Bad data is one of the most aggravating things to deal with in the digital space. It’s a hindrance to all kinds of presence management strategies, and it specifically affects franchises often. That’s why it’s so important for local marketing providers and franchise leaders to take control of a location’s NAP data (name, address and phone number,) especially when it comes to a local business listings. Doing nothing could mean losing business!
How Bad Data Is Created
There are several causes that lead to the damaging effects of bad data, and they’re not all a byproduct of negligence on the franchise’s part. Information can easily be lost in the mix when a business or franchise rebrands, moves locations or merges in some way with another brand or location. All too often, not all of the existing citations are updated with the correct information. This is why a citation audit following any of these business moves is crucial. Duplicate listings are a major example of data gone wrong; if there are three listings for one location with different addresses, odds are the consumer is going to move on to another option.
Users can also be responsible for bad data – but you have to remember that users are an essential part of the SEO process when they leave reviews and check in to businesses. Unfortunately, bad data can be created by users during these actions. For this reason, it’s important to consistently monitor all mentions of a business’ (citations) on the web.
The Problems Caused By Bad Data
Bad data leads to more than just a disconnected phone number. It can affect the way an entire franchise is perceived, affecting its E-A-T. This is a concept Google created a while ago, but it’s something that we always circle back to. E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness, which are the three main qualities a consumer is scanning for when they click through to a business’ website or chooses to hire them. It’s the foundation for all of our local presence management efforts, content creation and the SEO strategies we implement for franchises. When a business loses its trustworthiness or authoritativeness, they reduce their consumer base – often irreversibly.
How Do We Tackle Bad Data at Advice Local?
For any business – franchise or not – there is no time to waste when it comes to reversing bad data. But, you have to know what you’re dealing with. A solid first step is to run a visibility report to get the process underway.
This gives the franchise a baseline of how visible a particular franchisee’ location is to a potential customer; bad data will impact the score and placement in search results in a major way. Many companies such as ours offer free visibility reports, which provide the jumping off point franchises need to take control of the bad data that’s preventing customers from finding them. Ready to take the first step? Here’s the link to access our free online visibility report.