6 Tools Merchants Can Use to Clean Up Location Data

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my_locationWhen it comes to finding basic information about local businesses, most consumers aren’t asking their friends and they aren’t opening up the Yellow Pages, either. For 42% of adults, search engines have become the primary tool for finding local merchants and service providers in their areas. But what those consumers don’t always realize is that much of the information they’re finding — up to 43%, according to a survey by Yext — can be incorrect or out of date. This leads to missed sales opportunities for businesses, and frustration for consumers.

New platforms are helping merchants fight back, offering tools that allow brands of all sizes to clean up their location data and get better control of the way their information is presented online. Here are six of those platforms.

1. Placeable: Control location data through a unified dashboard.
Agencies and brands with multiple locations can use Placeable’s new Placeable Plot feature to ensure the accuracy of their business data across hundreds of websites, mobile apps, and third-party sites like maps, networks, and directories. Businesses can import their location data from spreadsheets, and then clean up that data using Placeable’s tools. Once the local data has been “normalized,” Placeable puts it into a standardized format and sends it to location-based platforms like Facebook and Google Places. Placeable charges clients a $299 “monthly platform fee,” and $2 per location, per month.

2. Locu: A data-cleansing solution for small and medium-sized businesses.
Locu works with small and medium-size businesses to ensure their contact and product information is accurate. Restaurants, home service providers, and personal care services can manage their business listings, menus, product lists, and company photos from within Locu’s digital platform. This information is then shared across the web—to publishing partners like Yelp, Facebook, Foursquare, TripAdvisor, YP, OpenTable, and CitySearch—each time an update is made. Locu offers its basic plan for free. Users can upgrade to Premium accounts for $25 per month.

3. Yext: Instantly updating local information on 50+ websites, maps, and apps.
Yext offers a location data cleansing solution that’s scalable for businesses of all sizes. Businesses can run a scan to see how their listings look when customers search online, and Yext will pinpoint how many “location data errors” it finds. Businesses can fix those errors by entering the correct information into Yext’s PowerListings system, and the company will automatically push those updates across a network of 50+ websites, maps, and apps. Pricing for Yext’s PowerListings packages ranges from $17 to $67 per month.

4. MomentFeed: Merging and deleting duplicate entries for multi-location brands.
Large brands with multiple locations can use MomentFeed’s PinSync tool to improve engagement and discoverability at the local level. By utilizing the correct latitude/longitude coordinates (also known as “geocodes”) for each of a client’s physical locations, MomentFeed is able to pinpoint outdated listings, adjust inaccurate geocodes, merge duplicate listings, update listings with correct address information, and upgrade local pages on platforms like Facebook, Google, and Foursquare. Pricing for MomentFeed varies depending on the number of locations being monitored.

5. SweetiQ: Identify inconsistencies in local listings.
SweetiQ is an all-in-one location-based marketing platform for agencies, brands, and franchises. One of the vendor’s key features is its local business listings management tool, which clients can use to find out how their business listings are presented across the web and make unified corrections to any inaccuracies. Businesses can also see how their listings are ranked in search engine results, and which keywords are most likely to bring those listings up. SweetiQ offers a free 14-day trial. Paid plans start at under $100 per month.

6. Universal Business Listing: Take ownership of your online profiles.
Businesses can use UBL to unify the information that shows up about their companies on local directories and search engines. Inaccurate phone numbers, addresses, and website links are updated within UBL’s platform and then pushed out to 150 “points of distribution.” These updated listings will appear as “verified” or “claimed,” depending on the site. By partnering with anchor databases like Infogroup, Factual, and Dun & Bradstreet, UBL is able to expedite the process of having its clients’ old listings removed or changed. UBL’s listings packages range in price from $79 to $799 per year.

Know of other tools that businesses can use to clean up local data? Leave a description in the comments.

Stephanie Miles is an associate editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.