Using Data Aggregators vs. Actively Managing Local Directory Listings
Starting local search can be a daunting task. There are so many directory sites that it can be difficult or intimidating to think about just making sure your business’ information is showing up correctly. Different data aggregators claim to ensure they can take care of this for you. This begs the question: is it better to work directly with the local directory sites or with a data aggregator?
Data aggregators like InfoGroup give you the ability to upload your business’ information into their databases. Once your data is uploaded, these aggregators publish your information across their local listing networks.
Using data aggregators for local search can be beneficial and easy. For a price, you only have to upload your information to an aggregator once, and it will take care of the rest. One drawback of using aggregators, however, is that since no two services have the same network, it often takes more than one to ensure that your information will show up correctly across multiple listings. Aggregators can also be slow in updating their listing networks, with some taking anywhere between 60-90 days to do so. Furthermore, if there is an edit that needs to be made to your information, it can take another 60-90 days to update that as well. On top of that, many major local listings like Google+ do not rely on aggregators, meaning that even if you purchase these services, there could still be influential listings you could be missing out on.
Claiming Listings Directly on the Site
Individually claiming listings on local directory sites is by no means a quick and easy task. It requires handling login credentials for several profiles on different sites. Claiming local directory listings directly also doesn’t ensure that they will always be yours as well. Some local directories require that you remain active on their sites in order to keep ownership of your listing, and sometimes even void your claim if you’re inactive for a certain period of time.
Nevertheless, claiming listings directly does have its advantages. If your business moves or your main phone number changes, you can make an edit to your claimed listing, and it will show up almost instantaneously, as opposed to data aggregators that can take several days to update your information. When you have a listing claimed directly with a site, you may also have the opportunity for enhancements that are only offered through that individual site. For example, when you claim a Yelp listing, you also have the option to pay for add-ons such as advertising or placing special offers on your listing.
What to Choose?
The answer to this question is both, in a way. At Search Optics we don’t use data aggregators, but we do use our cloud-based local search API tool, which allows us to actively manage local search by simply inputting a client’s information into the tool one time before that data is then uploaded onto our network of 45+ directory sites. This process takes up to 30 days, letting us quickly create or edit listings. We can also claim listings directly on sites. Some sites like G+ Local, Bing Local, or Yelp often have more consumer interactions than other directories, meaning consumers may try to interact with a business through its listing or edit any information they think is wrong. By actively managing listings on these high interaction sites, we make sure you don’t miss any consumer interactions while also ensuring that your information is correctly displayed online.
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