Listing management for local directory publishers.

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Print directory owners know better than most the importance of accurate and up-to-date business information. At the ADP, our Trusted Local Business™ Seal is one way a business can quickly show trust and precision in their data. However, online listings vary from print listings in their need for continuous management and upkeep. If you operate both a print and online directory, have you considered how you can help advertisers get found beyond your directory?

The Importance of Listing Management for Businesses

A local listing is comprised of a business’ name, address and phone number (NAP), along with other elements like business hours, business description, products and images. These listings feature on countless platforms including Hotfrog, Judy’s Book and various local directories. Not only do these listings offer a useful service to consumers, they also help with brand visibility and reputation.

Unfortunately, problems arise when data is incorrect, incomplete or outdated. Just as a print directory with incorrect information would provide a poor user experience, online directories with bad data let customers down. But there is one important distinction – online data requires consistent updates across a network of platforms.

Benefits of Listing Management

While listing management might seem time-consuming, when a company becomes a Trusted Local Business the information is directly syndicated to the major platforms. There are key benefits to this approach that help publishers offer a better service to their advertisers.

Improve the User Experience

Publishers have traditionally focused on providing exceptional service through their own print and online directories. However, the current approach to local marketing differs. Publishers need to ensure an advertiser provides a consistent experience across the entire local ecosystem of platforms. Advertisers will then benefit from brand visibility across an online network, while publishers benefit from increased demand for their services.

Build Consumer Trust

When people know they can rely on the information they are given, consumer trust improves. A consistent experience across all directories, along with the reputation of the Trusted Local Business Seal, ensures that consumers trust an advertiser and the directory as a whole.

Improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engines use citations from directories to decide the placement of a business. Inaccurate information is one of the main reasons a local business struggles to gain visibility for key search terms. Just as a consumer won’t buy from a business if there is a trust issue, Google takes this approach in determining search positions.

The Problem of Bad Data for a Business

Bad data is found in many forms across the web. A business listing might be inaccurate, duplicated, irrelevant or incomplete. Consumers will suffer from a poor user experience with all of these factors – and trust is quickly lost. Here are some of the key reasons bad data occurs.

  • Internal Errors – A business might rebrand, change location, or merge with another company and forget to update their information. Without a system in place to monitor listings, errors can and will go unchecked.
  • Duplicated Listings – Duplicated listings occur for many reasons, including employees creating new listings instead of updating an existing one – and multi-location brands not having a consistent process for managing listings.
  • User-Generated Content – An example of user-generated content is a map listing being created when a consumer visits a store. A business should aim to track and remove all user-generated content that duplicates or contradicts their business listing.
  • Scraping Issues – Data is often scraped from business incorporation documents and then syndicated to various directories. When the details are outdated, this will create confusion with search engines and consumers.

How the Trusted Local Business Seal Helps Businesses

Among the many benefits of a Trusted Local Business Seal – increased conversions, greater visibility in directories, a recognized trust symbol for online and print materials – is the ability to syndicate business listings to the major search engines across the web. As a Trusted Local Publisher™, this service will be highly attractive to advertisers. In real terms, a business will gain increased search engine visibility, improve trust with consumers, plus fix damaging data errors.

Increasingly, advertisers are coming to understand the importance of a coordinated strategy that leverages many print and online directories. In order to provide the best service to local advertisers, publishers will need to consider how an entire network of listing sites affects business trust and visibility. With the help of a Trusted Local Business Seal and listing management service, helping an advertiser manage data becomes significantly easier.

Help Advertisers With a Trusted Local Business Seal

To get the benefits of a Trusted Local Business Seal, an advertiser must purchase the seal from a Trusted Local Publisher. If you want to help your advertisers flourish, you can become a publisher by applying to the program today. Call us at (800) 267-9002 or send us an email with any questions.