Years ago, if a local customer wanted to find your business, he or she would open up the phone book. Nowadays, millions of potential customers search for businesses on hundreds of different online sites. In fact, some estimate offline local spend to be ten times greater than e-commerce spend. How can you maximize your local presence? Maintaining and updating your local listings, otherwise known as your location data.
There are three layers to location data:
- Where (Name, Address, Phone Number) – This is the basic contact information for businesses. With this information, customers can find a local business.
- What (Hours, Payments, Business Description, Search Categories) – This is the basic info surrounding a business that helps to drive foot traffic by educating customers on what the store is.
- Why (Photos and Videos, Clickable Featured Message, Content Lists, Bios, Menus, Calendars, etc.) – This layer comprises the rich content that helps differentiate one business from another and enables customers to choose between competing stores
Unfortunately, the current state of location data is miserable. 43% of businesses have an incorrect or missing address listed online. And 37% have an incorrect or missing phone number. If your information is incorrect or missing, potential customers will be unable to find your business and will move on to a competitor.
And, though it is the largest form of discovery, simply being listed on Google is not enough. There are hundreds of different sites that must be updated. In a recent study, it was found that only 41.7% of consumers claimed that search engines were their primary tool for discovering local businesses. In other words, the vast majority of consumers look on places other than Google to help them discover local businesses. If your location information isn’t updated across the internet you’re missing out on customers and sales.
Here is a quick checklist, to make sure your customers can use your location information to find you:
- Get listed everywhere – on average, a customer uses 5 sources when researching purchases. You need to understand your presence on top sites like Yahoo!, YP, and MapQuest and your mobile presence on apps, maps, and navigation.
- Correct your digital location information – you need to make sure customers can find you by correcting your business address and phone number
- Complete your business listings – give your customers the information that they want (and need) so that they will come to your store. Add hours of operation, search categories, business website, and business description
- Share deep local content – help your customers choose your store over the competition by showing them what’s inside. Add product/service lists, menus, bios for your staff, and calendars of upcoming events.
- Keep you location information fresh – Your customers are interested in new content, so make sure you update your location information at least once a month.
- Track and optimize your listings’ performance –monitor listing views, track featured message clicks, and keep an eye on reviews to understand what types of content your customers find useful and give them more of it.
Do you know how your business appears online? Make sure potential customers can find you easily. In less time than it took you to read this, you can discover where you are losing out on customers.
Click here to get a free report detailing your business information is incorrect and you’re review profile is healthy.