With the rise of the mobile consumer, resources like online business directories are experiencing the need to adapt to modern standards of mobility and accessibility. Even Yellow Pages, once the standard method of searching for local listings, has made the transition from paper copy to online website. Since its transition to digital, Yellow Pages and other modern versions of directories have given businesses greater reach when communicating with its audiences, and through the inclusion of features like NAP data and enhanced content, online directories have an even greater potential to increase consumer views and drive in-store engagement. However, such advancements are stunted by incompatible methods like manual directory submission. Business listings no longer live in a single place or directory, but are listed in many places across the web. This multiplication of sources has left strategies like individual directory submission obsolete and archaic.
Directory submission is a method of manually inputting a business' information into an online business directory one dataset at a time. While this does not seem so bad for one listing in a single directory, it is not plausible or even close to efficient when operating on a larger scale. For businesses with hundreds or thousands of locations, updating the listings of each individual location on various online business directories is practically unmanageable. The possibility for incorrect or incomplete listings also increases as more listings are added to directories or as more employees are tasked with inputting details into different directories.
Although served to consumers in a different medium than in years past, online business directories remain a valuable resource for not only consumers, but also for businesses looking to attract a larger audience. A business directory serves as a tool to organize local business listings into categories based on specific verticals. These listings typically contain information like NAP data, or a location's name, address, and phone number. The advent of online business directories has also enabled the inclusion of enhanced content, which can be customized for each client, and includes information like menus, bios, photos, product services, and specialized events. In addition to traditional sites like MapQuestand Yahoo, social media sites like Facebook have also become platforms that host business listings.
Regardless of whether a business listing is served to consumers on traditional directories or on a social media platform, the value of the information is only as effective as it is accurate and up-to-date. Directory submission can undermine this quality of information because it creates greater opportunity for human error during the manual submission process. Not only a liability when uploading data, directory submission may also be a hassle for employees trying to manage and monitor individual listings across various directories and sites.
Consistent data across online listings is essential for a strong digital presence because search engine crawlers are more inclined to trust and redistribute businesses that host the same information everywhere they are listed. Incorrect and incomplete business listings hinder local SEO, and consequently decrease the number of customers visiting a specific location. It also limits the visibility of a listing to potential customers because search engines will be less apt to post the listing in the local search results.
The Yext Knowledge Graph hosts all of a client's facts about their business in one place and pushes information in real time directly to publishers, so every single online listing is fueled by a single source of truth. This helps you avoid the headache of manually submitting all location data to business directories and ensures that you have complete, consistent, and up-to-date local listing information online — which is the key to being found and selected by potential consumers.