Local business listings mean that one can promote one’s business to local customers, who are often the most profitable and loyal customers. This idea stems from the age-old concept of advertising in the classified section of the local newspaper or yellow pages.
Most small business owners agree that being found on local search applications and directories is important but only about half of these business owners admit to updating their information on these listings as they have not made the time or effort to update their information. Clearly, small and local businesses face a major challenge when it comes to getting listed locally.
Read on for a few tips that will help you make the most out of your local business listings.
The increase in websites that are compatible with mobile phones has made consumers more tech savvy and proactive when searching for a local business. It is not surprising then that four out of five consumers in the United States now make use of search engines to find a local business. It is important to list your business in as many business directories as possible. Each business directory can be considered as a seperate market-place. The online market-place can be compared to a real world market-place – the more markets you sell your products in, the better your chances of being noticed. Think about it, chain stores usually open stores in every mall or city.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Why should a providing the right information matter? Put simply accurate and consistent information, makes it easier for customers to find you. To get the best out of search engine optimization, make use of the NAP+W formula:
N – Name
A – Address
P – Phone Number
Search engines use the NAP formula to verify the existence of a business. In order for the search engine to validate the presence of your local business, it must confirm that the information provided is correct.
So, for example, if your business name is Sheri’s Chocolate Treats, and you accidentally type Sheris’ Chocolate Treats – placing the apostrophe after the last S instead of before the last S then the business will be listed incorrectly. There are plenty of “cupcake” boutiques in New York City? And there is certainly no shortage of “Financial Services” institutions in Manhattan.
There are plenty of “cupcake” boutiques in New York City? And there is certainly no shortage of “Financial Services” institutions in Manhattan. In order for a business to be authentic, it has to have all three of these elements of crucial information – name, address, and phone – and they all have to correspond on every listing.
When verifying the NAP for your business ask yourself the following information:
- Has your business ever changed names?
- Has your business ever changed locations?
- Have you ever the changed the contact number of your business?
Whether or not you answer “yes” to any of these questions, you should check out some of the local SEO citations and make sure that they are accurate and consistent. Below is an example of a local listing on a search engine.