How to Best Manage Your Listings Across Multiple Locations
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Local searches are booming, with over 800 million monthly “near me” searches online and countless more without “near me.” If you’re a multi-location business, you need a multi-location listings management strategy to appear in these local search results.
At SOCi, we empower over 800 multi-location brands across three million locations. We know what it takes to effectively manage your local listings across all major directories.
It’s time to discover how to attract and convert more customers through your local listings.
What Are Local Listings?
Before we dive into how to manage local listings, here’s a refresher on what local listings are. Local listings are online profiles of your business that appear on local directories or social platforms such as Google, Yelp, and Facebook. They often include basic business information like your name, address, and phone number (NAP). Here’s a local Yelp listing from Nekter Juice bar:
Why Are Local Listings Important?
Local listings are how people find your business when searching locally on search engines, directories, and Google or Apple Maps.
However, the most important local listing is your Google Business Profile (GBP) because Google owns over 90 percent of the search engine market share worldwide. Therefore, optimizing your GBPs should be your first priority. Doing so can drastically affect your search rankings and improve your bottom line.
Our Top Ranking and Conversion Factors for Local Search research report found that businesses ranking the Google 3-Pack or Local Pack receive 126 percent more traffic and 93 percent more actions (calls, website clicks, and requests for driving directions) than those ranked 4-10.
Now that you understand local listings’ impact on your multi-location brand, let’s dive into how to manage them better.
The Top 6 Multi-Location Listings Management Tips
Multi-location businesses must oversee hundreds or thousands of local listings across multiple platforms. That’s no easy feat. However, these five tips can help you better manage your local listings across all major directories.
1. Claim Your Local Listings
The first step in managing your local listings is claiming them. To claim your local listing, you must verify and own your business on online directories and search platforms like GBP, Yelp, and Apple Maps.
By claiming and removing duplicate local listings, you’re verifying ownership of your businesses. You’re also ensuring accuracy and consistency across your listings. This uniformity improves how search engines and consumers perceive your business.
As mentioned earlier, GBPs are the top local listings. Thus, we recommend claiming your listings on Google first.
2. Include Essential Business Information
While claiming your local listings, you should update them with accurate and helpful business information.
Consider the same local store having different information on various directories. What if this occurs on a large scale across dozens of listings and directories? These inaccurate business listings confuse search engines and consumers — inhibiting your ability to rank well and creating a negative customer experience (CX).
What you include on your local listings will vary based on what the directories or platforms allow. At a basic level, we recommend including the following information:
- Name, address, and phone number (NAP)
- Hours of operation, including during holidays or other significant events
- Driving directions
- Products and services
- Business categories
- Example: Dry cleaner
- Links to your website and social media profiles
- A concise and informative description of your business
- Customer reviews
- High-quality photos of your business, products, and services
- Special offers, promotions, or events
3. Gain and Manage Your Ratings and Reviews
Reviews dramatically influence consumers and search engines. Nearly 8 in 10 consumers seek out websites with product reviews. Thus, your multi-location business needs to generate and respond to reviews across business locations. Here’s how ratings and reviews impact your local listings.
Reviews’ impact on search rankings
A high volume and quality of ratings and reviews can improve your GBP and listings’ search rankings.
According to local SEO experts, higher numerical Google ratings are the sixth highest-ranking local pack and finder factor for GBPs. Additionally, the quantity of Google reviews with text is the eighth highest ranking factor.
Reviews’ impact on conversions
Ratings and reviews influence conversions as well. Our research, The State of Google Reviews, found that the conversion of GBPs improves by 2.8 percent for every ten new reviews. We also found that conversion improves by 44 percent when a business increases its average star rating by one full star.
If you need more details on how to best generate and respond to online reviews, download our Multi-Location Marketer’s Guide to Online Reputation Management.
4. Update With High-Quality Images
Another impactful listings management technique is to include images on your local listings. One study found that GBPs with more than 100 images get 520 percent more calls than the average business, while those with just one image get seventy-one percent fewer.
- Ensure images are high-quality
- Include alt text or tags in images
- Have a variety of photos showing:
- Stores’ interior and exterior
- Photos of staff (with their consent)
- Adhere to directories’ content guidelines
- Don’t upload blurry or misleading images and videos
- Guarantee appropriate dimensions and specifications
- Update images frequently (monthly or quarterly)
As you begin to manage your local listings’ images and videos, we urge you to review all current ones and ensure they adhere to the directories’ guidelines and recommendations listed above. You can also read our article on removing photos from your GBP.
5. Link to Local Pages and Social Profiles
It’s essential to have links on your local listings that point people to your website and social media profiles. External links enhance the user experience (UX) by giving them easy access to more information on your local pages or social profiles.
These links also enhance your local search rankings by signaling to search engines that your local businesses have a uniform and multi-platform online presence.
If you want more information on improving your local search rankings, download our guide, The Top 10 Things You Should BE Doing in Local SEO.
Get The Right Local Listings Management Software
As you can see, a lot goes into managing your local listings. It’s particularly challenging to manage them across 100s or 1,000s of business locations manually. SOCi can help!
SOCi Listings empowers your multi-location business to manage your business listings at scale. You can claim and modify your listings on all major directories, improving your local search rankings and driving more store traffic.
Clients like Ike’s Love and Sandwiches increased their total GBP views 77 percent YoY, with 16.3 million record views. Or Estrella Insurance, who — with the help of SOCi — increased leads by 24.4 percent YoY from its GBPs.
SOCi can also help multi-location brands manage more than just their listings. We help companies manage their online reputation, reviews, and social media presence across all locations.
Request a demo today to learn how SOCi Listings and our other products and services can improve your local search rankings and increase sales.