Category Archives: Business Listings

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

More Than a Map: 5 Ways Online Directories Help Small Businesses

It is no secret that when consumers want to find a specific good or service, they do an online search first. Most businesses think that in order to compete in the cyber marketplace, they need to have a website, blog and other supporting sites. Businesses in turn spend a lot of money on mobile marketing services and website design companies so they can compete with other businesses online.  While all of these things certainly help page rank and online credibility, for basic search purposes, inclusion in online directories is the most vital step companies can take to get located.

Online directories have come a long way since they first started popping up less than a decade ago. What began as a format similar to yellow pages in the phone book has evolved to include a wide variety of options for consumers and businesses alike. In addition to providing contact information and physical address, here are five ways that online directories can benefit small businesses:

  1. Photos. People like graphics, plain and simple. A listing that allows photos of products, food or building amenities is one that will get more attention from people visiting the site. If a business has a physical location, consumers get a chance to sample what they will see if they make the drive to the spot. If a business is online only, a sampling of items sold or even of staff member hard at work provides a “face” to company name.
  2. Reviews. The best kind of referral is one that is “word of mouth.” While it used to mean neighbors discussing companies they trust in their driveways, today that word of mouth advertising happens online. Instead of just one recommendation, consumers are subjected to many. Choose online directories carefully, however, as bad reviews can actually hurt a business. Go with the directories that allow some editorial control on published reviews in order to bolster business, not damage it.
  3. Biographical info. This is an especially helpful trait for companies that have one specific name associated with them – like doctors, consultants or authors. Industry-specific directories often have space for people to include biographical info that is relevant to the career choice. An example would be a dentist listing where he or she received a medical degree, or a consultant listing reputable clients. While all of this information is usually part of an “about us” portion of an official business, an online directory provides an extra space for potential customers to find a business. Though these sections are often written by the company, their inclusion in a directory gives them an unbiased appeal.
  4. Search specific information. Some online directories let businesses know how visitors find them. This includes keyword searches, geographic specific searches and other ways that consumers find a company. These tips can guide small businesses toward Web development in other areas and give some insight into the relationship companies have with their public.
  5. Comparison. If a customer is looking for a business by name, she generally does not go to an online directory. But if the customer knows the type of product or service she needs, but not a specific company, a directory provides many options in the same spot. Web surfers can quickly compare alike businesses in a convenient setting. While this may seem like a benefit designed for consumers, businesses also stand to win. Even if customers do not pick a certain company 100 percent of the time, the chances of being chosen at some point are much higher than relying on an official website alone.

Businesses that are added to an online directory benefit immensely.  Sometimes, when a business is added to an online directory the owner will discover that their business has been hijacked by a fake listing.  This hurts the business and forces the owner to do online reputation control.  However, every business should be managing their online reputation.  One thing to remember though is that consumers are searching for products and services online, so take advantage of this opportunity by adding your business to an online directory.

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com.  Megan specializes on the topics of small business tips and resources.  Visit ChamberofCommerce.com for the latest business news.

Yext Reaches 100,000 Active Locations

Today, we are excited to announce that Yext is updating location information for 100,000 locations.  Our goal at Yext is to get perfect location information in every hand – helping businesses to provide correct and rich details to their customers – and each day, we are excited that more and more clients are joining us to get the word out.

First, we would like to thank the businesses that use Yext.  We are proud to help our customers reach their customers – from an IT repair shop in Miami to national Fortune 100 companies.  It’s thanks to their feedback and daily use that Yext continues to be the most useful and effective product to get the best local search results.

Second, we are excited to be part of the increasing interest in location data.  2012 very well may have been the year that mapping became the new UI, as new device options proliferate and issues with mapping experiences came front and center.  People love their maps, and so correct data is more important than ever for businesses and for their customers.

More to come… Check back on January 15 for something that will change the local search experience.