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Local Listings – Top Five Benefits for Small Business Owners

As a small business owner, you may already be aware of just how important it is nowadays to take your business online – whether it’s a website showcasing your services or an e-commerce site that can be used to gain new customers from far and wide.  You’ve probably listed your business on a couple of the bigger business directories too – if you haven’t already, then you should.  However, there are also a plethora of smaller business directories and many of these will have already listed your business ready for you to “claim”.  This can take quite a lot of time and effort as your business details will need to be listed in different ways on many of them, leading to many small business owners unable to keep up and get their details out there.

However, the more sites that list your business information correctly and consistently, the more likely it is that you’ll come to the attention of a wider range of potential customers.  Online directories are the new Yellow Pages and Thompsons Local Directories – so you need to make sure you’re listed in all of them.  Here are the five main reasons why:

  1. When search engines like Google crawl the web, they look for all mentions of your business’ name, address and phone number (NAP).  However, any variations (such as an alternative phone number or an abbreviated address) results in the search engine considering it not legitimate.  If all of your information is consistent across all websites and directories, search engines will view your website and your business listings as trustworthy which will boost your ranking in the search results.

  2. When you find and correct all of the local listings for your business, don’t forget to “lock” the listings so that they don’t change.  Online directories gather listing information from aggregators that scrape government documents and public data sources where the information is often outdated or incorrect.  This could be used to overwrite your business listing after you’ve corrected it so locking your listing is a key component in securing your business online identity.

  3. Consistency is also vital for potential customers so that they know how to contact you or how to find your business premises (online or bricks and mortar).  Incorrect information fosters distrust in customers and they’re likely to make their purchases elsewhere so make sure that all of your business info is correct and up to date at all times.

  4. When all of your online business listings are up to date and correct, search engines will consider yours a trusted and legitimate business so you’ll rank higher in search listings.  This will result in more potential customers viewing your listing and clicking through to your website.

  5. Most web searches are now performed on smartphones, rather than desktop computers.  When a customer sees your business listing in the search results, they are just as likely to phone you as they are to visit your website.  This means more phone inquiries which can boost your business.  However, it’s essential that your phone number is listed correctly.