You have a shiny, new website. What to do now? Ranking on Google does not happen automatically, it requires SEO, or search engine optimization. You may have heard this term before, what does it mean? How does it benefit your business?
Search engines, such as Google, will rank your website depending how relevant and valuable it is, based on customer’s search parameters. Search engine optimization makes your website relevant to customers, in turn, more valuable to the search engines and causing an increase of traffic to your website. This is one of the factors that helps businesses land on the front page of a search result. Many more elements are involved in search engine optimization: on page optimization, great content, link building, speed, and citations among more than +400 factors.
If your business is local, meaning it serves customers in your area, one way to get your business name and brand online is through directory listings, also known as citations. It may sound simple, but there are various factors to consider: is the business listed in the right directories? Are these the directories used by my target market? Will the listing appear to customers in my neighborhood? How is the business listed?
Accurate listing information
It is important that listings are accurate and consistently uniform in the online directories. The most important part of business online listing is NAP: Name, Address and Phone number. In fact, most business have never updated their business listings.
Over the years, businesses move location, make changes to the business name or phone numbers. It may be time to look at the accuracy of your listings if…
- The business has moved?
- The name has changed?
- The phone number is different?
- Changed phone providers
Over 81% of customers use the search results to find businesses in their area.
When customers search online for a business with your services nearby, consistent and quality citations are part of the top factors Google uses for showing local results. For search engines, like Google, the quantity and quality of the listing information evidences a reliable business, a worthwhile results for the customer. It helps set your business apart from competitors.
The perilous of inconsistent listings
In this modern day and age, the success and profitability of a local business relies heavily on online searches. Incorrect and inconsistent listings hurt the business with negative ranking, creates confusion for customers and hurts the online strength of the business. For example, if the business name is Be You Beauty, but is listed online as BeYou Beauty or BeU Beauty. It may not be recognized as the same business, but as three different listings.
The NAP must be accurate for business to appear trustworthy and useful to local customers.
Are you getting the most out of the directories?
At each online directory, confirm that all the information is completed and correct. It is vital to provide valuable and helpful information that your customers are looking for. This will give your business that extra oomph online. Information such as Name, Address, Phone number (NAP), Hours, Reviews, description, category, URL, and general service information is helpful and shows up when listings are optimized.
Making your business local SEO readyNow, you may be asking, How important is this really? Well, according to the 2015 MOZ Local Ranking Factor Survey, local SEO services is valued at 20.3% importance for local businesses to rank. Unfortunately, most small business owners do not have the time to correct the online listings, since the task is tedious and time consuming. Many SEO agencies offer this service to small business owners. It is the foundation of a successful online presence and internet marketing strategies. Learn more about driving customers to your business.
(Image courtesy of the 2015 Moz Local Search Ranking Factors Survey)
As a business owner, you are in control of your online listings: create, optimize and improve your listings to land your business at the top of search results. Your business needs local SEO to be more successful in your community. Need help getting your listings in order? We can do the legwork for you. Make sure that your business is everywhere that your customers might look for you!
What do you think? What strategies does your business use to reach local customers? Share your experience in the comments below. #DALE