It’s something we often forget to do (aside from the occasional Googling of our names…). Check for how our business is appearing online. See how we “Show Up” when the world searches for us.
If your business is locally based, this is especially important.
Search for your business with your exact location (city, state) and locations near you. See how your business listing in the local results shows up… check Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, Merchant Circle (or have a service like Yext do that leg-work for you).
See how you show up, make corrections and edit as needed.
I love data. I really love turning data into information, going from columns of words and numbers into something that you can actually make sense of …
For example, here are the keywords that brought organic search traffic to my website in 2012 (excluding, of course the ubiquitous not provided and not set in GA)
It’s easy to see that Ask Joanne and other brand related keywords are the keywords with the highest search volume, but how else can we make sense of this data.
Here is a word cloud that excludes all phrases with “jo” in them – which covers most variations of my business name and website name. It also excludes all keywords that generated only one visit (to eliminate some of the more fringe words.)
In this word cloud, the size indicates the sum of visits to the site, the color indicates the bounce rate – orange is a higher bounce rate (only one page of site viewed), blue is a lower bounce rate. So, we can see that the phrase What is Yext brought in the greatest number of visitors, and that it had a high bounce rate. However, since it’s a blog post, it doesn’t bother me much that the page had such a high bounce rate. It would be good, however, to track if any outgoing links on that page were clicked (like to my Yext Affiliate link). I should know how to do this.. but with the asynchronous Google code, I actually have to research how to implement it.
You can also look at Word Clouds in other ways:
Data can further be refined, this cloud contains phrases excluding brand name with a bounce rate that is better than the average bounce rate:
Or phrases that brought traffic that visited at least 2 pages per visit:
You’ve seen me post again and again about getting your business listed correctly in local business directories. It can be a time consuming process and keeping track of all the sites, logins, etc. not to mention watching out for reviews of your business can start to feel like a full time job!
While I was preparing a package to offer to clients to do just this, I discovered Yext. It’s a way to get a lot of that work done “auto-magically” and aggregate information about (almost) ALL your local listings (and reviews) into one place.
The main benefits I see for signing up with Yext is the time-savings of entering all those local listings manually, particularly if you change/update your description, photos, videos frequently. OR if you want to take advantage of some of the new services they are offering like Service and Product listings, Staff Bio’s, Calendars and even Menus. Yext is also a great service for watching and keeping track of reviews that are being posted online
Signing up for an annual service can always be a bit intimidating, and if your scan shows most of your business listings are correct, you don’t really watch your reviews, and you don’t have calendar/menu updates. It probably makes sense to do the updates manually and not go for the service.
One nice benefit of fully updated “stand out” local listings is that they can have the benefit of sending traffic and links back to your site.
Signup is easy, you can even get a quick report of where your business is already listed (correctly or incorrectly). You get a single dashboard to manage all your local listings and even a reports page to show the clicks your site has received through various local channels.
The only downside I can see so far is that they are not (yet?) integrated with Google+Local (or Bing Local)… those you’ll still have to setup separately, but for all the other big local directories Yext can handle them all.
Full Disclosure: I use Yext for my local business listings, and I am a Yext affiliate.