Local Listing Management
Many businesses are often wondering if local listing management otherwise known as citation management is still relevant for their marketing budgets. Do citations still matter and should a business be paying for ongoing local management services? The million-dollar question this article is meant to help you think through.
The most commonly known citations are Google, Facebook, Yelp, Apple maps, Yahoo and Bing. It’s the responsibility of a business to ensure accurate data across all listings. Name, address, phone, hours and URLs should all be managed consistently across the web. Having inconsistent data will result in loss of trust from your consumers. The very thing we work so hard to establish. It also confuses Google and other search engines which can negatively affect your local SEO.
The above screenshot is for a swim school on Yelp. Yelp is one of the most critical business citations that every local business should make sure is managed properly. Most citations contain basic contact information, others like Yelp include rich data of reviews, ratings and images.
Google relies on directories to understand your prominence.
According to Google, “Prominence is also based on information that Google has about a business, from across the web, like links, articles, and directories.” How exactly does Google do that? Well, having your business listed on trusted sites sends signals to Google legitimizing your existence. The more times Google sees your Name address and phone number on the world wide web the more significant your business becomes. However, making sure the data is consistently the same is also critical. Inconsistent data can hurt your local SEO efforts.
Google looks at third party sites for reviews and information.
You may find that Google links your social or other review sites to your Google My business page. Underneath your Q&A section Google will display “Reviews from the web.” Making sure you claim and optimize these citations is more relevant than ever.
Prominence includes your review rating. Have a significant number of reviews and a high review rating shows Google that your business is significant. Reviews can convey several messages over all. They can tell us everything we need to know about the business. How popular they are, if they have good or great customer service. Does this business have good food, products or services as well as the business ambience? It’s no wonder Google and other search engines rely on other sources to determine your business prominence.
Risk vs. Benefit of a Passive vs. Active Local Listings Management Approach
When developing your marketing strategy, a business needs to fully analyze the risk vs benefit of taking a passive vs active approach to their citations. Let’s review…
Passive Approach Risks:
- Minimum number of local citations
- Inaccurate data
- Duplicate business listings
- No approval process of edits to local business listings
- Not Discovering new reviews
- Zero control of your brand representation
- Lose consumer trust
Active Approach Benefits
- Ensure accurate and consistent data across major platforms
- Awareness of inaccurate data
- Closure of duplicate listings
- Discover and manage reviews
- Brand control across the web
Managing your data across multiple platforms is good business. In today’s digital world your brand presence online is as significant as the appearance of your storefront. After all, most customers will find your business online before they step into your establishment. Putting your best foot forward starts with your online presence.
Reach out to Reputation Arm for Professional Local Listings Management Services
Citations are snips of your business data on the internet. Local customers and all search engines are reviewing this data. They influence not only consumer spending but how you will rank overall compared to your competitors. We know that having several citations and making sure they are accurate will impact rankings, reputation and ultimately your revenue. Having minimal and inaccurate data can negatively impact your business rankings, reputation and revenue.
For more help on building citations reach out to Reputation Arm’s contact form. We understand that managing a business is not always easy nor do most business owners understand or have the bandwidth to handle their marketing needs. We are here to help you put your best foot forward.