Business directory listings are essential if you sell products and services locally and want to get found online today. Not too long ago consumers found local business by opening up the telephone directory and searching for businesses alphabetically by category. A telephone directory business listing made it easy for businesses to ensure that they could get found by consumers looking for their products and services. Not anymore, the Internet has changed everything. More and more consumers are looking for businesses online. The Internet is to consumers today what the telephone directory was to consumers’ years ago, the best way to find local businesses.
In the past, listing your business in the telephone directory was very easy. There was only one directory and you either listed your business in it or you didn’t. Listing your business on the Internet is different because there are literally hundreds of online channels to list a local business on. To make it even more complicated it’s very difficult to effectively pick out just a few directories and get good results. There are two reasons for this: first, search engines use the number of listings (called citations) on other sites to help determine a business’s ranking in the local section of search results pages. Second: many of the local online channels that allow business to list their business have millions of visitors annually, not having a listing on those sites means consumers using those sites won’t find you.
With more than 97% of consumers using the Internet is some way to shop locally; chances are your next customers are already online searching for you. Your business name address and phone number distributed across the Internet can greatly enhance your Internet visibility and search engine ranking. When consumers want to find a local product or service they look online. Search engines and local business directories use business listings and information attached to them to display to consumers. As a result your business listing should be a key element of your local marketing strategy. Business listings help ensure you are present wherever people look for products, services and companies online. It is not sufficient to simply list your business on Google, Yahoo and Bing – today you have to do more. You have to literally think about being everywhere.
Fortunately there are online services available to help you manage and distribute your small business directory listing to hundreds of local search platforms and business directories across the Internet. These services not only save you time and energy by independently submitting your business listing to the directories themselves, but they also serve as important data providers to the major search engines as well. As trusted data providers the major search engines pull, compare and display data from these providers on search results pages for their customers. Local business directory listings supplied by trusted data providers and compared with other sources are considered “verified”. Business listings that can be either independently verified or considered accurate by search engines improve search engine ranking for that business. For that reason it is imperative that as part of your brand marketing online, you verify that your business listing is accurate and resubmit and/or re-verify you’re listing at least once a year.
If you found this article helpful you might like to read one or more of these articles: