Drive ROI with allLocal’s proven local listings management

Whether you are an agency or a large brand, managing multiple locations on engines like Google and Bing can be a daunting and time consuming effort. allLocal has changed that with best-of-breed technology built specifically to manage hundreds or thousands of locations. Trusted by over 70 of the world’s largest brands.

Technology and Knowledge Drive Results

  • Retail – Home Furnishings
  • Top 3 Home Furnishings Retail Chain in the US
  • Locations: 1,000+
  • Annual Revenue: $2 Billion – $3 Billion

Situation: 

  • Client’s data generally represented better than most, but client required help to support the management of store data, dealing with changes in Google polices and publishing data to search, maps, etc.
  • Initial assessment of client data:
    • 48 locations not found in Google
    • 14 location were closed, yet appeared open in Google
    • Listings were incomplete (hours of operation, photos, etc.)
    • Sub-optimal rankings in web search
    • Clients Store locator was not architected to be crawled by web search engines. Locations didn’t have individual pages, which contributed to bad data in the broader ecosystem and didn’t rank well in search engines.

Solution: 

  • Basic package with address validation, normalization and distribution.
  • Distribution was limited to Google, Bing, Foursquare, CityGrid/Citysearch.

Results: 

  • Google Specific:
    • All Locations fully represented in Google
    • 29% increase in Google views and impressions
  • Broader Local Ecosystem:
    • Overall “non-matched” listings were decreased by 31%
    • 89% reduction in non-matching listing data in Bing

OnGoing Support and Services: 

  • Store Locator Issues – Position Tech team recommended changes to Client’s store locator to improve listing performance and local organic web search ranking. All recommendations were implemented by the brand for greatly improved results.
  • Google Category Change – Google changed category labels and made additional categories available.  Position Tech account managers worked with the client to re-categorize each store, applying specific categories to reflect each location’s services.  Account management then worked with Google to ensure a seamless transition to the new changes without errors or loss in traffic.
  • Google Bug – Bug occurred in Google where the hours of operation for many stores displayed inaccurately. Position Tech account managers flagged the issue and worked with Google to address the bug causing the error.
    • Retail – Discount Club
    • Top 2 Membership Warehouse Club in US
    • Top 10 largest retailer in the US
    • Locations: 500 – 1,000 in US
    • Annual Revenue: Over $50 Billion

Situation: 

      • Prior to partnership client had only submitted to Google and wanted to expand the distribution across other sites.
      • Due to the effort involved, the client required a tool and/or support in managing their local data and submitting locations across sites, which have different formats and submission requirements.
      • Reporting and monitoring was very important for monitoring progress.

Solution: 

      • Utilized Position Tech’s crawler to monitor and download location data from clients online store locator. Process occurred on a monthly basis for reporting and publishing.
      • Leveraged Position Tech reporting and listing monitoring to assess performance and listing accuracy across the broader local ecosystem.
      • Client elected to distribute listing to: Google, Bing, CityGrid/Citysearch, Foursquare, Nokia/Navteq and three of the major data aggregators.

Results:  

      • Position Tech Account Management identified opportunities to submit Puerto Rico store locations, which previously were not in Google.
      • Google Specific:
        • 73% increase in Google views and impressions
      • Broader local ecosystem:
        • 74% decrease in the number of locations not found
        • Partial Matches (incomplete listings) reduced by 13%

Ongoing Support and Services: 

    • Google Bug – a bug impacted 30% of locations by showing incorrect hours of operation and closed hours on Sundays. Account management immediately reached out to Google to have the bug fixed.
    • Google Category Change – Google expanded their categories, which became an opportunity for the client. Account management worked with the client to expand their categories and transition to the new categories in a seamless manner.
    • Google Quality Guidelines Change – Google required that pharmacies located within a larger store to be separate listings. Account management brought the change to the client’s attention and worked to separate the store listing from the pharmacy listing to avoid Google penalties.
  • Regional Gas Station Chain & Convenience Stores
  • Locations: Over 1,000
  • Annual Revenue: Unavailable

