Outlining the Problem
We at SiteInsight spend an awful lot of time and brainpower fixing people’s Google Places listing, or trying to make incorrect duplicate listings disappear. Many small business have big problems with online listings. Often a small business starts out in someone’s home, and they don’t want to list their home address, so they use a friend’s address or a post office box.
How to Fix The Issue
It’s easy to see how these things get messed up. When we work with customers, we are often on the phone with them, or having them drop off verification postcards at our front desk. We may have to sit with them and look through all the possible search strings for their company to find bad listings.
Finding A Solution
In many cases, it’s not incorrect information, but a lower ranking in the search results or map results that is the problem. That requires some strategic work and knowledge of search algorithms and online listing policies to fix.
Your digital presence is as foundational as your business’s signage.
Some signs might misrepresent the business which would hurt sales and a steady client base. An example of this is if a sign outside only has “Nasty Buffet” lit up. What is your first thought when you see this sign? Probably not, I want to eat there. Ironically, this is a place that serves great tasting buffet food. The name of the restaurant is Dynasty Buffet. You would not know that from their signage so this is why it is very important to have everything match up on a regular basis.
3 Factors Drive Local Search
Consistency results in high confidence (and higher ranking) for consumers and search engine crawlers. Inconsistency results in low confidence, which decreases search ranking and risks lost business.
Information needs to come from sources your customers and search engines trust. Yelp, Google, and Yahoo have respectable reputations and are fairly popular search engines.
Large quantities of consistent data matter. For the average business, listings changes every six days for name, address, and phone number. A strong digital presence is critical for driving more traffic online and offline. Businesses that have most or all fields filled out get two to four times more searches and views.