Today, local business information is available at the click of the mouse. There’s no question that consumers use the internet to navigate their way to local brick-and-mortar retailers and online businesses. Therefore, it has become crucial for even small companies to get listed in local business listings.
What is a local business listing?
According to Wikipedia:
A business directory is a website or printed information listing all businesses within some category. Companies can be categorized by business, location, activity, or size. The company may be compiled manually or through an automated online search software. Online yellow pages are a business directory, as is the traditional phone book.
The details provided in a business directory varies from business to business. They may include the business name, addresses, telephone numbers, location, type of service or products the company provides, number of employees, the service region, and professional associations. Some directories include a section for user reviews, comments, and feedback. Business directories in the past would take a printed format but have recently been upgraded to websites due to the advent of the internet.
Many business directories offer complimentary listings in addition to premium options. There are many business directories, some of which have moved over to the internet and away from printed format.
How is SEO & local business listing associated?
In 2014 Google introduced “Pigeon,” a new algorithm update that gives geographical relevance to searches. What this means is inquiries are now more specific to your location. For instance, if you are in Seattle and looking to see where you can get some good sushi, you won’t get “Best Sushi in NYC.”
If you don’t proactively do some SEO optimization of your site and local business listings, likely, customers will not be able to find you online. Here is where online business listings come into the picture.
The best part about local business listings is some are free of charge and easy to set up.
Adding and validating your business in local business directories can significantly help you by increasing traffic to your website, attracting more customers, reducing marketing costs, and assisting in your SEO efforts.
So how can Local Business Listings help your SEO campaign?
1) They boost your site’s online visibility
Setting up your business listings gives you better visibility online. After claiming an existing listing (or applying to start one if no listing exists), you can add your business-specific details to the listing, insert pictures and videos, select the correct categories, and add coupons and map tags.
This helps you by giving your business listing better visibility and content and helps your page stand out in the search results (which are dedicated to your company category).
You have created an additional source to deliver your business information to search engines directly via the local business listing.
2) They provide inbound links
Local business directories allow you, the website owners, to add a link to their website. With the help of this link, you can improve the ranking of your search engine as backlinks (an incoming hyperlink from one web page to another website) are used by search engines to determine your website’s authority.
3) They increase website traffic to your site
By being a part of a local business directory and having a complete company profile, you can rank when people search for your type of business. When someone searches for your niche and location with a keyword, your profile page is searchable, and you might be on top of the search results. This, in turn, helps increase website traffic (when people click to learn more).
*One important thing to remember when adding listings, make sure all your listings are the same. So if you are in a Suite and abbreviate STE, it is consistently listing the same on all directories.
In closing, local business listings are an incredible free start to kicking off your SEO campaign and helping your customer find you.
Next up Best FREE online directories.