Situation: 

  • Client had internal challenges with managing local data. Needed help with establishing a process for extracting, managing and publishing business location data.
  • Client had Google account but did not know credentials and listings weren’t actively being managed.
  • Online store locator had many issues and was not web crawler friendly, which impacted local web search results.
  • Initial assessment of client data:
    • 22 closed location listed as open in Google
    • 29 open locations not found in Google
    • 213 incorrect addresses
    • 34 incorrect cities and 9 locations missing a city
    • 34 locations incorrect zip codes
    • 7 inaccurate phone numbers
    • 750 incorrect latitude or longitude coordinates
    • All locations had incomplete listings – no logos, hours of operation, images, descriptions, payment type info, descriptions of services, etc.

Solution: 

  • Store locator was not crawlable by web crawlers and internal process had quality issues. Thus, a custom data solution and process was put in place to aggregate data, validate and distribute.
  • Distribution included – Google, Bing, CityGrid/Citysearch, Nokia/Navteq, TomTom, Apple, MapQuest and 3 aggregators.
  • Utilized Listing monitoring services to monitor progress across the broader local ecosystem.

Results: 

  • Google Specific:
    • 125% increase in Google views the first year
    • All listings found in Google and fully represented
    • 231 data conflicts in Google corrected
  • Broader Local Ecosystem:
    • Listing inaccuracies reduced by 43%
    • Non-­‐matched listings reduced by 13%

Ongoing Support and Services: 

  • Data Conflicts – Conflicts during claiming process between gas stations and convenience stores on premise. Position Tech worked with publishers to resolve conflicts and give proper attribution to the location.
  • Incar GPS Logos – worked with client on issues with logos not appearing within in-car GPS systems found in automobiles.
  • Industry: Entertainment
  • Locations: Over 30,000
  • Annual Revenue: Private

Situation: 

  • Due to the high volume of locations and frequent data changes, the client required a partner with strong technology to support their scale and direct publisher relationships to develop solutions for submitting their volume of locations.
  • Locations have a high volume of churn each month, making it difficult to maintain high accuracy in online maps, search and directories.
  • Due to their businesses always being located within another business location, they needed address validation services and help in working with search engines to avoid location ownership conflicts.
  • Initial assessment:
    • Google had 2,300 listings with invalid locations (duplicate and outdated listings)
    • Location descriptions were not localized to help consumers find their location within the larger business where they were located.

Solution: 

  • Established an automated process for crawling clients store locator to identify all changes in locations (additions and closures).
  • Due to the challenging nature of customers finding locations, leveraged Position Tech’s geo-location services to provide a high level of accuracy in assigning latitude and longitude to each location.
  • Distributed listings to: Google, foursquare, CityGrid/Citysearch, Bing, Apple Maps and two data aggregators
  • URLs were optimized to include location details
  • Categories optimized to reflect services offered
  • Rich data added: description of product and services, taglines, additional URLs linking to content, images & brand logos

Results: 

  • Google Listings Impact:
    • 13% decrease in locations not found in Google
    • 26.9% improvement in correcting partial matches
  • Google Impact:
    • 65% increase in page views on Google (over 20M views a month)
    • 16% increase in clicks
    • 100% increase in page views for branded web search queries when company name is used (navigational query)
    • 201% increase for non-branded, generic web search category queries
  • Greater Accuracy or freshness of location status or changes:
    • 4,316 new listings added and distributed
    • 1,263 listings removed

Ongoing Support and Services: 

  • Custom Processing – Due to the high volume of monthly changes in new locations and closed locations, an extensive process was put in place to update and distribute this information to publishers in order to maintain a high level of freshness. This includes custom internal processes, as well as special processes with publishers who typically don’t receive this volume of locations.
  • Description Improvement – A/B testing different types of descriptions to determine what resonates with customers to increase views, engagement and conversion to sales.
  • Google Data Scrub Initiative – Due to the high volume of locations, frequent churn and duplicate listings caused by the client acquiring a major competitor, Position Tech Account managers worked directly with Google engineers to cleanup their index of bad listings.
  • Industry: National Truck Rental
  • Locations: Over 2,000 locations in US and Canada
  • Annual Revenue: $5 Billion – $8 Billion

