Business directory listings are a valuable local SEO tool, whether you’re a fully operational enterprise with years in the trade, or a recently launched start-up looking to gain a foothold in a competitive niche. You want to ensure you get it done right in order to maximise on the potential that the directories have for your local SEO efforts. Here are DOs and DON’Ts to follow when it comes to the listings:
There are numerous directories, and each come with their regulations. There are also those which have ready-made listings, while others will require you to make submissions. Some encourage their users- who are your consumers or persons in your vicinity who have interacted with your business, to submit listings on your behalf. Whichever the case, you want to get control of the information, and ensure that it is accurate.
Start by claiming your listing. In case your business already has a profile in the business directory, claim it and verify ownership. The next step is fixing inaccuracies. When there are inconsistencies in the business name, phone number and address, and even the hours of operation- it creates confusion for all parties involved- from the users looking through the directory for your business, to the search engines crawling the web for information to display results on their SERPs. For instance, having different formats of the name will cause Google, Bing and other search engines to interpret this as being different businesses, each to have its reputation judged on its own merit, and this negatively affects your ranking. Even a small alteration like changing your address- on the website being “145 Street, Northwing Road” and on the listing “145 St. NorthWing Rd.”, will raise a red flag. They should be consistent all through. Ensure that the name is as it appears in the real world setting- don’t go adding catchphrases and keywords to the name.
When selecting the categories for your business, go with those that are as precise as possible to the niche you’re operating in. Usually, the directories allow you to select multiple categories, that way you will be able to effectively present your business for improved SEO. Remember to include categories for secondary products and services that you offer.
Upload your photo- and even video if the directory has the option. The photo should be professional and real- not pictures copied from other sections of the internet, or the popular stock photos. Remember that images have a powerful impact on the viewer, so you should look approachable and friendly.
Avoid exaggeration, and don’t mislead the readers. The business listings deal with facts about your business- who you are and what you offer. For sections like the name and contact details, there is absolutely no wiggle-room. These should be 100% accurate. Sections like the business description will allow some creativity, since they basically function like business ads, letting you tell the readers how you operate, and what sets you apart from your competitors. However, this does not mean you go overboard. The information presented here should also be truthful.