By Sarah Berger / Director of Business Development, Rio SEO

A decade in Boston spent with classmates from Maine cultivated a common phrase for inaccessible businesses with unpredictable routes and inaccurate addresses.  “You can’t get there from here.”

Losing potential customers, who are actively seeking your business, can cost your brand revenue and negatively impact your brand presence.

To combat this undesirable result, multi-location brands concentrate efforts on local business listing information accuracy and a consistent distribution to such search engine map providers as Google, Yahoo and Bing. While this is a good start, there are significant limitations to a map-only approach.

Putting all your eggs in one basket and neglecting massive local directory platforms can leave your local listing data vulnerable to inaccuracy, similar to when Apple’s EPIC albeit decided to temporarily turn off Google Maps and switch to Apple Maps overnight.

There are three top local directory platforms in the U.S. – Axciom, LocalEze and Infogroup. These data aggregators pull information from an enormous distribution network, including car navigation systems, Apple Maps, Yelp, SuperPages and Internet Yellow Pages, just to name a few.

Managing optimized information on all three of these directories will validate and verify your brand’s business data with search engines.  Search engines use the data collected from the aggregators to validate addresses, phone numbers, and other business information; and when they are presented with contrasting information, an increased possibility of inaccuracies can propagate to other systems.

While there is a cost associated to use these data aggregator platforms, the benefits certainly outweigh the costs.  Social directories like Yelp and Facebook are another great source to update with your business data. These platforms are emerging as the primary place consumers are turning to for local business content.

Maintaining accurate business listings across multiple platforms for hundreds of locations can be a time-consuming and laborious Excel task, but it is important not to neglect the display of accurate business data. Automated software options are available to help manage these listings and are worth researching.

It’s time to eliminate missed opportunities from the “you can’t get here from there” obstacle and actively manage your local business listings across the three data aggregators (Axciom, LocalEze and Infogroup), social directories and search engines for complete accurate coverage.