If you want to build a reputation online, you need to be visible online. That’s why it’s so important for your business to make findability part of your reputation management strategy. The higher your business listing appears in the search results, the easier it is for consumers to find you, review your business and share your location with others.
For these reasons, you need to treat your business listing identities and attributes like precious competitive assets.
Identities and Attributes
Identities and Attributes are the building blocks for publishing a findable business listing such as your Google My Business (GMB) page or your Yelp profile. Here’s how to understand them:
- Identities are basic data points about your location that appear on an online listing – such as your name, address and phone number. Identities usually do not vary much, if at all.
- Attributes are variable bits of information on your listing that may give you a competitive advantage, such as whether your business speaks multiple languages or offers gender-neutral bathrooms.
Now, let’s a closer look why identities and attributes are important. In the 2018 Moz Local Search Ranking Factors report, Moz reported that your GMB page as a ranking signal increased 32% year over year. In fact, your GMB page is now the largest local ranking factor. But you need to build up your GMB page with content, or else you’ll send a weak signal to Google – and that’s where identities and attributes come into play.
Think about it this way: When consumers search for a place to visit, Google wants them to have a useful experience, and to that end, will rank listings with accurate location information higher, (which is why identities matter) and help the consumer make an informed decision (which is why attributes matter).
Reviews Matter, Too
Moz reported that reviews as a ranking signal have increased in importance by 17% year over year – and by 43% over the past three years. The rising importance of reviews is a perfect example of why your listings strategy needs to encompass the management of both identities and attributes.
For Google to deliver users the best possible search experience, it will rank businesses with a high volume of recent and largely positive customer reviews higher than businesses whose reviews are old, negative and scarce. Google has little motivation to send users to listings with inaccurate addresses and a only a few reviews from unhappy customers.
Here’s what you need to do at a minimum:
- Claim and Audit all your business listings. Start with identities. Make sure your basic data such as your name, address, phone number and URL are accurate and consistent everywhere your business can be found. Then the heavy lifting really begins as you build out your attributes with content such as customer ratings/views, photos of your business and other variable content such as information about special events. Go through all the listing options that Google and Facebook offer.
- Audit your website. Remember, Google pulls from your website along with your listings to deliver search results.
- Regularly manage your listings and website. Your work is far from over after you complete your audit. You need to stay on top of your listings and site. Multiple business events can affect your identities (such as the opening or closing of a location). And by their definition, attributes are variable, meaning someone needs to manage them constantly.
- Request, monitor and respond to reviews. Actively seek, monitor and respond to reviews. Customers who have a great experience don’t always make the extra effort to post an online review — which is why you have to ask them to provide feedback. The easier you make this process for the customer, the higher your chances of receiving a review.
You don’t need to go at it alone. Reputation.com manages our clients’ listings as part of our comprehensive approach to online reputation management. Contact us to learn more.