Mary Bowling - Maps and Metros - Solving Data Consistency Issues - SMX Advanced 2013


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Learn how to solve Data Consistency issues across your local search engine listings with this fact and tip filled presentation from's Mary Bowling - Presented at SMX Advanced Seattle - June 12, 2013

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  • Consulting, Training, Writing and Doing
  • When we talk about data , we’re mostly talking about NAP – Name, Address, LOCAL phone numberIf you’re not familiar with David Mihm’s Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, please take a look .
  • There is most definitely a positive effect of cleaning up inconsistent data in trusted places
  • If you need to make this case to a client or boss to put in the effort to do this for many locations, consider doing it for a trial location and documenting it.
  • Because this is so time-consuming and mind numbing, hardly anyone does it. Be the one that does!It’s much easier to create listings than it is to get rid of them. A side effect of creating accounts is often a lot of unwanted sales calls
  • First two items help you price work more accurately.You will dig yourself into a hole if you don’t figure out how much work is involved before you price and promise
  • It’s the operators in the large cities that tend to be most aggressive with their marketing.Chains and franchises often have particular locations they spend more resources on than others.
  • Once in claim at listing at most sites, info from the data providers is not likely to override it. You will then have to manually update them whenever a change is made. Make certain you record and organize all your logins, submission dates, updates made, etc.
  • For greatest efficiency, have the client give you everything you need before getting started
  • You have to start with as much information as you can pry out of the client for clues to inconsistent data.I’ve found I get much better info if I ask the questions on the phone instead of expecting them to fill it out thoroughly and accurately.
  • Not unusual to find multiple websites for one or more businesses owned by same company with conflicting or confusing NAP
  • Google can help you uncover instances of inconsistent NAP in it’s index
  • If you haven’t tried Google Support lately, you’ll be amazed at the improvement.
  • You don’t need to worry about verification unless you’re doing something off-white.
  • You don’t need to worry about verification unless you’re doing something off-white.
  • With many locations, every local operator may need to check their own and send screen shots of corrections needed.
  • With GetListed and Whitespark, you’ll get URLs to see your listings. GetListed coaches you through updates and submissionsWith Yext, there are a lot of directories you don’t need to worry about updating
  • Not usual to find a listing via one of the search options and not the other.Not 100% - there may be listings you cannot find or cannot modify for some reason – contact support
  • My personal experiences with data providers
  • Use this to see how the data flows from the major data providers across the web
  • For Apple Maps, also check your data at Yelp. Email them to have duplicates and/or old listings removed. TomTom and OpenStreetMap also appear to be significant sources of data, so check those, too.
  • I sort my spreadsheets by DA and ignore anything in the bottom 1/4 to 1/3 of list
  • It can really depend on where you hit each data provider in its distribution cycle. Read this article to get a better understanding of that. Although some data providers are working on quicker updates, right now you can expect it to take 30-90 days for this process to show results, depending on how widespread inconsistency is.
  • It can really depend on where you hit each data provider in its distribution cycle. Read this article to get a better understanding of that. Although some data providers are working on quicker updates, right now you can expect it to take 30-90 days for this process to show results, depending on how widespread inconsistency is.
  • Mary Bowling - Maps and Metros - Solving Data Consistency Issues - SMX Advanced 2013

    1. 1. Data ManagementforLocal SearchMary BowlingBlog: www.MaryBowling.comSmall Biz Marketing: www.IgnitorDigital.comTwitter @MaryBowling +
    2. 2. Optimized!LocalU.orgAbout Mewww.IgnitorDigital.comMaryBowling.comTwitter @MaryBowling +
    3. 3. NAP Consistency Matters#3 Off-Site Local Search Ranking Factor!“Citations will always be a major factorand can help or seriously hurt a listing ifthe data is incorrect across theecosystem.” Mike Ramsey“Your Places page may be naked. Yourwebsite may beg for a mercy killing. Youmay not have a single customer review.But you still may rank OK…if your NAP isaccurate and consistent everywhere itappears on the web. This is do-or-die.”Phil RosekTwitter @MaryBowling +“…Ive hardly had a case where theNAP of the business was perfect acrossthe board." Nyagoslav Zhekov
