With 5.6 billion searches1 carried out on Google every day and 46%2 of those searches dedicated to local businesses, it’s no dispute that Google is certainly the home page for local businesses. Despite this, 56%3 of online retailers have not claimed their Google Business Profile – which means they’re leaving possible conversions on the table and a certain opportunity for your business to get ahead of the pack.
For a local business, covering all possible customer touchpoints (channels and devices) is a must and a Google Business Profile is just the start. To drive awareness about your business, you’ll need to optimize your business listings on search engines (Google, Bing), hyper-local platforms (Nextdoor, Yelp, etc.,), data aggregators (Factual), social platforms (Instagram, Facebook), Maps (Google & Apple Maps), and so on.
Now here’s the challenge. For a business that has 10 or 1000s of locations, how do they address the factor of firstly having their listings on all possible channels or platforms and keeping their information consistent? Furthermore, how does a multi-location business focus on being hyperlocal yet assess the performance of all locations (across the country or globe) as a whole? Lastly, and most importantly, how does a business drive its visibility and reputation online?
For a single location, this seems like a tedious task, for multi-locations it’s almost impossible and that’s when platforms, such as Milestone Local make the journey of businesses on search a whole lot simpler.
Fresh from being awarded Gold at the 2021 HSMAI Adrian Awards which was announced on Feb 23, 2022, Milestone Local is a one-stop platform for location-based businesses to get found in geography-specific searches.
Reacting to the award, Avinash Bonu, Head of Product, Milestone Inc. said, “Our local solutions have been pivotal for businesses reaching customers for many years now, and we’re glad to be recognized by the hospitality industry yet again by being awarded Gold in the ‘Technology Innovation’ category at the HSMAI Adrian Awards 2021. This is recognition that our vision ‘of putting businesses in front of their customers’ is a reality.“
How the award-winning Milestone Local helps business get found on search
Keep in mind that each listing of a business needs to be treated as a local business, which means it needs to be optimized to be visible for hyperlocal searches and Milestone Local does just that whether you have 5 or 500 locations.
Of course, the goal is to establish Expertise, Authority and Trust (EAT) with the search engine and customers alike in order to conquer the high visibility positions on search.
That said, let’s dial in and show you how Milestone Local streamlines the process for businesses:
- Centralization and distribution of key business information on a single platform
For a business with multiple locations, having a centralized platform with the key business details of each location is necessary as it gives the business the big picture of their penetration on search. It’s no longer just the UNAP (URL, Name, Address & Phone) of the business which is required.
A business listing has to be optimized with its core information (UNAP), description, amenities and attributes, hours of operation and special hours, media, such as photos or videos, services offered, and so on. Each of these fields contributes to the completeness of the business on search for queries online.
On Milestone Local, a business can enter the details of each location and the same information is dispersed to multiple channels and across customer touchpoints, increasing accuracy and saving time.
- Listing accuracy across locations and channels
In order to establish authority with the search engine and trust with customers, it is of prior importance that your business details are consistent and accurate across all channels. Since data naturally gets inaccurate over time across channels, constant monitoring is required.
Milestone Local calls out the accuracy of the business listings across all channels and flags inaccuracies on a daily basis. In addition, the platform will call out locations which need to be optimized on specific channels.
- Study customer behavior and important customer touchpoints
Any business would want to know how customers are interacting with their business on search and Milestone Local offers key insights into profile searches, how many customers clicked on your website, requested directions, and called your business.
Aligning with Google’s local ranking factors, the platform also calls out key insights you need to focus on to drive engagement and visibility, and of course parameters you need to fulfill to meet Google’s requirements to rank.
From responding to reviews to drive your online reputation to updating business categories, keywords, additional phone numbers, Google Business Profile Q&A response notifications, and Google Posts prompts, Milestone Local has your business covered to meet Google’s local ranking factors.
- Performance overview of core channels
Not just high-level performance indicators, Milestone Local drills down to give you a comprehensive report of your business’s performance on core channels, such as Google, Yelp, Bing and Facebook. The performance report will highlight how customers are finding you on search (direct, branded, or discovery), where customers are viewing your business (on search, maps), key actions carried out by customers, followers, media count, heatmap to where customers are requesting directions to your profile, and lots more.
- Driving engagement with Google Posts
Fresh content is an important SEO ranking factor, and publishing Google Posts is a great way to keep your content fresh as well as engage with your audience. Milestone Local allows businesses to publish Google Posts to one or multiple locations at once, schedule posts, and drive engagement across all locations in a matter of minutes.
To bring our local solution full circle, Milestone Local is integrated with Milestone Reviews and Milestone FAQ Manager. Milestone Reviews consolidates your reviews across all channels thereby streamlining the process of assessing and addressing your online reputation – which is part of Google’s E-A-T and an important ranking factor.
In addition, with Milestone FAQ Manager (also awarded Gold at the HSMAI Adrian Awards) your business can manage Google Business Profile Q&As, publish website FAQs to multiple locations at once, and optimize your business for voice search.