Lori Faunce, Head of Marketing
Business Listing. Business Profile. Service Menu. Get Found. Show Your Information. Presence. Enhanced Data. All vague terms that are often used interchangeably — confusing small to large businesses and virtually anyone outside the local online marketing industry.
When you hear any one of these terms used in reference to online marketing, it is generally referring to some kind of information about your business — from your business name to the prices of your services — being posted on one or more web sites, most often local directories such as YP.com, Yellowbook.com, CitySearch.com, Yelp and others.
To help make things more clear, let’s break this down into two components: 1. Your business information, and 2. Where that information gets posted:
As mentioned above, when it comes to your business information, anything can be posted on the web — from just your business name to a detailed list of every product or service you offer. The general rule of thumb is that the more information about your business that is available and the more places it is posted, the more likely your best online prospects will find you — because they are either specifically looking for you and want to know what you offer, or they are actively looking for businesses very similar to yours.
In the online marketing world, your listing information can be broken down into two main components:
Both Basic and Enhanced types of information are used by many websites and mobile apps for a variety of reasons. The most common places you’ll find the information are major search engines and local online directories such as YP.com, Yellowbook.com, Superpages.com, etc. Sites such as these are motivated to publish as much about your business as possible, and as accurately as possible, because it is the reason users are coming to their sites — and happy users mean more traffic to their sites and thus, more traffic to their paying advertisers. Unfortunately for these sites (and your business), the sources they are using may not have the right information or enough of it to properly serve their users.
It’s up to you (or your marketing department should you have one) to manage that data, preferably through as few sources as possible in order to save time. Basic Information can typically be managed at one source that is then pushed out to multiple data sources as well as the publisher of that data. Localeze, InfoGroup, Yext, Local Market Launch, and even some of the local online directories themselves offer this service and can act as one location from which to manage your Basic Information. It saves a lot of time to use one service rather than having to hunt down every place your information appears and contact the site directly.
For Enhanced Information, the type of business you are running will heavily affect what services you should use. Some of these may charge a monthly fee, but others, such as Goodzer are completely free. If you are a retailer, making sure you are found in Google shopping is a good start. For restaurants, a service that caters to this industry is ideal. For service-based businesses such as dentists, home contractors, pest control companies, etc., Goodzer offers free “Service Menus” that are pushed to all the major local directories and several other mobile apps.
Enhanced Information can also be used to drive extremely targeted ads. We’ll dive into this in our next post.