What is Local Listing Management?
Local Listing Management is the creation and management of your brand locations across multiple online directories such as Google My Business, Facebook and Yelp.
A local listing is a location’s online profile displaying their name, address, phone number, and other information including hours of operation, website, and email address. Think of it as your open sign for the online crowd.
The benefits of Local Listing Management are many, but the two key benefits are:
1- Findability: getting your brand locations found by online users looking for products and services like yours.
2- Branding: ensuring you have accurate and consistent branding across all your locations online.
How does it work?
Most people think that the most important step is to get listed in as many online directories as possible. However, it is best to select the right directories first. Being listed everywhere is less crucial than ensuring you are accurately listed on the best directories for your industry.
Once you’re listed, ensure that the best content is associated to your listings. Some directories will only allow name, address and phone number, while others accept more content such as website URL, descriptions, photos or videos.
Being listed is a great way to get found, having accurate content is the way you get chosen.
Why is Location Listing Management important?
How does it affect SEO (organic search) results?
The more accurate your online listings and content you have – the more findable you are to potential customers. Accurate local listings are one of several factors search engines take into account when displaying results on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Consistency across a location’s online presence is one factor, along with reviews, social media signals, on-page unique content, keyword presence, social-media compatibility, multi-device adaptability, design, and metadata.
Location Listings Management is the starting point for any off-site SEO strategy. It creates consistent and accurate location listings (or citations) which reinforce your local SEO. If the directory listing holds the website URL, you are building links to your site that (when applicable) create better authority for your domain.
Explain how the ranking process works and the tracking of rank.
Ranking refers to where your website appears in search results either organically or locally. This search term is a keyword which is used to search for a product or service paired with a geo modifier which denotes the city or location desired by the user. In all local searches, a geo-modifier is applied. For example, if I live in Montreal and search the keyword “Pharmacy” – the actual search will be “Pharmacy near Montreal.”
Track your performance for local keywords for local and organic performance on the 3 main search engines (Google, Yahoo! And Bing). The rank itself refers to your position on the page, therefore the lower the rank, the easier your website is to find in search results for that keyword.
Provide any misconceptions when it comes to Local listing management.
- Include complete and accurate data
- Make sure to update info as business changes
- Correct hours of operation (including special hours and holidays)
- Monitor and respond to reviews
- Add photos
- Use correct categories
- Do your research for keyword selection
- Create appealing descriptions
- Include links to social media pages
- Leave out any information
- Have stale content on listings
- Forget to post special hours of operation
- Use acronyms
- Ignore negative reviews
- Use or keep old photos, logo, banners, etc.
LOCAL MARKETING CAMPAIGNS & LOCAL SEARCH
What’s the goal of a local marketing campaign?
Essentially, the goal is to build an online presence by making your locations more findable to searchers. The goal is to maximize how often and easily your customers can find you – and find the best content about you. Your listings, and the reviews on them, influence customers during their journey to conversion.
Right Listings + Best Content = More Traffic & Sales
What is a Local Search?
A Local Search is one which has a product or service attached to a specific location, or in the case of mobile “near me”. The intention is clear in these searches that the user is looking for a business within a specific location.
Why is Local Search important?
Local Search has taken on more importance over the years as users have grown savvier and understand that specifying location means more relevant results. The growth of smartphone use has impacted Local Search as well, Google studies reveal “near me” searches have grown 34 times since 2011 and have doubled since 2014.
What are the key directories for Local Search?
The key directories for local search are those most popular with users as well as search engines. The top directories critical for your locations to be found on are Google My Business (within Google Maps), Facebook, Bing Maps, Yelp and Foursquare.
Most users will recognize or use these directories, which means that Search Engines will appreciate their data more since it has high levels of User Generated Content.
Why is it important to be on Local Search Directories?
Not all Local Search directories are as “famous” as the ones listed above, however they have influence and value. Online directories are used by search engines to validate the existence, accuracy of content and relevance of a business.
Ensuring that your location content is accurate on all the directories most used by Search Engines helps your with Local SEO and better SERP rankings. Accurate and consistent data across online directories sends a clear message to Search Engines: your business is opened, your location (street, city, postal code) is confirmed and you’re active online and therefore ready to service your potential customers.
Why are Reviews a part of Local Search?
