Online Local Business Listings Defined

What is a local business listing?

A local business listing is an online profile that contains:

  • Your business name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Hours of operation
  • Written descriptions of your business
  • And other important details.

When you claim your listing on search engines, social networks or review sites, more people who are looking for what you offer in the area where you operate will find your business. This makes it easier for them to call you, get directions to your business, click through to your website or share details about your location with others.

When there are errors in your business information across the internet, your chances of being presented in search engine results diminish when potential customers search online. According to a study conducted by the Local Search Association, about $10.3 billion worth of potential annual sales are lost because of wrong, missing, or incomplete local business information. As a result, it’s important that your business information is presented consistently across several directories, as it helps validate your business on each network. This has an impact on your listings’ SEO overall and makes your locations more findable overall.

Ratings and reviews matter too

A business listing also contains ratings and reviews of your location, which help people find your business. The more reviews you have, the greater the SEO benefit. The higher your ratings, the more likely that customers will choose you. When customers have a positive experience and help create buzz, your reputation grows. In fact, 90% of respondents who read online reviews claimed that positive online reviews influenced buying decisions. As a result, a lack of reviews – and a lack of positive reviews – for your business can lead to lost customers.

With the volume of “near me” searches only growing, it’s important to be optimized – and understand what online local business listings mean for your business.

Learn More

Have a question about your online business listing and how to claim it? We’re happy to help. Please complete the form in the right-hand sidebar and we’ll be happy to reach out with the information you’re looking for. Thanks!

For Immediate Release: 10|20 Marketing Announces Licensing Agreement with SweetIQ

For Immediate Release
10|20 Marketing Inc.
4810 Rue Jean-Talon Ouest #203-B
Montreal, QC H4P 2N5
1-888-388-1020

10|20 Marketing Announces
Licensing Agreement with SweetIQ

10|20 Marketing’s local listings management services now powered by SweetIQ’s award-winning platform and analytics.

Montreal, Quebec: 10|20 Marketing is proud to announce its licensing agreement with SweetIQ to help small business owners connect with consumers by boosting brand awareness through reviews, consistent local content, and keyword monitoring. With the importance of local search only growing, it’s essential that businesses are found where people are searching for them. That means on search engines, review sites and mapping technologies.
“We’re very happy to be aligned with SweetIQ and their world-class platform. The opportunity to get in front of small business owners with a platform that is dependable, easy to use and consistently improving allows us to offer our clients stability, giving us the confidence required to build our business,” said Jamie Goren, Co-Founder of 10|20 Marketing.

After SweetIQ’s recent acquisition by ReachLocal, a USA TODAY NETWORK company and a part of Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), the company is happy to extend the reach of its platform to 10|20 Marketing’s customers, small business owners and smaller chains that wouldn’t otherwise have access to this enterprise software solution.
“We’re excited to be working with 10|20 Marketing and happy to have a partner on board to bring small business owners and smaller retail chains onto our platform,” Brad Wing, VP of Partnerships at SweetIQ added. “10|20 is filling a market need and we’re happy to support them in any way we can.”

10|20 Marketing is currently up and running on the SweetIQ platform and actively helping clients get discovered online through the management of their local business listings. The company is currently working with clients from all industries, including retail, professional services, restaurants, consulting and more.

For more Information:
Jamie Goren
jamie@10-twenty.com
1-888-388-1020

About 10|20 Marketing
10|20 Marketing helps businesses big and small optimize their online presence through business listings, online review strategies and social media listening. Using software solutions to automate the management and reporting of the local listing claiming and management process, 10|20 is able to help small business owners and retail chains drive customers to their locations and continue reaching them through online and social media marketing services.

About SweetIQ
SweetIQ by ReachLocal delivers industry leading location-based marketing analytics and automation solutions. SweetIQ location and reputation management software enables multi-location brands, marketing agencies, and SMB resellers to manage their location data, measure consumer engagement, and convert online searches to in-store foot traffic. SweetIQ is offered by ReachLocal, a subsidiary of Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI).

