Local Search Insight: Don’t Miss Your Local Listing!
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The importance of Local SEO for small businesses in cities is vital to stay ahead of their competition as well as to simply be found. I was chatting with a friend the other day about his Local SEO tactics and it reminded me of a somewhat recent report that highlighted the cost of having incorrect info for your local business. The report shows how many local businesses actually don’t have their business listed locally on major search engines. YIKES! The percentage that don’t is not staggering or alarming, but the overall percentage with errors in their listing is. So if you are reading this now and you control this listing for your business, you might want to check out your local search listing info ASAP before your boss does to make sure you still have a seat next week. Again, this might seem like a small error or a common oversight that just happens, but when you have over 70% of search traffic looking for local products and services, a small error can really hurt you.
In fact, this study has even quantified the actual business lost due to this mistake. Greg Sterling, founder of the Sterling Marketing Intelligence and publisher of the eye-opening study, points out that 14% of business listings are missing from online web directories and sites and as much as 43% of listings contain errors of some kind (wrong address, name or phone number). These errors were proven to reveal there may be more than $10 billion in lost sales to local businesses each year because of missing or incorrect listings, (according to a recent article from Screenwerk that references a cost analysis conducted using a combination of survey data, Yext internal data, and U.S. government information regarding consumer spending.)
Now in light of all this data and returning to my recent conversation I had with my friend who has just opened a new business in the area. Please note he is a smart and astute business person with a great sales background, and is very excited about his new venture. His business has a brick and mortar presence, so having his business address and contact information details listed on major search engines is paramount since 70+% of search traffic goes thru Google and the rest via Bing and Yahoo. Local search has really become the most competitive game on the internet these days as most of us know. Anyway, so as my friend gets his store all set, he is also building his online presence. I asked him how everything is going and he recently said that he is ready to open and all systems go, both online and offline. We briefly talked about his online strategy and I swear that I did not try to sell him anything! In the course of our conversation, he said something that I have heard often when I asked him if his business is set up on Google. He responded with the usual, “Oh yeah, that was much easier to do than I anticipated.” Then my next question usually prompts some concern. “So you listed your business address details on Google Local Business then?” The inevitable reply comes, “Uhhh, well, isn’t that done when I just set my site up on Google? No?” Then its typically a mad dash to this url – http://www.google.com/business/placesforbusiness/
Takeaway- As Local Search becomes more competitive, it is imperative that businesses have their business details listed on major search engines (at least Google) and of course listed correctLee;)