Consumers are whipping out their smartphones or turning on their laptops to search for brands, products and services online. A General Electric (GE) shopper research in 2019 found that 81 percent of people who purchased in-store began their buying journey with digital search, while an Oberlo 2019 study said 88 percent who bought online started with the same step.
For businesses, this means showing up on the first page of search results is no longer enough. Dominating it should be the top priority of your digital marketing efforts. And if you want to rank high, where potential and current customers can easily find you, business listings management effectively helps you get there.
Business listing management or local citation management is a system designed to efficiently update and unify your company data on digital channels, from business directories to social networks. Online mentions of your name, address and phone number (NAP), among others, are called local or business citations. Once you have claimed your local business listing and kept them consistent across your NAP marketing channels, experts believe you’re on track to better local search engine optimization (SEO) rankings.
Besides bolstering your search visibility, business listing management is a cost-effective solution that yields maximum conversion. However, for many teams, setting up the proper foundation involves working with proven citation management tools or a local citations service provider. This causes you to sharpen your competitive edge with sure-fire methods instead of trying a hit-or-miss approach. This blog outlines the benefits of enlisting business listing services – a low-cost route toward an optimal return on investment (ROI).
Knowing Your Service Provider and NAP Marketing Channels
Specialists help you manage the moving parts of local citations management. To give you an idea, look for these qualities in a business listings management agency:
- They perform thorough NAP audits
- Not all industries are created equal when it comes to local search citations – reliable agencies research industry competitiveness to determine your project requirements
- They strive to align the solution with your budget and objectives
- To further manage time and resources, they prioritize the most profitable NAP marketing channels: Google My Business (GMB), Facebook, Yelp and Better Business Bureau listings
- They have citation management software to deploy a range of processes, from audits and setup to management and optimization
6 Benefits of Local Citation Management Services
Signing up for local citation services comes with several practical benefits for your SEO and customer service. Take tons of notes because we’re enumerating what you can expect from an experienced local business listings service provider:
1. Lead in Local Rankings
Building and managing your local SEO citation includes optimizing for better local search rankings. Usually focused on Google local business listing optimization, it aims to improve your spot on search engine results pages (SERPs). Observing the following best practices allows businesses to target “near me today/tonight” and other geo-specific queries and relevant keywords:
• Good NAP SEO ensures your name, address and phone number are consistent across listing directories
• Add top keywords to your business descriptions
• Link to your location page, not just the home page
• Optimize your image
• Integrate ratings and reviews
With optimized local search citations, you can maintain “accurate public info across the board,” according to Courtney Quigley, Rize Reviews’ reputation consultant. “Anytime, anyone can edit your public Google listing, which is a little-known fact about public citations. To prevent false info like out-of-date hours or services, it’s important to monitor your listings regularly.”
That way, search engines can use your NAP information to verify and index your business information. In turn, you can compete for the top spot for a relevant keyword. Better yet, you can aim for a position in the Google 3-Pack, a SERP feature that shows the top three results above everything else for a query with local intent.
2. Have High Online Visibility
Optimizing business citations lets you boost brand recognition. Appearing high on SERPs increases your chances of being found by customers looking for answers to their problems. About 46 percent of Google searches have local intent, and this figure clues you into which keywords can get you immediate click-throughs. Consider product and location-based keywords like “Arlington wine shop.”
But boosting your visibility isn’t limited to search results. High-value citations can expand your online presence across the web. And with a consistent, long-term business listing service application, you can begin to enjoy a gradual yet sustainable growth in your traffic and leads.
3. Step Up Your Customer Service
Most listing directories integrate ratings and reviews. If you’re on top of your business citations, you can monitor public feedback as it comes in. Review monitoring enables you to handle negative reviews, nudging you to respond timeously to the unsatisfied user. An estimated 30 percent of surveyed customers said they would revert negative reviews once their concerns had been answered. Unfortunately, only 12 percent received responses. Be one of the 12 percent and outperform your competitors with this business listing service benefit.
Even if your response does not yield a bad review reversal, you can still turn things around. In a previous article, Rize Reviews’ Courtney Quigley underpinned the importance of responding to negative feedback. It’s a way for you to show potential clients who are reading reviews that your top priority is to ensure a positive experience even when some remain unhappy in the end. That’s a great example of exceptional customer service, which also boosts your online reputation.
4. Spread Out Your Marketing Opportunities
Google local listing optimization is one of the most rewarding NAP SEO tactics. By updating your data and deleting duplicate listings on Google My Business, you provide the search giant with reliable information about your business. The accurate, high-quality local SEO citation is included in the ranking factors for Google Search and Google Maps.
Of course, local citation services go beyond Google local business listing optimization. It also ensures NAP consistency in other areas like online directories that your target audience frequents. Maintaining local search citations in these places boosts your web presence and competitive advantage.
This comprehensive business listings management expands your reach and influence. With a trustworthy Google local listing optimization team, you can leverage citation management tools that enable you to perform regular NAP audits. Specifically, citation management software informs you of business listing opportunities and gaps so that you can act fast.
5. Increase Site Traffic
Earlier, we mentioned that professional business listing services ensure your landing page links are placed correctly in directories that allow this detail to be added. Well-done local SEO citation management also catapults you to the top of SERPs. A Backlinko study in 2019 found that the number-one organic search results have an average click-through rate of 31.7 percent, the ratio of users who clicked on a link to the total number of those who saw it. High visibility amplifies the opportunity for drawing more site traffic and generating lucrative leads.
As Google local listing optimization provides Google with a way to verify your business existence and information, you become a valuable resource for relevant keywords. Google likes to suggest businesses that people can trust since it prioritizes the user experience. So when you gain that top-spot advantage and generate high CTRs, the impact of local citations service management becomes a sustainable driver of your company’s growth.
6. Reinforce Local Listing Placement
Not all local business listings service providers are equipped to deliver this result. It comes with the careful deployment of a holistic digital marketing approach. Meaning, the business listing services are integrated with relevant efforts to enhance the yield.
We mentioned review response and monitoring earlier. Google local business listing optimization also builds your company profile to improve your backlink acquisition, support your content marketing, complement your social media marketing and streamline your customer satisfaction survey management.
Be on Top of Your Local Business Listing Management
“You already know that it’s important to list your business on various platforms like Google My Business, but staying on top of your various citations can be time-consuming,” said Quigley.
Having a team that is consistently on top of your local citations service management affords you time to focus on other areas of your online marketing and business development. Professionals spare you from tracking NAP audits and handling citation management tools, reducing risks of committing errors.
When enlisting local citation services, evaluate the balance between the agency’s skill set and citation management software. Find out how they conduct NAP SEO and company profile building.
Here at Rize, we offer complete and meticulous NAP listing services. We don’t stop at claiming your business citations. Instead, our comprehensive local business listings service package includes cutting-edge citation management software to surface gaps in your activities. Your dedicated business listing service team dishes out visual reports to keep you updated on your progress. We also offer review monitoring, review response and other online reputation management services to deliver a robust online presence and ultimate customer satisfaction for your business.
“Rize can handle anything, from engaging posts to updating hours and services or helping you introduce new services to your audience,” added Quigley. “With benefits like up-to-date info and better visibility in local searches, local citation management is a great addition to your digital marketing efforts.”
Can’t wait to activate your local citations and start enjoying the benefits? Contact our Rize Review specialists to get expert guidance on taking the first step.