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 is an overview of what local listings are, where you should claim them, and why they are so important to your business web presence. 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.
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.
Your business should always have accurate, complete listings on key sites like Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and Yelp. But, those aren’t the only websites 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 are missing.