There is an on-going debate as to whether citations and local listings can boost online traffic and ultimately, sales. While some may believe that these two factors are of negligible value, others think that they are actually quite valuable.
We at SpotOn Wi-Fi believe that they are both immensely valuable and can help to boost online traffic and sales. This is especially possible in the right hands and with a little patience.
But this post isn’t about whether they are valuable or not.
Before we dive into what this article is all about, we are going to look at the various kinds of listing and citation platforms that are available to your business and industry.
- Mainstream local platform: these are platforms that produce the highest amount of online traffic for your business. They are majorly social and review platforms. Popular examples include Google My Business, Facebook, and yelp.
- Industry-specific platforms: as the title suggests, these are platforms that are specifically for whatever industry your business is in. They are typically well-known in your industry; you may not have to look hard to find one or two. Common examples include TripAdvisor for hotels, Yelp for restaurants, Avvo for legal professionals, etc.
- Geo-targeted platforms: these platforms are specific to particular regions. They can provide your business with valuable citation data. They include chambers of commerce, rotary clubs, meet-ups, and networking groups.
- The worldwide web: this category is broad and it is made up of several different platforms that may be directly or indirectly connected to your business or industry. They include news sites/mentions, governmental sites, business-specific blogs, mobile apps, and publishers.
All the platforms outlined above are pretty effective if used properly. Which one you use will depend on your business type and goals.
You should also take out time to study and understand the strengths and weaknesses of each platform. This way you can make the most of them by playing to their strengths.
Now unto the exciting part…
Here I have outlined 4 simple ways that you can use to improve your local listings and citations. Applying them will help you ramp up your marketing performance.
- Create A Set Of Offers For Your Visitors
Offers make listings and citations an interesting read. How many offers you put up on your listings and citations is totally up to you. There are a few creative ways you could go about this. You could make your offer time-sensitive, place a limit on them, present them in the form of bonuses, or daily deals.
There is something you need to keep in mind while you create your offer. You should ensure that they have the following: urgency, exclusivity, appeal, and a promise. Without these four features your offer will be bland and ineffective.
To keep you organized, it is a great idea to build an offer calendar. This will include all your weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual offers.
- Create A Series Of Tracking Or Vanity Numbers
Matching vanity numbers to a specific listings platform or offer is a great way to improve your citations/listings. Why? Because you can use them to track which platform is bring the most traffic by measuring the number of calls that come through each number. Vanity numbers are great because they:
- Are easy to remember.
- Lend credibility to your brand.
- Reinforce your brand.
- Make your brand stay longer in your visitor’s mind.
Some people may want to use regular numbers that are easy to remember instead of vanity numbers. Even though this is good, it may be perceived as spam and red-flagged by your visitors, depending on your industry.
- Build A Specialized Set Of Landing Pages
Since you may have your profile on several different platforms, it makes sense to build one landing page and one offer for each platform. Your landing pages should have the same four features your offers have – appeal, urgency, exclusivity, and a promise.
You need to use your landing page as an opportunity to remove whatever objections your visitors may have about your brand. You should also include social proof in the form of customer reviews, risk-free guarantees, and some brand uniqueness to your landing pages.
- Track Your Results And Keep On Tweaking For Improved Performance
Remember how I said you can use each vanity number to track how well a platform is doing? There are tools such as RingBoost and CallTrackingMetrics that you can use to effectively manage and track each number.
There are other tools that you can use to manage your listings. Some of them like Grade.us are pretty useful if you are looking at automating the way you monitor your listings or track it. They can help you track and monitor your listings on platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, Yelp, CitySearch, and YP.com.
One important thing about using listings and citation management tools is making sure that your information is accurate across all platforms. Inaccurate information can lead to conversion leakage and cost you potential customers.
Finally, using citations and listings to boost your marketing performance takes time. You may need to put in the effort over a period of time before you start to see the reward. Keep running your mainstream marketing campaigns while using listings and citations as supplements.POSTED ON October 17, 2019