Every business should be listed in business directory listings so that customers can easily find you. It also helps give the search engines information about your business.
The problem is that most businesses don't claim their listings and update them with the correct and current information.
That's a big issue when customers and search engines are trying to find information about you. So here's some useful information on what these directory listings are and why you should update yours.
What are citations?
Citations are mentions of your name, address, and phone number on a website even if there is no link directing back to your site. Your citations need to be consistent across all of your directories. They should also follow Google's quality guidelines across all directories.
Reasons why you need to fix these directory listings
1. Search engines want to provide the best results, and when you show that you are a real entity it gives you more authority
Authority is big when it comes to online rankings. When search engines can identify you as an authority in your niche or industry, it can usually help with your rankings and bring you more referral traffic from your listings.
Google gets their information mainly from these data aggregator sources:
Yelp, Yellowpages, and other directories get their information from these sources as well. Google will also crawl government information about your business. Rarely, Google will use human reviewers to clarify business information. They also accept information from google.com/mapmaker.
2. Your business information is out of date, incorrect, or you have duplicate listings
This not only hurts your traffic online, but potential to lose foot traffic as well as phone calls.
If directories have information listed from your previous address or phone number, you could be losing customers that you don't even know about. If they can't easily identify you, where you are at, or get in contact with you, then they are just going to look for another business.
Don't let customers go to your competitors. Fixing your directories should help you retain anyone that is looking to do business with you.
If your information is outdated or they go to your old address that you have listed that is incorrect, they may think your business is closed.
You wouldn't even know it, but you just lost a customer for good.
Duplicate listings can also send mixed signals to search engines and people. You should remove all the duplicate listings that you can.
If your listing is claimed by someone else try and claim it and fix it. If you can't do that, e-mail the site asking to have it corrected and claimed by you. If that doesn’t work, create a new listing and try to get the other listing removed as a duplicate entry.
3. Shows that you are a real business
Google and other search engines want to see that you are a legitimate business, not just a PO box running an affiliate business out of your basement.
When you go to claim your listing, some will call your business line with a code to verify that you are the business owner. Other directories may send a piece of mail with a code that you will get in a few weeks. They do this so they know that your address is legitimate. It may take a few weeks until you receive the mail to verify your business, so if there is an option to validate over the phone, always go that route.
Once you claim your listings and update your information you want to add images and any information that would be beneficial for people to know about your business. These directories are also places where people can leave reviews about your company. Reviews are crucial for your business as they can also be a ranking factor for your website.
So don't let your business directory listings go unclaimed for much longer. Claim them now or find a business directory listing service to do it for you.
Have you claimed all of your business listings and seen the benefits of doing so? Let us know.