Local search marketing platform SweetIQ is releasing its “next generation” listings network today, enabling marketers to list businesses across more than 80 search and discovery websites. The launch is the latest step in SweetIQ’s evolution, as the company expands with products to help brands, agencies, and small and mid-size businesses to measure conversions and increase local sales.
“SweetIQ has always been a technology company with performance and analytics ingrained at its core,” co-founder and CEO Mohannad El-Barachi told Street Fight. “Over the last few years, we have made tremendous strides in evolving our product offering to ensure our clients are able to launch local marketing campaigns that drive true and measurable performance metrics.”
Although the local listings market is saturated with industry heavyweights, SweetIQ is looking to differentiate itself with a sharp focus on what it calls “smart, perfect data.” El-Barachi says the value in sites like Facebook and Yelp lies in the crowdsourced information that users can access in real-time. SweetIQ is looking to enhance that, with listings that are “active, living pages.”
Important data, like business hours or store addresses, can be updated in real-time, and SweetIQ’s listings will be verified directly on each site. SweetIQ is also looking to remove erroneous and duplicate listings for enterprise level brands with multiple locations, which means inaccurate listings won’t come back if a business later ends its contract with the local search marketing firm.
“Businesses accustomed to the traditional method of flooding the local web with their listings and maintaining the bare-minimum of data have seen how this approach results in stale results. Impressions shoot up at the initial creation of the listings but plateau fairly quickly, and in many cases start to dip over time,” El-Barachi says.
SweetIQ’s approach relies on a two-step process, beginning with auditing, claiming, verifying, and taking full ownership of listings on the local directories that have the most impact based on the vertical and geographies for each individual client. Second, El-Barachi says SweetIQ will constantly update each client’s listings to keep the content relevant and synchronized. Once listings are identified, claimed, and updated, SweetIQ will do a human verification on top of the automated process to ensure that the data is “perfect.”
“Human verification can ensure that listings are exactly the way our clients want it, in ways that an automated tool cannot,” El-Barachi says. “Since we use open APIs and standards, the listings are living pages and content can be supplemented through crowdsourcing, we use crawl technology that verifies the content of the listings regularly to keep track of changes and take action when needed.”
The company says it is also differentiating itself from competitors in the market by relying on open API directories instead of proprietary partnerships. This will give the company’s clients access to their own listings, which they can update whenever it’s warranted.
Possibly the most substantial component to SweetIQ’s listing network its connection with the company’s data analytics platform. Rather than viewing data as a path, enterprise level brands with multiple locations will be able to see how visitors found their listings, including flow of traffic and keyword searches.
“Our online-to-offline attribution product mashes data from multiple online and offline data sources to provide a clear point-of-view on in-store traffic lift. By looking at relevant metrics like calls to stores, driving direction requests, in-store visits, coupon redemptions, [and] UBER rides completed … our algorithms are able to measure the impact local campaigns have had on increasing the flow of in-store visitors on a store-by-store basis, and of course in aggregate across an entire brand,” he says. “This type of data is invaluable to our customers who are now able to attribute actual dollar spend at the store level that originated from a local campaign.”
SweetIQ’s network is comprised of more than 80 directories, however each package will look slightly different based on individual client factors like vertical, geography, and specific needs.
“The platform is able to offer a highly granular level of analytics which will help inform client campaigns and help us to continually optimize where in ‘The Smart Network’ they should be listed,” El-Barachi says. “A big benefit this brings to our clients is the higher level of personalization we are able to bring to each campaign.”
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.