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BizReport : Search Marketing : November 17, 2016

Expert: Why some brands still get SEO wrong

Despite the fact that search engine optimization is considered 'old school', many businesses continue to get SEO wrong. Getting things as simple as a business listing wrong, though, can irreparably hurt a business. One expert explains.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: SEO is considered by many to be 'old school', yet many businesses continue to have problems with business listings and other 'simple SEO. Why?

Mike Iaccarino, CEO & Chairman, Infogroup: Brands large and small are heavily investing time, resources and money to reap the benefits of traditional SEO practices. But there are other ways to be smart about SEO, specifically Local SEO. Starting with the fundamentals, simple things such as making sure your business name, address, phone (also known as NAP) and website (if your business has one) are correct and consistent across search engines, directories, and local sites is critical. Each of these separate online representations of your business' location information is considered a "citation", and citations serve as one of many key inputs to a search engine's ranking algorithm. So ensuring citation accuracy is paramount to your business.

Kristina: Why is it such a big deal for brands to get every listing correct - after all, consumers will find the 'right' phone number or address, correct?

Mike: Not only will inaccurate data about your business lead to local SEO challenges, but it also can cause negative experiences for those consumers that do find your business online. For example, when a search brings up an incorrect address and your potential customer ends up in the wrong place, or they arrive at your business but it is closed, that consumer will either go to a competitor or abandon their purchase altogether.

Kristina: What can businesses do to make it simpler for consumers to find their information quickly and easily?

Mike: To avoid consumer confusion and frustration, brands need to work with both data providers and SEO agencies to have a consistent representation of their business and steer consumers in the right direction. Consumers searching for a business don't want to end up on outdated web pages instead of on a company's main site or arrive at the location when the store is closed due to incorrect store hours on the web. And this is where a data provider comes in handy. A data provider's role is to work with the brand's SEO agency and publishers to avoid the cluster, the tedious "ghost listings," and present to the consumer only the best and most up-to-date data all across the web.

Tags: business listings, Infogroup, search marketing, SEO tips, SEO trends

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