13 Aug Data Do’s and Don’ts
9 Steps to Mobile-Local Search Mastery
Accuracy, completeness, and consistency of your business information can have a huge impact on whether or not your locations appear in the Google 3-Pack (aka the Map-Pack) when consumers are searching locally for the products and services they need.
Plus, if your location or hours are wrong, consumers will stop trusting your business — and stop spending with you.
Brands with multiple locations need to make the management of their data a priority and work with resources that combine automation with human intelligence, ensuring that common errors or omissions don’t hurt their placement.
As Google’s algorithm changes (which it did 3,000+ times last year alone), one thing remains true — keeping on top of location data is vital.
From “The Savvy Marketer’s Search Lexicon” (Installment 2 of this Series):
DATA ACCURACY: Just as you might surmise, this means whether or not your local data is correct. But in today’s mobile-local search world, even a slight spelling error or misplaced map pin or missing or incorrect hours of operation can result in your falling off the grid in mobile-local search.
DATA CONSISTENCY: Does information like address, phone number, and company name need to be identical on Google, your website, and throughout the web? Absolutely! The term NAP (Name, Address, Phone) Consistency is also used. Having variations in your listings across the web can hurt your mobile-local search rankings. Today, location data needs to be published and maintained in many places across the web.
DATA ACCURACY + DATA CONSISTENCY = DATA INTEGRITY
Own it or Lose it
Getting found in mobile-local searches starts with making sure that your basic information (name, address, phone, and hours of operation) is correct on your website AND your local landing pages. When consumers search for a specific item or service, they are making split-second decisions about where to go. The likelihood that they’ll shop or dine at one of the first few places they find is very high.
Google makes well-informed assumptions, but as a brand, you have the greatest knowledge of your location details. The right strategic partner (like MomentFeed, Proximity Search Optimization(™) or PSO specialists) can help you not only clean-up your data across the web, but also keep it complete and accurate — at scale.
The three elements of the PSO process are:
- Accuracy: Are your name, address, and phone correct and complete? Is your pin in the right place on a map? Are your local landing pages correct? Do they match your website? Is your business in the right category? Are your hours of operation correct?
- Efficiency: When you make changes, are they quickly incorporated across the web? Location data is published and maintained in many places, such as Facebook, Apple Maps, Yelp, and others… When you make a change in one place (e.g., your website), that data needs to be updated on multiple sites. (We provide a highly-efficient way of doing that.)
- Visibility: Is your brand being found in the right places? If you’re not in the Google 3-Pack or on the first page of a search (above the fold), you have a slim chance of consumers visiting your location.
Sounds simple, right? On the surface, it is. But even major brands can struggle with keeping their data current.
8 Ways to Achieve Data Mastery for Proximity Search Optimization
- Create local landing pages. All multi-location brands benefit from having both a corporate site and local pages. These are the individual pages on your site that reflect specific addresses, hours of operation, and often products/services offered.
- Keep data current. You need to update your site and local pages when locations open or close and hours change.
- Don’t set it and forget it. Sending data to Google and the other networks is just the first step. Keeping the data up-to-date and is critical.
- Make sure your pages are in the right primary and secondary business categories. If you’re getting into new categories of products and services (like these companies), you need to think through your overall search strategy.
- Use photos and videos. More of the right content will not only give consumers a clear idea of what you sell, it can help your search ranking.
- Keep your online menus up-to-date. Consumers are now searching for very specific items (e.g., cold brew, gluten-free pizza, plant-based burgers, ethnic specialties). See #2. As your seasonal options change, be sure to refresh.
- Make sure your business attributes are correct. For example, if you offer drive-thru service or delivery, you’ll want customers to know that when they’re searching and looking for those specific features.
- Build consistency. Search sites like Google treat your website as the most authoritative source of information about your business, so be sure your corporate site information matches that on your landing pages.
- Work with a partner that can minimize the time and effort you spend on data integrity. Again, the ideal company doesn’t rely exclusively on automation to build accuracy and consistency. Automation can lead to inaccurate data and conclusions, so a combination of technology and people leads to better search results and data integrity. Humans are searching for your products and services, so working with professionals on your strategy can save you time and headaches.