Category Archives: Business Listings

Yext at SMX East: The Truth About Duplicates

Everyone in the local SEO community knows duplicate listings are bad news, for both your business and your customers. And they happen to be rampant too. Yext recently conducted a study of 2,719 random business listings and uncovered over 44,000 duplicates, with an average of 16.26 duplicates per location across the network.* Duplicates plague the ecosystem but are nearly impossible to remove permanently.

Yext’s EVP of Partnerships, Christian Ward, gave a talk at SMX East last week to explain how duplicates are created, why they are so problematic, and best practices for getting rid of them.

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He emphasized that, contrary to popular belief, “fixing” duplicates at the source level isn’t the solution; in fact, it can cause an unintended ripple effect, leading to even more duplicates down the road. Instead, marketers need to verify their business information at the publisher level to suppress duplicates once and for all.

Yext’s API-integrations with 50+ leading sites, maps, and apps scans for existing duplicates and lets marketers flag them appropriately so they’re prevented from appearing at the most important level – the view on an actual publisher’s site.

To get an in-depth look at duplicate creation and best-practices for effective suppression, download the whitepaper here or check out yext.com/resources.

*Source: Yext, September, 2014.

 

Yext Co-Hosts ‘Duplicates’ Webinar

Yext is co-hosting a webinar on Thursday, June 5th at 2:00pm ET to discuss duplicate business listings, specifically what causes them, why they matter, and how to fix them.

Click here to register!

See details below for the full description:

Duplicate business listings have long been a significant problem in the local SEO arena. Duplicate records cause customer confusion in addition to a variety of other issues, all of which can cost a business time and money.

To solve the problem of duplicates, everyone in the local media industry must first understand how they are created and proliferated, and why they are so hard to remove. It’s also crucial to understand how they negatively affect consumers in their buying process and the implications this effect has on local business discoverability.

Duplicate Listings

Join BIA/Kelsey’s Jed Williams, Yext’s Christian Ward, and Local SEO expert Andrew Shotland for a webinar that covers everything you need to know about duplicates, why they matter for your business and customers, and how to fix them.

Attendees will learn:

  • Why dupes are bad for marketers and customers
  • How dupes are created
  • How to solve the duplicate listings problem…and keep it solved

Register here to join the webinar this Thursday, June 5th from 2:00-3:00pm EDT.

 

Adding Citymaps and 7 Publishers to PowerListings Network

When your customers are looking for things and businesses locally they use different sites and tools to find different information. They’re looking for details that distinguish your business from the next based on more than just where it’s located (though that matters, too). And since each site, map or app offers its own context, your business needs to be everywhere.

To help customers find your business on whatever device and service they might be looking, we’re excited to announce eight new publishers in the PowerListings Network: Citymaps, Opendi, YellowPagesGoesGreen, Citybot, ABLocal, Pointcom, VoteForTheBest, 2findlocal!

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Citymaps is the world’s first social map.  Described as the “Pinterest for Places,” Citymaps is the fastest and easiest way to make maps of your favorite places, see your friends’ maps, and check out personal maps by celebs and publishers.  Discover the best places around you, wherever you are.  The award-winning logo map covers 15mm places in America — including real-time Instagram photos, menus, tips, navigation, and directions.

We’re excited to partner with Citymaps, another NYC startup right up the road from our office.

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Opendi is a local directory that contains over 6 million local businesses across the globe. Along with their business pages, there are thousands of reviews to help searchers find exactly what they are looking for.

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YellowPagesGoesGreen provides an environmentally friendly search engine while supporting the green movement and promoting awareness by helping consumers opt-out of the delivery of the printed yellow pages. As the original opt-out registry, their “going green” mission continues as they provide a simple and effective online alternative to print.

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Citybot is an app that makes travel planning easy for people who don’t just want to find one place but want a full itinerary including the best attractions, restaurants, bars, and other must-sees in a new city.

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ABLocal is a curated local business directory, which helps people find great local businesses they’ve never tried before. Their search algorithm favors businesses who have taken the time to curate their listings. They believe business owners who want to talk about their business, and what makes it unique, are more likely to run a cool, local shop.

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Pointcom has been offering great services to the world wide web since the 1990′s and as we venture further into the 21st century they have looked for new ways to expand on what this site has provided in the past and bring great websites to the forefront. Each site they review is given a stamp of approval that they have quality content that would be essential for any visitor to check out.

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VotefortheBest is a straight-forward business directory that ranks businesses in every town in the country based on a simple yet powerful voting system. VotefortheBest is quickly becoming the go-to destination to find out what businesses are popular in any city.

