Local Business Listings
An effective local business listing submission, optimization, and management strategy is an important part of every local visibility campaign. And as local brands grow and expand, understadning the best practices for creating business listings for multilocation businesses and franchises becomes a vital element of a brand’s local online visibility, not to mention the ranking benefits that the search engines tend to give establsihed entities with a fully built-out digital presence.
Much like SEO, local business listings greatly help your business by reinforcing your credibility and authority on the Internet.
Local business listings is an online portfolio for your business that contains your name, address, phone number, operating hours, and other business information. There are a lot of websites and directories where you can create business listings for local business. Among the top, known sites are Google+ Local, Bing, Yelp, Angie’s List, Citysearch, and Yahoo Local. These platforms are free to use but users must manually input their own information or claim their business.
The aim of local business listings is to make your business dominate the local search results. The more local business listings you have, the higher you rank. It increases your chances of ranking high among your competitors and your reach towards prospected customers.
A solid local search presence would greatly impact your business marketing strategy so creating a good local business listing is crucial.
How to manage and optimize your local business listings
Before starting any listings check first if your business is already on their list or not. There are several business listings websites that your business is probably listed on. You just have to claim it and prove that it is your business before you can change any published information there. Claiming processes on business verification vary depending on the website. It can range from verification through a phone call to the email confirmation.
Using correct and updated business information
You wouldn’t want to lose possible business transaction simply because of inaccurate information. Each listing sites have different and unique categories but these are the basic data needed.
- Business name
- Phone number
- Category where your business belongs
Make sure that there is no duplicate records and information posted on each website. Negative outcomes may arise with duplicate listings affecting your SERP ranking because it confuses search engines.
Value Reviews and ratings
Most local business listings sites feature business ratings and reviews alongside your business profile. These online reviews can make or break any business reputation because potential online consumers trust it with their buying decision. Establishing a good route or instructions for your customers to leave a review is another way of improving your ranking and rating. Consider having an incentive scheme or giving certain discounts in exchange for an honest review.
Don’t forget to study a good strategy in handling bad reviews. Sometimes customers take their frustrations on your business through reviews. Review and listing sites offer a reply feature. Take this advantage to excel in customer service by making an effort in giving remedy to their bad posting.
One of the major things that search engines such as Google considers in determining your business listing ranking is the number of rates or reviews your customer’s post. Make sure you get genuine and detailed reviews because fake reviews can not only harm your business listing it can also affect your business ‘reputation.
In claiming or updating your local business listings on different local directory sites, the cardinal rule is that you need to be consistent with your information. There are over 50 sites where you can create listings for your local business. Keep a record of each listing you did and label it accordingly so you will have your own copy for future reference. Lastly, do not fail to regularly update information when needed. Remember, you need to have an accurate information posted online as much as possible.
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