Data Aggregators: What Are They, and Why Are They Critical for Local SEO?

January 18, 2023

If you’re running a local business, you know how important it is to be visible on the search engine results pages (SERPs). But what you may not know is that data aggregators are a critical part of local SEO.

Data aggregators are companies that collect, distribute, and sometimes sell business listings and consumer data, depending on their business model. They’re also used by search engines to populate local search results and by consumers to find local businesses.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at data aggregators and why they’re so important for local SEO. We’ll also give you some tips on how to make sure you get the best results from using a data aggregator.

What Is a Data Aggregator?

A data aggregator is a business that collects user or business data from various sources and repackages or distributes it in useful ways. Data aggregators are also known as data brokers or data resellers.

A data broker gathers information from social media sites like Instagram and Facebook, review sites like FourSquare and Yelp, and local business listings like YellowBook and NextDoor. Small businesses obtain user-generated content from data aggregator databases for marketing purposes and campaign decisions, as these databases are organized in a way that makes it easy to locate specific information.

A local data aggregator, or LDA, is the type of aggregator that takes information from one business and distributes it across hundreds or thousands of websites. LDAs charge small businesses a fee to create citations for their business. 

Why Is Data Aggregation Useful?

Data aggregation is useful from the local SEO perspective because it allows businesses to spend their time and money more efficiently. Creating citations for your company and Google My Business profile takes hours, if not weeks, without the right tools. Manually submitting your business’s information to local business directories can take 15 to 20 minutes per submission. 

By using an LDA, businesses can improve their search result rankings much faster for a fraction of the cost. An LDA will automatically submit small business information to various websites within a few business days. This frees up business owners and their employees to sell to more customers or improve products and services.

How Do Local SEO Data Aggregators Work?

Understanding how local SEO data aggregators work starts with understanding what information they need to do their job. Local SEO listings include a lot of data, but primary data points are:

  • Name of company, address, and phone number (NAP)
  • Company URL
  • Business description and category
  • Hours of operation
  • Accessibility details
  • Social media profiles/links

There are two main types of data aggregators: centralized and distributed. Centralized data aggregators collect and analyze all the local SEO data from review sites, social media platforms, and other websites in one place. Distributed data aggregators collect and analyze local SEO data and store it in peer-to-peer (P2P) networks or other locations. 

Centralized data aggregators are more robust than distributed ones. They can store vast amounts of information, which makes it easier for them to aggregate vast quantities of information.

Distributed data aggregators are more granular and flexible, making it easier for them to pick up on small changes in a geographic area in real time. When choosing a centralized or distributed data aggregator, make sure that you consider whether you need robustness or flexibility in a system.

Both types of data aggregation structures are used to disseminate information about your business to relevant directories and review websites. Keeping your business information consistent throughout submissions is the most important factor in working with any data aggregator. 

What Are the Biggest Benefits of Local SEO Data Aggregation?

Local data aggregation helps small businesses with SEO because it allows them to quickly and efficiently publish their most up-to-date info across hundreds or thousands of websites. This gives them more time, money, and energy to focus on bigger priorities in their business.

Using an LDA also enables businesses to make more informed decisions about pricing and marketing, as the process of gathering competitive intelligence becomes easier once a business is ranking higher.

Utilizing local SEO data aggregation shortens the time it takes to build a local presence. When you’re doing everything yourself, including SEO tasks, it will take weeks upon weeks. When you hire third-party services to handle manual tasks like citation creation for you, you aren't bogged down by important, but less urgent business needs. 

Local SEO data aggregation also provides insight into the latest movements of search engine algorithms, which can be helpful when optimizing site content, structure, and URLs.

How to Work With Local Data Aggregators

Working with local data aggregators is pretty easy overall; it’s primarily a matter of having your informational ducks in a row. Here’s what to do:

  • Collect your business information ahead of time and make sure it’s 100% accurate. Aggregators rely on all of your ts being crossed and all of your is being dotted. If any of the information you’re submitting to them is different from what’s already associated with your business, it will lead to complications later on.
  • Do your own research. Just like any other business service, you get what you pay for. It’s not up to any individual aggregator to convince you of their efficacy and professionalism; you have to find this out for yourself. Only go with a service that you feel confident about. 
  • Check their customer testimonials. A healthy, profitable business is consistently attracting new testimonials. People who loved working with a data aggregator you’re considering working with will be happy to share their experience. This tells a lot about the follow-through, professionalism, and relevance of any aggregator.

The Bottom Line

Using an LDA is an excellent way to make a large SEO difference for your small business in a short amount of time. As your business achieves higher local search result rankings, you’ll have a clearer line of sight toward your competitors. 

Review each local data aggregator's privacy policy in its entirety before deciding whether or not to work with them, as well as whether or not they follow standard verification procedures in the data brokerage industry. Through local SEO data aggregation efforts, you'll be able to reach the audiences you desire much sooner and at a lower cost than with blanket or strictly manual marketing approaches.

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