As a multi-location marketer, we often hear about the importance of local listings. A local listing is a listing in a business directory site that has your business’s local information. Standard listing websites include, but are not limited to, Google My Business (GMB), Yelp, and even Facebook.
During this time of crisis, COVID-19 is causing the nation, and most states to require restrictions on business hours and business functionalities. Over the past week, we have seen an increasing number of states mandate restaurants and bars to switch to take-out or delivery only, while many other businesses are ordered to work remotely. Updating this local business information on listings is key to keeping consumers up-to-date, and to lessen the confusion around this time of crisis.
Why Local Listings Are So Important
With everything changing daily throughout this pandemic, local listings are a great way to be able to keep consumers informed on how your business is operating. For instance, Trader Joe’s had to revise its business hours to 9 am-7 pm daily to allow time for its employees to restock the store. The image below shows how Trader Joes has already updated its local listings online. If a consumer were planning to go to Trader Joe’s during its previously established business hours, a quick search online would show that the hours have changed.
In addition to limiting customer confusion, updated local listings also have the opportunity to save lives. As mentioned previously, the Center for Disease Control has already requested that Americans limit the amount of travel they are doing daily. Updated listings will prevent people from taking an unnecessary trip to your business, only to find out that it is closed. With the reduction of trips consumers are taking to public places, the likelihood of spreading COVID-19 also decreases. If your business doesn’t already have its local listings updated, it’s imperative to update them as soon as possible.
How To Keep Your Local Listings Updated
You may be asking yourself, how do you update your 100s or 1000s of local listings efficiently and effectively? There are a few easy steps your multi-location business can take to ensure that all local listings are updated:
- Identify which platforms your business has local listings on
- Claim all local pages
- Fill out your profile entirely with the most up to date information
- Update your information as things change
If your business can follow these four easy steps, it should be relatively easy to keep your local listings updated throughout this time of the unknown.
While Google My Business (GMB) is delaying the update of local listings for non-essential businesses, it is worth mentioning that other GMB features have been paused altogether. Google recently paused all reviews and replies on GMB and removed the Q&A feature for the time being. For more information on which features Google has paused, read our blog on the topic.
Tools to Manage Your Local Listings
With GMB limiting its functionality, it’s clear that updated local listings are more important than ever before. As a multi-location business, it can be challenging to update all of your listings across 100s or 1,000s of locations. This is where SOCi can help!
SOCi Listings allows your business to maintain accurate and consistent listings for all your locations, which is necessary to effectively communicate any updates with your consumers and limit any unnecessary confusion. If you want to learn more about how SOCi Listings can help your multi-location business during this critical time, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can provide you with more information!