Your local business listing is your online profile
It contains your business name, address, phone number, and other details. Do you know how many directories on which your local business can create free business listings? These business directories list all the businesses like yours within the same category. Other areas business listings can appear besides local directories, are local blogs and news websites.
The key is to be active in your local business listings or citations
Help local consumers find you. Local Citations are a key factor in local search rankings. When your listings are correct and consistent online, not only can new customers discover your business, citation sites like Yelp increase your visibility and validate you are established, gaining trust from your visitors.
When there are inconsistencies in your name, address, and phone number across directories search engines and searchers do not connect with your website, thus you lose out on the opportunity to do business.
For example, if a business has moved to a different location, changed the NAPs, or changed the website url, etc. and doesn’t update the current listings, clean up duplicates or make corrections, the Googlebot machine cannot deduct which listing is the correct listing and therefore the listing isn’t relevant. No relevancy and the site is nowhere for searchers to find easily.
Data companies, like InfoUSA sell leads to other companies, and data is spread around online. If your information is clean, that is a plug for you, but if you have incorrect data about your business, that gets spread too. The incorrect data can continue to be shared by data companies, and create a big job for you to clear up.
To get started looking at the importance of local citations, find the business directories specific to your city and niche. Whitespark has a list of 50 top citation sources you can resource to get busy adding new citations to your business. Make sure you are tracking the directories you are updating, so you can do an audit later. Also, try the Moz Check Listing tool, which audits your listings on platforms like Google My Business, Bing, Apple Maps, Yelp, Facebook, etc.
Finally, a word about reviews. Reviews are a big visual on the web and essential for online businesses because they give social proof. Per Moz Search Ranking Factors, reviews are 8.22% of its ranking factor. The public has now become reliant on reading reviews to formulate an idea about an opinion they may generate about a business. This is where business owner personality comes in – get good reviews. Welcome users to give reviews – contact us we can tell you how to do this. They are vital to your business and they show up in local search results. You know how important mobile search has become, as you use your phone to find a local Italian restaurant or a local winery and see a 4-star rating, you must admit, it makes an impression you begin to rely upon.
Your business locations are listed in hundreds of local directories and aggregator sites right now and if your information is outdated or wrong, user experience and rankings are weak.
Automate the process of cleaning and distributing your local listings data across the big search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo, and see how the results pay off.