SOURCE: Localeze

Localeze

March 22, 2010 07:00 ET

Top 10 Ways a Business Can Protect Its Online Business Listing Identity

Business Listings Identity Manager Localeze Provides Best Practices for Creating and Managing Online Local Search Listings

VIENNA, VA--(Marketwire - March 22, 2010) - As business listings are the underpinning of a local business' online search presence, Localeze, the largest business listings identity manager for local search, is giving local businesses critical insight into establishing and managing their listings.

"Proactive and ongoing management of online business listings should be an integral part of a local business' online strategy because they serve as the core or 'anchor content' of a company's local online presence," said Jeff Beard, president, Localeze. "Listings are often submitted to multiple local search platforms from a variety of third-party sources, which may have slight variations in the local listing's Name, Address and Phone number (NAP), potentially creating multiple representations of a local business online. This hinders the ability for local search platforms to know which listing is the 'true identity' of the local business."

According to Localeze, it is important for businesses to establish authoritative control over and maintain their business listings across the Web, giving local search platforms confidence in the listing's validity and accuracy, as well as the ability to link other unique content to it such as user generated reviews and social media.

The top 10 best practices for a business to protect and optimize its online local business listings identity are:

1.  Provide a consistent Name, Address, or Phone number (NAP)
    If a business is self-submitting to local search platforms and social
    networks, it is important not to use variations in core listings
    information -- NAP -- as this can create multiple versions of a local
    business' online identity and make it difficult for local search
    platforms to verify the identity of a business.
2.  Update listings on all major Local Search platforms
    By submitting business listings only to sites like Google Maps, a local
    business establishes their "true core identity" in only one place and
    may miss the opportunity to be found on other major search engines,
    Internet Yellow Pages, social networks and vertical directories.
3.  Do not confuse business listings with paid search advertising
    Paid search campaigns do not take the place of local search listings.
    Even if a business has a banner ad or paid search campaign, they need
    to incorporate a business listings identity management strategy into
    their marketing campaign.
4.  Don't just submit local search business listings; actively manage over
    time
    Businesses need to proactively manage their listings and make updates
    when a location moves, closes or opens.  It is crucial to check in to
    re-verify periodically even if nothing has changed, so that local
    search platforms have a higher level of confidence that listings are
    accurate.
5.  Avoid using a P.O. Box number
    A physical address to a true business location should be included in
    local business listings when possible, because some search engines do
    not recognize P.O. Box numbers. Those businesses with only a P.O. Box
    number should provide the physical address that was used to set-up the
    P.O. Box.
6.  Don't ignore long-tail directories
    Businesses shouldn't forget about the dozens of long-tail directories
    that provide added exposure to consumers and serve as a
    reference-source for major local search platforms to verify and link
    business listings information.
7.  Don't change the company's business listing name for SEO
    Local businesses shouldn't add marketing language, descriptive keywords
    or branding into their company name for their business listings. This
    creates confusion of a business' core NAP identity. Most local search
    platforms provide areas to add descriptive keywords and text to
    accommodate extended information.
8.  Don't replace your primary phone number or URL with tracking numbers or
    URLs
    If done so, tracking phone numbers and URLs cause a listing to appear
    inconsistent and can confuse local search platforms during the
    verification process. Call tracking phone numbers and URLs should be
    utilized in paid advertisements, but businesses need to be wary of
    improper use that can confuse a business listing's identity.
9.  Think long-term versus short-term
    Managing business listings requires a long-term strategy for
    maintaining information across many local search platforms. Businesses
    need to take a strategic approach of managing their listings and
    remember that submitting content once -- and only in one or two
    places -- isn't enough.
10. Establish an internal business listings identify management guru
    Business-managed listings are very important to local search platforms,
    provided the manager of the information is authorized, valid and
    up-to-speed on best practices. Typically, marketing and/or Internet
    marketing specialists are ideal to handle the ongoing maintenance of
    listings. Make sure to designate a guru within the organization no
    matter the size.

About Localeze

Localeze is the largest business listings identity manager for local search. As a trusted partner, Localeze maintains direct, authorized relationships with local search platforms, national and regional brands, channel partners and local businesses. The company provides businesses essential tools to verify, manage and enhance the identity of their local listings across the Web. Through these relationships and access to authoritative local business information, Localeze is the largest provider of trusted, enhanced online local business listings in the local search industry. Localeze is a privately held company headquartered in Vienna, Virginia. For more information visit www.localeze.com.

Contact Information

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    Young & Associates
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