Today, local business information is available at the click of mouse. There’s no question that consumers are using the internet to navigate their way to local brick-and-mortar retailers, and online businesses. Therefore, it has become crucial for even small business to get listed in local business listings.
What is a local business listing?
According to Wikipedia:
A business directory is a website or printed listing of information which lists all businesses within some category. Businesses can be categorized by business, location, activity, or size. Business may be compiled either manually or through an automated online search software. Online yellow pages are a type of 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 business provides, number of employees, the service region and any 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 the premium options. There are many business directories and some of these have moved over to the internet and away from printed format.
How are SEO & local business listing are associated?
In 2014 Google introduced “Pigeon” a new algorithm update that gives geographical relevance to searches. What this means is searches are now being 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”.
Basically if you don’t proactively do some SEO optimization of your site and local business listings, it is likely customers will not be able to find you online. Here is where online business listings come into 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 greatly help you by increasing traffic in your website, attracting more customers, reducing marketing costs and also assisting in your SEO efforts.
So how do Local Business Listings can 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 category of company).
You have created an additional source that will deliver your business information to search engines directly via the local business listing.
2) The provide inbound links
Local business directories that allow you the website owners to add a link to their website. With the help of this link, you can actually improve ranking of your search engine as backlinks (an incoming hyperlink from one web page to another website) are used by search engines to determine the authority of your website.
3) They increase website traffic to your site
By being a part of a local business directory and having a complete company profile, you have the opportunity to 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 to increase traffic to your website (when people click to learn more).
*One important thing to remember, when adding listings make sure all your listings are EXACTLY the same. So if you are in a Suite and you abbreviate STE, it is listing consistently the same on all directories.
In closing local business listing are a great free start to kicking off your SEO campaign, and helps your customer find you.
Next up Best FREE online directories.