If you’re looking for a good local restaurant near you, it’s likely that you’ll turn to Yelp or Google (or both). If you’re on the search for a new car, you’ll probably head over to a car directory like Kelly Blue Book.
If you’re on the hunt for a new apartment, a directory like apartments.com will probably be used during your search. Everyday consumers rely on listings on online directories to help guide their purchasing decisions. And since over half of all Google searches are local, it’s extremely important for multi-location businesses to keep their local listings optimized and up-to-date.
In this blog, we cover what listings management is and how to optimize your listings so your business can drive customer traffic.
What’s the Difference Between a Good and Bad Listing?
You know that listings management is important, but what actually makes a listing good or bad?
For starters, a business needs to claim its listing. They also need ample reviews on the business listings and great images that are more than are default thumbnails pulled from Google.
Other signs of a bad listing are if the listing has any missing information, such as a phone number, website, hours, or inaccurate information. 80% of consumers lose trust in local businesses when they see inaccurate information. Unclaimed or unkept online listings are costly and potentially force your business to lose out on thousands of customers.
The flip side, a good listing contains its own images, a complete Google My Business description, correct business information, and includes a decent number of reviews. The more up-to-date information and call-to-actions you have on your business listing, the more reasons consumers have to visit your business.
How to Manage Your Listings
- Claim or create your business listing. Start with Tier 1 Directories.
- Clean your listings. Remove inaccurate information or photos.
- Update your listing. Add missing or out-of-date information such as business hours, websites, or photos.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 often.
Create a Complete & Accurate Listing
A successful listing strategy starts with ensuring each business listing is completely up-to-date. At Chatmeter, we created the acronym NAPWCHD as a reminder for the must-have information on your listings:
- Name – Your business listing must have the correct name and spelling.
- Address – Your address will help consumers decide if they want to drive over to your business and give a good understanding of your business’s location.
- Phone Number – A phone number is valuable for your business to add, should a consumer have any questions.
- Website – Including your local business’s website will encourage consumers to take further action and do more research.
- Categories – Categories are an essential part of ranking in local unbranded keyword search queries. Make sure your business selects the correct category and subcategories. Check out Chatmeter’s guide on how to add the most relevant categories to your GMB listing.
- Hours – Accurate business hours are very important for consumers. If you accidentally list the wrong hours or don’t update them, consumers will lose trust in your business and purchase from another competitor.
- Description – Adding your business description is a great way to tell consumers more information about your business. Stick to a concise overview of your business’s offerings and who you serve.
An up-to-date listing doesn’t just keep customers happy, it also helps your business rank higher on sites like Google. By routinely updating your listings with accurate information, you’ll build brand credibility and increase online visibility.
Focus Efforts on Tier 1 & Industry-Specific Directories
Maintaining a NAPWCHD presence on your listings online is essential, however, you don’t need to spend all your time on smaller websites and citations. Whitespark’s recent 2020 Local Search Ranking Factors survey shows that today, citations only influence 7% of your rankings. Instead, focus on tier 1 directories such as Google, Facebook, Yelp, Bing, and Apple Maps. These directories are where your consumers are spending most of their time to form an opinion on which business they want to visit.
Industry-specific directories are also important because these platforms are where consumers who are looking to do more research exist. They’re further along in their buyer journey and are going to be more likely to consider making a purchase. Find out which industry-specific directories are the most popular in your industry, and from there you can get a good idea of where to concentrate your efforts.
Check for Duplicate Listings
Duplicate listings are costly and create frustration among consumers. A duplicate listing is when you have multiple listings on a directory for a single business location. The most common reason we see duplicate listings arise at Chatmeter is due to business owners creating a new listing on top of a pre-existing listing. Typically, directories like Google and Bing will create a listing for businesses that end up not being claimed or identified by the business owner. This common scenario is why the average enterprise brand can have thousands of duplicate listings that lead to a loss in revenue and consumer frustrations.
If you find yourself in this scenario, be sure to head over to the platform in which your duplicate listing(s) exists so you can report the issue.
Leverage Google My Business (GMB) to Reach Consumer
Google’s search engine market share is more than 90%. Considering that Google is the most widely used search engine, you need to be leveraging your GMB profile to reach consumers. In addition, GMB signals account for 33% of how Google ranks a business – the most influential ranking factor!
With GMB, you can really take advantage of every feature offered to engage with consumers and share more information about your business. If you have a new product or an interesting feature about your business, you can easily share that information with features such as Google Posts and Google attributes. With Google Q&A, you can deliver brand-verified answers to any questions consumers are asking you. By enabling GMB Messaging, you can instantly communicate with your consumers and show you have an active online presence.
Here are some feature-specific resources from Chatmeter that will help perfect your GMB optimization strategy:
Routinely Monitor and Update Your Business Listings
The average business listing changes every 5-6 days. In addition, consumers are going to be leaving user-generated content such as photos, reviews, questions, and more onto your listings every day. You need to continuously monitor and update your listings to protect your brand reputation, as well as keep business information up-to-date.
We recommend monitoring your listings weekly so you can update or add any new business information accordingly. If you’re a Chatmeter client, you can leverage Workflow or the LocationHQ Mobile App to bulk edit listings on the go and complete any tasks related to your listings.
In today’s highly competitive world, you need to do everything you can to ensure consumers have a great experience with your business. A successful listings management strategy will benefit your business with higher rankings, increased online visibility, and provide a better customer experience. Although listings management may be time-consuming, they provide a large opportunity to get right in front of your target market and prove why you should be chosen over your competitors.
Are you interested in seeing how your brand’s online presence and reputation could improve? Schedule a demo and learn why our platform can take your online visibility and listings to the next level.