SweetIQ ‘Next Gen Listings Network’ emphasizes selective syndication and offline actions in local SEO offering

The company is also promoting regular content updates for description fields as part of its approach for enterprise customers.

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Enterprise local marketing platform SweetIQ says it’s taking a smarter approach to local listings distribution. The company is “emphasizing smart, perfect data on channels that matter, over the traditional bigger is better approach to listings.”

The company’s recent “Next Gen Listings Network” release takes aim at category leader Yext but equally other players in the enterprise local SEO segment. SweetIQ CEO Mohannad El-Barachi says that most companies in the local listings business indiscriminately distribute content to the same set of directories, which he contends is outdated and ineffective. (Competitor Vendasta published what it considers the “top 100” directories.)

El-Barachi says that SweetIQ’s approach is both more expansive and more selective than competitors’. “We’ve identified a much larger network of directories,” he explained. “We analyze their performance by geo and vertical; those that underperform will be replaced.” That analysis is performed quarterly, according to the company.

Rather than simply appearing in particular directories (for citation purposes), SweetIQ is seeking to measure actual performance as a criterion for continued listings distribution. That performance or conversion analysis includes offline visits and proxy data for offline visits: calls, directions, coupons and foot traffic.

Conversion data are drawn from numerous sources, including Yelp, Google, Facebook, Bing, Foursquare and other “offline data sources.” This use of store visits and offline data as a KPI for listings syndication is novel. In addition, the company is emphasizing content updates as part of its strategy.

SweetIQ offers customers a “Location CMS,” which helps push content updates for business description fields, which can be standardized or location specific in the case of multilocation retailers. While this might appear gimmicky, El-Barachi says it’s effective as a tactic to boost visibility. “We believe in continuously refreshing the content [in description fields].” Those updates include links, coupons and event-driven content or copy.

In another indirect swipe at the market leader, SweetIQ emphasized customer control over listings data in its press release:

  • With Perfect Data, SweetIQ removes all erroneous and duplicate listings so a company starts out with a clean and accurate foundation that doesn’t revert back when clients’ contracts end.
  • By leveraging direct APIs and deep partnerships like Yelp, SweetIQ gives clients full control of their listings, keeping them dynamic, accurate and constantly up-to-date. Combined with SweetIQ’s advanced data analytics platform and online-to-offline attribution engine, basic listings are elevated to the next level, changing from a path of “being found online” to “driving incentivized consumers to stores.”

Again, the interesting and important aspect of this product announcement is the way that local listings syndication will be evaluated and updated according to offline consumer behavior and store visits. It’s part of a larger trend toward capturing offline consumer activity for attribution or later campaign optimization.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Greg Sterling
Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land, a member of the programming team for SMX events and the VP, Market Insights at Uberall.

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