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Data Management for Local Search
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Data Management for Local Search


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Join Mary Bowling in this Local Search session from Pubcon 2013!

Join Mary Bowling in this Local Search session from Pubcon 2013!

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  • Consulting, Training, Writing and Doing
  • Get this presentation and checklists at this URL
  • If you’re not familiar with David Mihm’s Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, please take a look at it. The people who are in the trenches of Local Search think NAP consistency is a critical ranking factor in Local Search.
  • 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 you 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.
  • 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.
  • For greatest efficiency, have the client give you everything you need before getting started
  • 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 and duplicate Places listings
  • Check out this presentation that Darren gave this past summer. He shows you how to use Google query strings and some paid tools to help you find inconsistencies and duplicates
  • If you haven’t tried Google support lately, it has improved somewhat. BUT not all of these options work well (or work at all) at all times. Be flexible.
  • 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 – expect sales calls if you use this tool
  • Most of them offer more than one way to check info –use them all. It’s 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. Refer to it often.
  • 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 for Apple Maps, 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.
  • Both seem to be good products. Placeable has a tour and a 14 day free trial and Rio SEO has demos you can take. If you know of others, please email me.
  • If you have more than a few dozen locations, you probablyneed to come up with your own custom data management solutions
  • You can’t know the details of all the locations. Use the people that do know to help. Give them reasons to do so and give them guidance and training they need to do it right.
  • Not unusual to find multiple websites for one or more businesses owned by same company with conflicting or confusing NAP
  • Be certain to create a baseline and track improvement. These are the factors to look at.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Data Management for Local Search Mary Bowling Small Biz Marketing: Blog: Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 2. About Me Optimized! Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 3. Slides and Checklists Get This Powerpoint & Checklists Here Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 4. NAP Consistency Matters Critical 2013 Local Search Ranking Factor!* “Your Places page may be naked. Your website may beg for a mercy killing. You may not have a single customer review. But you still may rank OK…if your NAP is accurate and consistent everywhere it appears on the web. This is do-or-die.” Phil Rosek “Citations will always be a major factor and can help or seriously hurt a listing if the data is incorrect across the ecosystem.” Mike Ramsey “…I've hardly had a case where the NAP of the business was perfect across the board." Nyagoslav Zhekov * Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 5. Why Everyone Doesn’t Do It Don’t understand or believe positive impact Mini Case Study: Tracked 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 #17 After 90 days of proactive data cleansing (no organic work)  Ranked in Local Pack for 6 of the 8 terms  Ranked 7 and 8 in Google Places for the other 2 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 For 8 fat head terms, went from 0 Local Pack listings to 6 in 90 days JUST by scrubbing data Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 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-must 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 & recheck Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 7. Data Scrubbing Process One way to do it  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 repeat *TIP: You need this info before pricing a job Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 8. Quick Audit Quick check for data inconsistency Tools to use:  Tool  Tool  Google Places Tool (log in to G)  nUS&gl=US#phonelookup If you have many locations: Spot check 6-8 in large cities Ask client where problems are Ask client which locations are most important to business Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 9. Determine Your Strategy How will you tackle the job?  How many locations involved?  How much inconsistency discovered?  Budget for submissions?  Time by which you NEED to see some results?  Is the company planning a move? Will you bite off in chunks or do it all at once? Time, manpower, budget to do manual updates ?* Time to wait for new data to flow through the ecosystem?* Have logins to most of the places where listed?* *Tip: Once you claim a listing, you have to keep it updated 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. Discover Inconsistent NAP Ask the business owner!                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’t have 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’s address for your business? (All addresses?) Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 11. Get the Info You Need, First Gather 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, menu items, hotel lobby, apartment swimming pool, etc.) Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 12. Discover Inconsistent NAP Look!  Check NAP on all websites – correct? in text form?  (preferably in local business schema format) Confusing or conflicting info? Correct it now!  Check address at USPS database!input.action Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 13. Discover Inconsistent NAP Use Google Google Places – search all numbers used Google Maps search – look at Google’s suggestions Google organic search for name address/phone Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 14. Discover Inconsistent NAP Use Darren Shaw’s methods Get Google search tips and learn ways to use some other tools to help uncover NAP inconsistency Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 15. Report Problems at Google Use Google Support Options Google Support has improved  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  act/business_c2c Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 16. Check Exact Location Google 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 needed TIP: You can rarely do this accurately w/o client involvement. TIP: Check Google’s driving directions for accuracy, too. Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 17. Discover Inconsistent NAP Use tools!  – enter business name(s) and ZipCode(s)  – enter business name(s) and phone(s)  Whitespark Citation Finder Tool enter name(s) and phone(s) Tip: None are 100% - double check Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 18. Discover Inconsistent NAP Check & Modify or Submit at Data Providers Use all methods to check for existing listings for best results  InfoGroup Localeze  Acxiom Universal Business Listing Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 19. 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 them from listed phone TIP: Each requires different formatting & info for bulk uploads Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 20. Data Distribution From David Mihm : Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 21. Data Distribution From David Mihm : Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 22. Process Scrub Your Data Clean – Phase 1 Find & Correct Data: Company Website(s), Google Places and Major 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  If no listing at data provider, add it (paid is better than free) Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 23. Process Scrub Your Data Clean – Phase 2 Update 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 info  associated with them Bing Business Portal Yahoo Local Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 24. Process Scrub Your Data Clean – Phase 3 Prioritize Updating and Submissions at Other Directories Google web search and Whitespark tool Search for business name/address/phone at Google Look at first 20-30 results to see which listings Google finds most important Experience will help you to spot the good outliers , scraper sites 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 quality Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 25. How Long For Updates? From Mike Blumenthal & David Mihm : Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 26. Many Locations? Enterprise-level solutions for data management are expanding Placeable from Location Insights Rio SEO From Covario Local business listing management & distribution Store locators Optimized local landing pages for websites Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 27. Many Locations? Create your own database solutions Get APIs for data submissions Input data once and be able to pull it out into properly formatted spreadsheets for data providers and other directories important for you industry Enable local operators to log in and update some of their own data Use database to populate individual location pages that matches data you’re pushing out Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 28. Many Locations? But you still need to do most data cleanup manually right now. How? One chunk at a time, prioritized for your goals: City, region or state? Large cities or small towns? (most to least competitive) Most profitable or least profitable? *YOU need to provide direction/training Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 29. Many Locations Enlist local staffs to: Check Google driving directions Check Google Places listing Look for duplicate Google listings Check Google map pins Check Google driving directions Check accuracy at GetListed Check accuracy at Yext Check accuracy at major data providers Provide direction and training Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 30. Measuring Success Baseline 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 to location-specific landing pages Number of referrals from sites important in your niche TIP: Can happen more quickly, but give yourself 3-6 months. Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 31. Moving Forward Advise clients about how to keep data consistent forward so they don’t have to go through this again. Twitter @MaryBowling +
    • 32. Thanks! Mary Bowling Blog: SMB Marketing: Get Slides & Checklists: Twitter @MaryBowling +