Getting Found - The Importance of Claiming Your Business Listings

Posted by Kevin Dao on Aug 4, 2015 12:20:51 PM

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Location Claiming

Everyday, brands lose potential customers due to inaccurate data.  This type of data includes missing phone numbers, old address locations and inaccurate store hours - and these type of data issues can exist on more than one local listing. And at the end of the day it’s not the responsibility of listing sites to ensure this information is correct, it's your brand’s. In order for you brand to get found online, you must take ownership of your business listings by claiming them across multiple listings.

Take Aim and Claim

Local directories give brands the opportunity to authorize your listings and promote your business on search engines. Claiming can be done on The Big Six (Google, Yahoo, Bing, Facebook, Foursquare and Yelp) and depending on the directory, it is usually free with an option to upgrade your account for bonus features.  However, the trouble for enterprises still rests in the fact that with so many locations, it doesn’t matter if the features are free or not: the workload is far from manageable.

Claiming is used to provide customers with valid, accurate information about the brand they are searching for. From a customer experience perspective, claiming quickens and enhances the customers’ ability to find information about your local brands, services, and products in one sweep. Having accurate and precise NAP (business name, address, and phone number) info is a baseline step to ensure your customers can find and contact your business. Depending on the search engine or directory, they will often allow you to provide additional content to help make your listings more informative and visually engaging.  Once claimed with your basic NAP, you can add dynamic content  company description, hours of operation, pictures, payment methods and even videos.

Boost Local Visibility

We are now seeing a trend of review directories like eliminating their display ad capabilities in order to focus more on local data value for users. With Yelp and even Linkedin, we saw this come to fruition in response to the growing irrelevance of old fashioned display advertising on the network. The reality is that on listings,  accurate and consistent data will always be top priority in order to grab and engage users. For enterprise brands, having a strong sense of local visibility is important because with so many locations, customers might feel that bigger brands are less genuine. This is the existing enterprise challenge in gaining local brand recognition.

Think With Google, Google Local SEO

When a customer is searching for a business listing and finds an inaccurate phone number, address, or store hours, the chances of losing him or her as a potential customer is extremely probable. But 3 in 4 users who find local information in search results helpful are more likely to visit stores in person. This is simply because of the value factor it provides. The more well-informed a customer is about the local business that they are searching, the more able they are to share this information, get a feel for the authority of the brand and at the end of the line, make a purchase in store. Often times, marketers forget that there is still a huge gap in the online to offline arena. Claiming is an integral strategy that is used to bridge that gap for hundreds of thousands of customers all over the country.

Competitive Advantage

With consumer behavior increasingly showing local intent, ranking ahead of the competition is part of local digital marketers’ job. While we see claiming as a necessary baseline practice every brand should conduct, there are still a great majority of brands who still fall short when it comes to maintaining their location data. This is where your competitive edge comes in.

With Brandify, you are able to get a sense for the local competitive landscape and where your locations fit in the context of the competition. With a visual depiction of your claimed versus unclaimed listings, you can easily and actionably find areas of opportunity to push local growth. And when users are on search engines like Google and showing their intent to find certain products, you can use your competitive insights to make sure that your local information is ranking  above brands who may be competing for the same local real estate as you. As mentioned before, through dynamic location data and information, your value factor will be far greater than that of your competition, thereby boosting your keyword presence and strengthening your visibility on search engines.

Claiming and optimizing all of your locations while still maintaining a genuine brand presence is never easy when taken on alone. But we can help. Our team will help you walk through all the claiming strategies discussed through the use of the Brandify Platform.  You can track the Data Quality of your listings to highlight which locations need more robust, valuable and dynamic local data.

Sign up for your Brand Score to see how you can get started with claiming your local properties!

 

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Topics: Local SEO