Category Archives: Business Listings

Yext Survey Results: 95% of Respondents Have Found Incorrect Business Information Online

Our recently released whitepaper, “The Guide to Digital Presence Management,” explores the extreme fragmentation of today’s local search ecosystem, with business listing and mapping data scattered across a seemingly infinite number of digital sources. This causes major problems for both businesses, who are struggling to control all of this information, and the consumers searching for them, as they frequently encounter incorrect or outdated information online resulting in a negative customer experience.

To prove just how prevalent this issue really is, Yext conducted a survey of 100 digital marketing professionals aimed at evaluating their personal experiences encountering incorrect location information, as well as their own approach to managing their businesses’ digital presence strategy. The results clearly show that this fragmentation is a rampant issue that is deeply affecting the local search industry.

95% of respondents reported having found incorrect information about a business that they were searching for online, with 62% reporting that this had happened “many times.”

DPM Survey Results #1

Finding an effective solution to fixing missing, outdated, or incorrect information has been been incredibly challenging for marketers. Businesses often employ an array of disjointed solutions to try and achieve consistency, a strategy that presents obvious problems. Out of 100 survey respondents, a third reported using “4 or more” services to manage their local digital presence.

Compounding this challenge is the fact that most of the time marketers are managing the local digital presence for multiple locations. Solutions that are effective for a few locations quickly become unmanageable and impractical at scale, as the needs of a 3-location business are very different from one with 3000.  55% of respondents reported that they were managing the local digital presence for more than 5 locations, with 25% managing more than 20 locations.

DPM Survey Results #2

Yext’s survey results demonstrate just how frequently consumer searches are ending in incorrect or outdated information, and the (somewhat ironically) disjointed approach marketers are taking to try and achieve consistency. In order to stand a chance against this ever-increasing fragmentation of data, marketers need to take a unified approach to their digital presence management. A single, integrated platform with automation for key, repeatable functions minimizes human error and allows a marketer to be more nimble, more efficient, and more effective.

For more information and detailed survey results, download the full whitepaper here.

Best Practices for Effective Digital Presence Management

Our recent whitepaper, “The Guide to Digital Presence Management,” explores the fragmentation of the local search market, the complex problems this creates for both business and consumers, and best practices for overcoming these challenges and ensuring an effective digital presence.

When considering best practices, there are four key areas that businesses need to address:

  • Listings Management
  • Store Pages/Store Locator Management
  • Local/Social Media Management
  • Reviews/Reputation Management

Currently the market for local Digital Presence Management (DPM) remains fragmented, with much of the spending going to outdated solutions such as custom in-house software and inefficient manual processes. But the most effective DPM solution is one that integrates all of the needs a local marketer may have and has the flexibility to be tailored to a particular business’ objectives and priorities.

Whatever strategy your business chooses, the core best practices for ensuring an effective digital presence revolve consistently around three key points of focus:

  1. Control
  2. Content
  3. Monitoring and Measurement

Control
The first key area, control, is the most important factor in laying a strong foundation for your business’ digital presence, and one of the most daunting as there are a seemingly infinite number of digital sources where business information exists. The proliferation of different sites and apps introduces feedback loops as search engines and listings sites scrape old data, amplifying and duplicating incorrect information. The only way for a business to fight back is to be proactive and take control of their information everywhere it exists online to eliminate the chance that a searching customer finds incorrect or outdated information.

Content
The second best practice is aimed at improving the consistency of content across the range of digital channels that consumers use to search for information. The negative effect incurred by inconsistent information is two-fold: consumers receiving different information across sources creates uncertainty that can result in poor customer experience or loss of business, while the performance with search-ranking algorithms also suffers as they give precedence to the most authoritative information, which is impacted by the number of places the same information appears online. And not only should content be consistent, but it should also be rich; more than ever mobile-empowered customers expect the digital information they receive to be highly localized and relevant, and businesses that fail to provide rich content are missing out on a huge opportunity to strengthen their brand voice and engage with customers at the local level.

Monitoring and Measurement
And finally, the third best practice that is crucial to building a strong digital presence involves ongoing monitoring and measurement. In this highly competitive local search ecosystem, businesses need to be constantly measuring their marketing efforts quantitatively to determine their true effectiveness and ensure they stay ahead of the competition. Additionally, through vigilant monitoring of online reviews, businesses gain access to a direct line of feedback that can be used as immediate and actionable customer intelligence that can aid the improvement of reputation and operations management.

With an ever-increasing number of sites, maps, and apps storing your businesses’ information, achieving a comprehensive and effective strategy for managing your digital presence can seem like a daunting and highly complicated task. But no matter how many locations your business has, the core of the strategy should always start with the same 3 key focal points: control, content, and monitoring and measurement.

For more detail on best practices for strengthening your digital presence, download our full whitepaper here.

The Guide to Digital Presence Management

Cover Guide to DPMToday we’re introducing our new whitepaper,           “The Guide to Digital Presence Management,” which explains in detail what local digital presence management is, why businesses should care, and best practices for creating a strong digital presence for business locations that effectively drives both online and offline store traffic.

This paper is intended to be a resource full of data, facts and examples. For this report we conducted a survey of 100 digital marketing professionals with results that clearly demonstrate the pervasiveness of inaccurate business listing information, and prove how big of an issue this is for both businesses and the consumers searching for them.

Download the full whitepaper here. See below for an excerpt from the full report.

What is Local Digital Presence Management?

With the explosion of mobile and fragmentation of the local search environment, managing the digital presence for businesses’ local store locations has become more complicated, and also more important, than ever. Unfortunately many businesses do not fully understand the scope of what digital presence is and the negative effect a weak presence can have on customer experience and, therefore, their bottom line.

At its most basic level, a business’ local digital presence is comprised of the places where information exists about that business location online, including directory listings, social profiles, store pages, and their own website. The content that appears across these different digital sources is largely the same, and includes:

  • Name, Address, Phone (NAP)
  • Hours of operation
  • Products and services
  • Specials and deals
  • Reviews

The main goal of managing this presence information effectively is to ensure that the most critical business information is always complete, up-to-date, and easily discoverable for searching customers in order to drive offline sales in brick-and-mortar locations.

The challenge here is that the infinite nature of the Internet and sheer number of local search sites and apps where this data lives has led to a fragmented local search ecosystem with increasingly scattered information. This has left businesses scrambling to find a scalable and effective way to maintain the quality and discoverability of their listings. This fragmentation is also a major problem for the consumers who are finding – or in many cases not finding – a disparate variety of details about their local stores and services spread over an ever-increasing number of digital sources. Local digital presence management is a unified, comprehensive and scalable approach to overcoming the challenges of the fragmented local search market.

Download the whitepaper here for a detailed explanation of the importance of digital presence management and best practices for ensuring your business’ presence is as optimized and effective as possible.

 

How to Prepare Your Business for Winter Storm Juno

In emergency situations like Winter Storm Juno, customers need information about businesses immediately so it’s more important than ever to ensure it’s updated. If your business is going to be affected by Winter Storm Juno, you should update your digital presence to share essential info with your local community. To prepare your business for winter storms you should:

1) Update store hours: Be sure to update customers if you are closing early or extending hours because they will be searching for it – especially on mobile. Even if your hours will not be changing, you should let your customers know that you will remain open for normal business hours.
2) Refresh product availability: Show your customers what is in stock, from generators, to batteries, to food products.
3) Change your Clickable Featured Messages: Share time-sensitive updates or deals in your listings.

Customers will be searching to see if your business is open, or if it has the product they need, so make sure you provide them with the necessary information to encourage them to visit your store and get prepared.

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.

Christian SMX

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.