- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On May 8, 2017
Internet directories are very important to your website ranking but not all local business owners have woken up to this reality.
The most important directory for search ranking is Google My Business (surprise, surprise!) but there are many other important sites, as well as hundreds that can boost your search ranking.
The information you add to your business listings needs to be appealing to both search engines and potential customers. Here are a few essential components every business listing should include.
Your NAP is critical
NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone Number. It’s critical to your search ranking that your NAP be consistent in every directory where you are listed. Your name, address, phone number must also be the same on your website.
Any inconsistency in the way your address appears in directories, such as “110 Summit Ave” in one directory and “110 Summit Avenue, Suite 2” in another, can cause you to lose “Google juice”. This is also true of your phone number, which must be the same on every directory and even your business name.
Don’t snooze on the job
This becomes a non-trivial problem for most small businesses when they realize that their business is probably already listed on dozens of directories without them ever having asked.
This is because these sites compile data on businesses without your input. The data is usually acquired from data aggregators that move information around the Internet.
Many businesses have many incorrect listings without even realizing it. These inconsistent listings are negatively impacting the business’s search rankings.
Once a business identifies the problem another obstacle presents itself, which is how to clean up dozens of directories by hand. At this point many businesses realize they need outside assistance.
Be awake to the possibilities
Search engines might not be impressed by a selection of professionally taken photographs but your potential customers will. Images catch our eye and make a big impression. If you have a bricks and mortar store, include exterior and interior shots to help customers locate you.
There are other business listing elements that don’t have an effect on search engine ranking but, nevertheless, help customers, including your opening hours, a link to your website, links to your social media pages, payment options and maps.
Getting your directory listings right is a big factor in how your local business ranks in Google. If you’d like to see how you are doing today, run our free local SEO tool here.