What Is Local Digital Presence Management?

 

A business’ local digital presence is comprised of the places where information exists about that business location online. Directory listings, social profiles, store pages, and a business website are all part of a business’ local digital presence. While the information may appear in many different places, the content is largely the same:

  • Name, Address, Phone (NAP)
  • Hours of operation
  • Products and services
  • Specials and deals
  • Reviews

Through effectively managing this presence, a business ensures that its most critical information is complete, up-to-date, easily discoverable, and communicated as directly as possible to customers where they are searching for it. The goal of local DPM is to drive consumers from online to offline into brick-and-mortar locations

 

Why Is It Important?

 

Today, 4 in 5 consumers search for local businesses online. When consumers find incorrect information about a business online, 73% lose trust in that business. And, incorrect information abounds – a 2013 study found that up to 40% of location information is wrong!

Why is so much information incorrect? Because there’s no permanent record or single source of location data online. This is a HUGE problem that we can help you solve.

The Beginning of Presence Management

 

For years, the Yellow Pages that were regularly dropped on people’s welcome mats served to put basic business information at consumers’ fingertips. These days, thumbing through hundreds of pages to find a plumber when your pipes burst sounds almost as unusual as carrying the Yellow Pages around with you. When it comes to finding a business, if the information isn’t readily accessible via mobile search, then it might as well not exist.

 

The media fragmentation that has so upended the traditional media world has also left businesses scrambling to find a way to replace the old forms of consumer discovery and connection. The infinite quality of the Internet is daunting to consumers and businesses.

 

Information is scattered everywhere. And consumers are finding — or many cases not finding — a variety of details about their local stores and services spread over an ever-increasing number of digital spaces.

The Importance of Business Information

 

The role of local digital presence management is to lend clarity to the placement and precision of business information. A business should not have to worry that a consumer search will lead someone to an incorrect online map. But too often, that is the case.

 

In a recent survey of 100 digital marketing professionals conducted by Yext, 95% of respondents reported having found incorrect information about a business that they were searching for online, and 63% reported that this had happened “many times.” 91% indicated that finding incorrect information had impacted their customer experience, with more than a third stating that it had “significant impact.”

 

How many times have you personally found incorrect information
about a business that you were searching for online?

 

 

Incorrect, missing, or incomplete information is a serious issue for businesses. It’s causing negative experiences for their customers and costing businesses money. But fixing missing, outdated, or incorrect information has been an incredibly challenging problem for marketers to solve. Businesses often employ an array of disjointed solutions to try and achieve consistency. This strategy faces obvious challenges. Out of 100 survey respondents, a third reported using “4 or more” services to manage their local digital
presence.

 

Compounding these challenges is the fact that most of the time marketers are managing the local digital presence for multiple locations. Solutions that are manageable for a few locations quickly become impractical at scale. The needs of a 3-location business are very different from one with 3000. 55% of respondents reported that they were managing the local digital presence for more than 5 locations, with a quarter managing more than 20
locations.

 

When one considers the number of locations, solutions, and pieces of information, not to mention all of the places where that information needs to appear, it’s easy to understand why local digital presence requires a more comprehensive solution.

 

 

Local digital presence management is a unified approach that responds to the challenges of a fragmented local search market. A single, integrated platform with automation for key, repeatable functions minimizes human error and allows a marketer to be more nimble, more efficient, and more effective.

Local Digital Presence Management Best Practices

 

There are four primary services that fit within local DPM:

  • Listings Management
  • Store Pages/Store Locator Management
  • Local Social Media Management
  • Online Reviews/Reputation Management

In addition to the overlapping nature of the information across these four channels, there is also often overlap in the people responsible for managing local digital presence within an organization. Of the survey respondents, the vast majority managed all four of the above tasks. Yet the market remains fragmented and exists primarily in a pre-software mode. Much of the spending into this arena remains on outdated solutions such as custom in-house software and inefficient manual processes.

 

The most effective DPM solution is one that integrates all the needs a local marketer may have, while being flexible enough to be tailored to a program unique to a business’ objectives and priorities.

 

Best Practice: Control

 

It can be tempting to think that search engines and directory sites are getting to the point where a business’ information will be correct without requiring their constant care and vigilance, but don’t look for that to happen anytime soon. The proliferation of sites and apps introduces feedback loops as search engines and listings sites scrape old data, amplifying and duplicating incorrect information. Only by taking control of information wherever it exists can a business fight back.

 

With seemingly infinite combinations of devices, sites, maps, and apps, every customer journey is different. Focusing on even just a handful of sites ignores the fragmentation of the local search ecosystem. While one person might use Facebook’s graph search on their smartphone to find a pizza place where their friends have visited, another might use MapQuest on their desktop to look up driving directions. Both of these consumers represent valuable business. A comprehensive local digital presence ensures that businesses give themselves every chance of reaching all types of customers.

 

Best Practice: Content

 

One of the primary purposes of local digital presence management is to achieve consistency of content across the range of channels that consumers use to search for information. From a consumer standpoint, receiving different information across sources creates uncertainty that can result in poor customer experiences or loss of business. Similarly, search-ranking algorithms give precedence to the most authoritative information, which is impacted by the number of places that the same information appears.

“Marketers need to shift their conception of local presence from the static Yellow Pages era to a real-time digital channel”

But it’s not just about accuracy. Having accurate NAP information about a business available to consumers should be thought of as a starting point. When a business’ local digital presence is fully optimized with rich, relevant content, it becomes a powerful marketing channel that reaches consumers at a critical moment in their path to purchase.

