Without data aggregators, the local search ecosystem would be vastly different. Manually submitting the information to online citations (which are a huge factor for local SEO rankings) is time-consuming and can take a toll on your business’s resources. This is especially true if you’re a local enterprise brand with multiple storefronts in different cities.
Even if you cut corners and do the bare minimum, submitting your business’s name, address, phone number (NAP information) without any other information for each location to hundreds of directories, it would take months of work to get anywhere. And, your time and resources are better allocated elsewhere.
The four major data providers Factual, Acxiom, Data Axle, and Localeze file information about businesses in their massive databases. In turn, they supply this information to search engines, like Google and Bing, and allow enterprise brands to submit information to multiple online directories at once. These include yellow pages, phone directories, and other niche and location-specific directions.
In this blog post, we will elaborate on why you should be using data aggregators to improve your local search presence as an enterprise local brand. The many reasons why submitting your business data to citations at scale can largely benefit local search strategy. Let’s dive into why.
What are Data Aggregators?
A data aggregator, as the name suggests, compiles information from multiple sources, including phone and utility bills, business registration records on government websites, chamber of commerce membership rosters, and other citations for the sole purpose of providing it to search engines.
It is also possible for business owners to provide this information directly to the data aggregators so that they can submit it to other sources on their behalf. In turn, this helps businesses appear in online citations such as:
- Yellow Pages
- Bing Local
- Google Maps (and Google Business Profile)
- Apple Maps or Siri
- Social Media pages like Facebook
- Niche business directories such as Houzz or Angi’s
The Importance of Accurate Local Listings
Besides helping search engines with accurate information and setting your business up for exposure in the search engine ecosystem, local listings can also be an additional source of traffic for the business. Local customers often turn to niche listings to find local businesses in an industry — and seeing your name appear everywhere also builds “top of the mind” awareness.
This means that even if they are presently just “fishing” around for options before buying, they’ll likely remember your business when they are ready to pull the trigger and actually purchase those goods/services.
But, just as much as making them remember you is essential, it is equally important to retain your reputation in front of them by providing accurate information. Suppose they dial a disconnected number or send an email that bounces. In that case, you can expect them to seek out your competition and distrust your brand’s commitment to providing an exceptional experience.
4 Specific Ways Data Aggregators Support Your Local SEO Goals
1. Allow search engines to validate and verify consistent business data
Google’s public statement about how its ranking algorithm works for SERPs and local packs is pretty clear: it sorts through millions of listings and webpages to provide users with the most valuable and beneficial information as they need it. So, it’s no surprise that Google likes consistency across channels, especially when it comes to business information.
Have you seen those “suggested updates” on your Google Business Profile? Google actually gathers it from sources like social media, review sites, and other local citations in order to supply the most accurate information to the customer. Data aggregators allow you to control this at scale from one place — without the headache of you going and manually correcting incorrect hours, business names, or any other information across hundreds of channels.
This allows search engines to get a clearer view of your business and may also protect your Google Business profile from unwanted updates.
2. Meet motivated searchers with accurate information to help them convert
In our recent Local Consumer Behavior Survey, we found that up to 73% of searchers will not shop with a business that has inaccurate information on local citations. And why should they?
As a business, you want to facilitate smooth consumer interaction at every touchpoint — but if you’re willing to lose a potential customer because you haven’t taken the time to update your 3-year-old phone number — can they really trust you to be the best choice for them? In fact, many negative reviews we see for a business come from their lack of initiative to correct their information.
Data aggregators can be a life-saver in this case. Changed your phone number? No problem. Communicate this information to all channels in one go. Moving your store from ABC street to XYZ street? 1…2…3…poof. Your pin has now been corrected, your social media updated — and your listings and reviews are intact. It’s really that simple when you can control your data at scale.
One of the most important factors for SEO for both local and national brands is backlinks. When you have to build multiple backlinks for every single map pack and local landing page — that exercise can be cumbersome.
Not with data aggregators. They naturally submit your business information (including links to your local pages for a city) to hundreds of listings — making access to tier 1 backlinks a walk in the park.
4. Increase local rankings on major search engines
As you may already know, the basis of rankings for any search engine is E-A-T: Expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. A sophisticated search engine like Google looks at many factors to judge that for each specific page, including the consistency of information with what’s available on the internet, the reliability of the business/website itself, and backlinks pointing to it. Local citations can help with all of these.
Data aggregators allow an enterprise local SEO brand to put their efforts into hyper-gear by controlling these factors simultaneously.
To illustrate, let’s first talk about what providing the most “valuable result first” could mean in the context of local search. When it comes to a query like “grocery stores near me” (which clearly has local search intent) — what kind of factors could point to “expertise” or “trustworthiness”?
Factors that promote trustworthiness
- Is this business located where they say they are (and do all mentions of their brand’s particular storefront also point to one location)? Can this specific customer drive up to their store easily?
- Are they located closer and have better reviews than their counterparts? Do their listings across the web point to this, or are they manipulating the search engines with different addresses?
- Do they call themselves via the same name and have the same store label across the web? Or, are they trying to trick search engines using keywords in their names to appear higher in search rankings?
- If they stuff keywords in their business description or name for local citations, but their website and other platforms say otherwise — which information do they supply to the customer? Do they disregard all information or display what they think is the most accurate representation of a business?
- Based on all data available about this business, can we trust their reputation to provide the best service if even their business information is inconsistent?
- Could another neighborhood business provide the same service without the customer having to “dig” through the internet to search for a way to reach this business?
- Do customers recommend their services or information on social media?
- Do other niche relevant websites also mention their website and business?
- Do they have good reviews on other citations such as Yelp or Nextdoor?
- Do customers see their citations and actually interact with the listings? Do they skip clicking and choose another business instead?
By allowing local enterprise brands to take control of all these logical factors that Google could be looking at and to do so without losing sleep, there is no doubt that data aggregators can greatly help rankings.
For any brand to succeed, it must focus on users first and search engines second. When users love a brand or interact with it more often than other listings in local search, Google is bound to reward that brand’s SEO efforts. If that is your brand, why wouldn’t they show you higher up in the search rankings?
Data aggregators can be a cornerstone for enterprise local brands to provide the most accurate information to their customers at every touch point — thereby affecting their brand perception. Search rankings follow suit. And, the fact that they allow you to control the local search efforts for multiple stores in multiple cities from one place is also a boon for your ROI.
But again, they are just one essential element of a solid local SEO strategy. It’s not like your brand is going to be building local citations in isolation — if your competitors in an area are also doing it, how do you compete for the top rankings? Somebody still has to do the work and figure out a way to fulfill other factors that can give you an edge over others.
Get a Free Local Audit for Your Business
That’s where we come in. Rio’s Local Listings solution uses data aggregators to create a cost-effective and agile SEO strategy that can be replicated across locations nationwide. We then combine it with other factors, including your social presence and more, to go full-throttle on your local search efforts.
Interested in finding out how we can grow foot traffic to all your locations through our comprehensive strategy? Contact Rio SEO today for a free local audit.