Listing Management

The Importance of Maps and Directories

Car interior GPS mapping and directories

By now, we’ve all heard of citations. We know that consistent and accurate business information is critical to any Local Search strategy. But beyond that, there is another element to be taken into account: the directory in which the citations are made.

There are few online directories that both consumers and search engines can appreciate. Some have lower views per site but remain critical to a complete search marketing strategy. The question is, how do we know which directory to give our attention to?

There are key elements to take into consideration:

  1. Domain Authority: The measure of strength or power associated with a specific domain name, one of many search engine ranking factors, the scale ranging from 1-100.
  2. Traffic: Naturally, the volume of users that access a directory will influence our selection.
  3. Aggregation: Some directories don’t rely on individual location entries alone, instead they connect with other sites to pull information to populate their directory.
  4. Mapping Systems: These are key since they are relied on by other platforms be it websites, mobile apps or in-vehicle GPS systems.
  5. Mobile-friendliness: As mobile use increases everyday, websites and directories need to be responsive. Mobile-friendly directories may rank higher and increase the likelihood of the overall health of any associated local rankings.

With these key elements in mind, we’ve seen a surge in digital mapping and understand first hand how much they impact a business’ Local SEO reach and in some cases their entire business model. Most recently, the automotive and transit industries have taken a big interest in mapping system directories and for good reason.

Uber and TomTom

One of the most recent headlines concerning mapping and directories to hit the tech scene was Uber (the online taxi dispatch service) announcing a partnership with TomTom Maps. Uber’s main objective is to bring people and things from Point A to Point B as efficiently as possible — so having the right data and access points is absolutely essential. Tom Tom is a navigation and mapping software used for GPS and routing systems. Uber sealed the deal after failing to acquire Nokia’s HERE maps.

For Uber, having its own mapping unit like TomTom reduces its dependency on other (more expensive) mapping services.Uber has created a massive disruption in the transit industry and there are no signs of it slowing down (i.e. replacing humans with self driving Tesla cars).

Around 3 million Uber trips are taken everyday — that requires big data, in all 340 city locations. Uber has acquired four different mapping technologies, Bing’s map tech included. And as Uber expands its reach so does the demand and expectation of mobile users who are dependant on the technology. Address accuracy and wait times all play a big role in customer satisfaction and everything is dependent on the wealth of data their mapping directories provide.

BMW, Daimler, VW and Nokia HERE

Nokia HERE, another player in the mapping landscape owns almost 80 percent of automotive shares and was recently purchased by the German auto trio of BMW, Daimler, and VW (Audi). In the lucrative business of navigation and vehicle automation, built-in mapping services are features drivers now expect when looking to buy.

HERE’s mapping data is also used by other big tech companies like Facebook and Baidu allowing their users access to location information while on their platforms.

GM’s OnStar

Another great example of in-vehicle mapping is GM’s OnStar, a GPS mapping and service software that is only available to car owners by subscription. Plans running around $30.00 a month include immediate assistance (car maintenance, mapping, insurance) and even WiFi. The company is priding itself on an all-in one offering that other providers don’t come close to…yet.

As the use of mapping technologies is prevalent in more and more services the importance of being listed locally online is critical. At SweetIQ, we undergo quarterly audits ensuring our directory packs provide our clients the best Local Search reach possible. Striving to get you listed locally with actionable data at your reach (conversions, potential revenue and ROI), we want to see your business benefit from online searches driving in-store purchases.

Interested in learning more about how your business ranks in local search? Request a demo and outrank your competitors today!

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