That book used to be the lifeline for business owners and consumers alike. Businesses advertised their products and services to their local market, while consumers searched for the right business to fulfill their needs.
Did you know that after a staggering 51-year run, the directory stopped printing after 2019. While it’s true their online version is still running strong, but ask yourself this question: when was the last time you used their website to find a coffee shop, dentist, realtor, or any other business in your vicinity?
The answer is probably “never”. You’re, most likely, one of the 82%+ mobile consumers who perform a “near me” search on Google, Safari, or one of the other search engines when looking a product or service in your area.
In fact, online business directories are on the rise because most consumers use them first before moving forward on their buying journey. This is why it’s extremely important for any local business to make sure their local listings are created, accurate, and updated on as many directories as possible.
This IS the ‘new normal’ for local businesses when it comes to being found by their possible customers.
What is local listing management
Local listing management is the strategic process of consistently checking and updating your business information including hours, address, website, phone numbers, and other important data on online directories across the web.
It’s important to note that while Google, Yelp, and Yahoo are important listings to have, it doesn’t end there. Your business information must be maintained on popular platforms like Facebook, TripAdvisor, and many others.
It’s not just brick-and-mortar businesses that need local listing management either. With the way the current online search landscape is growing, even completely online businesses need to manage their listings if they want to be found by consumers.
As noted above, almost everyone today searches for a business using their phones, and Google is always the first thing that comes to mind. So, along with ensuring that your business information is accurate everywhere, you have to be fast in updating any changes or correcting any errors since millions of searches are performed every single day.
Why Is Local Listing Management Important
In today’s world, the internet is where about 95% of your prospective customers research, shortlist, and make their purchasing decisions based on the online reviews – before ever contacting a business. Surrounding business information like store hours, address, and phone numbers are equally important.
This is why local listing management is so important. It improves the visibility of your business, creates a unique customer experience, and helps drive more sales.
1. Improved Visibility
Improving your brand visibility is one of the most important reasons why it’s time to take control and hop on the local listing management train right now.
It’s clear that the more online directories your business is listed on, the more customers will be able to find your business. Try this: the next time you do a Google search for something, think of it through the view of a local business owner.
As a consumer, you are 50% more likely to visit a business within a day after finding it through a mobile search according to statistics from Google.
This should be proof enough of the importance of local listing management and how it’s vital if you’re looking to increase revenue.
2. Increased Traffic
Speaking of increasing revenue, you can also drastically increase online traffic to your business’s website by utilizing local listing management.
Imagine this: you’re potential client has just performed an online search for ‘real estate agents near me’ and have found two listings online. One has all of their business information like address, hours, services and website fully updated, the other has a few missing slots or conflicting information.
It’s not hard to see that the potential customer, looking for a more reputable business, will be more inclined to click on the website of the real estate agent that has all of their information updated and accurate.
What’s even better is, maintaining a full and accurate listings profile also leads to increased physical consumer traffic for your business.
3. Save Tons Of Time
There are a great deal of business listing directories out there and it can cost you a ridiculous amount of time when it comes to establishing and updating your business information on each one.
Even if you created a spreadsheet with all the different directories out there, keeping track of your information on all of them and updating that sheet daily, weekly, or even monthly would be an exhausting and frustrating endeavor.
While not impossible, it surely would take a lot more time and effort than you have if you’re like most business owners.
With local listing management, you enjoy the luxury of keeping track of your business information on all the online business directories in one central location. You can even make changes on the fly and instantly sync them across the web to each and every listing so they automatically reflect on all directories.
4. Search Engine Optimization
The fierce and constant SEO battle to appear on the top of search engine results like Google is really the battle to win more customers.
While online reviews and location play a significant role in influencing a consumer’s decision, the higher a business ranks on a search engine’s result, the better chance that business has of converting a prospect into a paying customer.
You may have asked yourself what the secret is to getting that coveted top spot on Google. Unfortunately, there’s no clear-cut answer. However, it is a fact that search engine algorithms prefer to push businesses that provide searchers with the best experience to the top.
What that means is, having updated and accurate business listings online drastically improves the chances that your business will show up on top when a consumer searches for the products or services you provide. On the flip side, missing and inaccurate information hinders your rank.
5. Real-Time Updates
One of the most difficult things businesses face when it comes to online listings is not being able to make changes in real-time – It often takes time for changes to reflect.
What’s worse is not being able to make changes to all directories from one place making the task tedious and time consuming.
Imagine this: A restaurant owner needs to change the hours of their business and wants his customers to know right away. However, the process they use takes time and some listing directories could be missed. That leads to bad customer experiences and is a huge hassle for the business owner.
Local listing management software allows you to make needed changes in real-time and update your business information to all your online business directories from one easy to use location.
How To Manage Your Local Listings
By now, we’re sure you’re onboard with utilizing local listing management practices for your business. Well, there’s a few ways to go about it.
Some small business owners handle their online listings themselves by manually updating every listing out there but this takes a lot of time and effort. So, it really only makes sense to do this if your business is small and you’re not too worried with your search engine rankings.
If you’re strapped for time or your business has multiple locations, hiring a team of talented marketing strategists, like those at Digital Concierge, to claim and sync your business listings across the web can be a great way to take control.
3. Local listing management software
Lastly, if you feel that outsourcing is not for you, there’s also the option to do everything yourself by using a robust local listing management software.
With local listing management software, you can take control of your business listings and save tons of time and effort. You’re able to claim, sync, and manage all your business listings from one single dashboard.
How Digital Concierge Can Help
When it comes to local listing management, Digital Concierge’s solutions allow you to manage all of your business listings on all directories, consistently across the web.
Our listing management solutions consist of three robust and intuitive tools: Listing Builder, Listing Sync Pro, and Listing Distribution. You can even get started for absolutely FREE with Listing Builder Express, and start simplifying the complex process of syncing your business listings.
In addition to saving time, effort, and money, by using our solutions, you’ll be able to rank higher in search engine results by providing real-time updates and accurate information to customers.
But wait, it gets better – Listing Builder is only one of more than 100 solutions and services Digital Concierge has to offer. This means you’ll have access to our best-in-class digital marketing platform that enables you to handle all your needs from one place without having to open multiple tabs.
There’s no time to waste! Get started today and sync your business information to all important listing sources across the internet today