Having claimed, updated, and consistent local listings for your business is a must today. But, what do we mean by local listings? And, where should you start? Here’s an overview of what local listings are, where you should manage them, and why they are so important to your business’ web presence. We also explain why local listings management is so important.
What are Local Listings?
Local business listings, or local directories, are online informational sources that contain basic information about businesses, such as their business name, phone number, address, hours of operation, photos, and sometimes reviews or ratings. Many local listings, like Google+Local and Bing Local are factored into search results in organic and maps searches.
Do You Really Need Local Listings?
Your local business listings play a critical role how you perform in local SEO. Search engines often populate these sites at the top of organic search results. But if you haven’t claimed your listings, they may show up with inaccurate or missing information. Your business listings don’t just need to be claimed and updated – they also need to be consistent with one another – including details like spelling, punctuation, and formatting. This signals to search engines that they all belong to your business, which can increase the visibility of your listings (and your website) in the search results.
What’s more, many local consumers often visit maps and local directory sites directly, especially on mobile devices, bypassing local search results altogether. No matter how consumers are finding your listings, you need to make sure they provide the most accurate, compelling information possible to turn those searchers into leads.
Where Should Your Business Be Listed?
Your business should always have accurate, complete listings on key sites like Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and Yelp. But, those aren’t the only sites you should be on; your business should be listed on many general and industry-specific sites across the web.
To determine the top sites you should be listed on, you can conduct a private browser search for your business name to see if there are already local directories that are populating in the search result for your business name, and then make sure they contain accurate information about your business. You can conduct a similar search for your closest competitors to see what directories are showing up for them as well, and then add your business on the ones that you’re missing.
However, this approach can only show you a portion of the local directories you may want your business listing on. And, once your listings are claimed, you’ll need to review and maintain them regularly to ensure they always contain the latest information about your business.
Learn More About Local Listings & SEO
Learn about our local listings management product, ReachListings, here, and download our ebook “The New Rules of SEO” to learn more about why local listings are a critical component of your SEO strategy.