Your businesses’ online presence is about much more than just your website, it is a multidimensional process with several moving parts. While most businesses understand the importance of their website and search ranking, few know the full power of business listings. Managing your business listings helps your business in several ways, and is something you must focus on to achieve your business goals.
The key is maintaining accurate business listings across the entire internet. When you do this, you drastically increase your visibility.
What exactly are business listings and why are they so important?
Read on to find out.
Think of business listing as your online profile/business card. Listings contain your business name, address, phone number (NAP), and other basic information. When customers search for a relevant business online, several business listings from different platforms will show up. In essence, a business listing is an online directory that helps people find your business and the information they need to schedule an appointment or buy a product.
Parts of a Local Business Listing
There are several different sites where you can have a business listing. No matter which site you refer to, business listings contain the same basic data. “NAP” is the essential data your listing should have, and NAP stands for name, address, and phone number. Many listings also include:
- Hours of operation
- The business category
- A short description of your business
- A list of the accepted methods of payment
- Pictures or videos of your business
- The website URL
The more core components you include, the easier it will be for customers to connect with your business once they find you online.
The Biggest Problem Local Businesses Face
It is harder than ever to rank high on Google. As customers have shifted to more mobile searches, the displays show fewer results. Mobile results show only 3 results per page. Earning the top spot is more critical than ever, but it is also more difficult due to the increased competition.
Voice search is another growing modality for the online search. How many results does voice search give? Only one.
While it’s essential to focus on common SEO tactics like keywords, website performance, and content, you need to do everything possible to increase your chances of customers finding you. Consistent business listings across all platforms give you the highest chance of customers finding you on desktop, mobile, and voice search.
The Importance of Business Listings
Every single day, people search online for a service they need. Just imagine how many people are looking for a business like yours near them. People search for everything from restaurants to contractors to local activities. All of these searches can translate into business for you if you can get yourself in front of these customers.
As a local or multi-location business, you need to make it easy for customers to find you. When you use business listings correctly, it is quick and easy for customers to find your local business. The more citations (or places you list your business), the more likely it is that the relevant customer will find you.
Business listings may seem like a small thing, but they are incredibly important for your business. The top benefits of business listings include:
Consistent Information Across All Channels
You may wonder why you should bother with business listing sites that are not one of the big names. Listing across different platforms is still very important. The largest platforms like Google, Facebook, and Yelp constantly check for the accuracy of you information against the smaller listing sites.
Google does not want to share outdated information with its users. Uniform listings across all the platforms increase Google’s confidence in your information, increasing their ability to deliver it to the target market. When sites can confirm the accuracy of your information, they will be more likely to deliver your business listing on the relevant search queries.
Boost Your Local SEO
Of course, you want to be a top-ranking business in the search engines. Business listings actually play a role in SEO. While there are several ways to increase your SEO, optimizing your local business listings is one of the most overlooked tactics. Ensuring your listings are accurate and optimized across all platforms helps your SEO and will draw traffic to your business. Business listings are just one part of the SEO puzzle, but they are definitely worth managing correctly.
They Help Your Marketing Strategy
Believe it or not, business listings help your marketing strategy. Advertise your local business via a directory to draw your target audience. You can appeal to your ideal audience based on your business profile.
You can also cross-promote social media platforms on local listings. Include your social media links to grow brand awareness and engagement. Including your social media links on your business listings is a great free way to advertise your business, especially when you use your social media to promote your business and increase brand awareness.
I want this article to explain what are business listings are, why they are important. I believe it is mostly for SEO. It is important to syndicate your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) to all of the relevant business listing sites for consistency.
How Much Do Business Listings Cost?
Some listings sites offer free business listings. The top sites, like Google, Facebook, and Bing are free to list your business on. You should absolutely list on the free sites as soon as possible. Some other sites offer paid listings. Depending on your industry, it may be a good idea to list on industry-specific sites as well. Some of the paid listing sites include:
- Autotrader. This site is for automotive dealerships. While you must pay to list here, doing so exposes you to several interested buyers. The cost to list varies.
- Trulia. Trulia is a real estate website that connects brokers and agents to home sellers/buyers. You can list on their online directory for a price. It’s a very reliable, reputable site that gains a lot of its own relevant traffic. If you pay for Trulia Pro, you can list your real estate properties.
- Better Business Bureau. The BBB is one of the most esteemed sources around. If you meet their standards and pay a nominal fee, you can become accredited by the BBB. They will monitor your business to ensure you continue to meet the code of ethics. BBB accreditation is a big advantage for gaming the trust of potential customers, ao accreditation is something to consider.
Managing Your Business Listings
Business listings are incredibly valuable… if you manage them the right way.
Claim Your Listings
The first thing to do is to claim your listings. Sites like Google create profiles for existing businesses. If you see Google has a profile for your business that you did not make, then you should claim it. Search online for your business and claim any business listings that you see. Once you own the listing, you can control the data and manage the listings.
If you don’t currently have any listings, now is the time to start. You should first create a free Google listing on Google My Business. Do the same for the other major free platforms. Make sure you have a listing on every free site.
The Importance of Claiming Listings
The last thing you want is inaccurate information floating around about your business online. Incorrect listings provide negative customer experiences and plummet your SEO. You need to claim your business listings so that you can ensure your NAP is current, complete, and consistent.
How to Manage Business Listings
Managing business listings is something you must do on a regular basis to ensure the information is accurate. To manage listings you must:
- Audit your business information
- Do an online audit to analyze the consistency of your listings across the internet. Check for duplicate listings as well.
- Correct NAP data.
- If you notice any incomplete listings or inaccurate information, then you must update your listings. You must do this for each and every listing to ensure consistency.
- Track listings to ensure they are accurate, complete, and consistent.
- Once you’ve corrected the listings, the job isn’t done. You must continue to track your listings. Any business changes need to be reflected in all of your listings as quickly as possible. Consistency track listings for the correct NAP data.
Should I Manage My Own Listings?
Technically, you can manage your own listings. When you do this, it’s free and you have complete control. However, there are some major drawbacks. Managing your own listings is incredibly time-consuming. The larger your online presence is, the more demanding it becomes. As your business grows, your listings will grow, and managing them quickly becomes a long, daunting process.
The easiest way to manage your business listings is with the help of a streamlined process. Whether you have a single location or many locations, it is helpful to use a tool that identifies inconsistencies with your NAP or sites that you are not currently listed on. With our incredible software solution, Attract and Close can help you seamlessly manage your business listings. No matter how many listings you have or how fast you are growing, we have the tools and expertise to ensure consistent, accurate information on your listings at all times.
It is important to syndicate your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) to all of the relevant business listing sites for consistency, and our knowledgeable team will help you do just that. To save time and headache, leave your business listing management to us. To learn more about our business listing management solution or to get started today, schedule your free consultation HERE.