    4. 4. Why?Google knows it needs to show accuratebusiness information or people won’t use itslocal search resultsGoogle uses the local phone number as theunique identifier for a businessNot always the way it works in real life for real businesses,but…Twitter @MaryBowling +
    5. 5. Why Doesn’t Everyone Do It?Don’t understand/believe the positive impactMini Case Study: For 8 fat headterms, went from 0 Local Pack listings to 6in 90 days just by scrubbing dataTracked 8 terms in very competitive niche and location Did not rank in top 50 organically for any of them Did not appear in Local Pack for any of them Best Places ranking #17After 90 days of proactive data cleansing (no organicwork) Ranked in Local Pack for 6 of the 8 terms Ranked 7 and 8 in Google Places for the other 2876543210Twitter @MaryBowling +
    6. 6. Be the One That Does It!It’s a tough, tough job.Some of the battles you have to fight:Don’t understand the processCan’t just add new, correct listings –update/delete old onesTime consuming and frustrating Usually you don’t have logins to modify listings Most require creating and verifying a new account What you need to do is different at nearly every site Takes attention to detail, patience and persistenceClients/Bosses don’t want to pay for the time it takes People think it’s easy, so they give job to lowest paid workersWhen you think you’re done, you’re not –check & recheckTwitter @MaryBowling +
    7. 7. Data Scrubbing Process Quick check the extent of data inconsistency* Determine your strategy*Check/update NAP info on ALL websites for that client Gather the information you need Discover inconsistent data and prioritize updates Report duplicates and problems at Google ASAP Correct/submit/report problems at data providers Correct/submit/report problems at Tier 2 directories Correct/submit/report problems at add’l trusted places Wait 45-90 days Recheck and repeatOne Way to Do It*TIP: You need this info before pricing jobTwitter @MaryBowling +
    8. 8. Quick AuditQuick Check for DataInconsistencyUsing NAP info on business website: Tool Tool Google Places Tool (log in to G)If you have many locations:Spot check 6-8 in large citiesAsk client where problems areAsk client which locations are mostimportantTwitter @MaryBowling +
    9. 9. Determine Your StrategyClaim a Listing = You Have to Keep It Updated How many locations involved? How much inconsistency discovered? Time, manpower, budget to do manual updates ? Budget for submissions? Time by which you NEED to see some results? Time to wait for new data to flow through the ecosystem? Is the company planning a move? Have logins to most of the places where listed?Will you bite off in chunks or do it all at once?Tip: All of the above helps determine cost and time frame.You can do it fast or you can do it cheap, but not both.Twitter @MaryBowling +
    10. 10. Get the Info You Need, FirstGather info for each location before starting Business name Business street address Business mailing address Business local phone number w/area code Days and hours of operation, methods of payment List of main services offered List of main products and brands offered Pertinent certifications, education, memberships, licenses, etc Where customers will park ( ex: free adjacent lot, parking garage 1 block) ZipCodes of areas served and/or radius of area served Images (must live on Unique URLs on website) Logo (square and small 100x100) Storefront (with sign if possible) Staff (headshots and in action performing services) Main products Show people what’s of interest in your niche (wedding cakes, menuitems, hotel lobby, apartment swimming pool, etc.)Twitter @MaryBowling +
    11. 11. Discover Inconsistent NAPAsk! Business name Business street address Business mailing address Business local phone number w/area code Have you changed phone numbers? (Old numbers?) Do/have you use more than 1 phone number. (All numbers?) Have you moved? (All old addresses?) Have you used call tracking numbers? (All numbers?) Have you used local phone numbers for areas you serve, but where you don’thave an office, shop or store? (All numbers?) What are the URLs for all of your websites? Have you done internet advertising through a phone/yellow pages company? Have you used more than one business name, including variations? (Names?) What does the sign outside your business say on it? What name, address , phone number are listed in your local phone book? Have you ever used a PO Box, UPS Store, virtual office or employee or friend’saddress for your business? (All addresses?)Twitter @MaryBowling +
    12. 12. Discover Inconsistent NAPLook! Check NAP on all websites – correct? in text form?(preferably in local business schema)Confusing or conflicting info? Correct it now! Check address at USPS database!input.actionTwitter @MaryBowling +
    13. 13. Discover Inconsistent NAPUse GoogleGoogle Places – search all numbersGoogle Maps search – look for Google’s suggestionsGoogle organic search for name address/phoneTwitter @MaryBowling +
    14. 14. Report Problems at Google ASAPUse Google Support Options Report/Edit using Mapmaker Directly from listing Find answers Report using trouble shooter!forum/business Get a call back-talk to support! login to Google account Support has IMPROVED!Twitter @MaryBowling +