QuickBooks Connect Toronto, Here We Come!

The phone call came last Thursday, when @IntuitBry called with an invitation to speak  at the Intuit QuickBooks Connect conference in Toronto. The event is coming up in early December and we couldn’t be more excited to lend our expertise to the small business leaders and accountants in attendance. Intuit has asked us to share our expertise in local listing management and online review strategies.

QuickBooks Connect provides small business owners and accountants with an opportunity to learn, connect and be inspired to grow their businesses through breakout sessions and keynote presentations. Breakout sessions are led by industry experts and participants will have the chance to get real world advice and connect with peers.

10|20 Marketing’s Presentation Abstract

How to Improve the Odds of Attracting Small Business Clients Online
Where can an small business owner, be it an accounting practice, individual accountant or retailer, get the most value for their dollar online? What are some of the easy-to-use tools available to them that don’t require too much of their time? What should they know about these low-hanging fruit solutions that will help drive business to their doors, keep them relevant in a digitally changing world and help them build online relationships?

Also, we’ll examine which metrics they should look at to prove that their investment is bringing a return. This presentation will look at these challenges, provide solutions and outline which tools can be used to achieve these goals. We’ll look at Google My Business, relevant review sites, and platforms designed to drive phone calls, website visits and walk-ins to their locations, in addition to the metrics that make the effort worthwhile.

Let us know if you’re going to be there and we’ll be happy to set up some time while we’re in Toronto. QuickBooks Connect is taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre December 4 – 6, 2017. Hope to see you there!

How Small Business Owners Can Be Looking For Love In All The RIGHT Places

No matter who you are, it always feels great to hear praise from those around you. Family. Friends. Strangers on the street. Now imagine that you run a restaurant, a small boutique or a salon. For small business owners, getting praise from your customers feels that much better.

There are many ways that customers can share their love with you. The challenge, though, is to stay on top of it all. The key is to make sure that you’re looking for love in all the right places.
Praise, you see, can come in many shapes and forms. 

A Quick Guide For Small Business Owners: How To Look For Love In All The RIGHT Places

1) Reviews Sites
People are leaving feedback about you that the world can see, so it’s important to make sure that you’re monitoring feedback on review specific sites. Think Yelp, Trip Advisor, Rate MDs and other similar sites. Thank people for high praise and try your best to turn negative reviews into praise by being responsive, caring and helpful. Opinions can change if you make an effort to show love to those who didn’t.

2) Online Local Listings
Reviews can pop up in places that may not be on your radar. Keep monitoring your online listing and apply all the same approaches we outlined in the point above. Visit Google, Bing, Facebook, and other search engines or social networks to ensure that the reviews on your local listings are seen. And when you get love from a client, give it back with a big thank you.

3) Social Networks
Yes, we did mention social networks above, but that was in relation to your business listing. People are also discussing their experiences at your establishment on Twitter and Facebook, posting pictures to Instagram or sharing videos across social networks as well. Using social media listening tools such as Brandwatch, Sysomos, or Synthesio can help you track mentions of your brand across social media and watch the sentiment associated to your locations. To keep your listening program low cost, use the native search tools on each network or set up Google Alerts to help you capture mentions of your business.

But wait! There are other forms of online love that you should be aware of as well.

4) Content Shares
When you post content to your own social networks, the people sharing what you post are showing you great respect. Why? Because they’re helping extend your message and introduce you to new people. Their share helps create a viral extension of your brand that brings new exposure to your content.

5) Likes
Though not as effective as a share, even a like for your post should be considered as positive praise. When someone likes your content, it’s possible that others in their network are made aware of their appreciation for your post in their own timelines. So, yes, sometimes a like is more than a like. It’s love!

6) Comments on Social Media Posts
This one is trickier because a comment can be positive or negative. Just like reviews, keep an eye on the comments to your posts and get in there to represent your business. Move the discussion along, answer questions, show appreciation for praise and help fix problems that are presented.

