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Should Ecommerce Merchants Claim Local Business Listings?

     
3:10 pm on May 10, 2016 (gmt 0)

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A very good piece in Practical Ecommerce by Bill Hartzer:

In January 2015, a nationwide ticket seller based in Chicago claimed its Google local listing. The effect was to severely reduce web traffic, as shown in this graph.


Should Ecommerce Merchants Claim Local Business Listings? [practicalecommerce.com]
3:24 pm on May 10, 2016 (gmt 0)

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The chart provided is a very odd choice and does not seem to support the claims very well at all. The caption says that the local change happened in January 2015 (no idea why the chart compares 26 month periods, including 2011-2014!). The blue line shows both before and after Jan 2015, with a possible small loss of traffic. The orange line compares a period long before 2015. A better comparison would be 2015 vs. 2014 which would also allow for some seasonal comparison.

Not commenting on the local claim, but there's no data in that article that properly supports it, in my view, which is a shame.
3:36 pm on May 10, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I don't think it's really meant as a comparison (Although the seasonality would be interesting for sure!), just as a continuation - orange line is historical to the point where the change was made, and blue was after (and it is clearly lower than it ever has been at any previous point).

There is naturally more we want to know but I think the piece is thought provoking, numbers aside. Especially when as an e-commerce merchant your first instinct might indeed be to grab a local listing, just to telegraph legitimacy, even if you're more of a nationwide provider.
4:01 pm on May 10, 2016 (gmt 0)

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orange line is historical to the point where the change was made, and blue was after


It isn't unfortunately - the orange line shows data ending 11 months before the article says the change occurred (January 2015) so I don't know why it is there at all (especially as it isn't lined up with calendar months). It seems to be inviting comparisons that aren't relevant.

The blue line starts 10 months before the change which occurs just before halfway along the blue line. If you place the orange line to the left of the blue so that it actually shows data over time (as I have crudely done below) I don't think there's a clear picture at all:

[i.imgur.com...]

Don't know if I'm missing something!
4:10 pm on May 10, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Nope, you're completely right - I missed the year on the date selection. It's 11 months prior. My mistake.

I'm still interested in the premise. Maybe Bill can share better filtered data with us.
3:08 pm on May 18, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Regarding questions above about the data - from the comment section by the author:
Diane, regarding the graph above, that’s probably not the best example–it just shows the difference in traffic before/after the local maps (Google My Business) location was verified.

When I looked at when it was verified and when it was not, there was a significant amount of traffic loss related to certain visitors from certain cities and locations that were visiting the site. Then, once it was verified, I noticed a lot more traffic coming from within 500 miles of the verified business location.

This business wanted to remain anonymous, so I can’t provide any more details.

It certainly would be a concern for a firm that sells nationally or internationally.