Whether you own a local business, or handle digital marketing for a brand which operates physical locations, the quality of your local business listings can either improve—or erode—your customer experience. Local listings contain the public facts about each of your business locations, including store hours, contact information, holiday schedules, menu items, and people profiles, which are necessary for both search engines and consumers to make informed decisions about you.
Seventy-three-percent of high-intent consumers don’t visit a brand’s website before making a decision, according to Yext research from April 2017. So even if the information on your website is accurate and up-to-date, any inconsistency across third-party services could prevent consumers from finding the information they’re looking for.
It might seem like the amount of facts about your business continually increases. It should! Specificity is critical when it comes to providing a good experience for searchers. But the number of AI-driven discovery services also continues to increase. And though the effort to keep your business information up to date and consistent across all these maps, apps, search engines, voice assistants and chatbots can be time consuming (at least, without the right tool to help you manage it all), it’s necessary work.
Every Search Is a Local Search
Today, people just expect the answers they see in search to be relevant to their physical location. Search engines like Google now prioritize local search results as the default for many queries, like “men’s dress shirts” or “best tacos,” on both mobile and desktop—no “near me” modifier necessary.
With local listings prioritized in search results, good local listings are simply good SEO.
Local Search Has Wide Reach
Local search is increasing at an exponential rate. And services like Google Maps, Apple Maps, and Facebook make up a much larger portion of mobile searches than classic searches.
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When 75% of local mobile searches result in a visit to an offline business within a day, and nearly 30% of those visits result in a purchase, showing up in local search results is a great way to get the information about your nearest business location in front of high-intent consumers.
Inconsistency Costs You Customers
Of course, bad business information is a roadblock that prevents potential customers from successfully visiting your store or purchasing your product. But the problem isn’t merely a practical one. Inconsistent (or missing, or duplicate) local business listings cause customers to lose trust in your brand (Google Maps now pushes warnings to users who are en route to locations that it believes to be closed, planting doubt in the consumer’s mind, even if you actually are open)—potentially driving them through a competitor’s doors instead of your own.
To find out more about insights like this, please visit the Yext resource page.