The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Local Listings
Eighty-nine percent of people use their phone at least once weekly to search for a local business. When consumers search for local businesses, they want to quickly find information such as hours of operation, the address, products and services, etc. If consumers see conflicting information, that can hurt your business. Local listings management can help you control information about your businesses.
As a multi-location business, having optimized local listings that provide consumers with everything they need to know about your business in one location is a must.
What is a Local Listing?
If you’re not already familiar, local listings are online profiles of your business. They often include business information like your name, address, and phone number (NAP), along with a link to your website. Local listings are often found in local directories like Google, Yelp, Bing, Foursquare, and more.
While your business should have local listings on as many relevant directories as possible, we’ll use Google and Yelp when providing examples for this blog. Below is an example of one of Jersey Mike’s Subs local listings on Google.
Six Local Listings Management Tips
Below, we’ll discuss step-by-step tactics your multi-location business can leverage to improve its local listings.
1. Claim Your Local Listings
Before diving into what it takes to optimize your local listings, the first step is to claim them. As a multi-location business, each of your business locations should have its own local listing. The process for claiming a local listing can vary depending on the directory, but here you’ll find a guide for claiming your local listing on Google.
If you have already claimed all of your local listings, ensure that your business doesn’t have duplicate listings. If you find that someone else has already claimed one of your listings, you can report duplicate listings that are not owned by your business to Google.
If you need help claiming your local listings, there are platforms available like SOCi that your multi-location business can leverage to claim local listings across business locations and remove duplicates. We’ll get more into SOCi’s capabilities later in this blog.
2. Include Helpful Business Information
Once you claim your local listings, it’s essential to verify that all of the information included in your listings is updated and accurate. The most critical information every local listing should include is the location’s NAP and a website link. When the information is consistent across all local listings, search engines will likely serve your listings within local search results.
3. Don’t Forget About Photos
Major directories like Google, Yelp, or Facebook also allow you to include images in your local listings. Consumers like to know what to expect when visiting a business, and photos can help with this. For instance, if you have photos of your most popular products or your local store, a consumer will know whether or not the product aligns with what they’re looking for while also being able to picture themselves in your store.
Again, these photos set the consumer’s expectations about your business and leaves no room for surprises. Google also found that listings with photos or a virtual tour are twice as likely to generate interest. Among that interest, 41 percent of these place searches result in an on-site visit, increasing the chances that your business will generate revenue from your local listings.
4. Incorporate a Call-to-Action
Adding a call-to-action (CTA) on your local listing is a great way to collect a potential consumer’s information without them navigating off your local listing. For instance, if you’re a hair salon, you can add a “Book an Appointment” CTA to your local listing on Google or Yelp. Similarly, you can have an “Order Delivery” CTA on your listing if you’re a restaurant brand.
Convenience is essential, and adding a CTA to your local listings provides this! It’s also a great way to collect new leads, which you can nurture into customers. Think of all you could miss if your multi-location business isn’t collecting leads through a CTA!
5. Reply to Reviews
Many listing directories showcase the reviews your business receives on your local listing. As a multi-location business, it isn’t enough to receive reviews. You must respond to them as well.
The data speaks for itself. Among consumers that read reviews, 97 percent read the business’ response to the reviews. Regarding negative reviews, 87 percent of consumers express a willingness to change a negative review, depending on how the business responds.
If your multi-location business isn’t responding to reviews, consumers will notice. For more tips on reputation management and responding to reviews, download our Multi-Location Marketer’s Guide to Online Reputation Management.
6. Add Extra Details When Possible
Depending on the type of business listing, your multi-location business will have the opportunity to add additional business information. For instance, many local directories have a set of categories you can choose from to define what your business is. You can typically select as many categories that match your business.
For instance, if you’re a restaurant brand that offers pizza, some of the categories you may want to select would include “pizza takeaway,” “pizza restaurant,” and “pizza delivery.” Platforms like Google and Yelp have an extensive list of categories you can choose from, so look carefully to ensure you include all that are relevant!
Other details your business should include, if applicable, are:
- Links to local social media pages
- Payment forms accepted
- A business description
- Additional media (videos, menus, and more)
This example highlights how multi-location businesses, such as Nekter Juice Bar, can add service options such as dine-in and curbside pickup, along with a link to their menu. As a general rule of thumb, the more details you add about your business, the better!
Optimize Your Local Listings and Boost Online Visibility
While it’s clear that updated local listings can positively impact your business’s ROI, we understand that managing local listings across 100s or 1,000s of business locations can be daunting. A listings solution can help your multi-location business manage your local listings across all your business locations while also helping you track your ROI.
Our previously mentioned SOCi Listings can help you do just that. SOCi Listings will help your multi-location business increase your listings’ data accuracy and improve local search rankings, resulting in stronger brand awareness and visibility. Learn how to easily maintain accurate, consistent listings across all your business locations with SOCi Listings.
For more information on how SOCi can help your multi-location business create a winning localized marketing strategy and optimize your local listings to their fullest potential, request a demo today!