SEO Professionals Must Think Like A Local Business Or Risk Failure

Local SEO agencies need to begin thinking of their services as a business, according to analysis from a company focused on building a bridge from online to offline. 

Uberall on Tuesday released data that examines the accuracy of online listings for 75 top SEO agencies across the United States. More than 2,500 listings were analyzed between Oct. 1 and Oct. 19, 2019. 

The listings that appear in online directories such as Google, Bing and Yahoo -- along with social and review sites like Facebook, Yelp, and TripAdvisor -- should contain critical information such as the company’s name, address, phone number and hours of operation. The problem is that not all do.

In fact, 41% of the online listings for SEO agencies have inaccurate information such as misspelled names and incorrect addresses. About 49% of all listings analyzed had missing information such as no phone number or hours of operation.

The inaccurate information brings into question whether or not the owners of the SEO companies think of their own business as a critical service to support brands, retailers and others found online.

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“SEO agencies don’t see their services in the same category as a local business,” said Greg Sterling, Uberall VP of market insights. “I can see why they might not put an emphasis on this, even though it’s the bread and butter of their day-to-day work.

They’re leaving money on the table, he said -- and it may not be negligence, but rather laziness or a lack of concern over being found online.

"When someone does a search for 'Denver SEO firms,' that’s the type of search that properly optimizes your Google My Business profile," he said. "If you’re not including images, content and accurate information, you’re ceding the information to a partner and you might not get the phone call."

The proprietors may see their services as digital businesses that primarily interact with content to support others, but that’s not the case.

Uberall analysts used the company’s presence checker tool, which looks at accuracy and consistency of listings across numerous directories such as Google Search and Maps, Yelp, Facebook, Bing, Foursquare, HERE, Tomtom, Factual, and many others. 

The tool determines whether listings are present and complete in the directory, such as confirming a present phone number, URL, photos and hours of operation. The tool will show the missing, inaccurate and correct percentage of information across local sites.

Information on the most common missing data was not available, but Sterling pointed to Uberall’s Voice Search Readiness study.

Conducted in 2019, the study is based on an analysis of 73,000 businesses and 2.1 million possible listings.

Findings from the report suggested that nearly half of all listings had errors in opening hours, nearly one-quarter of all listing had errors in the business name, nearly one-fifth had errors in the street addresses, and nearly one-third had errors in the website listed.

Some of the SEO agencies that have missing or inaccurate online information may not be as concerned about showing up in local search results because they don’t focus on “walk-in” business, Sterling said. Others may focus on a few sites — Google, and Facebook — and neglect others because they are perceived to be less important.

 

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