There was once a small business, run by smart people who worked hard to provide their customers something worth coming back to. Maybe it was their client service, quality products or even their unique atmosphere. Either way, it did the trick. Then one day they started to notice something odd happening. They’d come into work each morning to an influx of after-hours missed calls and voicemails. Soon after, they began to notice an uptick in Facebook reviews calling them unreliable. That one stung. Business slowly but surely dwindled. What are they doing wrong?
Truth is, it’s not what they’re doing; it’s what they’re not doing. Odds are, they’re not managing their online business listings.
Dramatic storytelling aside, can business listings really have that big of an impact on a company? ‘Fraid so. After all, these listings are found on directories like Google, Yelp, YellowBook and hundreds more sources. These days, it’s how folks find your address, phone number, hours of operation and even a description of what you offer – especially new customers who didn’t even know you existed prior to searching.
And a lot of these listings are incorrect and incomplete. Approximately 61 percent of restaurants are missing hours of operation; almost half of the over 100,000 hotels studied don’t include what services and amenities they offer.
So it’s just a matter of correcting the information, right? Uh, not quite.
First, let’s talk about how your listing managed to get online without you creating it. Sources like the BBB and your local chamber of commerce have your company’s information on their websites. There are a few sources that take that information and push it out to thousands of websites all over the internet, which means that if it’s wrong in one place, it quickly multiplies. Those sources are called data aggregators, and directory listing sites like Bing and Foursquare pay them for their information — so the more information a data aggregator has, the more they can sell. Quantity over quality.
The longer your business has been open, the more likely your listing has existed online in hundreds of places without you controlling any of it.
With so many websites to update, it becomes almost impossible to find the money and man-hours to fix all your listings. Additionally, if the data aggregators still have the wrong info, any updates from them will make your work moot.
So why don’t you just go directly to these data aggregators and take it up with them? You definitely could, for a fee. But you’ll first have to build relationships with those aggregators and until then, you’re paying steep prices. If you want to tackle each incorrect listing directly, it easily takes 10-15 minutes per listing site, and many require additional verification phone calls and emails. You could focus on one or two directories, like Google, but the same sites that use information from Google will also use conflicting information from other websites.
The water gets even murkier with multiple locations; however much time it takes you to update each of the data aggregators is multiplied by however many locations you have.
It all seems so unnecessarily complicated. Almost too much to deal with. But despite the overwhelming nature of it, the results of ensuring correct and complete local listings are quite simple:
Because of the complicated nature of local listings, companies have attempted to offer a simple solution to fix your business listings.
What makes Local Perceptions different is that we provide you a single source tool that takes the “footwork” out of the claiming and accuracy process. Not only that, but you get to keep your listing.
What does “keep your listing” mean? Other companies will not give you login information to your own company’s listing after they claim them, meaning you’re forced to keep renewing your contract with them. When you finally call it quits, they erase everything, leaving you back to square one.
With Local Perceptions, you pay for the creation of information – and the right to keep it is a given.
Local Perceptions is simple, fast and accurate. All you have to do to get started is:
Choosing a package isn’t complicated, either. One package, called Location Data Distribution, updates your information with the data aggregators. The other, called Business Listing Verification, focuses on individual directories like Google+, Foursquare and Bing, directly creating and verifying your listings on those sites.
Just like those smart people who ran a good business, you’ve worked hard to get where you are. Why let something that you have complete control over dictate how you’re viewed by customers? Local Perceptions is a quick and easy path to fixing your business listings, so you can get back to running things from the front lines. Get started now!