Most search marketers would agree that digital business listings are more effective at engaging searchers when they are "complete" – in other words, they go beyond the basic name, address, phone information and are filled out with rich content such as photos, videos, descriptions, menus, etc. But it's hard to quantify exactly how much value rich content contributes to improving engagement, and which content type, when filled out, is most effective at grabbing the attention of searchers.
In an effort to answer these questions, Yext conducted the Comparative Listings Study, a three-month study of 31,000 businesses using PowerListings Analytics, to measure how the completeness of a listing affected impressions, listing views, special offer clicks, and Yelp page views. The results were definitive: engagement across all four metrics improved significantly based on how many listing fields were completed.
Not surprisingly, there was a significant variation in results when broken down across different verticals. The graphic below breaks out the listing fields that generated some of the largest increases in engagement across five major verticals – Food & Dining, Retail, Financial Services, Automotive, and Hospitality.
For each of the industries shown above, the most powerful listing fields say a lot about how consumers perceive and engage with brands within each industry. For instance, it's no surprise that Hours of Operation are most important for Financial Services, which has the highest rate of in-store transactions above any other industry, or that Logos are important to consumers when searching for Automotive services, which are generally expensive purchases and therefore people are more concerned with finding brand names they know and trust. Businesses in these verticals should pay close attention to ensure that they have these critical fields filled out in their listings.
This disparity among the verticals also underscores the key point that marketers should always be informed and aware of their industry's audience and their unique needs, and make sure to keep these in mind when developing their brand's digital marketing strategies in order to effectively reach customers and drive more business.
To see the full results of the Yext 2015 Comparative Listing Study and more information on how to optimize listings to attract more customers, you can download the free whitepaper.