Accuracy is a key component of business especially when it comes to information about your business. Listing the wrong address or phone number can make it harder than necessary for potential customers to get in contact with you. Today we wanted to emphasize the need to check your local listings for accuracy if you want better SEO, because that local connection can have a pretty far reach. Top web development companies understand the power of local listings and every business should take advantage of them, even if you don’t operate a “traditional” storefront.
The Power of Local Listings
Every business should be taking advantage of local listings. By local listings we mean any available online profile for your business which often includes your address, phone number, website address and other important details.
There are a plethora of directories out there that cater to only local businesses, allowing you to create a listing for free. There are also big players like Google+ Local, Bing Local, Yellow Pages, or Yahoo! Local that you can register with along with sites like Yelp or Angie’s List that might list you whether you want it or not.
As long as your business has a name (or DBA), you make face-to-face-contact with at least some of your customers, have a local phone number and have a dedicated physical street address you qualify for these listings.
Listings are a core aspect of a local SEO marketing campaign and can also cause problems when they are inaccurate.
The Need for Accuracy
Google sometimes acts like a suspicious girlfriend, which is a good thing. When Google receives inconsistent data that they can’t trust it makes them feel uneasy. Rather than just reading your emails or hiring a private detective, they instead reduce the value of this untrustworthy information in how they rank because the last thing they want to do is misdirect or frustrate their customers during a search.
If your business does not have consistent and accurate information in all of these local directories, then it will affect your SEO, especially on a local level.
For example, let’s say your business has moved a few times as it has grown. But, after those moves you didn’t remember to update all of your local directories. Now your website has your address as 1234 Main Street with a phone number of 805-867-5309 which is correct. However your Google+ Local page still has your prior address of 5555 Fifth Street and then Bing and Yahoo have your first address of 1111 First Street with your original phone number of 805-899-0001.
Not only are you possibly losing business from people who try and find you using Bing or Yahoo, especially if those old phone numbers don’t offer a re-direct, but you are lowering the trust level of all the listings since they do not match. Google, Yahoo and Bing will treat those inconsistencies as suspicious in nature.
Finding and Fixing Problems
The smart thing to do is to regularly check local listings. This is especially important after you change an address, phone number, or other primary contact points (including a web address). However even if you haven’t changed anything, a quarterly or bi-annual check-up is a good idea as you might not even realize all the places you are listed.
For example, one business was a member of the local Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber had listed the businesses phone number incorrectly based on the application for membership. The business was unaware of this listing until they ran a check.
There are a variety of paid and free options out there you can look into such as Yext.com, Moz Local, or Deluxe.com. Simply enter your information in and you quickly get a detailed report to review for errors and issues. Then it is a simple matter of going to any directories that are incorrect and making changes.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that mistakes happen and data inaccuracies exist in the business world. You should check your local listings for accuracy if you want better SEO especially on the local level because it is a fairly simple thing to do and you can lose business if you don’t.