Odysys is working on creating a Local Search / Local Business Listings Tool that we will be adding to the platform. However, we can currently offer local listing management to our customers.
- Cost: $389/year
- Who is it for?: Nearly any property will benefit from this service. It is especially effective for new properties, properties who have changed or are changing name/address/phone/website, those with low distribution or accuracy scores (we can provide), and those who are consistently not showing up in the "3 pack" map results in Google.
- How does it work?: We optimize your Google MyBusiness listing, then use that optimized listing to update a network of 3rd party sites and data services that Google uses to verify your information and determine its accuracy and trustworthiness. The full update process typically takes 4-8 weeks.
- What can I expect? After we launch the program, we will provide a status, any needed action items or next steps about 30 days later. It may take a few iterations of actions to finish the process.
- How do I get started? Just let us know you'd like to get started via chat or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, then add Odysys as a manager to your Google MyBusiness listing
Why are local/business listings important
"Listing accuracy is Google's method for determining whether or not it can trust a local business search result."
Local business listings are one of the places where you can beat OTAs (they can’t get into the map in Google search results) and where you can outrank your competitors “above the fold” in search results. Getting a good ranking here is better than a “#1 ranking” below the map.
If you want to improve your rankings in the map results, then your property’s business listings need to be clean, accurate and claimed across the data sources that Google trusts. We can help with that.
How does your Local Business Listing service help me?
Better rankings / ability to compete in Google's map results (pictured above)
Google’s map listings aren’t just powered by Google MyBusiness. Google relies on many data sources to determine whether or not they “trust” your business information enough to show it in the map. Trust starts with clean, accurate listing information across Google’s various data sources including sources you may know like Yelp and Foursquare, as well as other data providers like Acxiom and LocalEze and Neustar and at least a dozen others.
In order to rank well in the map results - your listing information needs to be accurate across all of these data sources. Improving your score, and combining it with some more good reviews, and your positioning in Google’s map results should improve quite a bit.
How much does it cost?
The $389 fee is charged up front however because we have to pay to publish your business data to some of these data providers up-front as well. Once your purchase is complete we push your listing updates to all of our partners. This process can’t be reversed once it has started. Because of this, the fee is non-refundable.
We may alter the way we price this tool/service in the future, but this will be the best pricing we will offer.
Am I locked into paying your annual fee forever?
No - you can choose whether or not to renew your subscription at any time.
If you choose not to renew next year, we will simply report to the sites in our network that the listing is no longer under management by one of our customers. In this event, the listings will become vulnerable to unwanted updates from the local search ecosystem. We will not actively remove your listing from our network of sites. You will always have the ability to reclaim your listings manually on each site if you decide to cancel your Odysys local subscription.
How do I get started?
If you would like Odysys to help you out with your local business listings, contact email@example.com (or message us in the app) and we'll answer your questions or set you up.
But I don’t use or haven't even heard of many of these other sites you’re talking about
That may be true, and your customers may not use them either, but Google is looking to sites as data sources that they trust. If your business isn’t listed there, or if the information is inaccurate or incomplete - Google trusts your business less. This makes it a lot harder for you to outrank your competition in the map results.
In addition to consumer facing sites like Google, Facebook and Yelp, there are business data providers like infogroup and acxiom and factual and others who compile business information and sell it to 3rd parties. Including Google. (This is how you get junk mail by the way - these providers sell mailing lists).
This illustration shows the known business listing data relationships that power Google Map results as well as Bing Maps and Apple Maps.
If your inaccurate business listing information gets into one of these data sources, it turns into a giant game of internet whack-a-mole. Even if you find and fix it on one site - another site or database may still be propagating the bad information. It can be maddening.
Why do I have to pay for this? Couldn’t I do it myself?
You could absolutely do most of it yourself. This will require you to create separate usernames and passwords on multiple services you wish to manage your information on. If you were to manually update your locations on the same services we submit to, this would cost at least $300 per business location per year plus the time to do all of them… and the know-how to get it right. And even the know-how to find all of the data providers.
We are simply offering you the opportunity to be more effective with your time than trying to figure out all of the data sources, claiming your listings or submitting your information to every single one, and monitoring and managing for accuracy moving forward. After helping a few innkeepers to do this manually, we decided to build a better system. It is a bear to do all this work. This chart is a recently updated view of the local search ecosystem that powers Google map results and represents the places you’d have to update or manage your listings to really get it right.
How do I know if it’s working?
We have not built any reporting yet, but it will be available when our product does launch, In the meantime , a status update on your listings will be available on request (basically, an updated chart). But the real goal is to improve your rankings in Google map results, which is self-evident, and to get more clicks from Google, which is measurable in your analytics.
How long does it take?
The time it takes our partners to update the listing depends on how long it takes them to accept the data we push to them and update the information across their servers. This can be anywhere from one to eight weeks but generally is completed in around four weeks. Please keep in mind that listing updates can take even longer than 8 weeks, these are just average times that we've been noticing for updates.
What else can I do to improve my Google map rankings?
In addition to using our listing management service, our best advice is to continue to seek out reviews. Be sure to ask for reviews on Google! Our "pro tip" for getting more reviews on Google is to look for guests who have booked using a Gmail address and ask them to review you on Google. Leaving a review on Google requires a Google Account, and a Gmail address is a sure-fire indicator that your guest has a Google account.
More tips for getting reviews are available here: http://lp.odysys.com/how-to-get-amazing-reviews/
Additionally - be sure to Optimize your Google Business Listing (if you sign up for our service, we will audit your existing settings etc and make optimization updates as needed)