Consumers’ expectations for relevant content have progressed rapidly. While most brands and businesses now understand that they need to actively communicate with their customers, few have made the commitment to building brand voices for individual marketplaces. Those who hesitate to invest and take chances as they wait for the ecosystem to be fully fleshed out will find themselves catching up from a distance.

 

Updating content across a business’ local digital presence with timely offers and information increases its effectiveness as a marketing channel, yet 43% of marketers surveyed made updates only monthly, and 23% updated “very rarely.” Marketers need to shift their conception of local presence from the static Yellow Pages era to a real-time digital channel.

 

 

Best Practice: Monitoring and Measurement

 

Local DPM doesn’t stop when a business has taken control of its local digital presence and puts a content plan in place. Ongoing monitoring and measurement are critical to the success of a local DPM strategy. Through constant vigilance and monitoring of online reviews, a business captures a direct line of feedback that can be used as immediate, actionable customer intelligence throughout an organization for reputation management and operations improvement.

In the highly competitive and continuously evolving local search landscape, measurement is the only way to ensure that you stay ahead of the competition. Despite this fact, of the 100 professional marketers Yext surveyed, 30% said that they did not measure, or used only qualitative assessment to measure the effectiveness of their digital presence management. To know if your content is performing, metrics like search impressions, search ranking, page views, click through rate, and online to offline attribution from redeemable coupons and other strategies must be taken into account.

We help your business take control of its digital presence by:

  • Getting listed everywhere
  • Correcting and enhancing your information
  • Keeping your digital presence fresh with real-time updates
  • Tracking the performance of your listings

Listings – Take Control. Get Found.

Inconsistent business location information across online maps, apps, directories, GPS devices, social networks, and search engines costs you real sales.

We help you control your listings across 60+ partner sites, including Google, Bing, Facebook, Foursquare, Yahoo, and Yelp.

Get on Google

Today’s world of smartphones, mobile moments, and self-driving cars demands accurate location data more than ever. And no single search, maps, and apps provider is more important to your location marketing strategy than Google.

Sync and manage your Google My Business account:

  • Update your customers rapidly about timely changes to key location data like hours or unforeseen closings
  • Control the data Google receives about your locations and ensure it’s always consistent, authoritative, and up-to-date
  • Save time and streamline your data management process by managing information on Google My Business and across the web with asingle click from the Yext Location Management Platform

Publish Everywhere and on Every Device

We partner with the most establishedand popular search engines, maps, apps and directories across the globe. Leverage our direct connections to the publishers in the PowerListings Network to get found.

Enhance and Drive Revenue From Your Listings

Help customers choose you by creating the most complete, rich, and accurate presence on all the search engines, maps, apps, and local directories where they search for local businesses.

Enhanced Content Syndication: Leverage your listings across the web to differentiate your
business from the competition and drive measurable business results.
  • Showcase photos, videos, business descriptions, hours and holiday hours, menus, staff bios, product & service lists, and more than a dozen other fields alongside basic NAP. Listings complete with enhanced content receive 416% more viewsthan those without.
  • Turn your listings into measurable marketing opportunities with the exclusive Featured Message. Highlight special offers, drive reservations or form fills, and more with this exclusive 50-character field.

Website Widgets: Embeddable widgets drive consistency across your digital presence. Sync information like social posts, staff bios, menus, calendars, and product or service lists from the Location Management Platform to your own website. Updates flow immediately to your site, reducing hassle and complexity.

Measure With Exclusive Analytics

Analytics are crucial to your success. Our publisher relationships provide exclusive analytics on your presence across the PowerListings Network to help you measure what’s working and how customers are engaging.

Listing Visitor Reporting: See how often a listing appears in local search results, the views its detail page receives, and the number of times customers click on a Featured Message –which helps you tie revenue back to your digital presence.

Search Term Reporting: Monitor the search queries for which your listings show up most often in local search results. Use this information to optimize your listings and your own website for the keywords you want and discover hidden opportunities to get found more often.

Listen To Your Customers

Most brand experiences happen at the local level, and your customers record and amplify those experiences through reviews, photos, videos, and posts across the web. Monitor the feedback and content customers generate about your locations to ensure you deliver the best experience possible, everywhere.

Review Monitoring: Monitor and search customer reviews by location across every Listingssite that supports them, including Yelp, Facebook, Google+, and Citysearch, in real time. Getcustom notifications for new reviews, search reviews by location, and analyze how customer feedback varies over time and across locations.

Social Location Page Posting: Get the word out quickly and easily by posting on your Google+, Facebook, and Foursquare accounts directly from the dashboard. Post content immediately, or schedule posts to publish at a future date and time.

Local Listening: Keep tabs on the Google+, Facebook, and Foursquare content that customers generate from your locations and respond directly from the dashboard.

Control Your Presence

Even after setting up accurate and rich listings for all your locations, you may have errant listings or rogue profiles. Whether you have 1 location or 10,000, we keep you in control of what appears andwhat doesn’t.

Duplicate Suppression: Duplicate records of your business information appear across the search ecosystem —and they cost you time, money, and SEO benefits. Our technology finds and suppresses duplicate listings so consumers never see incorrect or incomplete address or contact information. Since search engines value consistency, Duplicate Suppression offers huge SEO benefits.

Social Page Location Data Sync: Sync the location data in the platform to your place pages on Facebook and Foursquare. If social pages don’t exist for your locations already or are managed by someone else, we can create or claim them for you.

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