Why Your Business Listings are Critical to your Local SEO Success

Why Your Business Listings are Critical to your Local SEO Success

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Local SEO has become a critical part of marketing for small businesses. Over 80% of consumers search for local information, on their PCs, smartphones, and other devices.

Those searches often result in offline purchases so having your business listed at the top of the results is extremely valuable.

Let’s look at what’s involved in local SEO for small business, particularly the role of your business listings.

What Is Local SEO for Small Business?

Search engine optimization, or SEO, means optimizing your website to rank at or near the top of the search results for your most important keywords and phrases. Most SEO focuses on Google because it has the largest market share in search by a large margin.

Local SEO is like broad-ranging SEO except it’s optimized for high rankings when people are searching with local intent, as opposed to informational intent. People searching for local information are more often ready to buy than people searching for general information.

Why Your Business Listings Are So Important

There are dozens of directories where you can list your business’ address, contact information, and other important information. While some are more valuable than others, they all play a part in your local SEO success.

One of the factors that Google considers when deciding what local businesses rank in their local “3-pack” (the top three local businesses displayed under the map in local search results) is the information listed in various directories. Being consistent on all the directories will help them identify the correct information for your business. If they trust the information is correct, they’re more likely to rank your business higher.

Making sure your business’ name, address, phone number, and website address are correct and consistent on all the directories is important. This information is called your NAPW citation.

You can maintain this information yourself but you can save time by using a local SEO service to maintain your directory listings for you. Big Fish Local’s MapFish Directory Management service will make sure your listings are accurate across hundreds of directories.

Which Directories Are Most Important?

There are hundreds of directories where you can add your business listing but most of them are only helpful for creating trust with Google. There are only a few that can actually drive customers to your business.

The most important listings to focus on include:

  • Google My Business
  • Facebook
  • Yelp
  • YP.com

Google My Business is the most important because this is the basis of what Google knows about your business. This is what they compare all the other listings against when determining whether to trust the information.

Even minor differences like a spelling error or a misplaced comma can hurt your local SEO efforts so make sure your information is correct. 78% of local-mobile searches lead to an offline purchase so it’s worth it to make sure your listings are up-to-date.

The World Has Moved Online

The days of getting customers from a listing in the Yellow Pages or an ad in the local newspaper are history. And as time goes on, it’s only going to get worse.

If you haven’t already embraced local SEO for small business, now is the time to start. And if you have started, are you doing everything you can to optimize for your coveted spot in Google’s 3-Pack?

Big Fish Local can help you develop a killer online marketing strategy to get your name out and bring the customers in. We’ll take care of the online marketing stuff so you can focus on your business and what you do best. Check out our Consult a Fish consultation service for more information and to get a free business scan today.

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