How Important are Local Listings?
Search Engines such as Google put a strong focus toward accommodating users searching with local intent. It is easy to understand why when around 80% of consumers use the internet to find information such as the phone number, address, name, and URL relating to local businesses. In order to accomplish the end goal of serving up the most relevant, accurate, and trusted results to local consumers, these search engines look to various directories for confirmation that the information about to be shown to the consumer is correct. For this reason, one of the most influential ranking factors accounting for over 45% of how search engines rank businesses in local search results is clean and consistent listing data.
The Danger of Incorrect or Inconsistent Listings
Incorrect details or unclaimed listings cause confusion for search engines. Google and other local search sites need to be confident in the accuracy of their data in order to provide consumers with actionable business information and get them where they want to be going. If the search engines have any doubt about the validity of the information for your business, they will lower the listing position where consumers have a smaller chance of clicking on them. This way, the search engine is less likely to be blamed for providing its users with inaccurate information.
Being recognized as a trusted business with the search engines through accurate and consistent listing data is critical for any business represented online. It’s estimated that $10.3 billion worth of sales are lost every year because of wrong, missing, or incomplete local listing information. The more directories a business is listed on and the consistency of information across them attribute to the trust earned with those search engines. Building and maintaining this trust leads to a higher ranking, making businesses even more visible to consumers.
Managing Local Listings
Managing these local listings is the foundation that ensures a business’s local data is accurate and complete wherever customers search online. Local search sites rely on a number of different sources to obtain the data provided to consumers. It is in a business’s best interest to ensure that data is accurate to avoid negative impact within the search results.
Now it’s time for action! Take control by determining where your company is (and is not) listed online. You can do this by searching your business name online or utilizing a tool that does the finding for you. Review the listings and look for data consistency, focusing on the data that shows who you are, where you are, and how you can be contacted. Then, you’ll want to update listings to reflect the same name, address, phone as your Google My Business listing, at the minimum. Keep in mind you may also need to add or claim existing listings in the process as well as remove any duplicates.
While it may seem simple enough, there are hundreds of places your business information could be listed. Plus, even after everything is straightened out, it’s a constant battle trying to safeguard your listings from all of the different sources of dirty data. In fact, due to the number of different avenues of local search sites use to acquire and cross-check their data, listings could change as frequently as every 6 days. Monitoring local listings properly is not a one-time adjustment, but rather a process that should be a routine with a consistent schedule.
Make it Simple with a Local Listing Management Tool
Although it can certainly be done by an in-house employee, without the right knowledge and tools, managing hundreds of local listings can be an extremely difficult and a time-consuming process. The most popular way businesses are tackling these tedious elements is by utilizing tools that automate the listing management process. Tools such as Dealer eProcess’s Local Listings Management will locate, update and protect your listings automatically, keeping your online business listings up-to-date and available wherever and however your customers are searching for you. This saves the dealership a significant amount of time and resources, while also providing optimized accuracy.