If you own a local business, or oversee digital marketing for a brand that has online listings, you're likely aware of just how important local business listings are when it comes to your success with customers. Your listings contain key facts about each of your business locations — including store hours, holiday schedules, products and services offered, contact information, and more — which are necessary for both search engines and consumers to make informed decisions about you.
How necessary? Well, on average, business listings receive 2.7x more views than a brand's owned website* (including local store pages and directories). So even if the information on your website is perfect — and it certainly should be! — if the same business facts are not up to date and consistent across third-party services and directories, there's a good chance customers won't find the information they're seeking.
Of course, just as the quantity and specificity of the facts about your business increase, so too does the number of places you need to provide with that information. And though the effort to keep your business information up to date across diverse apps, maps, search engines, directories, and voice assistants can eat up valuable time (at least, without the right tool to help you manage it all), it's necessary work that helps you deliver better answers and drive more conversions.
Every search is a local search. Are you showing up?
Consumers today expect the answers they see in search to be contextually relevant to them. This started a while back with the initial rise of mobile devices, and the subsequent popularity of "near me" searches in the mid-2010s. Now, search engines like Google prioritize customized local search results as the default for many queries, like "women's shoe store" or "best Chinese restaurant," on both mobile and desktop — no "near me" modifier required.
With up-to-date, detailed local listings prioritized by search engines in search results, good local listings are simply good SEO. By contrast, inaccuracies (or inconsistencies) in your information across channels can hurt your local listings, which in turn can damage your rankings and overall discoverability — and your brand as a whole.
The customer journey begins with search
With research indicating that 78% of consumers search online for local businesses at least once a week, it's easy to see why you need to prioritize managing the information that comes up when people conduct a search related to your business. These searches are high-intent — meaning they're highly likely to lead to a customer taking an action.
But inconsistent (or missing, or duplicate) local business listings can erode brand trust and cost you customers. When you appear incorrectly in search results, or fail to appear at all, this bad business information creates a roadblock that prevents potential customers from successfully visiting your store or purchasing your product. It can also cause customers to lose trust in your brand: Google Maps even pushes warnings to users who are en route to locations that it believes to be closed, potentially driving them through a competitor's doors instead of your own.
It's time to take control of your business listings and deliver better information wherever your customers search. Click here to learn more.
*Yext Proprietary Study