Any company that provides goods or services to a local population is considered a local business. Often denoted by the phrase, “brick and mortar,” a local business can be a locally owned business or a corporate business with multiple locations operating in a specific area.
Despite the growing popularity of online shopping, more than 90% of sales still occur in brick and mortar locations. While some local businesses may not have ecommerce channels, web presence is critical for local businesses hoping to increase foot traffic and compete with chains and larger organizations. Digital media and online listings have changed the game for local businesses by providing them with avenues for greater online visibility.
The customer journey often begins with an online or mobile search and ends at a local business’ storefront. According to a recent Google study, 76% of local mobile searchers visit a store within a day of their search, and 28% of those visits result in a purchase. With a strong digital presence, local businesses can not only increase their online visibility, but can also drive more consumers to their physical locations.
The best way to improve a local business’ digital presence is to claim, correct, and enhance online business listings. Incorrect or outdated listings disproportionately hurt how a local business shows up on a search results page. Inaccurate and incorrect listings also provide a poor user search experience and can cause irreparable damage to a business’ reputation. For example, if a consumer conducts an unbranded search for “pizza near me” and finds a local pizza shop’s information, travels to that location, and then finds out that the business is closed when they said they would be open — that local shop just lost a potential customer due to poor and mismanaged facts about the business.
With the increasing number of online business directories, and the changing local SEO landscape, having accurate and consistent data online is imperative for local businesses. Whether you’re a local business that has one location or 100 locations, Yext’s industry-leading Knowledge Manager software can help you maximize your home field advantage.