Situation: 

  • Client was seeking a solution for local data management with quality reporting and listing monitoring to better manage their locations.
  • High turnover of franchise locations creating old locations in local ecosystem that are no longer open. Also found it challenging to get new locations listed in a timely manner.
    • 13% new locations every month
    • 11% old locations closing every month
  • Locations are often difficult for consumers to locate due to the businesses being within another business (brick and mortar store that offers truck rental).

Solution: 

  • Utilized listing monitoring, alerts and reporting services.
  • Leveraged Position Tech crawler technology to monitor Client’s store locator and identify monthly changes in order to update master database of locations.
  • Distribution: Bing, Foursquare, CityGrid/Citysearch and 3 data aggregators.  Client maintains their Google account, yet utilizes Position Tech for advice, best practices and notification of Google policy changes.

Results: 

  • Google Specific:
    • 24% increase in views on Google
    • 110% increase in views for branded navigational queries (Brand Name + Truck Rental)
    • 42% increase in views for generic category queries (Truck Rental)
  • Broader Local Ecosystem:
    • “Not Found” listings across the broader local ecosystem reduced by 46%
    • Google – reduced the number of locations not found by 72%
    • Yahoo – reduced number of locations not found by 46%
    • Citysearch – reduced the number of locations not found by 56%
    • Foursquare – reduced the number of locations by 93%

Ongoing Support and Services: 

  • Aggregator audit – process by which duplicates and old locations are flagged within the data aggregators and Position Tech account management team works with the data aggregators to have those locations removed.
  • Churn/Freshness – Working with publishers on client’s behalf to reflect the proper current locations due to the high churn rate of locations.
  • Google advice – advising the client on policy changes, feed changes and addressing specific issues. i.e. working with Google on client’s behalf to resolve location ownership conflicts and bugs since the client’s business is a franchise business, where locations are often within other business locations.
  • Industry: Retail – Women’s Cosmetics
  • Locations:  500-1,000 locations in US
  • Annual Revenue: $1 Billion – $2 Billion

Situation: 

  • Retail locations are often a store within an existing larger store or mall.
  • Listing Assessment:
    • 65 locations not found on Google
    • Poor listing consistency across rest of web
  • On average the client open 8-10 new store locations per month (100+ per year)

Solution: 

  • Leverage Position Tech’s crawler technology to monitor their store locator and identify monthly changes in order to update master database of locations.
  • Distributed listings to: Google, Bing and three data aggregators.
  • Optimized individual store page URLs for greater performance.
  • Rich data added:
    • Logos & Images
    • Description of product and services
    • Taglines
    • Additional URLs for user
    • Details on location within larger store

Results:

  • Google Specific:
    • 82% increase in Y/Y views
    • 38% increase in views from branded queries
    • 55% increase in non-branded category queries (“Beauty Supply Store”)
  • Broader Local Ecosystem:
    • 93% improvement of locations not found in Bing
    • 40% improvement of locations not found in Yahoo

Ongoing Support and Services: 

  • Store Locator Issues – client launched a new store locator and asked Position Tech to review. Found many issues with the data and provided feedback to improve the architecture and data processes
    • 284 locations missing store hours
    • 5 locations missing phone numbers
    • 2 locations missing
    • Incorrect data in listings
  • Google’s Merging of perceived” duplicates – Client added a large national retail partner, where the client’s stores sit within each of the partner’s stores. Google identified these locations as duplicates because they have the same address and phone number and consequently would not display the client’s locations. Position Tech account management worked with Google to rectify the issue and allowed for proper representation of stores founds within other stores, utilizing the same address.
  • Industry: Hotel/Travel
  • Top 5 International Hotel Chain
  • Locations: Over 2,000 locations in US and Canada
  • Annual Revenue: $6 Billion to $8 Billion

Situation: 