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2findlocal is a local search directory that helps consumers make big finds from small businesses. Made in New York, 2findlocal connects consumers to businesses in their towns selling the products and services they need. Consumers can even see what searches are trending in their town, providing them with another way to find local businesses.

In addition to these eight sites, maps and apps, we’re adding new ones all the time to help your customers find you. You can learn more about each one in our PowerListings Network here.

Small Business Week + Yahoo! Localworks

Happy Small Business Week, everyone!  To all of our customers who are building their businesses from the ground up, we appreciate the ability to work with you as you share your information, content, and business moments.

As you know, at Yext, our goal is to get perfect location information into every hand. Today we wanted to highlight a new tool from Yahoo! Small Business that is helping businesses do just that: Yahoo! Localworks.

 Yahoo! Localworks is a tool from Yahoo! Small Business that gives small businesses the ability to increase visibility to new and current customers and stand out from the competition on more than 40 top search engines, apps, and mapping services.

Onward!

Bing It On

At Yext, we work directly with some of the best sites on the internet and are always adding new ones to the PowerListings Network, so the most customers possible find your business details. And today we’ve made the PowerListings Network even more powerful by adding Bing.

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Bing is one of the largest and most used sources of information online with more than 165 million unique visitors every month. It sets itself apart by the massive number of people searching every day and the quality of its results, on the web and on mobile.

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Starting today, you can sync your basic business details (including name, address, and phone number) automatically. And we’re offering this important PowerListing free of charge with an existing complete subscription.

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Log into your Yext account today to see your listing on Bing. For help or more information contact customer support.

So now, Bing it on!

Infographic: The Cost of Bad Location Data

Every day, people look online for locations of businesses that they are ready to visit – only to be failed by their local search experience.  The address is wrong, the phone number’s not there, or they can’t find the business at all.  For businesses, this disconnect not only means lost foot traffic, but a lost opportunity for new customers to discover their location for the future.

In order to find the scope of the problem, industry analysts, Andrew Shotland and Greg Sterling, looked at local listings from more than 40,000 business listings.  The data is from companies using location information software from Yext.  The full impact of their findings is published in the Yext Quarterly, but the Cost of Bad Location Data infographic summarizes both the problem and the dollars being lost.

The team found missing and incorrect information across industries – from Retail and Restaurants to Insurance and Banking.  Some of the findings were:

  • 18% of listings of listings have a missing or incorrect phone number.  For Insurance companies and agents, it’s even worse – with 30% of listings not having the correct number available when customers are looking for a new policy.
  • 43% had missing or incorrect addresses.  As people get more mobile with their devices, the impact of this problem – spanning from maps and navigation to local search engines – will only get worse.
  • A full 14% of listings of businesses were missing across industries.  Although there are many ways that inaccurate information are preventing visits, the team looked deeply at the cost of missing listings (where it is sure that customers will not find them digitally) to calculate just a part of the problem.
  • Just for missing listings, the cost is $10.3B a year for the businesses who are not present.  This number was calculated looking at how much more choice consumers now have as they purchase offline and how digital is changing the game for local businesses.

The problem of fragmented and hard-to-manage location data has been created by the new digital world, and at Yext, we know that technology is also bringing the solution – both for businesses and for the people who visit them.

The full report is available in the Yext Quarterly, or for the infographic, please download it here. For the full Yext Quarterly, download here.

$10.3B Is Lost By Businesses With Missing Listings

With the rise of mobile, digital location information is an increasingly powerful driver in why and how people purchase offline today, and it significantly impacts how businesses stay in the flow of consumer decision-making. For locations with missing and incorrect digital information there is significant missed opportunity – to the tune of $10.3B for US businesses.

In today’s Financial Times, Emily Steel notes:

“While the internet has emerged as the go-to source for finding location information and details about businesses ranging from hair salons and veterinary clinics to gyms and restaurants, it is rife with errors. As a result, companies are missing out on customers at their bricks-and-mortar stores, and driving them to competitors, say analysts.”

The full article appears in the Yext Quarterly with original research by Greg Sterling, Andrew Shotland, and Yext that illustrates impact of missing listings:

  • The internet is the most popular source for finding location information, but it’s full or errors and outdated information.  These errors are often duplicated across other networks and sites, creating a multiplier effect.  Even worse, essential data is missing online, preventing customers from even visiting a business
  • Looking at 40,000+ business listings on 50+ local directory sites, the study showed 43% of listings—almost half – had at least one incorrect or missing address
  • When customers find incorrect information, 15.1% of people would “look for another merchant”
  • When listings are missing, customers choose another merchant, which costs retailers and local merchants $10.3 billion annually

For businesses, digital has actually fueled the problem of fragmentation, and in 2013, this is an issue that technology can and should fix very easily.  As customers, we should be demanding correct location information, and as businesses, we should be taking advantage of the traffic and the sales correct data enables.

