly managed and displayed in the search results!
There are a few ways to go about managing your local online listings. Four main aggregators of location data send information to local search engines, and these sources include Infogroup, Neustar Localeze, Acxiom and Factual. Foursquare can also be considered an aggregator, as they send location data to Pinterest and other local search apps. The more local online directories you submit correct information to, the more opportunities you’ll have to get found online. And it’s not enough to simply show up in the search results; your data needs to be relevant and current.
Companies like Moz Local offer online listing management services to help ensure your company’s business information is updated and accurate across a wide range of websites. They can help make sure your business listings are accurate and standardized, from the listed name, address, phone number (NAP) as well as the business description, hours of operation, categories, services, etc.
Remember, out of date or incorrect data inconveniences consumers and can leave a bad taste in their mouths if they have a bad experience with your company because of it. Moz Local says 73% of consumers will actually lose trust or confidence in a brand when their online listings are incorrect. It’s important to remember that if your customers can’t find you when they do a local search, they will most definitely take their business somewhere else. Having the right information at a customer’s fingertips really can make all the difference.