How Important is Local Listing For Your Business ?


Wednesday Wisdom

Today’s tough economic times calls for using all resources at your disposal to ensure you capture your online audience’s attention before your competitors do it. Once you have carried out the regular SEO tactics (on page/off page optimization , A/B Testing, on-going strategic approach), you might think that you have done enough.
But is it really enough?

If you want your business to really shine through in terms of conversions and sales, then you ought to explore local listings and use its benefits to your advantage. This calls for adding a series of steps to push your local business listing to the front of the right kind of audience.

Imagine from the point of view of your end customer. If suppose, Paul resides in Dallas and wants to order a pizza, he will obviously look up only those pizza houses that operate in the city of Dallas. So when he looks up this information on Google, even if a pizza house from New York, comes top of rankings, will this NY pizza house secure the order from Paul?

The answer is obvious – No!

That’s the power of optimizing for local listing for your brand online.
If you are wondering where to begin optimizing for local listing, let’s dig deeper into key success factors for local SEO listing and how it can be achieved.

Factors that give a boost to your local SEO rankings

Based on our industry experience, we believe there are 4 key signals that determine the success of your local SEO efforts and its performance. These are
1. The Depth of accurate information
2. The effectiveness of Visibility or discoverability of your brand
3. The Reach and coverage of your brand; and
4. The geographic Precision as conveyed by your online marketing channels

Let’s check out how these factors can be tweaked to work in favor of your business.

1. The Depth of accurate information
What it is – This refers to the accuracy, depth, and completeness of the location detail given on their website. Almost all the respondents of a Constant Contact survey say that it is important for their business to be discovered on local business listings and directories. What’s astonishing though, is that a staggering 50% of them have not rectified inaccuracies or incorrect listings, even though they know about it!

Why is it needed – The rich content and accurate information helps drive amazing user experience. Better information about local stores, offerings, and products, also enable a much higher online to offline conversion at physical stores.

How it can be achieved – Publish your NAPW (Name, Address, Phone number and Website details) clearly on all directories. Using product/ service descriptions, images, maps, and videos, too provides tremendous help to users to discover your business better.

2. The effectiveness of Visibility
What it is – Visibility improves the overall productivity and effectiveness of the website from a site visitor point of view. Why is it needed – A clean layout and easy navigation prevents site abandonment. The easy to find information prompts users to stay longer on the site thus facilitating the potential to convert better.

How it can be achieved – Optimize your site better for mobile along with traditional desktops. Facilities such as breadcrumb navigation (to help guide site visitors with their way around the website) help improve the page optimization strategy of the store. You can also add in a store locator that helps users to easily find a store nearest to them.

3. The Reach of your brand
What it is – Providing consistent, uniform, and accurate data about your store and products on third party sites denotes the reach of your brand. You need to put in exact store location, NAPW, and relevant local details that stays the same across multiple third party sites of apps such as Google, Facebook, Foursquare, or local yellow page listings.
Why is it needed – Different customers across different search engines, directories, sites, or apps, can be certain to come to a single place when they discover your business. This eliminates consumer confusion and provides a better user experience.

How it can be achieved – Make sure to claim all pages on these third party sites under your brand and business. Doing so will prevent other competitors from diverting valuable web traffic to their own sites. Update all NAPW and other crucial information on all such pages and keep it accurate and consistent.

4. The geographic precision
What it is – The ways in which customers can view your store location on maps software (using pins or pins spread on third party sites) needs to have precise coordinates.
Why is it needed – This factor helps users to visit your store quicker and avoid disappointment from incorrect or incomplete location information online. This also prevents the user from approaching competition.
How it can be achieved – If competing local businesses are located close to each other, you may actually risk handing over your customers to competition on a platter. Hence, keep the coordinates as precise and relevant as possible.

For your retail business to thrive online and offline, it is extremely important for you to have a distinct optimization strategy comprising of these four basic factors. It ensures that your business isn’t killed by incomplete or incorrect local SEO.

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