The Effect of Online Visibility on Customer Engagement
Many marketers struggle with showing the exact value of proper listing management. Everyone knows that having your business information correct on search engines, directories, voice assistants, etc… is key to a successful local search program. What isn’t always clear is condensing proper citation management down to a single value statement. With this in mind, DAC Group embarked on a journey to shed some light on the value of increasing a business’s online visibility in maps channels.
Purpose of Study:
To determine the correlation between local listing management and customer interactions. To measure if an increase of the online visibility of a business’s locations across directories including but not limited to Google will directly result in increased KPIs of consumer engagement.
Data was gathered from DAC Group’s clientele comparing their performance in January 2017 to January 2018. The data set was therefore limited to clients who have been with DAC for over a year and measured their customer engagement through Google Analytics during that time. Business sizes varied greatly from those with a few dozen locations to those with several thousand. A total of 39 unique businesses spanning a multitude of industries were used in this study.
The main factors analyzed were listing visibility and accuracy which were compared to the number of website visits, phone calls, and request for directions that business received. Online visibility is a measure of what percentage of the client’s locations are listed across all monitored directories including but not limited to Google, Bing, Apple Maps, Facebook, Foursquare, and Yelp. Accuracy is the measurement of the client’s provided NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) and other location attributes matching across websites. To not falsely attribute an increase of customer actions to simply an increase of locations, the overall tally of customer interactions are divided by the number of locations.
A sample of the data collected can be seen below.
While some businesses had a much more drastic increase, it was found that on aggregate, businesses saw a 10% lift in visibility with a 40% increase in Google KPIs per location. The large data set as well as strong mix of both sizes of the businesses and wide range of industries assisted in offsetting other influences. Uncontrolled factors were mitigated by the size of the data set which would capture both positive and negative influencers within the different businesses. Companies which saw no change in visibility but still had alteration in their KPIs are an indicator of these external marketing factors.
It was also found that an increase in accuracy and visibility resulted in a decrease in phone calls while still having an overall increase in KPIs. This can be attributed to fewer customers calling the business to acquire information they were unable to find online. Visible and accurate hours of operation and addresses will result in more customers requesting directions to your business rather than spending time calling for that information.
The value of proper online listing management is an incredible 40% increase in Google My Business KPI’s. It shouldn’t be news that citation management will help a business but what is interesting here is how much it can drive KPI’s. For any brand or marketer still trying to find budget or convince senior management to focus on local search, hopefully this case study is the tipping point. There are a lot of other things brands can be doing in local search but if you haven’t started with your listings now is the time.
Kyle Harris is the Product Director at DAC Group and is based out of New York. For more insights on how to maximize your online visibility, please get in touch!