Why should you care about a local listing management service? Nearly half (46%) of all Google searches today have local intent. Brick and mortar businesses or service businesses that serve a specific geography need a Local SEO plan to position themselves appropriately. Accurate, complete, and consistent listings across directories, review sites and social networks is crucial for local search visibility. It’s not enough to simply focus on website development or local search across one or two platforms. Customers are finding information about your business across many platforms, and it’s important that your business is listed accurately across the entire Internet (yes, we do mean beyond the Big G!). But it can be unwieldy and time consuming to manually claim, optimize, and manage listings across Google My Business, Facebook, Bing Places, Yelp, Yellow Pages and more.
That’s where a good local listing management service can play a central role.
At Root and Branch, we still believe that claiming and properly optimizing the Google Business Listing is the single most important thing for local and regional businesses to do. However, as customer discovery continues to evolve, it’s important to ensure customers are able to access your business anywhere and everywhere they may be searching. While Google My Business does the heavy lifting for local SEO, Bing Places, Yelp and other business directories are critical for presenting a comprehensive and consistent picture to customers (and search engines!).
Consistent and accurate listings across web directories, review sites and social networks has a major impact on local SEO and overall search visibility. But many business owners aren’t even aware of where they are listed, and whether these directories are providing customers with accurate information.
Root and Branch is a certified Yext partner agency. We use Yext PowerListings to ensure other business listing locations are accurate and optimized after Google has been successfully addressed. We recently launched this local listing management service, so we’re here to tell you what you can expect from this type of local SEO service. Let’s take a step back here and tell you a little bit more about Yext first.
Yext integrates with hundreds of directory listing platforms to keep business information and data accurate, consistent, and up to date. They are the leading Digital Knowledge Management (DKM) platform. Yext’s mission is “to give companies control over their brand experiences across the digital universe of maps, apps, search engines, voice assistants, and other intelligent services that drive consumer discovery, decision, and action.”
Yext now functions as our central hub for local listing management. The platforms ensure our clients’ business information is correct across channels by centralizing all of the data into one source. One of the keys to local SEO is making sure your data is consistent everywhere. Yext has integration-based partnerships with Google, Apple, Facebook, and over 100 other third-party apps, maps, and directories. Once that information is plugged in to the Yext platform, the service pushes that same data out to every single partner site they use.
So, what did we learn from launching Yext for the first time?
- Yext really does partner with many third-party sites, apps, and maps.
It’s not that we didn’t believe they had a lot of partners, but it was still eye opening to see the number of websites, apps, maps, that can be powered through the Yext platform. There are upwards of 80 sites our clients’ businesses appear on. This includes search engines (don’t forget about Yahoo and Bing behind the top dog, Google), voice search with Amazon Alexa, and industry specific sites like Vitals, DocSpot, and more for the healthcare vertical.
- Yext will fix information errors across the internet and efficiently maintain listing accuracy.
Ever noticed a phone number or address listed incorrectly on a search engine but weren’t sure how to fix it? Yext addresses this by overriding the incorrect information in affected listing, and populates the correct information that you enter into the database yourself. This is a simple fix that would otherwise be painful and time consuming.
Maintaining holiday hours is also much simpler with a local listing management tool like Yext. If your business has special Christmas Eve hours, one option is to manually log in to each listing platform and update those special hours so customers have the information they need. This becomes even more unwieldy with multiple locations. With a centralized listing tool, that change only needs to be made in one place and Yext will publish it across all the appropriate locations.
- Yext will create new listings for your business on new listing sites.
That’s right, Yext can do the job for you by creating new listings on the sites in which you weren’t previously on. In this instance, your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) information is most important here. They will take your business information and populate it onto other sites that you had not been on prior to using Yext. Rest assured, you also have the ability to “opt out” of any sites that you don’t want to be on. You may also not qualify for sites that your business category doesn’t align with.
- For businesses with multiple locations, considering listing management set up order based on opening date.
If you have multiple locations and one is much newer than the other, it may save you some headache to set them up in the order they were established. This is because the longer a business has been established, the longer it has to make a name for itself across the internet. If the business is brand new, search engines, apps, etc. may take a bit longer to recognize it and begin to gather data from other sources. From our experience, setting up the business with the largest digital footprint first can make it easiest for Yext to ensure that all information is being synced correctly the first time.
- Be prepared with detailed business information to maximize upside benefit.
Yext provides numerous opportunities to provide content and valuable information about your business. This is because different sites across the internet ask for different amounts of information. For instance, some local listings need only the NAP information, hours, and business category. Others want those three plus pictures, a business description, product lists, staff bios, etc. The initial setup process can be time consuming, but we believe it’s worth it. More helpful information entered in the platform translates to better customer experiences and higher local search visibility.
Wondering how your business stacks up? Check out our free local listing scan tool to find out.
At Root and Branch we believe local search is a powerful and cost effective tool for businesses that have customers geographically close to their trade area . While Google My Business does the heavy lifting for Local SEO, it’s still important to claim and optimize other key listings. If your organization doesn’t have the expertise or even know where to begin with a local SEO approach, you can get in touch here. We can discuss Google My Business, local listing management, and more.