By Bill Connard / VP of Local Search Solutions
At our local SEO webinar last week, I emphasized the importance of managing local business listings across the three major search engines, social engines and data aggregators to optimize your brand or business’ local visibility. The webinar was moderated by Greg Sterling, the founder of Sterling Market Intelligence, and Mike Shannon, one of our agency customers at Best Rank, who addressed their clients’ successes with local search.
Greg Sterling kicked-off the webinar with some intriguing statistics regarding the impact of data distribution for local SEO and the huge volumes of local queries. He shared data from Google and Bing that 20 percent of all queries on personal computers have a local intent with more than 4 billion of those local queries occurring in May alone. Greg also discussed the influence of online activity with the transactions that occur offline.
Mike Shannon followed by explaining the benefits of using automated local software for accelerated SEO results. Through the implementation of local listing management software, Best Rank is able to easily maintain consistent business information and update frequent changes on their clients’ behalf.
We wanted to hear from our audience, so a few poll questions were introduced to get a better understanding of participants’ data distribution networks.
The first poll question showed a majority of the audience benefiting from the use of all three of the major U.S.-based search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing).
Both Greg Sterling and I were encouraged to see that all three search engines were being utilized by 67 percent of the audience and not just Google.
Our second poll question demonstrated fairly different results for the data aggregators (LocalEze, InfoUSA and Acxiom).
I was surprised to see that only 50 percent of the audience used data aggregator networks. This was a red flag! I believe that if you’re not managing your content here, then you’re trusting information services to have accurate local listing data for your business and in many instances we have seen this not to be the case.
Lastly, we asked the webinar participants to select the social engines to which they distribute information. Slightly more than half, nearly 51 percent, said they use all four of the major social engines, specifically Facebook, Foursquare, Yelp! and Google+. This was great to see!
In summary, the search marketing industry has expanded with consumers increasingly using a combination of smart phones, GPS devices, tablets and desktops. There’s not just one place to manage or submit your business information anymore. It’s very important to inject your business listings into the entire local search ecosystem. Doing so will lead to beneficial validation and verification of your content being found across the Web.
If you missed it, I encourage you to listen to a recording of the webinar : Impacting Local SEO Rankings with Local Business Listing Management