Don’t underestimate the importance of an optimized Local Business listing. We’ve been preaching the benefits of optimizing local business listings for some time now. We know that in many cases search engines can draw information from various online sources and essentially ‘create’ a listing for your business on your behalf. Sounds great, but the issue is in the accuracy and quality control. Many times I’ve seen search engines auto-populate listings with incorrect phone and fax numbers, old and out-of-date website URLs, broken links and wrong information. Optimizing a local listings means taking the control away from the engines by populating the listing manually with the most relevant AND CORRECT information.
The maps channel essentially acts as a short-cut to your business. This concept of a short-cut is even more defined when we look at mobile browsers. The way in which the Blackberry and iPhone in particular (40% and 30% Canadian market share respectively) enable browsing represents a significant opportunity and provides a strong rationale for the creation and optimization of your business listing.
Here’s a great example: Yesterday I wanted to arrange a spa day for my wife at a particular salon in town. Without the contact information, I used my iPhone and searched on Google for the name of the salon using Toronto as my geographic identifier. In the case of the iPhone the results that are displayed most prominently are the local listings. The Paid and Organic result are there as well, but the map channel results are in the forefront. With the Blackberry and iPhone in particular you then have the ability to move your curser over the actual business phone number, select it and call directly – no need to write down the number and pick up a land line to call. This is a big advantage over the way we would accomplish the same task using a tower/PC and a separate telephone. Using a smart phone reduces the number of steps it takes to go from ‘search’ to ‘contact’ compared to using a desktop or laptop.
The efficiency of today’s mobile browsers make having an optimized business listing key to maximizing local lead generation. Through the use of a smart phone (Blackberry and iPhone in particular), an optimized local listing provides consumers an even greater shortcut to your business. Why not help bridge the gap and facilitate that communication?
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