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Yext Inc.

06/19/2017 | News release | Distributed by Public on 06/19/2017 13:23

A Better Way: Consistency Across the Long Tail (Part 6 of 10)

By Duane Forrester | @DuaneForrester

Back in 2006, then Wired Editor-in-Chief, Chris Anderson, wrote a book called The Long Tail: Why the Future Is Selling Less of More. Anderson drew his inspiration, in part, from research which showed that while there was a 'short head' of very popular search queries on Google, the vast majority of search traffic was actually driven by 'the long tail' of far more infrequent queries.

In SEO circles today, you'll still hear about 'the long tail' in relation not only to searches, but also to intelligent services like search engines, maps, apps, social networks, digital assistants, and GPS systems. Some SEOs have come to believe that the long tail of such intelligent services - those beyond Google, Apple, and Facebook - don't matter to your brand and that submission to data aggregators alone is enough to ensure the digital knowledge presented about your brand is accurate and up-to-date.

This thinking is not only wrong, but also a danger to your brand.

Think about this in real world terms. Let's say you have a franchisee who is using an off-brand logo, not following customer service standards, and delivering a subpar product with your name on it. Would you sit back and relax because, 'Oh, that franchisee is just the long tail of our locations'?

Heck no! You would fix the situation. And that's just what your brand needs to do with the long tail of intelligent services today: manage your brand.

As author Jay Baer and Yext CMO, Jeff Rohrs, discuss in their new ebook The Everywhere Brand, consumers are the center of their own, unique digital universe. So long as there is even one consumer using an app, map, search engine, GPS system, social network or emerging intelligent service, the long tail matters. And you should want the information about your business to be accurate 100% of the time on that service.

The good news is that Yext makes management of your long-tail digital knowledge easy. Thanks to the PowerListings® Network, you can update once and publish to the places consumers look for information about your locations and more. This doesn't add any additional work to your plate, but it ensures that customers using even some of the most obscure services to find you receive accurate information.

I should also note that local listing consistency still matters - a lot. Maybe you've heard this analogy before, but if you ask ten different people a question and receive ten different answers, you can't have real confidence in any of them. Search engines work the same way. Consistent management of long-tail listings eliminates consumer uncertainty and provides your website with a rich source of consistent digital knowledge that can aid search visibility. As friend and SEO expert Kristopher B. Jones, Founder & CEO, LSEO.computs it:

Consistency of your business information throughout the long tail of intelligent services is a far better result than the alternative. Next up in Part 7, we're going to shine a light on a better way to tackle duplicate listings. See you then!

Prior to becoming the VP of Industry Insights for Yext, Duane Forrester accumulated over 20 years' experience in the search and social fields. He is the author of How To Make Money With Your Blog and Turn Clicks Into Customers, through McGraw-Hill. Along the way, Duane has worked in marketing & PR with Caesar's Palace, run his own websites, communities and consultancy, worked for small and enterprise publishers online.

Past work included almost 9 years with Microsoft and Bing where he helped run their Webmaster Tools program, as well as the SEO program at MSN. In between the bookends of Yext and Bing, Duane ran operations for Bruce Clay, Inc., one of the oldest names in digital marketing.

For several years, Duane's focus included writing for SearchEngineLand.com, moderating in the original SearchEngineForums.com and being a Board member with SEMPO, where he founded the InHouse Committee and SEMPO's annual Industry Salary Survey.