Moving, Local SEO and You
So, it has finally happened. You have had a great couple of years and your small business is ready to move locations. Maybe you are moving to a better or more prestigious part of town, maybe you want a larger office for your growing business. Moving your business is a big deal and one that involves multiple steps. You have to find the commercial space you want, build it out if necessary, furnish it, wire it, build out the IT, and coordinate the move itself. Unfortunately, as it does for so many small and large businesses alike, updating your online location information was likely relegated to the bottom of the move”s priority list and in many cases, businesses do not update this crucial information after a great deal of time has passed at the new location. It is almost as if this is an afterthought. At MarketingModo, an agency focused on creating tools that maximize local SEO and search opportunities online, we understand how important it is to of maintain accurate local listings and as well as the ins and outs of listing management which is an important factor for local SEO.
Many businesses simply do not understand how important it is to maintain local listings especially in a time of moving and transition to new locations. Now only does it help with local SEO but it also helps with walk-in traffic for those searching the web just for your address. Making the updates to your listings in a timely fashion is critically important for those who need their customers to find them before they can get them to visit and earn their business. I can give you one example of a business that moved to a new location and for 3 months their sales took a nose dive. It was only after they spoke to the owner of their old building in which they found out how many people will still going to that old location driven by their local listings. Needless to say, it was a very costly oversight for them. I can hear you pondering the natural next question. How can I prevent this from happening to my business? Well, you are in luck and simple tools such as automation and processes can help!
Digital brand marketers can leverage automation technology and processes to ensure even thousands of locations are kept up to date and visible to potential customers. Whether businesses try to go it alone or if they license technology to make the task more manageable internally, the end goals should still be the same:
• Standardize your business data
• Disseminate and distribute business data consistently; don”t just fix existing information.
• Lay the foundation for people to successfully find the business when searching, regardless of device, location, time or day
Businesses that have locations opening, closing or moving often find these issues complicated by well-intentioned franchise owners or location managers either trying to improve their location”s data or ignoring that data completely. Either of these scenarios can lead to data management and distribution being inconsistent with what the local SEO ecosystem wants to see and that means results falter and fail.
Digital marketers supporting national-local businesses should consider the following steps:
1. Determine where your local business data and information is currently hosted and take inventory of it.
Every location should have data specifically for it. This critical data includes business name, address, phone number, site URL, hours of operation, categories, products and services offered and areas served. Other pieces of information that is worth sharing include details about your staff to give it a human face, current promotional offers, supported charities, organization memberships, achievements, rewards and more. Once you locate the data and where it is being hosted online, be sure to keep track of it so you know where it is quickly. Sometimes, more often than not actually, this data exists in multiple locations. Our clients are often surprised at how much fantastic local data they find but never knew existed.
2. Centralize the data and create/put processes in place so this central local data hub is constantly updated.
Centralize the data so that it is all in one place and put processes in place so this central hub is constantly and easily updated. There are a number of ways to do this, but third party tools can be a good solution if they easily integrate with your own internal systems via APIs. Finding one to play nicely with your systems will be the tricky part but there should be one out there that fills the need. The more locations there are to manage, the more technology can help automate the process and uphold brand standards. You want to maintain your brand standards throughout your local listing data.
3. Integrate tools for effective data distribution and dissemination.
Integrate tools into this local data hub to automatically push updated information to as many places as possible in a way that makes sense to the local listing ecosystem. The top three important sets of web properties to keep updated should include your own website; data aggregators such as Foursquare; and Google My Business. Ensuring data consistency in all of these places will lay the groundwork to enable Google to make sense of what is going on in the local listing ecosystem and generally results in a strong presence for local businesses on the local and local-organic SERPs. This is a very good thing and makes the Google Gods shine upon you and your business.
Local listing management poses challenges for businesses of all types and sizes. It can be particularly difficult for small and medium-sized businesses and even harder for national brands with multiple locations such as some national retailers, but with a centralized hub of local information, automation and processes can greatly help. By easing some of the burden to ensure consistency and regular distribution of data, marketers can execute effective local SEO efforts while the competition spins its wheels. For those who want one of the country”s top local SEO experts, MarketingModo offers a full suite of local SEO services including listing management. Give your local SEO a boost with MarketingModo!