There are dozens of local listing sites, and your business should be on as many of them as possible. As a local business, you may struggle to out-rank large national competitors in organic search. By keeping the basic details about your business up to date, however, you’re able to capture the attention of potential customers who are searching for a company with your services.
Your local listings are an opportunity to drive brand equity, traffic to your site, trust with potential customers and much more.
Listings are Cheap (And Often Free)
Many of SEO tactics you should or already employing are costly and time-consuming, from link building to maintaining regular content on your business blog. Local listings, on the other hand, are cheap, and in most cases, free. To make the most of this budget-friendly SEO tactic, check out Hubspot’s big list of 50 best listing sites and spend less time filling out your information (keep it consistent—more about that below). Don’t forget to add your listings on industry-specific sites as well.
When creating your profiles, use a tool like this Autofill Forms Chrome extension or work with 10x to get this tedious job done. We consistently manage and optimize local listings for clients who want a professional touch and don’t have time to do it themselves.
Google Likes to See Consistency
The various pieces of information found in your business listings, in addition to social media profiles and your website, are called citations. Each citation, or data point, from your phone number to your address, need to be the same. Google gathers this information and if what they find is both accurate and consistent, your search ranking is strengthened. If not, the assumed lack of trust leads to a decrease in rankings.
Search your business, if you haven’t yet, to check that all current listings are up to date. Correct anything that’s inaccurate and start a record of all the sites where your business can be found. This will help you stay organized and make it easy to keep them updated as needed.
Customers Trust Consistency
Consistency in contact information is not just important to Google and your rankings, but it’s also important to building trust among customers. If they see one phone number on your website and another on the listing that came up in search, they may be hesitant to contact you—it’s now expected that businesses will maintain their online footprint and make it easy for customers to get in touch. Keep this in mind if you open new locations, change contact information, or offer new services.
You Can Boost Brand Equity (And Traffic)
Brand equity relates to the perceived value of your business, which begins with awareness that your business exists. By maintaining local listings, you ensure that you show up when customers are looking for you. Because the Google “3-pack” (the top 3 local listings for local searches) appears at the top of 93 percent of local searches, it’s critical that at a minimum your Google My Business listing exists and is up to date.
As potential customers see your business name more often, along with the reviews and rich snippets (like the star ratings you see in search), you build greater brand equity, which leads to more sales.
Not to mention, a 2015 Moz analysis found that 44 percent of all clicks in Google were on the top three local listings, which means that keeping your listings up to date can also drive more site traffic.
You’ll Collect Social Proof via Reviews
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful forms of marketing—and testimonials come in as a close second because they replicate personal recommendations in a digital format. As such, a 2017 analysis by Bright Local found that 85 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, making them critical to your business.
Local listings allow you to collect these reviews in a place where everyone can see them when searching for your business, products or services online. Rather than keeping great testimonials only on your website, which may not be ranking as high as you’d like right now, encourage customers to leave their feedback on your various profiles.
Get Listed, ASAP
If you’re not listed on Google My Business, Yelp or any major industry-specific listing sites, make this task a priority. If you don’t have time to do it yourself, get in touch with us and we can do it for you—optimizing your listings to reach more customers at the same time.