  • Client had not actively managed their local presence and location information across the web. Client was not taking advantage of all available fields and data points in Google. Their Google locations only included basic name, address and phone number.
  • Brand vs Franchise Issues: Client was a national brand composed of mostly local franchise owners. Balance between corporate vs local control was challenging and created issues:
    • Incorrect Addresses – franchise owners were putting in addresses based on how they would describe the location vs the physical address. i.e. address provided was a junction vs street address, which is rejected by Google and not displayed in search results for local queries.
    • Franchise claiming vs Brand claiming – caused inconsistent local data, poor representation, lack of rich media (photos, URLS, etc.) and often conflicting information between Google and Brand’s Store locator.
    • Bad data found throughout the broader local ecosystem.

Solution: 

  • Distribution mainly focused on Google and three data aggregators.
  • Worked with Google to give the brand (corporate) control over franchise locations.
  • Address correction, normalization and validation against US Postal Service.
  • Corrected all Google guidelines policy violations that could lead to penalties.
    • Franchise entering the city or neighborhood in the hotel name.
    • Hotel name entered in all capital letters.
  • URL reconciliation and optimization between corporate brand and franchisee.
  • Ownership hierarchy of local data, implementing centralized best practices from the Brand, yet allowing for localization by the franchise owner.
  • Expanded Google location profiles to contain hours of operation, payment types, categories, description, location specific images, logos, taglines, amenities, links to rates/special offers, links to social media accounts, check-in/out times, nearby attractions and pet policy

Results: 

  • Corporate gained greater control over how the brand was presented to consumers, quality of logos, consistent messaging and higher quality user experience
  • Improved rankings and ability to be found in search
  • Greater tracking and reporting, which showed increased bookings.
  • Google Specific:
    • 26% increase in revenue directly attributed to Google first 6 months
    • 74% decrease in locations not found first 6 months
    • 75% increase in Google views the first two years

Ongoing Support and Services: 

  •  Google Bug – a bug in Google caused the alternate toll free phone number to be displayed as the primary number.  Position Tech account management team found a short-term solution to ensure the proper phone number was displayed and contacted Google to have the bug addressed.
  • Google ULR hijacking – Google system was hacked and hundreds of URLs were hijacked (i.e. placing other URLs in the listing to drive traffic). This occurred to a number of hotel chains. Position Tech immediate identified 37 hotel listings where the URL was changed. This was immediately corrected and Google was notified.
  • Client Store Locator Errors – Position Tech crawlers detected a significant change in hotel information on the clients online store locator i.e. a large volume of phone numbers changed and when physically called by account management the number was disconnected. Client was notified of the errors on their store locator and it was determined the Client’s IT department accidentally published an incorrect file.
  • Google Algorithmic changes – “Pigeon Update” – assessed the impact on hotel listings and took steps to optimize listings where appropriate.
  • Industry: Banking & Financial Services
  • Locations: Over 1,000 locations
  • Annual Revenue: Unknown – Subsidiary

Situation: 

  • Client operated two brands and was merging them into one. The merging of brands had the potential to create duplicates through the local ecosystem and cause claiming conflicts on many of the large engines.
  • Store locator had many data issues and didn’t follow best practices.
    • No individual pages for each location
    • URLs not optimized per location
  • Audit of Google showed.
    • 65 closed location still being displayed as open
    • Hundreds of duplicate locations

Solution: 

  • Monthly custom crawl of client location finder to identify new locations, closed locations and changes. Validation process put in place for all changes to ensure the changes were correct.
  • Address correction, normalization and validation against US Postal Service.
  • Claimed and verified all locations in Google and Bing. Client never previously claimed listing on Bing. More recently added Apple Maps to go after mobile market.

