Why is local listing management important for your business?
For every small piece of information that we need or want, we rely on Google. Our first instinct is to Google everything we want to know. In fact, 76% of consumers check out a business’ online presence before making a physical visit. This is where local listings management comes in.
“What is local listings management?” you may ask. To understand local listing management, it is important to understand Google Business Profile (GBP) and define “local listing”.
Let’s start with Google Business Profile. For businesses and organizations, Google Business Profile is a tool that provides a simple way to manage their online presence. It lets you verify your business and edit your business information to make it easier for customers to find you. It lets you manage information such as the phone number, address, business hours, directions to stores, photos, and more.
The term “local listing” refers to a profile for your business on any platform that provides details about a particular business. There are many platforms that can be used for this, including Google, Bing, and even social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Management of these business profiles across platforms is referred to as “local listings management”.
Why is it important to manage local listings?
Most customers make their purchase decisions based on the reviews they read online about a service or a product. The main place they will find these reviews will be online listings, those being the business profiles on Google Maps, Facebook, and other online directories. When finally looking to make a purchase, these online directories are where vital information such as addresses and store hours are found.
But local listings management isn’t just important for the above reason. It’s a potent business tool because it can help you:
1. Improve visibility
If customers can’t find you on Google within a few seconds of their search, you don’t exist for them. You’ll miss out on a business if your customers can’t find your contact information or physical store information.
Take a moment to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. If you drive to a business and discover it has moved or closed, what would you do?
It’s likely that you’ll scroll down to the next-best listing on Google instead. But before that, you’ll be disappointed and lose faith in that brand.
Listings management ensures that your existing and potential customers find your business’ contact information online, so they can contact you quickly and easily.
2. Improve reputation
Well-reviewed local businesses are much more likely to attract customers unless they already know and like them. An accurate, fleshed-out online listing is what builds customers’ trust. In order to make a decision to visit a business, they want to know where it is located and why they should do so.
Advertising on billboards, in magazines, and through word-of-mouth are no longer enough to attract customers. To be trusted, local businesses must reply to customer reviews and ensure good ratings as well.
3. Rank higher
In order to create the best search experience for its users, Google optimizes its search pages. It is unlikely that Google will rank your profile higher if your company’s contact information is hard to find and verify.
Businesses with higher search engine rankings are more likely to convert prospects into paying customers. To ensure that online listings are accurate and up to date, it is a good idea to manage them.
Not only will users be able to find your brick-and-mortar location, but Google will also reward you with improved search rankings for keeping your profile updated.
4. Increase foot traffic
It’s true that incorporating local listings management practices can increase foot traffic. For example, a customer searches “Chinese restaurants near me” and comes across two listings. One of them has all the updated and accurate information: address, hours of operation, website, menu, photos, and so on. The other listing has incomplete or missing information like no website, no photos, and so on. Naturally, for a better experience, the customer would prefer going with the restaurant that has kept its Google Business Profile updated with correct information. As a result, maintaining impeccable listing standards doesn’t only improve online visibility but can increase customer foot traffic too.
Listings management can also increase traffic by suppressing duplicate listings. Inaccurate listing information, on a duplicate listing, can confuse potential customers and divert traffic. Hence, make sure you suppress duplicate listings by identifying the duplicate listing and then contacting the Google Support team to remove or merge the listings.
Let us take the burden of local listing management off your shoulders
Local listings are absolutely necessary for brick-and-mortar businesses that want to attract customers and maintain a good reputation in the community. Not only must a company’s correct NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) information be available, but the company must also update its online listings as needed. People want to see reliable information rather than outdated profiles.
We at ConvergenSEE can help you with your local listings management, online reputation management, hyperlocal marketing, and local SEO services. Convert your clicks into walk-ins by contacting us today!