Are your local partners succeeding in attracting new business from their online presence and within search results? If not, there are a few things they can do to improve their results, because their success is your brand’s success.
Why Are Directory Listings Important?
Having an online presence is a must-have these days, but what does that really mean? Current marketing best practices for B2C businesses call for a website that can be found organically (within Google, Bing, and Yahoo’s results), paid ads in search results, a presence in industry or local directories, and a presence in social networks.
If your brand has local partners that are missing any of these components, it’s important to help them improve their digital marketing presence with one simple tactic: correcting inaccurate business information within directories. How important is it? A study by Infogroup found that 77% of consumers are unlikely to give a location-based business a second chance after encountering incorrect or outdated information. So, pretty important.
Solution, Part 1: Automated Directory Submissions
As an alternative to manually checking and correcting each individual website, social media page and directory listing for your local partners (which would literally take years!) there are data providers that aggregate information and cross check them with many online directories to determine accuracy. You can easily create a profile for each local member with the data provider to broadcast the updated and correct information.
Most directories consider the data aggregators as having the most accurate and up-to-date information, so they update their respective directories accordingly. By filling out an accurate profile on the data aggregation site, you are automatically updating the current status of directory listings within hundreds of directories.
Some data providers and aggregators even have bulk upload functionality to upload many locations at one time, saving countless hours of manual data entry. One thing to keep in mind is that data provider profiles only correct and create certain profiles across the web, therefore it’s important to focus on the major listings like Google+, Bing Places and Yelp.
Solution, Part 2: Professional Profile Coordination
The most effective way to achieve accuracy and full optimization across these profiles in large networks is to have a professional who is well versed in all of the processes and systems to coordinate these updates. They will create, claim, verify and optimize these profiles for the network, capturing the login credentials for each and updating the information so that it is useful for any potential user who finds it in search engine results or in the search results of the directory itself. Since “the vast majority of consumers (72 percent) expect business listing information to be updated at least weekly, with 17 percent saying they want the data updated in real-time” it is definitely a job for the pros.
So while managing the Directory Listings for your local partners can seem like a daunting task, its importance is unparalleled in today’s world of online search. With the automated systems and professional assistance available, you can easily improve on the “findability” of your brand’s products and services through your local partner’s web presence.
About the Author
Jennifer Christian started her career in Fundraising then joined SproutLoud's team in 2012. As a Client Relationship Manager she continually focuses on furthering relationships with brand marketers, sculpting effective channel programs, and enjoys the great outdoors. With years of experience in fundraising, customer support, and sales her talents are warmly welcomed at SproutLoud.More Content by Jennifer Christian