For more background and to download the Yext Quarterly article on the $10.3B in missing listings here.

Three Local Marketing Mistakes

When it comes to local marketing there are no set rules. Each community is different and each individual business has to adjust to its target customer base within that community. Still, there are some basics to marketing successfully to a local audience that cannot be overlooked. If you feel like the return on your local promotional initiatives is hit or miss, you may be neglecting some basics that can bolster your business and reputation in your community.

Here is a look at three common mistakes businesses make when it comes to reaching local customers:

No Web Presence. Even owners of longtime mom and pop establishments can benefit from a simple website or inclusion in an online directory. It is not often that a local business owner says he or she has “too many” customers. In addition to regulars, a web presence brings in new clientele that happen upon sites when looking for a product or service. Many websites cost very little to create and maintain, and results-driven online directories are affordable too. If you are truly at a loss on where to begin in building an online following, hire someone to help you. The money you invest will pay off over time and many companies offer a flat fee to maintain the site for you.

Remember that it is not enough to rely on word-of-mouth or traditional marketing techniques to bring in new local customers. Hanging your digital shingle in cyberspace is also vital and easier than ever to accomplish. Give potential customers the answers to their questions in an immediate way in order to win their business and not lose them to more visible competitors.

Difficulty to Find. This point is similar to having a lack of web presence but applies beyond the digital realm. If people do not know where you are located, they cannot give you their business. This means promoting your web location in addition to your physical address. Unfortunately, people are so programmed to find the answers to all questions immediately that they will not take the time to track you down if a competitor offers ease of information. Do whatever it takes to let people know where you exist, from web presence optimization to the signage outside your location to inclusion in web listings for your industry.

There is really no financial advantage to being an industry “best kept secret.” Ask customers how they found you and how you can improve your physical visibility. Those that are most loyal to your business will want to help and will be honest with you. Do not lose customers to frustration or impatience at having to track you down, instead make it easy to find you and even easier to buy your products or enlist your services.

Lack of Community Outreach. There is a reason that people say “the more you give, the more you get.” Find simple ways to give back to the community of your loyal clients and build your reputation for future local clients. Simple ways to get involved include sponsoring a local event, donating a product or service to a fundraising auction or volunteering at a local non-profit organization. Align your name with a cause that you believe benefits your client base and one that represents your business ideals.

Not only does outreach earn you the respect of the community, but it also creates a culture of social consciousness in your business, encouraging employees to reach out when they are off the clock too. You can feel satisfied knowing that you went beyond the call of duty to help the community and build a strong image of beneficence in the process.

Focus on local marketing does not have to be overwhelming. Find simple ways to reach out to your local audience through an online presence, easy-to-find location and outreach programs. By participating in just a few initiatives, you’re taking down some of the barriers that may be holding your business back.  This then allows you to increase your business and root yourself in your community.

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com, one of the largest business directories on the web.

Prepare Your Business For Winter Storm Nemo

For anyone whose business will be affected by Winter Storm Nemo, use location information to share essential updates with your community. Update it instantly for the period you are affected by the storm, and then change it back after the storm has passed.

Customers will be searching to see if your business is open, or if it has the product they need, so arm them with the information they need to visit your store.

For example:

  • Update hours: Closing early, extending hours
  • Product availability: Generators, food products
  • Featured messages: Specials, messages for community

As we we saw during Hurricane Sandy this fall, customers are looking for this information and it’s more important than ever to ensure it’s updated.

Unprecedented Use of New Features

Two weeks ago, we introduced PowerListings+ to our customers.  We have been overwhelmed by the response!

Thank you for your interest, questions and, most of all, your new content lists – sets of products and services, bios of your teams, menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and calendars of events. Content lists help differentiate your business from the competition with information that your customers need to go from researching online, to purchasing in-store.

What’s particularly special about PowerListings+, is that before your only resource to share this information was your own website, which your customers may not even know you have or which might be hard to access on their phone.  Now you have a new way to control your local presence right where they are looking: 45+ online listings from maps and search.

We want to share some highlights from the first two days:

  • 15.6% of active businesses created a content list
    • The average business created 1.58 lists
    • One business even built 12 lists
  • Products/Services are the most popular type, representing 61.2% of all lists
  • Followed by Bios, with 22.3% of lists

Here are some examples of new lists from our customers:

For those who missed it, here’s our webinar about how to get started with PowerListings+. Please contact us with any questions or for more information: 1-888-444-2988