If SEO is about websites and marketing is about brand awareness, location management is about brick-and-mortar businesses and removing friction along the customer journey from online search to offline purchase. Ignore it at your peril.
The proliferation of online directories and directory services has made the local business owner’s life harder. It means more places to manage vital information and more third-party providers that control access to directories. Between the time and effort required to manage aggregators and the volume of citations, few small business owners do it themselves. As a result, the only stakeholders that truly know what information is authentic often are left out of the conversation.
Local search takes place across services that are proprietary and dedicated, even if indirectly, toward earning revenue for the companies that run them. But that doesn’t preclude us from thinking of local search as a kind of public utility whose objective is to provide accurate and consistent information. That means treating local listings primarily as a public good, not a business.
When the Yellow Pages directory came out once a year, if your business’ phone number was printed incorrectly, you were in trouble. It was the same with local business listings on the internet, except that instead of one or two books, there were thousands of websites carrying your bad data. This added up to a serious headache for multi-location brands and a serious opportunity for solutions providers that could bring order to the free business listings chaos. Here’s a look at how listings management has evolved.
A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology… Amazon Tested Package Delivery by Newspaper Trucks (Wall Street Journal)… Why Starbucks’ Order and Pay Is More Than Milk Froth (TechCrunch)… IAB: First Half 2015 Ad Revenues $27.5 Billion, Search Captures 50 Percent (Search Engine Land)…
Duplicate listings are one of the most common data problems plaguing small businesses and Fortune 500 companies alike. They can confuse potential customers, and cause your clients to lose business. But many marketers are uncertain about how duplicates are created, the problem they cause, and how best to address them.