How To Avoid Local SEO Problems Part 3: Business Listings
This is the third part in our series to learn how to avoid local SEO issues and be at the top of your local business game. Now it’s time to talk about local business listings, which not only add quality backlinks to your website and drive great new quality traffic to you, but if managed improperly can end up hurting your business and legitimacy in the eyes of Google.
Collect Successful Business Directory Listings
First you must do a little research and select the best platforms to post your business on. Start with the largest and most popular sites for any industry, move on to popular local directories (like your Chamber of Commerce, etc) and then work into smaller niche-specific sites.
Top large directories
- Google My Business
- Yahoo Local
Comply with the basic guidelines
Each platform has its rules, and not abiding by them can cause suspension or potentially hurt your brand reputation. Reporting incorrect information is becoming easier for anyone to do, including using a group of your friends’ addresses as business addresses for Google My Business. So before you go signing up for 50 different listings, make sure you understand the rules and best way to present your business.
Complete your profile
There is a variety of pertinent information that will be listed on your business on each platform, and it’s important that you fill in everything as best you can. Ensure that a potential customer has every possible thing they need to decide to do business with you. Don’t miss opportunities!
Maintain one accurate listing per platform
For whatever reason, some businesses end up with two or three listings that have a few differences, whether it’s because they changed their name, accidentally created a new one, the business address changed, etc. There is always a way to edit your one listing and delete duplicates. Make sure your business info is accurate so customers are not confused when trying to find you.
- Map marker in the wrong place: sometimes Google has a bug and places your business in the middle of the ocean…
- Because of the previous issue, driving directions will then also be wrong.
- Lack of monitoring: as much as you may wish an aspect of digital marketing could be one-and-done, this is not our reality today. You must consistently check for new customer feedback (especially so you can respond to any negativity ASAP).
Pick a few good ones
There’s no reason to be listed on hundreds of directories that get very little traffic, to begin with, aren’t super relevant to your business, or aren’t highly trusted by search engines. The purpose of doing this at all besides being seen by more people is to increase your level of trust with Google, and low-quality directories will not help you do this. It’s best to pick a handful of the most popular, trustworthy platforms used by all industries, and then find a few industry-focused ones that are worth your effort (high traffic, trusted brands, etc).
Once you’ve picked the best ones and completed the profiles in their entirety, determine a plan for monitoring them regularly. Edit as needed, post updates if necessary, and respond to reviews.
Post great photos
Too many businesses on Google My Business have some sad looking pictures that make their company look… not as good as it could, especially compared to competitors. When it comes to gaining first-time customers, first impressions are worth a lot. There have been studies that show Google My Business listings with good photos earn over 30% more clicks through to the website and over 40% more clicks for directions to a location.
Continue developing your local digital presence to consistently improve your ranking and brand trust/recognition and you’ll be enjoying long-term success and business growth! To learn more about this and develop a solid strategy, contact K-Kom Marketing.