    15. 15. Tips for GoogleTwitter @MaryBowling + MaryBBowling@gmail.comNew Places Database Much More Stable No longer completely rebuilt from scratch every 6 weeks Info updates MUCH more quickly via Mapmakerinterface Listing verification occurs through Places, review andapproval occur via Mapmaker. After verification, you still need to go through reviewand wait for approval before info goes liveMerges should NOT reoccur after being fixedFor more info on resolving problems at Google Places:
    16. 16. Tips for GoogleMake Things Easier/Better Consolidate all listings for a single business in 1Google account for that business only Use account with a domain-associated email address Use a bulk upload for 10 + locations (easierverification) New business or business unverified at Google Places,submitting via data providers before claiming couldease verification (requires more time)* Not sure what to do at Google+? Don’t do anything, yet!category-topic/business/I0Royu8V9x8*TIP: Legit biz in a real place? Don’t worry about verification!Twitter @MaryBowling +
    17. 17. Tips for GoogleGoogle Map PINs are Critical!Check Map Pin Location(s)Type full street address into MapsZoom in on Street ViewMake sure it’s in the right placeCorrect, as neededTIP: You can rarely do this accurately w/o client involvement.TIP: Check Google’s driving directions for accuracy, too.Twitter @MaryBowling +
    18. 18. Discover Inconsistent NAPUse tools! – enter businessname(s) and ZipCode(s) – enter businessname(s) and phone(s) Whitespark Citation Finder Toolenter name(s) and phone(s) None are 100% - double checkTwitter @MaryBowling +
    19. 19. Discover Inconsistent NAPCheck & Modify or Submit at Data ProvidersMost have more than one method to check for existing listings– use all of them for best results InfoGroupLocaleze Acxiom Universal Business Listing @MaryBowling +
    20. 20. Data Provider TipsLocalezeSupport slowMore listings in account, harder to manageCan’t always tell if modification incurs a charge or notDefaults listings to auto-renew – change to do not renewIf they lapse, they are still in account and can be renewedUBLSlow supportData probably not as trusted, but widely distributedData feeds to Acxiom and InfoGroupInfoGroup and AcxiomUse these to check for bad/duplicate listingsModify/delete, as neededIf data doesn’t match, phone verification is doneInfogroup – they call bizAcxiom – biz calls themTIP: Each requires different formatting & info for bulk uploadsTwitter @MaryBowling +
    21. 21. Local Search Data DistributionFrom David Mihm : @MaryBowling +
    22. 22. Local Search Data DistributionFrom David Mihm : @MaryBowling +
    23. 23. ProcessScrub Your Data Clean – Phase 1Find & Correct Data: Company Website(s), Google Places andMajor Data Providers Check and correct any confusion on company website(s)Use schema coding for NAPDiscover old/bad/duplicate Google Places listingsUse Google Report Google duplicates, near duplicates, listings w/bad infoUse Report a problem (takes you into Mapmaker)Use other Google support options Discover and update/modify bad listings at data providers Use data providers’ tools Modify/delete bad listings at data providers If no listing, add itTwitter @MaryBowling +
    24. 24. ProcessScrub Your Data Clean – Phase 2Update or Submit Listings at Tier 2 Local DirectoriesTrusted industry Directories Vary by industry – start here:Trusted Local Directories Vary by location – start here: Local phone provider – print and online directoriesHistoric providers of business data & still matterGoogle tends to trust local landline numbers and infoassociated with themBing Business PortalYahoo LocalTwitter @MaryBowling +
    25. 25. ProcessScrub Your Data Clean – Phase 3Prioritize Updating and Submissions at Other DirectoriesUsing Whitespark ToolExperience will help you to spot the good outliers , scrapersites and junk sitesThe more work you do in a niche or location, the easier this gets Don’t bother updating listings on low quality sitesSEOmoz domain authority provided by Whitespark Tool Eyeball the site – you can tell its qualityTwitter @MaryBowling +
    26. 26. How Long Do Updates Take? Mike Blumenthal & David MihmTwitter @MaryBowling +
    27. 27. Measuring SuccessBaseline and Compare Organic rankings Rankings in Local Packs and Maps Number of inconsistent listings at trusted sites Amount of website traffic in general Amount of traffic from Google Maps For multiple locations, amount of website traffic tolocation-specific landing pagesNumber of referrals from sites important in your nicheTIP: Can happen more quickly, but give yourself 3-6 months.TIP: Advise business on how to keep all data consistent goingforward so they don’t have to do this again.Twitter @MaryBowling +
    28. 28. Materials AvailableView presentations and get checklists here: @MaryBowling +
    29. 29. Thanks!Twitter @MaryBowling + MaryBBowling@gmail.comMary BowlingBlog: www.MaryBowling.comSMB Marketing: www.IgnitorDigital.comGet the Slides: information: