Did you know that most customers prefer to shop locally? According to findings by Digitas, 93% of customers regularly visit stores within 20 minutes of their location. But even though these stores are a short distance away, 88% of customers still do some online research before making a purchase. In other words, consumers frequently use search engines to find good and services near them. Businesses of all sizes must make the journey from search to sale as seamless as possible, then. This effort begins by maintaining accurate and optimized local listings.
Why Local Listing Accuracy Matters
The search engine giant, Google, aims to be the center of truth about local businesses. As such, its algorithm is constantly digging through information to determine its relevance and accuracy. Businesses with outdated, inaccurate, or duplicate listings will lose visibility in local search results, making it harder for local customers to find them, thus leading to reduced foot traffic and sales. Even if a customer does come across a local business’ information online, any inaccurate info can send them to the wrong location, give them the wrong hours, or mislead them regarding inventory and other details. These errors can harm a business’s reputation and erode customer trust.
Navigating the Complex Local Listing Ecosystem for Multi-Location Brands
In a constantly evolving information landscape, maintaining accurate local listings is difficult enough for smaller businesses. These challenges are only amplified for enterprises with hundreds or thousands of locations. Google and other search engines use aggregators and syndicators to sort out information.
Aggregators collect data from various sources, which is then evaluated to determine accuracy. Third-party sources are included in this mix, meaning inaccuracies can appear. This is where syndicators come into play, allowing brands to override aggregated data and publish correct information broadly. Syndication tools are essential for multi-location brands looking to control their data and message.
For enterprise brands, the ability to monitor local listings at scale and identify opportunities is critical. The process of syndication to capitalize on them is the next step in a holistic local listings management strategy. Rio SEO and Neustar Localeze have identified five must-have traits enterprise brands should strive for in their local listings and local search marketing strategy:
For more insights and details regarding local listings management for enterprise brands, read our whitepaper, “Local Listings Management: Creating Exceptional Customer Experiences from Search to Sale.” Inside, you’ll discover ways to identify local listings risks and opportunities, solve common local listings issues, and learn how some multi-location brands have put these tools and tips into practice.