Yahoo has announced the release of Localworks, a product that it says will help small businesses recapture sales they may be losing due to incorrect or outdated online listings.
The new product, which Yahoo is launching in connection with location software company Yext, is designed to help companies easily update their online listings across more than 40 online platforms designed to reach 150 million local searchers, according to Tom Byun, VP, Yahoo Small Business.
"We saw the need to provide an offering that helps small businesses easily provide the correct information for online listings, as this is a lost opportunity for them," Byun said.
He cited a 2012 study conducted for Yext by analysts Greg Sterling and Andrew Shotland estimating that local merchants lose $10.3 billion in sales each year due to inaccurate local listings. The analysis of 40,000 listings found that 43 percent of local listings had missing or incorrect addresses. It also found a negative consumer reaction to the discovery of wrong information with 22 percent of those polled saying they wouldn't trust the source again and about 15 percent saying they would look for another merchant.
While Yext offers its own set of products in the area of listings management, Localworks is specifically targeted to reach Yahoo's base of more than 1 million small business subscribers, according to Virginia Hines, senior product manager at Yahoo.
The new offering integrates Yahoo Local, which enables business owners to submit basic or enhanced listing information that is displayed in Yahoo's local search results, with location data provided by Yext. Yahoo Local's business directories, offered for numerous cities, offer local searchers ratings and reviews, maps, and events where users can look up things such as hours of operation, photos, and driving directions.
"We added proprietary local data around performance of the listing on Yahoo Local and we do our own moderation to ensure listing quality," Hines said.
Besides being able to easily locate inaccuracies or deficits in their online listings and correct them in one place, Localworks also allows users to monitor whether their entry has been updated by a site or is still pending.
Other features include a reputation management page where business owners can follow reviews and blog ratings and respond to them, as well as a page that shows listing performance, with data on impressions, profile views, and click-through rates on special offers. It also enables companies to add photos, videos, and other content to their business listings.
The introductory price for Localworks is $30 per month and eventually Yahoo plans to bundle it with other services for small businesses designed to help them "amplify their business information," according to Hines. She says it is the first product in a line of targeted advertising solutions for small business owners to be released later this year.