Last week on the Local Marketing Blog we highlighted three factors that contribute to a strong online brand identity. The first factor on that list was Accurate Data, and this week we take a deeper look at the importance of Data Quality within an integrated digital marketing strategy.
While the need to have accurate business data online may seem obvious, the magnitude of the implications this data quality has on a business’s bottom line can be more elusive. In addition, while it may seem obvious that the real hurdle with data quality for a national brand is scale—how do you ensure that all of your business listings have accurate data all of the time—what may not be so obvious is that data quality plays an enormous role in a business’s ability to scale locally, as well.
Let’s take a look at three common examples of data quality issues:
If you’re unfamiliar with the acronym NAP, it stands for: Name, Address, Phone Number (take a look at our Local SEO Marketing Glossary for more key local search terms). When a consumer searches from their phone, there are two things we can generally count on: 1) they are seeking information about the world immediately around them (ie, they have local intent), and 2) they are ready and willing to do something with the information they find.
Just take a look at these stats tweeted by Local Search Association Chairman Bill Dinan at the annual LSA conference this week:
— Local Search Assoc. (@LocalSearchAssn) April 28, 2014
Needless to say, if a consumer pulls out their smartphone and searches for a keyword that your business ranks well on, yet they discover a business listing with bad NAP data, your business has just lost a customer and, most likely, a sale.
Missing or Unclaimed Locations
As the world becomes more and more mobile-centric (there are over one billion smartphone users globally, a number which could reach two billion by 2015), the fact that more than 50% of mobile searches have local intent means that if your business isn’t on the map (literally) then you certainly won’t be on anyone’s radar (figuratively).
In order for national brands to scale locally, it is of the utmost importance to ensure the quality, local accuracy and local relevancy of all business listings across Google, Yahoo, Bing, Foursquare, Facebook and more. In addition, at Where 2 Get It, we believe that a key component to any brand’s SEO strategy (especially for multi-unit brands looking to scale) should be the use of properly optimized local landing pages.
For reference, thanks to our claiming, syndication and local landing page services, Where 2 Get It clients’ claimed locations resulted in 82.5 MILLION local landing page visits in 2013 alone!
As you can see, claiming and properly syndicating your business listings across all major search and social listing services and platforms ensures good data quality and takes the guesswork out of the “search to point-of-sale” path for your customers.
To build on the importance of local landing pages, consider this statistic from Google’s The Mobile Playbook: 40% of mobile-users have admitted to turning to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience with a brand. What’s more, due to the precipitous decrease in brand loyalty, it’s safe to say that the majority of that 40% is likely gone-for-good once they’ve had that bad mobile experience.
A broken or missing website link in a social profile or business listing would be considered a bad mobile experience—so would an unresponsive website which renders poorly or does not seamlessly function across devices.
As you can see, data quality is paramount to establishing a strong online brand identity. Providing accurate and useful local brand information increases consumer confidence and will guide a potential buyer further along their path-to-purchase. The challenge lies in capturing and providing accurate local data and applying it on a national scale—Where 2 Get It’s local search solutions can help!