What you will learn in this post:
- Local listings deliver the lowest cost per acquisition in the search industry to date.
- How Google My Business offers a multitude of benefits and competitive advantages.
- How data syndication can play a significant role in how multi-locational businesses manage online listings.
Managing your online local listings as a multi-location brand is both an art and a science. The landscape for how consumers find (and refer) businesses continues to change at a furious pace. The good news: There is an ever-growing list of digital resources that can help prospective customers find nearby locations of large organizations, and it extends beyond search engine giants like Google, Yahoo and Bing. Today’s consumers are also scouring a multitude of other digital resources like social media, review sites and mobile apps to get insider insight on where some of the market’s most prominent leaders are located and performing. So how do you boost search engine visibility?
The not-so-good news: more online options directly translates into more places for business owners across every industry to organize, update and manage, a trend that often puts multi-location brands at a distinct disadvantage to their single-location counterparts. Businesses with just one location typically only have a single demographic, digital reputation and online presence to maintain. However, multi-location brands, especially national brands with thousands of sites, struggle to manage the accuracy and consistency of their local company information across every consumer channel and need, making a cohesive local listing strategy a must.
For large enterprise organizations with multiple locations, the digital art of successfully managing online local listings includes several essential steps, such as:
Claim and Control Your Listings
Using local listings to drive search traffic has proven a powerful resource, delivering the lowest cost per acquisition in the search industry to date. Unfortunately, statistics reveal that a whopping 56 percent of local retailers still have not claimed their Google My Business listing. For organizations looking to tap into local search power, Google My Business is a mission-critical component, quickly offering a multitude of benefits and competitive advantages, including:
- Builds trust in local audiences
- Drives SEO rankings
- Free advertising
- New customer exposure
- Directs viewers back to the corporate site and social accounts
Initiate a Full Listing Cleanup
The first step in establishing a thorough and successful guide for managing your local listings is systematically going through existing pages to delete duplicate and inaccurate listings. A 2018 BrightLocal report shows that 80 percent of consumers lose trust in local businesses if they see incorrect or inconsistent contact details or business names online. Eliminating extra accounts or erroneous data provides a solid foundation to begin building the rest of your enterprise’s digital listing revamp.
Build Search Engine (And Consumer) Trust
Once you have managed the initial cleanup, you can begin establishing your enterprise’s multi-location reputation (and online consumer trust) by updating your business listings with consistent and correct information. Some of the most crucial directory fields to focus on include:
1) Business Name
Large, multi-location organizations often go by a wide range of name variations. Streamline brand variations by choosing one official name for every directory. Designating a single identity for all digital listings can eliminate consumer confusion and reduce the risk of losing buyer trust and sales.
2) Local Address
Even if the physical address is not meaningful to how you conduct business – it is meaningful to search directories. Google often deemphasizes listings without a physical address, which can directly impact your company’s search engine visibility.
3) Phone Number
Once your consumers find your local listings, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to contact you. An updated phone number helps achieve that.
4) Listed Website
Some consumers want to connect by phone straight from the directory. However, others may prefer to check out your website before making a final decision on contact. Including your corporate website gives potential customers options.
Not all directories allow business owners to upload business photos. Whenever you can, including a high-quality image to help your audience better connect with your brand. If professional photos are not available or you serve a nontraditional market, try using simple stock photos to give customers a sense of your business.
Tackle Big Local Search Directories First
Begin your initiative in increase search engine visibility with the larger directories, which will eventually feed data into smaller directories and niche pages. Some of the main players within the larger directory vertical include:
- Google My Business
Syndicate Local Data
Data syndication, or the process of establishing an identical database across several different websites, can play a significant role in how multi-locational businesses manage online listings. Location data management with syndication can help monetize a corporation’s data assets, generate website traffic, increase and strengthen brand awareness, and maximize data accessibility to online users. Most importantly, syndicating local data can help build relevant online links and enhance the overall user experience, building trust and brand reputation amongst page visitors.
Develop Data Escalation And Measurement Process
Once your brand has effectively updated its online local presence, it is crucial to implement practices across your organization that track key performance indicators (KPIs). Create a process that expedites escalation of data from key stakeholders to you for measurement of local SEO ROI using several specific KPIs, such as:
- Direction clicks
- Clicks to website
- Clicks to call
- Google search impressions
Consistently monitoring and analyzing effort clicks can help you adjust strategies as needed for optimal final results, search engine visibility and consumer impact.
Rio SEO: We Specialize in Large Enterprise Local Listing Solutions
Rio SEO’s Local Listings solution is designed to help your enterprise business manage complex location data and enhance your local search engine visibility. The first step is by completing a local audit of your brand. Request your free report from Rio SEO today.
Krystal Taing is a Google My Business Gold Product Expert with extensive knowledge and expertise in local marketing and local search.