So there you have it, six places to look for online love. What are you experiences looking for brand love online? Share yours in the comments!

The Three Levels of Listening To The Voice of The Customer And Why It Matters So Much For Local Marketers

Listening to the voice of the customer is so vital to the health of your business. But so many small business owners don’t know where to start and where to go. You know from experience that listening to the feedback you get in person can help you learn so much about what you sell, how you sell it and who you are selling it to. So imagine you could extend your ears and listen to feedback in a different form. Well, you actually can. Because more and more of these “discussions” are taken out of the physical business and into the online world, which eliminates the customer’s discomfort of confrontation while magnifying the impact of the comments, good or bad.

The Three Levels of The Voice of Customer For Local Business Owners

In the three levels of voice of customer listening, there are both online and offline components, two vital from online conversations and the third is an extension of the on-site experience.

Level 1: Online Review Monitoring

With 92% of consumers now reading online reviews before making a purchase, monitoring them is growing in importance. But it’s not good enough to just monitor. Respond too. Thank those who give you good reviews, and solve problems presented in negative reviews. The overall feedback you gain about a specific location, however, can give you valuable direction. Listen closely and make the adjustments being asked of you. When you show that you’re responsive, people respond in kind. Plus it gives you instant credibility among the buying public.

Monitoring reviews and notice that not many are pouring in? You may want to think about a review building strategy to encourage your best customers to act as advocates on your behalf. This can help change the perception of your location, and also help search engines index your business to better present it to those searching online. Why? Because online reviews and the rating you receive have an impact on your SEO. The more you have, the better perceived your business will be by search engine. And this is of vital importance.

Level 2: Social Listening

With your location being monitored via review sites in Level 1, you can turn to social media to listen to feedback on social networks, away from Google Reviews, Yelp, Trip Advisor and others. With a social media listening tool to work with, you can track brand keywords and @ mentions of your handles. Using your own online profiles, you can then respond to the positive and negative being published on social networks. In addition, you can think of this information as free focus group feedback that you can apply to your business planning, content marketing, merchandising and customer service approaches.

With the right social media monitoring program in place, you’ll be able to listen to what is being said, track the sentiment of these conversations and gain a better and more complete understanding of your customers. For small business owners, this information is not only vital, it’s gold.

Level 3: Asking For Feedback

Once a customer leaves your location, you’ve lost the chance to engage them one-on-one and discuss their experience. But what if you could extend the opportunity to gain their feedback by giving them a link to a survey? You’ve seen this in practice many times as a consumer, I’m sure. After making a purchase, your receipt has a survey link on it and an incentive to fill it out. Consider this to be another level of gaining the voice of the customer. Every survey response is a personalized, private piece of feedback that you can use to improve your business. Best of all, by standardizing your questionnaire, you can measure your progress on specific objectives and see if you’re gaining traction or falling behind. By measuring, though, you have information you wouldn’t have gained otherwise, which puts you in a position to act.

That’s why, if you’re engaged in Levels 1 + 2 and feel that there’s something missing, bits of information you’re not getting from online discussions, go out and ask. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what people will tell you when you do.

Another reason these three approaches are powerful is because, unlike when you speak to someone one-one-one at your location, you’ll have a record of the discussion. You’ll always be able to go back and review, learn and and, most importantly, teach your staff what works and what doesn’t, identify trends, and help them improve!
And that’s important. After all, local marketing is all about adjusting to the needs of your customers. Otherwise, they may make the adjustment without you knowing. And that’s worse.

Three Ways To Avoid Losing Existing, Potential and Paying Customers By Keeping Your Online Listings Accurate

Our clients tell us stories all the time of people who come to their store or restaurant angry only to reveal that it was something little that set them off. An online issue that the business owner has no idea about is often at the source of the problem too. When they hear these stories, though, they should consider themselves lucky. It’s likely that some of these problems result in no visit at all. Our clients don’t always hear why their customers are upset and, worse, why they’ve lost a sale.

