No matter if you’re a small business, mid-sized business, or even a large corporation, you’re going to have local listings. And really, you need them. Local listings are how your clients find you, visit your company, and buy your product. What’s more, Google uses your local listings to rank your company and your website on search results pages. If you want your business to pop up when someone searches “restaurants near me” you need to get your local listings in the shape.
Don’t have any local listings?
Well that’s a bigger problem, since that makes you invisible to the internet, and thus all the potential customers floating around out in cyberspace. We encourage you to do a quick Google search of your business, using a few different spellings, just to make sure, but then you’ll want to start adding listings.
Alright, so now that you have local listings, here’s how to make sure they’re in shape:
You need to have control of all of your listings if you want Google to take you seriously. First of all, it’s a liability to have those listings out there unclaimed, because you don’t want someone hijacking your listing for nefarious purposes. Second of all, when you have control of your listings, you know what’s happening with them at all times. You’ll know if you get a good review, and you’ll be alerted if someone posts a spammy review. When you control your own listings, you’ll also be able to comment back to reviewers, which is a great way to boost your client relationships. From there, you can move on to the next steps, each of which will increase your search engine rankings, and boost the amount of traffic coming to your site.
When you have control of all of your listings, go ahead and delete any duplicates. Say for example, that multiple people had said they were at your restaurant on Facebook before you had a Facebook page. Sometimes Facebook will create a business page for that place that people keep mentioning, even though it might not be your official business page. You need to control, and then delete those extras. Extra listings on any site will confuse customers, since they won’t know which is actually your business. To limit confusion, and to ensure your customers are going to the right place, make sure that all of those extra listings are eliminated, and you control every listing associated with your company.
Once you control all of your listings, make sure they’re consistent. Every online platform you use should feature the same business name, address, and phone number. We call this NAP. Say for instance, your business is Ray’s World Famous Chili Dogs; your Facebook page, your Yelp listing, your Google listing, and any other site you’re listed on, should all have Ray’s World Famous Chili Dogs for the business name. Not Ray’s, not Ray’s Dogs, and not even Ray’s Famous Chili Dogs. It has to be Ray’s World Famous Chili Dogs across the board, or not only are you going to confuse customers, you’ll get bumped down in search engine rankings. The same goes for address and phone number. If you have two numbers, or you have two business locations, make sure they’re both listed on every single listing. The more user friendly your listings are, the better you’ll do with customers, and in search engine rankings.
Another minor detail to make sure you have listed properly is your business hours. First of all, make sure they’re listed. Second, make sure they’re accurate. If you’re going to change your hours for a holiday or for the summer, make sure to update that information on all of your local listings. No one wants to show up somewhere, only to find that the business they were looking for is closed. This upsets customers, and makes them less likely to return to your company. So make sure the hours you have listed online are the hours your store will be open.
Finally, it’s a good idea to put up some quality photos of your business on each of your local listings. These can be pictures of the outside of your building, your company’s logo, examples of your product, or whatever makes sense for your company. It’s important that you have these photos though, because a lot of consumers use them to make a decision.
Nine times out of ten, when comparing a listing with no photos to a listing with four or five photos, a consumer is going to pick the company who’s posted photos. It shows them what your company looks like, and it builds up that client-customer relationship before you even meet them. It’s simple to do, doesn’t take much time, and helps boost your search ranking, so why not do it? You already have the listings, you might as well make them look good!
Local listings are one of the best ways to drive sales in your area. They make it easy for customers from your town to find you, and they boost your rankings on search engines, which drives more traffic to your site. We hope these tips help you polish up your local listings so you can optimize that regional traffic as soon as possible!
If you have any more questions on local listings, or if you’d like some help with your digital marketing strategy, make sure to get in touch! From local SEO to paid search campaigns, we’d love to help. For more information on optimizing your website for search engines, take a look at our exclusive SEO checklist: