The Local Search Ecosystem: How It Works and Why It’s Important for Local Businesses
29 Mar 2016
In the dark ages, when we needed to find a certain type of business or specific company, we’d whip out our seven-pound phone books and go to town. A business that wasn’t in the phone book or that didn’t have a correct listing didn’t have much of a chance when it came to competing for new customers.
Today, the Internet is the number one source of information for consumers hoping to find local businesses. If your business information doesn’t display correctly or at all in local searches, you’ve essentially committed an act that Search Engine Land says is “tantamount to professional suicide.”
But don’t take our word for it. According to 2014 Google research, 50 percent of consumers who do a local search on their smartphones visit a store within one day, and 34 percent who do a local search on a tablet do the same. To tap into that potential, here’s what you need to know to about local search listings and how they work within the larger framework of the local search ecosystem.
What in the World Are Data Aggregators and How Do Search Engines Use Them?
Image via Moz.com
The term “data aggregator” may sound like some futuristic gadget straight out of “The Hunger Games,” but these aggregators have direct and powerful impact on your business. Search engines like Google and Bing pull information from these sources to create the search listings for local businesses and smaller directories pull info from them.
In the U.S., there are four major sources that provide local business information to search engines and smaller directories:
Google supplements the information the data aggregators provide by crawling various online sources, such as local newspaper websites, online phone books, blogs, and review sites. In other words, if your information is incorrect or absent in the data aggregators, it’s likely wrong on search engines and hundreds of smaller directories too.
We know that name, address, and phone number accuracy and consistency are an extremely important piece of your local search strategy. When updating the major aggregators with the correct info, you can be sure that it will spread your accurate business information to the most important places online.
The Solution: Digital Location Management Software
Mobile local searches aren’t going away anytime soon, and businesses have to find a way to keep up if they want to rank among the top results. Leveraging a scalable solution like digital location management (DLM) software, such as Mediagistic Power Listings (MPL), will help you ensure that local consumers always find you when they need you. MPL is just one of the many DLM tools you can use to boost traffic and grow your company.
By utilizing providers like Factual and Yext to distribute your business information across the Web, the LeadBuilder® MPL service will ensure your business is visible to people searching for service in your local area. Our local search specialists are certified to use these platforms, and they know how to get the best results for your business.
Krystina Lisi is s Local Search Strategist at Mediagistic. She’s an Internet enthusiast with a passion for Google Maps, YouTube, and Social Media. She also is an amateur photographer and Netflix binge-watcher who enjoys 90s sitcoms and sketch comedy. Connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter @krystinalisi.