Results: 

  • URLs optimized to include location details for better rankings in search.
  • Categories optimized to reflect business services.
  • Rich data added – Descriptions, services offered, hours of operation, additional URLs, images/pictures and logos for improved click appeal.
  • Google Specific:
    • 11% increase in Google views in first 6 months
    • 105% increase in Google views by end of first year
    • 200% increase in Google views by end of second year
  • Broader Local Ecosystem:
    • 35% increase in overall listings accuracy
    • 54% improvement in the number of listings found in top 3 local publishers (Google, Bing & Yahoo)

Ongoing Support and Services: 

  • Google “Pending” Bug – 300 locations were stuck in “Pending” status due to bug in Google. This wouldn’t allow reporting or updates on those locations. Position Tech account management raised the issue with Google until the problem was resolved.
  • Closed Listing Reappearing – Client made the corporate decision to close all locations within a specific state.  These locations were closed in Google via the normal closure process.  Six months later the old locations started appearing in Google again.  Position Tech account managers flagged this and worked with Google to have the re-­‐appearing listings addressed and permanently closed.
  • Industry: Retail Office Supplies
  • Location: 500 – 1,000
  • Annual Revenue: $5 Billion – $10 Billion

Situation: 

  • Client unsuccessfully used a 3rd party service provider to outsource management of their local listings and continued to have quality issues.  They considered bringing the listing management in-house, but found the level of effort too high and decided to pursue a partner with stronger technology and tools.
  • Initial assessment of existing data:
    • 80% of the Hours of Operation were not accurate
    • 70 closed locations displayed in Google as being open
    • 6 duplicate listings
    • Geo-location data was generic and needed improvement (locations are often in strip malls making geo-location and navigation a challenge)
    • Locations were not represented in GPS navigational platforms (Nokia/Navteq, TomTom)

Solution: 

  • Claimed, managed and distributed locations to Google and Bing accounts.  Distributed to Nokia/Navteq, CityGrid/Citysearch and three data aggregators.
  • Listing monitoring was used to monitor and report improvements across the broader local ecosystem, as well as identify problem areas to address.
  • Expanded location profiles to contain hours of operation, payment types, categories, description, location specific images, brand logos, taglines, on-site services, links to rates/special offers, links to social media accounts, etc.

Results: 

  • Google Specific:
    • 391% increase in views over two years
    • 463% increase in views for the top 10 keywords
  • Broader Local Ecosystem:
    • 84% improvement in listings found across the broader local ecosystem
    • 34% improvement in listing accuracy

Ongoing Support and Services: 

  • Aggregator audit – process by which duplicates and old locations are flagged within the data aggregators and Position Tech account management works with the data aggregators to have locations removed.
  • Rebranding – Client merged with another brand and Position Tech account management went through the process of rebranding all locations, working through eliminating duplicates and claiming issues.
  • Industry: National Fast Food Restaurant
  • Locations: 4,000 – 6,000
  • Annual Revenue: $5 Billion – $7 Billion (US)

Situation: 

  • Initial assessment of existing data on Google:
    • 300 addresses fixed automatically via Position Tech systems
    • 60 locations not found on Google
    • 65 addresses were junctions and not real addresses
    • 101 closed locations still appeared in Google as open
    • Hundreds of incomplete addresses
    • 600 issues – addresses, phones, formatting errors, missing data:
    • Multiple areas where Google quality guidelines were violated and lead to listing penalties being applied by Google.
    • Hours of Operation missing for all locations
    • URLs missing in listings

Solution: 

  • Store locator could not be crawled and a file transfer process was established
  • Distribution included: Google, Bing, CityGrid/Citysearch, Foursquare, Nokia/Navteq and two data aggregators.  Client later added Apple maps and TomTom.
  • Optimized categories based on each location and the services offered.
  • Optimized descriptions based on services offered and features of the location (buffet, catering services, Wi-Fi, drive through, patio seating, kids play area, etc.).
  • Added logos, images, hours of operation, descriptions, URLs, etc.