Reviews take your business from “present” to “active” online. Customer reviews are another sign that your business is thriving and servicing customers regularly.
It can be overwhelming to think of reviews about your business being online since you cannot control the message within them, but there is no reason to fear them. Statistics show that 90% of unhappy customers will return if an issue is resolved quickly and efficiently. Which means that monitoring your reviews is critical to ensure that you are resolving any issues that arise. This not only gives the unhappy customers a good experience, it demonstrates to potential customers the level of customer service that your business offers.
Also, according to a survey conducted by Dimensional Research, 90% of consumers say that online reviews impacted their purchase decisions, meaning businesses should be proactive in the way they manage their reputation and their online presence at the local level, as those are touchpoints that drive more customers towards brick and mortar.
What’s a Local Keyword?
A Local Keyword consists of a product or service and a location (known as a geomodifier).
For example, butcher New York, plumber Brooklyn, dentist SoHo, pizza near me.
Why is it important to monitor Local Keywords?
Tracking the performance of your Local Keywords allows for a better understanding of your customers. You can see how they are finding your business and which of your products and services are the most sought after.
SweetIQ SMART NETWORK
What are Local Search Aggregators?
Local Search Aggregators are sites which require one data entry from your business to publish your location data to multiple online directories. These directories are not amongst the most popular in Local Search (since most of these require a username and password to enter your data) but they cover the baseline directories which the Search Engines reference when indexing a business location.
Why is it important that they have the best information?
Since Aggregators push location data to many directories at once, it is critical that your information be accurate.
What’s the value in keeping my top 10, 20 or 30 after a year or more?
1. Removing your listing from any directory means that your information will either:
a) remain as is – which means that the information that is currently there will never be updated (incl. the hours of operation, methods of payment, etc.)
b) be removed entirely
2. Directories accept information from both registered users and from aggregators; if your information is no longer associated to an account it may be overridden by the information on these sources.
3. At SweetIQ, we review our directories every quarter. Which means that your directory packages are updated every 3-4 months. This ensures that your business information is found on all the most current and relevant online directories.
This is the foundation of Local SEO. The core value of keeping your directory listings year over year is that you are feeding search engines your most up to date information consistently. And with SweetIQ monitoring the best directories for locations to be listed on, you can be confident that your business is listed on the most important directories.
What is SweetIQ’s role within local marketing campaigns?
SweetIQ works with brands and agencies to create a tailored strategy based on branding, target market and local marketing goals. SweetIQ’s solutions aim to get brands the best return on their local marketing investment and help them build an accurate online-to-offline conversion funnel.
Sweet IQ Solutions are:
- We start by auditing the current state of your listings and cleaning them up while optimizing them to match the required format for each directory.
- Creating online listings on the most important directories for all brand locations.
- Constant validation of accuracy and completion.
- Monitor reviews being written by customers about your locations
- Get an alert any time a new review is written
- Respond directly from the platform to the reviews received
- Track the growth in review volume and star ratings for your locations
- Identify the highest and lowest reviewed locations.
- A fully customizable store locator page, within your site.
- Creating a strong user experience.
- Aligning with Search Engine best practices.
- Individual microsite pages for each location improve your findability.
Store Locator Best Practices:
- Updated NAP Data
- Posting and regularly updating hours and holiday hours
- Linked to corporate page
- No keyword stuffing.
- Including Call-to-action buttons and rich media content
Within the SweetIQ platform, you can view trends and evaluate keyword performance, monitor reviews, and track progress on key performance indicators including;
- Coverage: where you are currently listed online
- Accuracy: correcting errors in name, address, phone number, website URL
- Rankings: average keyword performance in local and organic search results.
- Reviews: summary of ratings over time based on sentiments and star rating as well as highest and lowest rated locations.
- Online-to-offline attribution: measure potential in-store traffic, sales and revenue based on a proprietary algorithm and industry averages.
- Build campaigns for all or select locations with targeted messaging to drive customers to your locations.
- Create more user-generated content around your locations, while targeting Snapchat’s ready-to-buy audience.
- Strengthen your brand presence with branded Geofilters and influence how customers interact with your locations.
Customer Success Team:
A dedicated Customer Success manager will work with you to provide insights into your performance and tips to grow your results and ROI.