“I have tried several times to edit my business local listing and it tells me Status Pending Review.”
“I’ve been trying to get my current address, phone number and website address updated in my local listing for months.”
“Recently, I have submitted my local business and had been waiting for my verification PIN. After 20 days I have received that PIN number, but my listing has been already verified by someone else.”
The above quotes are excerpts from postings at search engine local listing forums. Business owners are having difficulty updating their local business listings on their own. These are only a few examples of the problems business owners run into. Reviewing the forums of the major search engines, Google, Yahoo and Bing, you will find many more questions and frustrations.
Certainly the search engines have tried very hard to make this process as easy as possible, however, the individual tasks can appear to raise more questions to someone who is not familiar with the information or the process.
The issue tends to go beyond the obvious request to answer questions on the computer screen. Each question may raise further questions in the mind of the business owner. These silent questions begin to focus on the business brand, the message, the marketing strategy. Question like “Am I entering the right information?”, “Am I entering the information correctly?” are only a couple of the higher level questions that come to mind when someone starts to ask you questions about your local business.
The local business owner wants to maximize the limited time resources they have. If they spend time to work on this information, they will want to be sure it benefits them and they probably don’t want to come back to do this again. The anxiety of insuring the information they enter helps their business far outweighs the questions being asked by the search engine local listing.
An additional burden comes from having to perform this task on all the major search engines along with many non-search engine websites like Local.com and Yelp. By the time you look through the process you will find at least six major locations to update and maintain. We have identified 60 websites for which business will want to have their local listing managed. As you can see, the local business with limited time resources will not be able to keep up.
If you’re wondering why you want to have your local listing updated with six or more websites you’re not alone. The answer lies with iPhone, Blackberry and Palm. The mobile application developers for these phones will be the ones to decide which database of local listing they will use. Since any of these databases can be used, it only makes sense to have the local business listing information updated in as many locations as possible.
The strategy of how the information is entered is certainly an additional challenge. Knowing the keywords to use and how they should be entered is only the beginning. If you add coupons, offers, discounts, videos, photos, products and services, it will be necessary to know how to title, describe and tag the individual items. After all, you want your listing to show up at the top of the list of local listings for various search terms related to your business and also on mobile devices.
As part of the local search marketing strategy you will want to maintain your listings and manage them regularly. Our recommendation is once a week. Local listings that are not maintained will not be of any benefit to the local consumer and therefore they have no reason to click on your listing. You may have a new menu or products, an event at your business or store, or other news worthy items that will require the listing to be updated at all locations.
Lastly, we have to be concerned about customer reviews. Consumers have the ability to write their positive thoughts and negative emotions. This raises the notion that we want to encourage customers to write their positive thoughts and also insure we have a process in place to handle customers that are not satisfied to avoid having them post their negative emotions. Of course this is also a second reason why so many local listing websites need to be maintain. Ultimately, the consumer will be the one to decide where they post their positive or negative reviews.
Utilizing a professional service to manage your local listings is no different than retaining a professional service to manage the search engine optimization of your website. Because the process is simpler than website search engine optimization, the fee structure is significantly lower.
Let us close out with two questions:
1. Do you know about your local listing?
2. Have you considered updating your local listing?
Contact SmartFinds Internet Marketing’s Local Business Listing Management Service and let our team help you with your local search marketing.