Results: 

  • 8% of all addresses were corrected when compared to US Postal Service
  • Google Specific:
    • 725% increase in Google views in the first 9 months
  • Broader Local Ecosystem:
    • “Not Found” listings reduced by 55%
    • “Listing Alerts” for partial match or missing information reduced by 43%
    • “Exact Match” listings increased by 10%

Ongoing Support and Services:

  • Mobile Initiative – Client set corporate priority for improving mobile consumer experiences and ability to be found. Added Apple Maps and TomTom as distribution. 
  • Google Transition – Position Tech account management team managed the transition of client’s account from Google Places to Google My Business. Included transitioning to new dashboard, trouble shooting migration issues, flagging gaps in data and identifying bugs for Google, which were presented to Google and fixed. 
  • Ownership Conflicts – Worked with client and Google to resolve ownership conflicts due to some locations being locations within other store location.
  • Industry: National Storage Facility
  • Locations: 2,000 – 4,000
  • Annual Revenue: $2 Billion – $4 Billion

Situation:

  • Client was very savvy in local marketing and actively managed their local listing presence, yet felt they needed a better tool for monitoring, reporting and resolving issues across the broader local ecosystem.
  • Client used generic 800 call tracking numbers and wanted to transition to local numbers and landing pages for all listings.
  • Review monitoring was a critical requirement because corporate needed rollup reports on consumer reviews and also made reviews apart of each location manager’s compensation.
  • Location data was excellent relative to most clients, initial assessment only highlighted 37 errors (incorrect data) and 41 warnings (minor corrections) when comparing to US Postal Service.
  • Brand often expands via acquisitions, which lead to continual efforts on rebranding and cleaning up old data in the broader local ecosystem.
  • Client required weekly account management calls to discuss issues, next steps, provide feedback and guidance.

Solution: 

  • Utilized Position Tech’s crawler to monitor the online store locator and track location information for any changes
  • Addresses validated against US Postal Service and normalized.
  • Distribution: Google, Bing, Foursquare, CityGrid/Citysearch and three major data aggregators
  • Listing Monitoring – to monitor and identify issues across the broader local ecosystem.
  • Review Monitoring:
    • Set up alerts to flag bad reviews, which allowed corporate to send these to location managers to ensure responses are made in a timely manner.
    • Custom Reporting – Reported on the positive reviews per location/manager, as well as regional managerial rollup, which factored into employee bonus compensation.

Results: 

  • 134 locations added, rebranded and distributed first year (expansion by acquisition of competitors).
  • 11 listing closed and removed.
  • 17,000 Reviews collected and reported first year (51,000 to date)
  • Google Specific:
    • 18% increase in total views on Google
    • 44% increase in views on Google for top 5 keywords (80% branded queries and 20% generic category)
  • Broader Local Ecosystem
    • 78% decrease in locations “not found”
    • 48% decrease in listing alerts (incomplete listings)

Ongoing Support and Services: 

  • Data Aggregator Audit – process by which duplicates, old locations or bad data are flagged within the data aggregators and Position Tech account management works with the data aggregators to have those locations removed.
  • Rebrand – Client generally expands the number of locations via acquisition. During these periods of expansion Position Tech works closely with the brand to claim listings, update content, apply new brand logos, remove duplicates and generally monitor progress.
  • Bing Bug – a bug in Bing’s system displayed the corporate 800 phone number and the corporate homepage URL vs location specific phone and URL, even though all these locations were claimed and displayed correct data in the past. Position Tech account management flagged this bug and worked with Bing customer support to have it resolved.
  • Yahoo – Situation where 3 year old tracking numbers started appearing on Yahoo for locations and the numbers were no longer used by the brand. Account management worked with Yahoo to identify the source of the bad data in order to get it resolved.
  • YP Errors – Position Tech Listing Monitoring identified a high volume of old listing data, inaccurate locations, duplicate listings and photos from other brands appearing on their listings in YP. Even though Position Tech doesn’t have a formal direct distribution relationship with YP, account management reached out to YP with an analysis of what data was erroneous and suggested potential sources based on patterns. YP found their index was using an old data source and file, which should have been and ultimately was deleted, due to Position Tech’s flag.
  • Store Locater Audit – Client launched a new store locator site and Position Tech performed an audit to evaluate data quality, architecture, completeness and ability for web search crawlers to accurately index content.

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