Did you know your business is already listed on dozens and dozens of online directories and listing services, from WhitePages.com to Yahoo Local, Yelp, and Foursquare? These services have gathered your information from online sources and created free local listings for you already, without you having to lift a finger. Great news, huh?
Even better, the vast majority of these local listing directories allow you to claim your local listing, add photos, links to your website and social media channels, a description of your company and services, and more.
While claiming your local listings can be a time-consuming, confusing, and frustrating process, there are three important reasons why you should:
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
While we are big believers in blogging as one of the top ways to improve a site’s rankings, local listings are another great strategy we recommend to our customers. One of the many criteria Google uses to rank websites in search results is the number of links back to your site from reputable websites. The vast majority of local listing directories allow you to claim the listing and add a link to your website, which creates a link on a very reputable platform, helping your SEO efforts.
2. Brand Management
By claiming your listing, you can add brand messages and important information about your company that tells your story more completely. You can have descriptions about your company, lists of your services and products – even showing photos of your products. You can add links to your social media channels as well as your website to make sure that people can easily access your brand everywhere it appears online.
3. Correction of Inaccuracies
It is amazing how often the free listings are inaccurate. We moved our facility location three years ago and I was very confused as to why some of our customers were driving to our old address since we showed the correct address on our website and Google. I found during the local listing process, that the vast majority of the free listings had been created BEFORE we moved locations, and our address was incorrect across the web. It took a lot of time to claim our local listings and fix the issues, but it has helped resolve this problem. We have provided local listing consulting to two customers that had new organization names – one through a restructuring, and one through an acquisition. Taking the time to claim and fix these local listings was absolutely critical to these two organizations from a brand management standpoint.
There are a few services that offer to manage all of your local listings across the web for a monthly fee. We use these services to do an initial free scan that shows us where the listings are, and whether there are any obvious issues with names or addresses, but we recommend claiming listings manually, instead of using the paid service, so they are more complete and accurate.
Find your company’s local listings with a free scan
You can do a free scan of your company through Yahoo Localworks or Yext to see how your organization is listed. If you want to learn how to make the daunting process of claiming your listings easier, call us and we can help!
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