What are the three small things you should do to make sure you have a steady flow of customers who don’t start off frustrated? Keep your online listings accurate. 

1) Make Sure Your Store Hours Are Accurately Listed Online

We hear this one a lot. People look online for store hours, plan their visit and pull up only to see that the store is closed. There’s nothing more frustrating. Not only is your customer unable to accomplish what they were hoping, but they have to plan another trip to accomplish their task. More time wasted. Frustration and resentment gets built up. Sales are lost.

What can you do? Ensure that your hours are correct on your website, online listings across the web and on social media profile pages. For holidays, make sure exceptions are listed and communicated as well. Merchants across Canada (with the exception of those in Quebec, who have until Labour Day), you have until the first Monday of August to ensure that your holiday hours are accurate. It’s t to start thinking about what your store hours look like online, folks!

2) Check Your Price Lists and Menus On Search Engines and Review Sites – They May Be Old!

When people are hungry, they want fast, accurate information to help make a decision on where and what to eat. In fact, 86% of people view a menu online before dining out. But what if your menu has changed and people ordering in had no idea? Or what if they came to dine in and wanted something specific that wasn’t offered any longer?

What can you do? Get online and update your menu. Google, Facebook, Open Table, Zomato, Yelp, Trip Advisor – all of these networks need your attention – and so does your website. Update some and not others? All it takes is a handful of people to discover the wrong menu and you risk not only upsetting them, but also give them license to upset others too. How? They can simply leave negative reviews about your business for anything that upsets them. That’s why your best strategy is to update your price lists and menus and keep everyone happy.

3)  You’ve Moved But Haven’t Properly Communicated The Change Online

This one is a classic online mistake that small business owners make. When you move down the street or to another neighbourhood, you have so many details to think about. Phone lines, internet connections, moving companies, insurance and bank account updates, and the list goes on. Everything needs to be changed, including your online listings so your business is pinned, mapped and easily found by the people who matter most – your customers.

What can you do? Again, get online and make those changes. Think about your listings on Google, Facebook, Yelp, Bing, Yahoo and, if you’re a professional (think dentist, doctor, psychiatrist, lawyer, accountant, etc…) make the change on industry specific sites as well. Remember, for every error in your listing, you risk upsetting customers, not ever getting found, or getting penalized by search engines because they’re not fond of inconsistent listings. If you don’t, the result is lost sales. And you can do better than that.

If keeping your online listings accurate seems daunting, the task doesn’t have to be. There’s a low-cost solution to your problem, just ask us how we can help.

Three Search Statistics That Retailers, Restaurant Owners and Small Business Owners Should Know

We all agree that it’s important to be online. But in what way? For small business owners, time and money are resources to be optimized, with little space for waste. The easiest way to be online is to optimize for search. And the low hanging fruit within search is to claim your location’s listing on key search engines.

Why is optimizing for search so important? These three statistics help explain why your priority should be in the search optimization area of online marketing:

50% of users who perform a local search on their smartphone visit a physical store within one day

What other marketing initiative do you know of that converts at such a tremendous rate? Being found on search engines means people will make their way to your store or restaurant or salon or office. Quickly. Why? Because when people execute a local search, they’re poised to act on it. What’s interesting is that 34% of people who perform a local search on their computer or tablet also visit a physical store within a day. Ranking well has a direct impact on in-store traffic.

• 78% of location-based mobile searches result in an offline purchase.

Combine the first stat with this one and you can begin to see how important – and powerful – it becomes to be found online. Online activity and shopping consideration don’t always convert to online sales. In fact, it’s often quite the opposite. People start their discovery online and fulfil offline. In fact, according to the ComScore study we’ve linked to, one of the most important reasons that people conduct a local search is to find a specific business. The second most common reason? To find a business with a specific product or service in mind. So when people are looking for something specific, they’re also looking for where they can go to get it “near me”.

