How Digital Presence Affects Local Search for Your Business
What is Digital Presence?
Let’s define what we mean when we use the phrase “digital presence”. It includes all of the information available online about your business, including:
- Company name
- Phone number
- Hours of operation
What is Digital Presence Management?
This is the process by which you source, manage, and make information available about your business to your customers.
Let’s take a look at a few stats about how people are searching:
- Four out of five local searchers follow up with an in-store visit after a search
- Three out of four online users are performing local searches
- And lastly, three out of five local searches result in a purchase.
With stats like these, your business can’t afford to lose customers due to incorrect or missing information online.
Where Does the Information Come From?
Google and other search engines crawl hundreds of sites to find the best results for the searcher. Not only do results include the actual search term and distance to a business, search engines also consider someone’s previous search history.
Search engines pull information from sites such as Yelp, Facebook, Google, and more. It’s possible that someone doing a search will visit one of these sites for information about your business rather than visit your site, simply because this is the information that appears first.
What determines the results that are displayed?
The three main factors that Google or another search engine might consider when determining the information that should be displayed includes, relevance, distance, and prominence. Let’s look at examples of each:
- Relevance – If someone is searching for “best tacos near me”, the results will show places that are most relevant to that search and also the ones that have accurate information across all sites.
- Distance – Another factor is the proximity the searcher is from a business. If you’re searching for a remodeling company, the results will show companies that are closest to you.
- Prominence – Lastly, this factor takes into account business reputation, which is basically the ratings and reviews available online. For example, if you’re searching for a pizza place near you, results may show that one business has 5 stars and 27 reviews and another has 4 stars but 55 reviews – the second pizza place will appear higher in search.
How Do These Results Affect Your Business?
If there’s incorrect information on one website, this can mean there’s inaccurate data on many more sites.
This is also a problem because not even marketers have time to sift through all of these sites to review every piece of information, including business address, hours, contact information, and more.
One example of this, Spot On had a client several years ago that measured success by ensuring that his information on various sites was correct. We changed each site one by one, but a couple months later, the information had reverted back. Why did this happen? The websites find data in different places, and depending on where it is found, the sites might be pulling incorrect data.
If potential customers are seeing discrepancies in your company’s information or can’t find the information they’re searching for, they may instead seek out your competitor that has that piece of information available online. It can also lead to a poor customer experience before they even interact with your business.
How Can It Be Fixed?
While there isn’t a quick or easy fix, there are several solutions available so that you can begin working toward having the correct information about your business appear in search results.
You can choose from:
- Fixing it manually
- Using a data aggregator
- Match and lock technology
- Do nothing – but miss out on future customers
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