Online business directory listings are the places where your business information exists on websites all over the world. The most well known include Facebook, Google My Business, and Yelp. After these there are countless industry specific websites with core business information as well. We know that keeping this information up to date and consistent makes a difference in Google placements. We also know that completing the information on the platforms that matter to your business results in greater customer engagement. Read on to learn more about directory listings, how they work, why Google cares, and why messing this up can hurt sales.Core directory listing information is made up of the following:
- Phone number
Then, individual websites allow for other information such as pictures and business category and sometimes even content. Oh, and one thing we haven't mentioned yet... most of the websites where this information is held also allows for some sort of star-review capability by customers.
When this information is spread around the internet accurately and consistently businesses see a better search results presence and more traffic to their website. They generally also see more feet through the door, phone calls, and leads.
The reason for this is that accurate business information is an indicator of value to search engines like Google, and Google gets to decide where to show a business in search results, on Android phones, and in Google Home. Consistency across this information means the business is rewarded with good placement. It also means that potential customers are presented with accurate information about the business early in their search for products and services.
Examples Of Business Directory Failure
When these sorts of things happen, customers and search position are impacted. These are examples so that you understand why this is important. Next we'll cover ways to stand out. But, until then, failure scenarios:
- There are duplicate business listings, maybe due a slight variation in the name... Impact: Google will not show the Google My Business listing to searchers
- The phone number is inconsistent across business listings... Customers will call the wrong number and search engines may not show the phone number in search results
- The business has many locations but one directory listing... Searchers don't get the benefit of local search results and may not see the business at all
How To Stand Out
Here are a few things you can do to help your business stand out in directory listings online:
- Include great pictures
- Create Google My Business "Posts"
- Write a customer-centered business description, not a corporate history
- Provide coupons where they are supported