Before the emergence of the internet, one major way to get accurate information on a business was through a printed telephone directory that groups businesses based on the category they belong to.
In recent times instead of flipping through numerous pages of a printed directory, people find more comfort in just running a search query on Google to find what they need online. It is only logical that when people need a certain service or product, they want to get it from the nearest provider available within their area, and the first step is to find that person or business.
The fact that people use search engines and directories a lot is enough reason for any brick-and-mortar business to establish their presence online rather than just depending on their physical location alone. A transition could be as simple as just adding your business NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number) data to an online directory. And could be as complex as digitizing and automating your entire business processes using advanced systems and software.
A good place to start for most businesses is to make sure they’re indexed in as many relevant online business directories as possible. Doing this and getting it right requires some degree of management hence the use local business listing management solutions to claim, organize and manage local listings across multiple/dozens of online directories.
What Is Local Business Listing Management?
Local business listing management is a specialized service that involves publishing, consistently updating and maintaining a business’ NAP data and other important contact information across online business directories, websites, search engines and other customer facing platforms.
What Do You Stand To Gain When You Use Local Business Listing Management
The majority of consumers and buyers depend on the information found in online directories to determine their purchase decisions therefore the need to leverage the customers that are looking for your business or brand online is very important.
Local business listing management seats at the centre of it all, providing the business owner a simple way to manage her NAP data across multiple platforms while helping the consumer find relevant information they need about a business before engaging in transactional activity.
Now research has shown that a staggering 82% of mobile shoppers use the phrase “near me” in their search queries at the point of choosing a business to transact with, patronize or buy from.
Some of the major reasons why you need to start building local business listings and use a local listing management solution for your business are explored below.
1. Centralized Management of NAP Data across Multiple Platform from One Place
If you have manually listed your business in multiple online directories to be found by your potential clients; but also you have lost the control over each of them, you will need a local business listing management solution; which will allow you manage all your listings from one place.
Manually updating your NAP information every time it changes, let alone analyse and monitor their performance on multiple platforms can be a redundant task, one that can make your life a little harder than it has to be.
2. Accuracy and Consistency of Business Information across All Platforms
It is often advised that you perform a check up on the directories where your business information are listed on, to ensure they are up-to-date and accurate all over the internet at all times.
Search engine crawlers are smart enough to quickly identify dissimilarity in spellings of your business name, address and other relevant information which can cause confusion for the search engine crawlers and negatively affect your rankings.
A listing management solution constantly monitors the consistency of your data on all platforms where it appears and alerts you to any incorrect information found.
3. Improved Brand Visibility
If in the past, your potential customers only found you through word of mouth and the links on your social networks. With local business listings, you stand a chance of appearing at the top of search results on Google. This not only triples the opportunities that many consumers will have to find your business, it ensures you don’t miss out on sales because potential customers cannot find you, your business or your contact information online.
Increasing the number of directories and websites that list your business, ultimately increases the traffic to your website as well and the more likely a customer will find you online.
Using a local business listing management solution ensures your listing is optimized and gives you the opportunity at selling your product and services to customers that originate from local searches.
4. Strengthened Search Engine Rankings
Search engine optimization is very competitive because daily thousands of businesses are waking up to the important role search engine rankings play in developing a strong online presence to enhance business growth.
Just as stated earlier if your business’ NAP information is incorrect or not easy to find and verify online, Google will rank the competitor’s business that has accurate and verifiable information over yours.
There are so many factors that contribute to SEO and one of the most important ranking factor is backlinks. Directory backlinks are one of the fastest methods for new sites and businesses looking to establish their online presence to develop a solid network of quality links.
The more links from high-quality and relevant directory and website sources you have pointing at your site or business, the higher your rankings will grow on search engines.
5. Ensures Positive Customer Experience
The information about your business found online by customers form a part of their experience with your business. Having misleading information on your business listings or not updating outdated business listings information can lead to customer’s having a negative experience with your business.
Example of a negative experience is a situation where an important change has occurred with your business hours or location but you did not update your listings to reflect this change. Meanwhile a customer has made a decision to visit your physical store based on the outdated information only to find out that you are no longer there.
Many directory websites also provides the capability for customers to write reviews for businesses and share their experiences. This is a good avenue to gather and respond to customer experiences fast.
6. A Boost to Your Online Reputation
Your online reputation is part of what gives personality to your brand. It’s not enough what you say about yourself. Testimonials, reviews, experiences, visits, everything that demonstrates your customer satisfaction as expressed on the various directories and review sites you are listed on is what will boost your reputation.
People like to believe in what others have lived, regardless of whether they know them or not. The trust of a client is gained through the benefits you have given to another.
According to Edelman Trust Barometer 64% of consumers trust online searches more than other sources when it comes to analysing local businesses. So if a business does not appear in online search engine results, consumers tend to trust that business less. Unless they already know and like the business.
Ensuring your business is listed on google my business, garners positive reviews, appears in search results and constantly monitored using a listing management solution will make consumers more likely to trust and patronise that business.
7. Saves You Lots of Money Which Could Have Been Spent On Hiring a Marketing Agency and Time Which Could Have Been Spent On Other Aspects of Your Business
Engaging a local business listing management solution will save you a lot of money that you would have to pay to hire a marketing consultant or marketing agency or SEO services that focus on local marketing which provides listing management and evaluation of online status performance for their customers.
If you are a business with one or two locations, a listing solution makes it easy to claim, verify, publish, monitor and update your local business listings across multiple platforms on your own. Hunting down and correcting NAP data manually can be a time-consuming effort for businesses hence a Do-it-yourself approach is encouraged which saves you a lot of time and money that can be diverted into running your business.
Using a local business listing management solution, you will have hundreds of options to improve the visibility of your local business listings.
Would you like your business to enjoy all the benefits of using local business listings and management solutions?
Good news is that we have the perfect fit solution that you need to begin enjoying all the benefits of using accurate listings to grow your business.
Introducing Listings Manager
Listings Manager is the most comprehensive business listing solution for local businesses. With Listings Manager in your tool box, your business can get found, gain traffic and grow revenue easily without all the hassle. Packed with four powerful presence management tools My Listing, Listing Distribution, Listing Sync and Google Insights, you can now establish accurate business listings and appear in more places across the web with the click of a button.