Our Insights

Local Listings Management — The Phone Book of the Modern Era

January 31, 2024

Not so long ago, most households had a bulky edition of the yellow pages delivered to their homes. It’s where customers went for information for everything from a local plumber to pizza delivery. As a result, businesses prioritized their listing there. After all, it’s always been important to be visible where your customer is looking. Then, the phone book. Now? Online local listings. As such, businesses need to make sure that their local listings are up to snuff. That requires ensuring accuracy and consistency across the multitude of listings that a customer might come across when they’re searching. We know from experience that for many businesses, they’re not sure where to start on updating this business information. We can help with local listings, keep reading! 

What are local listings?

We’ve all gotten spoiled by having smart phones. A quick search of “plant nurseries near me” quickly brings up everything from local mom and pop plant shops to big box stores with garden centers. You’ll see their reviews, how many miles they are from your location, pictures, and store hours. Just a click away you can call them and get directions. These are called “local listings” and you might recognize some of the more well-known examples: Google, Yelp, Facebook, Foursquare, Hotfrog, and more.

Why is managing local listings important?

Let’s look at the numbers. 76% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a business within 24 hours, and 28% of those searches result in a purchase. In fact, 62% of consumers will disregard a business entirely if they can’t find them online. People who are using local listings are nearby customers with a high likelihood to purchase – low hanging fruit if you will, just waiting to be picked! On one hand, keeping your local listings up to date is about impressing customers. And on the other, it’s also about impressing Google. Google cross references your Google Business Profile with other third-party listings. When there are discrepancies or errors, Google sees your business as untrustworthy which can impact whether you rank highly when someone is searching for your business. In sum, inaccurate local listings can make it harder for customers to find you. 

Reputation

Maybe you set up your online listings when you first opened up shop, but listings need to be reviewed and updated regularly for accuracy. Why? Consider this. You Google “best pizza near me” desperate for a delicious slice of convenience, and quickly navigate to the local pizza shop that says it’s open. You arrive, famished, only to realize they’re closed… despite appearing open online. You’re probably frustrated and annoyed, and you may swear off this spot altogether for the inconvenience. An out-of-date local listing can make a negative first impression on customers, which negatively impacts your bottom line. Worse still, this experience might drive a potential customer to a competitor instead, who will then benefit from the sale.

Discoverability 

In the example above. You look up “best pizza near me” and lo’ and behold if there isn’t a new pizza shop open in your neighborhood. It has good reviews and it’s just a minute or two further than your usual spot, so you decide to give it a try. That business just earned your business, by being in the right place at the right time. And maybe they’re so good that you promote them to your go-to take out location, earning them more and more profit in the long run. But without an online search landing you on a well-organized local listing, you may never have placed an order. 

What is Local Listings Management?

Local Listings Management is a new offering from our SEO team. Well-managed local listings should be part of the SEO equation when working towards improving your rankings. Maybe you have a handle on your Google listing, but there are a huge number of more niche listing directories, some of which you might not even realize you’re listed on. We use a centralized dashboard that can connect to over 60 listing directories. Our Local Listings Management service focuses on repairing, restoring, and enhancing local listings for our clients. We make sure that the information is accurate and consistent across listings to increase trust with both customers and Google. We do more than check for accuracy though, we can make recommendations for enhancing listings with photos, business descriptions, Q&A’s, and more to help create attractive online storefronts to draw in customers. 

Once we get your local listings in tip top shape, we can also manage them on an ongoing basis. When any of your business information changes, we can quickly update it within our platform which will populate everywhere you have listings across the web. We also have the option to lock-in your business settings so that no unauthorized third parties can make unwanted changes to any of your local listings. 

The Bottom Line

Your business can’t afford to ignore the importance of local listings. But you don’t have to deal with them yourself — you have a business to run! Get in touch with our team about our Local Listings Management service and we’ll work with you to make sure you stay on the good side of both Google and potential customers. 

Chris Fay