Whether your business is a handful of people or hundreds, you have company data that is in a constant state of being updated, changed, or deleted in different computer systems, spreadsheets, and software packages. No wonder discrepancies occur and mistakes are made when information you thought was correct isn’t.
It’s never been so important to harness all company data or “digital knowledge,” clean it up, and maintain that cleanliness. It’s a big, important job, especially when it comes to sharing company information online. And incorrect information that’s already posted online also needs to be dealt with if your company wants to improve SEO rankings and keep up with the competition. If digital knowledge management isn’t on your radar, it should be. Here are five compelling reasons why:
1) Internal data cleansing and consolidating your online business listing in a single hub
In the old days, company style sheets – printed, hard-copy lists of company facts and figures – were used for public dissemination. That has completely changed with the advent of the world wide web and internet. Every employee is online doing their own thing and when they share or post company information online, they may not even know whether that information is correct.
But it’s essential that any and all company information be correct to ensure your business (and all its branches or franchises) shows up in searches, is correctly pinned on maps and GPS, and that essential data like name, address, phone number, hours and special offers are correct and available with little effort on the searcher’s part.
At the same time, it’s also important that clean data stays that way and that managers have the ability to contribute new data as needed. One good way to do that is to maintain it in a single repository or “hub” accessible by chosen contributors but protected from those outside your company.
2) ongoing Accuracy in your online business listing
Even when your company data has been consolidated and cleansed in-house, there remains the daunting task of finding and correcting bad data online. The saying, “Once something is on the internet, it’s there forever,” isn’t too far from the truth. Even locating incorrect company information can be an exercise in futility if you aren’t extremely well-versed in how the internet works.
For example, if your Google My Business listing needs updating, do you know how to do it? Are you aware of all the rules? Do you know all the ways to optimize your listing? Most importantly, can you keep incorrect information from other listings on other sites from changing your Google listing? It’s a tedious process, but one that isn’t optional if you want your company to stay on top online.
Then there’s the problem of duplicate listings, a serious no-no on Google and other platforms. Duplicate listings can earn you penalties or even the loss of your listing. Even if you didn’t put a second listing on a site, if one is there, it’s up to you to figure out how to deactivate it and ensure the listing posted is, in fact, correct.
3) Voice searchability for your online business listing
Thanks to Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and Google Assistant, AI and voice searching is gaining use with 71 percent of people now using it for everyday tasks. By 2019, there will be 130 percent more intelligent speakers than there are today, and by 2020, half of all searches will be by voice. Convinced?
When people are using AI software or voice search, they ask their questions differently. Gone are the days of hastily typed broken fragments of keywords. Instead, searchers are using fuller sentences, asking specific questions, and generally talking to these software programs like humans. They also expect a human result. With AI software searching for a specific answer to a specific question and Google displaying featured snippets and knowledge graphs, specific and highly trusted answers to the questions searchers are asking can get you on the top of searchers minds.
Since voice search relies on structured data to provide the requested information, the structure of that information is critical. Enter Schema, the collaboration between Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Yandex, is the mothership for creating the structured data you need for voice searches. (If you want tips on best optimizing for mobile and voice searchers, check out our previous blog. But even if your data is structured correctly, if it’s incorrect, you’re better off without it.
4) Improve local search engine optimization for your online business listing
A key to better SEO is consistency, and consistency should be near the top of your digital knowledge management checklist. Once you have cleaned up and centralized your data, creating a consistent message across all platforms is the next step.
Make sure all names, phone numbers, and addresses are identical in every way. Check for contradictory or outdated information. Don’t forget to add data that your customers or clients want. Lastly, double check to see that all tags are in place to ensure this rich information is easily found and understood by search engines. This will ensure you business shows up at the top of listing in knowledge graphs.
These knowledge graphs show prominently when searchers are looking for your business as well as when they’re searching for businesses like yours in their area. By having accurate information, you can lead people searching for your solutions right to your storefront. But if your information is incorrect, you could lead searchers astray. Sending people to an old location or to the correct location but outside of your current business hours is not a way to earn happy customers. In addition, if your information isn’t accurate everywhere, the Google algorithm may be unsure if it has the correct information and not even show your listings to searchers.
5) Give clients what they need, when they need it with your online business listing
You’re being searched by people on the go, and they want their information fast and factual. One way you can serve this need is to ensure your location information is absolutely correct and that it is accurate on both mobile and desktop devices. The easier it is for customers to find you when they are actually planning to visit, the more customers you will have stopping by. Adding information like daily deals, discounts, and coupons further sweetens the deal so be sure to plan for and post them often.
Users have the opportunity to give each other information on your business in the form of leaving reviews, asking and answering questions, adding photos, and even suggesting edits to your hours and location. When ninety percent of consumers read reviews before visiting a business, you want to make sure the content your customers are sharing is helpful. Including user-created content in knowledge cards is intended to give searchers detailed, helpful, and human information about your business. However, it’s important you keep track of these interactions to make sure that information is accurate.
Yes, digital knowledge management is a lot of work. In fact, companies are now hiring digital knowledge managers to perform the work because it’s no longer easy and it’s no longer something you can do once in a while. It’s a full-time job and requires a high level of expertise. If you need help with your company’s digital knowledge management, InVerve Marketing & Web can help right now. Contact us today and find out more!