Google and Bing added knowledge graphs with contact info (on the right) and image carousels to their results page for easy access.

There are about four billion local search queries conducted per month, and about 88% of them result in a phone inquiry or walk-in within 24-hours. But if your business name, address or phone number (NAP) is incorrect in local search results, you’re missing out on sales. More than half of business listings online have a phone number or address error on local search results, which could send potential customers to a competitor.

Local listings allow prospects to connect with you through your own virtual storefront, making it easy for them to call, get directions, read reviews or access more information.

Search engines aggregate local contact information from a variety of sources, ranking them based on the source’s assumed authority. So it’s possible to ensure that your listings are correct one week but see that they’re suddenly incorrect the following week because the engine starts pulling information from an outdated source.

To make sure you capture as much business with local search as possible, you need to ensure accuracy and monitor your listings weekly. You can pay for tools that help you monitor you local listings, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money to help drive traffic and move users through the funnel. Here are some steps you can take to monitor the data that appears for your business in a local search.

Ensure Consistency

Use identical data for your contact information in every listing, especially your business name, address and phone number. At minimum, make sure your NAP is registered correctly on Google Places for Business and Bing Place for Business. These two giants capture over 85% of the overall search traffic.*

Next, make sure your information is accurate on Yelp, DexKnows and Yahoo Local.

Check Your Listings Weekly

Here’s how to monitor your listings step by step.

  1. Open up Google and Bing in separate tabs.
  2. Search for each of your brick-and-mortar locations by city.
  3. Confirm the accuracy of results displayed on the search engine results page (SERP). Also watch for duplicates and misspellings.
  4. Check reviews and star ratings. They have a significant impact on conversion, so address issues that arise here.
  5. Document each location and associated inaccuracies, corrections or actions that need to be taken (such as responding to any new reviews).

Your spreadsheet should include:

  • Name of business
  • Phone number
  • Street address
  • City
  • State
  • ZIP code
  • Hours of operation
  • Pin location on the map

6. Lastly, you’ll need to takes steps to correct any current errors.
Check back for our next post in the series. We’ll outline steps and offer tips for correcting your local search data.