Category Archives: Local Marketing

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to control all of this information, and the consumers searching for them, as they frequently encounter incorrect or outdated information online resulting in a negative customer experience.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Finding an effective solution to fixing missing, outdated, or incorrect information has been been incredibly challenging for marketers.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Yext’s survey results demonstrate just how frequently consumer searches are ending in incorrect or outdated information, and the (somewhat ironically) disjointed approach marketers are taking to try and achieve consistency.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.

Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores and Yext Win Retail TouchPoints’ Customer Engagement Award For Online Review Innovation

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Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores and Yext today announced that they have won a Customer Engagement Award from Retail TouchPoints for their innovative online reviews program. Retail TouchPoints’ award recognizes retailers who are leading the pack in implementing new and creative customer engagement strategies to deliver on the promise of customer-centricity.

The custom program integrates Yext’s online review monitoring technology with SHOS’ “Say Yes” initiative, created to do whatever it takes to fix customer problems and issues. This first-of-its-kind program allows SHOS to better track and respond to online reviews, which retailers often miss or ignore, to build stronger relationships with customers.

“Unlike most retailers who silo online reviews into a separate social category, we chose to make online reviews a key part of our customer service strategy,” notes David Buckley, CMO of Sears Hometown & Outlet Stores. “We are excited that the industry is recognizing our progressive approach to customer service, leveraging technology to improve engagement with customers at the local level.”

“At Yext we love working with innovative partners like SHOS who are committed to building long-term relationships” said Wendi Sturgis, Yext EVP Sales & Services. “The combination of our review monitoring technology with their ‘Say Yes’ initiative allows SHOS to do what matters most: create great experiences for customers.”

Read the full press release here.

The Three Cornerstones to a Mobile Local Landing Page

Mobile smartphone usage is exploding, and that means unprecedented opportunities for marketers to personalize marketing messages based on where customers are located. But mobile offers a different experience than desktop, so marketers need to understand the nuances to create the most effective campaigns — and the key is mobile local landing pages.

Download this new paper from Yext to discover the three cornerstones to a successful mobile local landing page and get started on driving your customers into your locations.

User Flow MLLP

In this report, you will learn best practices for:

  • Getting the user’s location

  • Customizing the user’s experience

  • Driving the user to perform an action

Mobile local landing pages maximize the value of the paid media you’re already using, provide customers with the info they want, and inspire them to visit you in person. With optimized mobile local landing pages you can adjust what customers see based on where they are, and give them the info they need to chose your business.

You can download the full paper here. For more on how you can use mobile local landing pages to optimize your investment in mobile marketing, join our live webinar on 1pm ET August 19th.

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.

 

Local Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season

The best way to attract customers this holiday season is to show what makes your business unique and why they should choose you over the competition. With Black Friday and Small Business Saturday already here, shopping is on everyone’s mind.

With millions of customers heading to stores to shop for holiday gifts and to take advantage of seasonal deals retailers need to use every marketing tool possible to get people into their doors. So here are a few tips for ensuring customers can find your business and make it to your front door.

  • Seasonal Categories

    • Most people don’t have a specific business or location in mind when they search. Relevant categories will help them find you in local search.

    • Instead of just “clothing” “hardware” “flowers”, try adding a seasonal keyword like “gift” “holiday” or “decorations” to return in more results.

  • Updated Hours

    • Chances are you’ve changed your hours for the busy season. Make them easy for your customers to find.

    • Update your hours across everywhere customer might be looking – local listings, social media profiles and even your website.

    • Just remember to change them back after the season is over!

  • Holiday Ads and Messages

    • Show your customers you’re as prepared for the holiday as they are. If you have new products, limited-time sales, or other holiday messages share them where your customers are looking, like in local search.

    • Yext subscribers can update their Featured Messages and change them throughout the season to continue to attract new customers.

  • Product Availability

    • The best way to get a customer to your door is to let them know what’s in your store. Whether it’s the must-have toy or the latest tech tool, your products distinguish you from the competition.

    • Share up-to-date product availability for each individual location or circulars that show your customer what to expect, like with Yext Content Lists.

Your customers are already out there researching businesses like yours. Make it easier for them to find you online and off this holiday season.

 

The Yext Quarterly: Local & Mobile

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Mobile and local and inherently linked. Mobile allows us to step away from our computers and experience the world around us through technology. By 2020 there will be 50 billion ‘connected things’, so local is only becoming more important for marketers – and that’s why we chose to focus on local and mobile for this issue of the Yext Quarterly.

We’ve already discussed the state of location, social in previous issues. For this issue we again worked with Greg Sterling and Andrew Shotland to bring you some useful articles, insights, and original research about local and mobile, including:

  • How to do mobile keyword research
  • Demand for wearables
  • The trend of going to mobile first for local information
  • An infographic about growth of mobile local services over the past year

Take a look, read it through and let us know what you think at YQ@yext.com. We hope it’s a useful resource for you and your teams as you think about local and mobile.

Download the full issue of the Yext Quarterly: Local & Mobile here

 

Marketing in a Connected Local World

There’s a lot of conversation about how technology is changing the way we live our lives. Well, by 2020 there will be 8 billion people in the world, with 50 billion ‘connected things’ accessing hundreds of connected services.

It turns out that technology doesn’t make the world and people more distant, but it makes the world smaller and people more local. And in that, there’s an opportunity for marketers to get their geodata and content into the cloud to add local context to their ads. Local context helps people live their local lives and helps customers get to your front door.

Head to AdAge today to check out Yext CEO Howard Lerman’s post with tips for marketers in a connected local world.

The Local Stack

For the past six weeks, we’ve been working with Street Fight to develop a series on innovation in the layers of local, which we call the ‘Local Stack’.

There’s rapid transformation of the local space, and a number of key innovations leading the way. We’re seeing that progress in one layer of the Local Stack, has an increasing affect on progress in the aggregate stack.

To see how, each week Steven Jacobs took an in-depth look at each layer of the stack for trends, important players, and those big changes affecting each layer:

The series culminated this week with an infographic looking at how it all comes together to drive the revolution.

sjThe-Local-Stack-Infographic2

Head to Street Fight for the full series. Onward!

Social Search Timeline

With the introduction and recent full roll-out of Facebook’s Graph Search, social search is top of mind. But, actually, social search isn’t new – search has always been social.

In the recent issue of the Yext Quarterly, Greg Sterling looked at the history of search, starting early days of search engines (Archie, for those who remember!), and saw how humans have always been at the center of search:

  • Curation by Views: Determining the highest quality pages

  • Curation by Reviews: Filtering by relevance, with users adding their own opinions as markers

  • Curation by Likes: Full social feedback after integration with social networks

Search Engine Timeline

Full the full article, check back to download the Yext Quarterly later today.