• 80% – 90% of shoppers read online reviews before buying a product

How do reviews relate to search? Simple, consumers can review your locations on your business listing. As a result, reviews of your business are visible to those looking for what you offer – and have a direct impact on whether they choose to do business with you or not. So be proactive responding to those who care enough about your business to give you positive or negative feedback. From an SEO point of view, the more reviews you gather, the more you become indexed. Search engines also love positive reviews, so it’s vital to empower your best customers with the tools to review your business. The more you do, the more often search engines will serve your listing.

Have questions or statistics you’d like us to look into? Let us know in the comments and we’ll be happy to respond!

Why It’s Important To Claim Your Business Listing On Other Search Engines When Google Has The Highest Search Market Share

Small business owners often ask us a very smart question: If Google has the highest search market share, why do we need to claim our listing on other search engines, directories, review sites, and social networks? After all, their reasoning goes, all roads pretty well lead through Google.

While the question is certainly valid, I’d be willing to bet that Google’s market share in Canada isn’t quite as high as you’d think. And, even so, your Google listing benefits when you also claim your business location elsewhere.

Reason #1

First, have a look at the numbers.
In Canada, search engine market share as of April 2017 looks like this:

Google’s 62% certainly leads, but is it as high as you thought? We’ve heard people say with certainty that it was over 90%. So, who owns the other other 38%? Well, mostly Bing, as 21% of all searches in Canada are conducted on Bing’s engines. That’s significant! In the U.S., Google’s combined market share – including desktop and mobile – is just under 86%, followed by Yahoo and Bing, each with about 6.5%.

So, the first answer to our clients’ question is: Google’s share of the search market isn’t quite as big as you would think. As a result, there is still significant business to be driven to your location from other search engines.

Reason #2

Secondly, the consistency of listings across different networks is also crucial to the SEO of your listing on Google. When Google creates a listing on a company’s behalf before it’s claimed, they aggregate information from other directories. Once a merchant claims its listing, Google will continue to validate it against on other directories.
As a result, the consistency of your listing on other websites still influences Google’s view of your business. So it’s vital to provide different directories with the same exact information initially and every time you make a change. This will have an impact on the SEO for the listing itself on Google, where three out of every five searches by Canadians are taking place. Simply put, the more accurate the listing, the higher it will be presented to an online searcher.

Once you have your listings up and running, wait to see how many more views you’ll get and keep optimizing.

Three Takeaways

  1. Google’s search market share isn’t nearly as high as you would think.
  2. Google validates your listing against the information you provide to other engines.
  3. Make sure that your listing is consistently posted across multiple engines and review sites.

Small businesses should heed big businessman Jack Ma’s advice

Search for “Jack Ma Advice” on Google and there are no shortage of search results to choose from. Jack Ma is the founder of Alibaba and one of the richest men in China. He’s often asked for tips on long-term business success and he isn’t shy to share his thoughts. If you’re a small business owner, though, pay attention to his pointers. Even though Ma leads a huge corporation, his lessons are very relevant to businesses of all sizes.

What are the tips we like best?

  1. People need to trust you
  2. Forget the competition, focus on your customers
  3. Take all competitors seriously
  4. Lead with vision, tenacity, and grit
  5. Don’t look back, just keep going

How Jack Ma’s Tips Relate To Your Business

Let’s look at how each tip relates to your small business, with a focus on location marketing and becoming the best option for people looking for what you provide.

1) People Need To Trust You

Having a strategy to monitor and respond to customer praise or criticism from online reviews is a critical element of doing business in today’s online world. People trust people like themselves and companies that stand behind what they do. Your clients do not expect perfection. They expect an honest and sincere effort to provide the best service and, when you fall short, they expect honest effort to apologize and repair the wrong. Have a strategy to encourage positive reviews and respond to the negative ones.

2) Focus On Your Customers

You have a choice. You can either spend time worrying about giant internet shopping sites that are certainly a factor. But while you’re worrying about them, your competitors will be happy to serve the customers near you that are looking for exactly what you sell. That’s why you need to optimize your ability to be found on search engines and maps. Control how you appear, don’t leave it up to an algorithm.

