Is Your Business Being Found Locally?
All businesses want to their website, products and services to be easily found online. A key way to increase your findability is to list your business in online directories such as Google My Business (GMB), Facebook, Apple Maps, Yelp, and other well-known listings.
Google’s search algorithm factors in all the places where your website is listed when determining your search ranking. They also factor in the consistency of the information throughout your listings. Submitting to directories and requesting customer reviews should be a part of your digital marketing strategy, as it increases your site visibility for local searches and labels you as a reputable online source for your products and services.
The Benefits of Online Directories
A business listing directory is an online list of businesses within a particular niche, location, or category. According to HubSpot, the top 10 online directories are:
- Google My Business
- Apple Maps
- LinkedIn Company Directory
- Bing Places
- Better Business Bureau
What are some benefits? Having your business listed in online directories helps boost you to the top of search results, which increases the likelihood of users finding your business. It also strengthens your SEO by creating links back to your site that can help you to progress in rankings. It boosts your online reputation — the more places users see your listings, the more you will be viewed as an authority in your industry, leading to users feeling more confident in your brand.
Many times, businesses will hire a digital marketing agency to spend the time submitting their information into different directories — they’ll know which ones will serve your business best. If you are looking to do the work yourself, here are a few tips to help you get started:
Be accurate — Accuracy across all of your online listings will lead to more trust in your site from Google whereas conflicting information will confuse users.
Be picky — Be careful about what directories you join. Not all are reputable, and directories with low authority may hurt your SEO.
Claim what is yours — Make sure you have claimed your Google My Business profile and are actively using it. GMB profiles are important as they play a role in your local search rankings. Also, set up a page for your business on Facebook to increase your online presence and attract customers.
Track progress — Keep track of your directory submissions in a spreadsheet. This will make it easier to manage what directories you should be present in and manage your listings. It will also allow you to see what progress you have made.
Remember the details — Two important things to include in your listings are your business hours and images. This makes your listings more visually engaging to users.
Encourage feedback — Direct customers to your listings and solicit reviews after you’ve had a great experience with them. This will help you build credibility with your target audience as well as influence your rankings in local search results.
Ask Customers for Reviews
Customer reviews are critical to your online profile for a couple of reasons. First, online reviews make up 10% of the criteria for how Google displays search results, so it’s a key factor in how your business will rank. Also, 88% of consumers consider online reviews to be as trustworthy as a friend’s recommendation. The more positive reviews you have, the more likely a customer will trust your business and contact you. We recommend sending an email to your customers asking for a Google review and include the link to your GMB profile, which you can find in your account.
Cast a Wide Net
Online directories are the modern-day yellow pages — you’ll want to make sure you’re listed so that people using these sources can find you! If you have questions about submitting to directories or need help doing so, our Digital Marketing team would be happy to help you — give us a call or use our consultation form, and we will help point you in the right direction.