Business Listings - the ins and outs

Part 1: Directories & Digital Hygiene

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Your business information is distributed and updated across various platforms and directories over the internet often without prior knowledge or authorisation.

We have pulled together some additional insights to help you tackle common location and localised search issues to ensure your business is profiled accurately.

To be found online where your customers need you most is essential in converting those online experience in offline engagement.

Part 1: Directories and Digital Hygiene

Part 2: Google Profiles and unwanted 3rd party updates

Part 3: Citation Building – Tier 1 and legacy 

Part 4: Rogue social media profiles and those “fan sites”

Part 5: Making the most out of your business listings

Importance of directories

Company information is distributed and updated across various platforms and directories over the internet often without prior knowledge or authorisation.

As directories are subject to change without notice understanding when they have changed and who has made the edits can be a tedious process. 

The most popular directories that can be manually updated include:

  • Google (and all Google properties – Maps, GMB, Youtube etc.)
  • Facebook (including Instagram)
  • Bing – also powers digital assistants Alexa and
    Mircosoft Cortina.
  • Map and in-car navigation – Uber, Waze, Here
  • General publishers – this varies based on location and business type – over 20.
  • Data aggregators – e.g. Factual (these bring the content from all publishing points, verify and also push content out.
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The most common issues faced include:

Failure to rank in search

  • Missing Google profiles
  • Security with third party updates
  • No central source of truth
  • Missing tier 1 citations and directories
  • Legacy citation issues
  • Incomplete control of Facebook
  • Missing opening hours or different opening hours
  • Missing attributes / rich content

We will be tackling all these challenges and providing tips on how to fix across the series.

Failure to rank

What does this mean?

Does your brand show up in Google’s three-pack for unbranded search terms? 

Tip: You can check this by looking at your location category as a keyword in Google’s Ad Preview tool and see which results appear in the three-pack.

If your brand doesn’t appear, it may mean the brand’s “digital hygiene” isn’t clean enough to be ranked when customers search for your business or category.

“Digital hygiene” encompasses several things. The most common digital hygiene problem is when different platforms (like Google and Facebook) have contradictory information (like phone numbers or URLs) about single locations.

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Why is it a problem?

If a location isn’t ranking in local search, the result is like poor SEO; unless customers are searching specifically for that street address or the brand itself, the location may not appear.

Optimising SEO and other paid search to educate the customer, but still not appearing at the bottom of the funnel (as a customer searches locally before purchasing), you may be assisting your competitors to rank more favourably and possibly win the customer dollar.

One of the most important aspects of local ranking and local search is a consistency of all online data across key platforms such as Google, Bing, Facebook, Foursquare, etc.

Whilst direct traffic to some of the non-Google directories are negligible, not appearing could damage your presence on Google. Google bots align unbranded and other information about your business to ensure the information displayed is correct to the search.

What this means is Google relies on other directories to verify the information you provide. If your information contradicts itself, Google isn’t sure it can trust you.

What is the solution?

Keeping all location data current and secure to ensure no unauthorised changes is possible.

These basic changes are crucial and may result in an increase of impressions and actions (e.g. clicks or views).

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Get a location health check today!

Contact us today to find out more and centralise your location business information