By Bill Connard / VP of Local Search Solutions
At our local SEO webinar last week, I emphasized the importance of managing local business listing accuracy across the three major search engines, social engines and data aggregators. Doing this optimizes your brand or business’ local search engine visibility. Greg Sterling, the founder of Sterling Market Intelligence, and Mike Shannon, one of our agency customers at Best Rank, moderated the webinar. Shannon addressed his 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. The data shows 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.
The Importance of Local Business Listing Accuracy
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 easily maintains consistent business information. It also updates frequent changes on their clients’ behalf.
We wanted to hear from our audience. So we introduced a few poll questions 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.
Our second poll question demonstrated fairly different results for the data aggregators (LocalEze, InfoUSA and Acxiom).
Using Data Aggregator Networks
I was surprised to see that only 50 percent of the audience used data aggregator networks. This was a red flag! If you do not manage your content here, then you trust information services to present accurate Local Business Listings data for your business. 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. This specifically includes Facebook, Foursquare, Yelp! and Google+. This was great to see!
In summary, the search marketing industry has expanded. Consumers increasingly use 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. If you do this, you will be rewarded with beneficial validation and verification of content discovery 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