Local Search Marketing: Ensuring the Correct Information for Your Local Business Appears in Local Directories
It’s no secret that one of the best ways for local businesses to market themselves online is via the dozens of regional business directories and universal local search marketing sites like Google + for businesses (Google Places), Manta, Hot Frog, Yelp, et al. A local campaign is one of the best SEO tactics local businesses can employ if they want to increase brand awareness and draw more customers to their locations.
If you’ve already started to do this type of search marketing, you may have noticed that some of these directories already have information listed for your business and that you simply need to claim the profile. Seems great, but the problem is that sometimes the information listed for companies can differ from directory to directory. Sometimes, the business details are just plain incorrect, with everything from wrong phone numbers or addresses to even business names. The goal of local search marketing should be to make it easier for prospective customers to find local businesses, not to downright confuse them.
When there’s conflicting information about your business floating about on the web, this can not only confuse those people looking for local businesses like your own, but it also won’t do anything to help your search marketing or rankings. Why is there different or incorrect information and how can you fix your profiles or prevent this from happening in the first place?
How Local Listings are Created
The reason one directory could have information that varies from another is because Google and others collect details for their listings in a variety of different ways; many pay major information collecting companies that rake websites for business details and combine this information with customer reviews and information they collect from business owners. Sometimes, local businesses have inconsistencies in the business details on their websites, like different phone numbers, email addresses, short forms or acronyms of company names. In one instance, a company listed their corporate name above the address on the contact us page, instead of the name that appears on their website and their storefront and that’s used by their existing customers. This made it appear as though there were two separate businesses located at the same address. This isn’t helpful when you’re trying to build brand awareness or improve your site’s rankings.
Inconsistencies Create Confusion, Hamper Rankings
If you’re about to build a new website, take this as a word of warning and make sure there aren’t any inconsistencies that could crop up to bite you, and your local search marketing efforts, later. If you know there are some details that could be confusing, by all means change them straight away. The problem, however, is that it could be too late and those searching for local businesses like your own might find that your company is listed at one location in one place, or by a different name in another. How can you fix this? Either by going in and updating the listings for your business yourself, or by hiring a team of website SEO experts like ourselves to help you do it. Unfortunately, it may be impossible to fix every listing in every directory as there are dozens and dozens of small, lesser-known directories floating about. The good news is that if you don’t see these directories, chances are few potential local customers are finding them too.
Local search marketing is vital to the success of local businesses online but also at their brick and mortar businesses. This type of search marketing helps build brand awareness but also benefits your rankings, making it easier for local clientele to find you. Contact us to learn more about our comprehensive local SEO solutions.