Running a small business is by no means a small feat – you’re likely to have a seemingly never ending host of tasks to check off your to do list. But something that you need to do sooner rather than later is set up business listings for your company. Not only do they help to establish your business as a reputable and reliable competitor in its field, but it can improve your business’ SEO too! Here’s everything you need to know on the subject to get yourself started out in the right direction.
What Exactly Are Business Listings?
Let’s start out by establishing what exactly business listings are. They are essentially online portfolios that contain information about your business.
Commonly referred to as NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number), this information could also include:
- Your name (as the business owner)
- Your business address
- Your business phone number (including toll free numbers, extensions, and fax numbers)
- Your business email address
- Opening hours (if your business is tangible)
- Any other data pertaining to your business that could prove useful to the public
You may also want to include reviews in your business listings. This is the perfect place to show off positive feedback from existing customers who have already engage with your company, its products, and its services. After all, if people are actively looking your company up, they’re already somewhat interested in what you have to offer and good reviews could encourage them to engage with your brand through making purchases.
The Purpose of Business Listings
The main purpose of business listings is to make your business more easily accessible online. It consequently makes your business more easily searchable. It can make your company look more credible – if information is readily available, you have a more professional presence, as it shows that you are ready to communicate with customers, potential partners, and members of the general public.
The Importance of Consistency in Business Listings
Your business listings need to be consistently available (you never know when someone might be trying to look you up or find out more about you), but consequently, they also need to be correct at all times. Some listings sites share their data and held information with other sites, meaning that if you have input incorrect information, it can quickly be spread around the web. If there are ever any changes to your business information, make sure to update listings as soon as possible.
The Benefits of Consistent Listings for SEO
Business listings can also come hand in hand with other benefits. A benefit of business listings that many small business owners are currently focusing on is SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for “search engine optimisation”. It is a common business process that aims to bring your web page higher up in search engine results. Nowadays, when people are searching for a product or service, they will generally input keywords into search engines and opt for one of the first results presented to them. People rarely pass the first page of listings, so it’s essential that you appear as high as possible to increase engagement and traffic to your webpage.
The Benefits of Consistent Listings
The more information that is readily available about your business through business listings, the more likely that search engines are to draw up your page and information when search engine users type in keywords pertaining to your business. It’s as straightforward as that!
In the past, business owners would place their listings in physical, tangible publications, such as the Yellow Pages, advertisements in local newspapers, mail marketing, brochures, and coupons. They would also make use of telemarketing and advertising on local television or radio stations. These, of course, are still options that exist today. However, if you really want your business to flourish and you want to boost up in search engine results, you’re going to have to make use of online directories. Some major directories you should list your business on include:
You should then hand pick more specific directories that relate to your specific area or field of business. You could also make use of online local directories specific to your geographical location.
Once your listings are live, you’re going to have to track them. You have two options when it comes to tracking your listings – you can track listings manually or you can engage with automated listings. It is generally recommended that you make use of automated listings. Getting all of your data together in a spreadsheet may be fine the first or second time around. But having to gather data time and time again for multiple platforms can prove time consuming and tiresome. Automated solutions allow you to fill out a single form and will the distribute this data to all requested platforms.
While business listings may initially seem intimidating, as they can prove to be relatively complex, once they are complete, you don’t have to pay them all too much attention again. You just need to remember to update them when you make changes and alterations to your business’ information.
So, stop delaying and get the hard work out of the way. Your business will really benefit from it!