3) Take All Competitors Seriously

The likelihood that your customers are considering your competitor is real. And the closer they are to you, the more true that is. Any edge you can gain over your competition can be the difference between making a sale or being passed over. So make sure that you’re indexed and making it easy to found by local searchers. How you optimize your listing and solicit positive reviews matters when it comes to converting online searches to on-site traffic.

4) Lead With Vision, Tenacity, And Grit

Be the small business owner that is known for experimenting, trying new things and asking for customer feedback. Truly listen to what your customers have to say. Ask them for their feedback. Be available in person, by email, via text or online on review sites and let them know you’re there and truly listening. The effort you put into showing leadership to your clients and the example you set for your employees cannot be understated. But in the effort and you’ll be rewarded for it over the long term.

5) Don’t Look Back/Keep Moving

Marketing is all about learning, adjusting and evolving. Every step you take should be tied to a measureable objective, so you can gauge your performance along the path to your goal. Something not working? Make a change. Something working well? Build on it. Be flexible and allow yourself room to make adjustments. Move forward while learning from your past actions.

As a small business owner, what are some tips that you can share with others? What are some of the things you’ve done that have worked for you? Share your answers with us below in the comments!

Four Fantastic Reasons Why Small Business Owners Should Have An Online Customer Review Monitoring Strategy

For small business owners, a great, cost effective way to understand how people appreciate your establishment is to monitor customer reviews. These reviews are honest, sometimes brutal, assessments of how people feel about doing business with you and your staff. Whether positive or negative, they give you a great opportunity to learn about what is working and what isn’t inside your business. More importantly, though, they drive perceptions about your locations to potential customers who are just waiting to make a decision on where to shop, eat or benefit from services like the ones you offer.

Benefits of Monitoring Reviews

Let’s elaborate on the different reasons to monitor reviews of your store, restaurant, spa, salon, or professional services business.

  1. Perceptions are impacted

    We hear it all the time. People don’t trust companies, they trust people. More precisely, they trust people like themselves. As a result, more and more people are looking towards online reviews to decide where to shop, eat or be pampered. 92% of consumers read online reviews. 40% of consumers form an opinion by reading just one to three reviews. And 80% trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. It’s up to you as a small business owner to monitor and respond to these reviews. Providing answers to problems and showing appreciation to those who praise you demonstrates that you’re hands on and interested in feedback. (Check out this great infographic that highlights the above statistics and many, many others.)

  1. SEO benefits

    Search engines value what others have to say about your business. This online feedback provides them with fresh content to crawl, new keywords to index and backlinks that provide your website with credibility you can’t generate elsewhere. The more reviews collected about your business, the greater the chance of being found online. It’s truly that simple.

  1. Look for patterns in sentiment and improve your operations

    When you monitor reviews, it’s important to look for patterns that will help you make business decisions. Are people complaining about your hours? A specific employee? Product availability? Are your customers more likely to complain about your business based on the season? Do they complain about one location more than others? Thinking of these questions alone, you can already see how you can make decisions that will shape how to go about developing an ever-evolving business strategy.

  1. Identify advocates

    There are people out there who really like your business and aren’t shy about sharing specifics with the world. Find these people, say thank you and activate them online! Identifying and activating your best advocates can have a great influence on those who are considering a purchase. Highlight their content on social networks and make it easily shareable for them to amplify on their own social media accounts. And, when you have a positive interaction on-site, don’t be shy to ask for a review. After all, encouraging positive reviews is a great way to sell others you haven’t even met yet.

The bottom line

While small businesses have challenges fitting all marketing imperatives into a budget, review monitoring doesn’t have to break the budget. In fact, solutions like the one offered by 10|20 Marketing make it easy to monitor these reviews, while leaving money left over for your other marketing initiatives. Ask how we can help you stay on top of this valuable market research!