The way customers find new or local businesses has changed a lot in recent years. Aside from turning to search engines like Google or Bing, people are using mobile apps, city guides, and review websites like Yelp to get recommendations on where to get products or services they need.
This is good news for all entrepreneurs because it means customers have more ways to reach your business. However, there’s a catch: you also have more business listing citations to manage. Any online listing that’s automatically generated may contain incorrect or out-of-date information—a problem you can, thankfully, address through directory listing management.
Importance of Directory Listing Management
Every single day, many people from different parts of the globe search for local businesses online. Just imagine the number of people searching for restaurants, schools, salons, plumbers, contractors, and other service providers by the hour.
Businesses will obviously try to get themselves in front of these potential consumers searching for companies that offer the same services you provide. As a local entrepreneur, you are responsible for making the search easy for consumers to locate your company.
Through directory listing management, you can make as many citations as you can. Citations refer to the place where the online listing of your location can be found.
NAP stands for name, address, and phone number. By having your details listed the same everywhere, you can rest assured that Google knows your business and its address. Any differences will confuse Google and lead to negative results for your ranking.
Because of the intelligence of Google’s platform, if it sees that the same business is listed under different names, it will treat it as different businesses.
Google Your Own Company
There’s nothing wrong with checking your website online from time to time. Just Google your business name and you will see it end up in various directories. Don’t forget to look for any incorrect business info and make changes once you see them.
Erroneous data gives the impression that the business has moved or changed names. This will most likely hurt your rankings if left unmanaged—another reason directory listing management is so important.
Claim Your Listing
During the checking process, find out if there’s an option for you to claim or manage your listing. Wrong information is usually caused by websites that just add data about companies themselves, without really confirming the specifics with the business.
A word of advice; claim everything that you can.
Don’t forget to update your business info and if possible, add a backlink to your website. This can also help your local SEO efforts. It’s also good to keep a spreadsheet of your listings to better keep track of them.
After making necessary updates, the directories are also going to change on different timelines. The process takes much longer than you would expect, so prepare to play the waiting game if you want to succeed in your directory listing management efforts. For those who worked out inconsistent data and managed to correct it, you can expect to see a difference in your rankings within approximately a month or two.