DSG has a decades long history of managing our clients’ listings. This extends from way back when we faxed updates to the telephone companies to today’s ever evolving software and technical solutions.
Through it all, one thing remains constant. In order to extract maximum benefit from any online presence program, expert eyes need to frequently monitor and intervene on all campaigns.. With that in mind, we thought you might enjoy hearing from our experts in the trenches.
Today, Marketing Managers Margaret Sutton and Amanda Shell as well as our Director of Operations Robyn Berger are answering questions on listing management to give you a better picture of what goes on behind the scenes and best practices for your business to consider. Check out these excerpts from the roundtable interview below.
1. Because the execution of Listing Management focuses on claiming profiles, broadening distribution, and increasing authority through content & consistency, it can be hard to quantify the results. What methodologies do you use to help your client’s measure the impact?
ROBYN: After our initial listing claiming and optimization period, we focus on the standard metrics of impressions, searches, clicks & calls. By pulling a baseline report at the beginning of the program we can focus on the growth of those metrics, plus secondary actions like clicks to call, clicks for directions, and clicks on posts/offers (when applicable).
Another metric we can measure is the listings count – when using a listing platform to manage your listings and increase your coverage, you can measure listing growth and accuracy. Additionally, most platforms also offer review monitoring that allows us to report on total reviews, average ratings, and review responses.
Finally, duplicate suppression/removal is an important part of listing management. Just as we are able to increase listing coverage and accuracy, we can also identify and remove inaccurate listings/information. Showing a client the number of inaccurate listings we were able to remove creates a huge impact.
MARGARET: For some clients, we utilize UTM tracking parameters. These allow clients to see performance for specific URLs within their Google Analytics dashboard. We are also able to track phone calls on our clients’ online listings using Call Tracking Numbers. For both UTM tracking and call tracking, there are overrides available in the analytics dashboard so that we can track each listing, or publisher, separately.
AMANDA: As marketing managers, it’s important that we take current events into consideration when evaluating client data. What is happening in the world and with the client’s brand? For example, the pandemic could cause a decrease in driving direction actions, but increase phone calls. Or, a press release for a major recall or class action lawsuit may lead to a decrease in traffic.
2. There are numerous platforms that automate Listing management. Yet, each of you spend significant time working on client campaigns. What type of Account Management tasks are needed to support/maximize listing management programs?
ROBYN: As amazing as listing management platforms are, a robust listing management program is going to need an experienced account manager to support the technology!
MARGARET: Google allows all users to make suggestions if they believe business information is incorrect. For us, this creates manual work as we must accept or reject user suggestions based on their accuracy. Additionally, we regularly monitor publisher sites for duplicate listings. Some of our platforms identify duplicates automatically, however it requires additional coordination to suppress the duplicate, or in some cases, merge the listings to preserve reviews.
AMANDA: Most locations will be plotted accurately on the map based on their address. However, for some locations, mapping systems have issues accurately plotting the business based on their address. When this happens, we need to manually adjust the map marker to ensure users are directed to the correct location.
We also often experience issues where our client information is accurate in the platform, but a particular site is displaying incorrect information. This requires additional efforts to re-sync the data and ensure the updates are published.
3. Can you share any advice or best practices for businesses launching a new Listing Management campaign?
AMANDA: Accuracy is key. Make sure your information is completely accurate from address, to phone number, to hours of operation. It must also be identical to the information that is on your website. The goal is to make it simple for your customers to find you and know exactly what you have to offer.
MARGARET: Share as much content about your business as you can possibly provide, including information on all locations if there are multiple. Anything you can add to your listing, from a text description of your business to photos that give online searchers a visualization of what they might experience, is highly valuable to your findability.
4. What is the biggest mistake you see businesses making in their LM programs?
MARGARET: The biggest mistake I’ve noticed is businesses not engaging with their online listings. Listing management is not a “set it and forget it” process; they should be constantly maintained and frequently updated. Businesses must also stay on top of user suggestions, which could impact or change their information.
ROBYN: One of the biggest mistakes I have seen is multi location clients not having an accurate location list before publishing their listings. We often refer to this as “The Golden Copy” It is important to have a master list of verified location and business data that can be used across all listings.
5. We know sometimes listing anomalies can be difficult to fix. Describe a recent situation where you had to address a difficult problem and how you resolved it.
MARGARET: Recently, we had a business that had moved a couple of years ago, but Google would not recognize the new address. Instead, Google Maps was sending customers to the old location. The business tried to get this corrected, but couldn’t get anywhere with Google. To resolve the problem, we used a combination of manually updating the street address and moving the map marker from both within the business’s Google account and on Google Search. We also contacted Google support. Finally, after weeks of troubleshooting, the new location was reflecting correctly on Google.
Are you interested in partnering with the listing management experts at DSG? Reach out to us for a custom proposal!