Local business listings are online portfolios that have information about your business, including your business name, address, phone number, hours, and other data like parking and price structure. Most of these platforms provide this information for free and do not charge businesses to be listed. In some cases, businesses must manually add their information or claim their business in order to edit their listing details.
It’s because of local business listings that your business appears on directories like Google My Business, Manta, LinkedIn, yellowpages.com, whitepages.com, etc. There are hundreds if not thousands of these websites that are listing your business without you even knowing about it.
How is SEO Related to Local Business Listings?
The purpose of search engine optimization (SEO) is to increase the quantity and quality of web traffic to a business website by optimizing webpage and blog content so that search engines recognize your business as an authority and your relevance on a particular query. The other half of authority/relevance is a search engine’s ability to locate your business on several directories across the web. Perceived authority/relevance then translates into higher rankings on the search engine results page (SERP) and higher rankings result in more clicks and traffic to a website.
Why Do I Need to Worry About My SEO Local Business Listings?
Online directories search the web for local businesses so they can provide traffic for their paid advertisers and accurate organic listings of all relevant businesses. The directories search and scrape the web and attempt to display as much accurate information as possible. If your business Name, Address, and Phone Numbers (NAP) aren't accurate across all online directories then Google and other search engines don't have confidence that the information is accurate. If your NAP isn’t in order then you won’t get a high ranking on Google Maps and other local organic listings.
How Do I Fix Incorrect Local Business Listings?
Identify EXACTLY how you want your Name, Address and Phone Numbers to appear online. Start with the information on your contact page. Next, Google your business name and click on every directory link for at least three pages back. Check the information in each listing and either claim the listing to edit or contact their customer service to request edits, depending on their policy. It goes without saying that finding all those directories online and manually updating all the information takes several hours of work every year. I say every year because many directories will overwrite your changes if discrepancies are found. Checking in every year will ensure that any new directory listings are corrected and that the ones you corrected previously are still accurate.
Note that some directories are controlled by a third-party company like yext.com that requires a subscription. Businesses sign up through yext.com and then their correct listing details are sent to all directories that work with them. The upside is that your business listings will be corrected on a whole list of directories all at once. The downside is that once you stop paying for the subscription, the corrections go away.
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