Local business listings provide essential information for your local business that help customers find your company online. Here’s what you need to know:
Accurate Data: NAP+W
This is the acronym that includes the key information that is displayed in a local business listing.
These four pieces of information are the most important. They provide the basic information potential customers to locate your business.
Want to improve results and rank higher in search? Include information like hours of operation, holiday hours, COVID policies, services offered and products in you business listings.
Will Local Business Listings Help My Business?
The effectiveness of a business listing depends on the information’s presence and accuracy. Listings are available through a variety of sources, including search engines, map apps, online business directory sites and social media.
When it comes to local business listings presence, quantity of listings makes a difference. Availability on as many sources as possible will create multiple avenues for consumers to find your business. But (and this is a big but), presence only pays off if the listings are accurate.
Listings are accurate if the data is consistent across all platforms. It's very easy for this data to get corrupt. Many listing aggregators are just scanning the web and using old data. If you have ever moved, there is a good chance an old address is showing up on one of your listings. If you have changed phone numbers or used multiple numbers in the past, then these old numbers start to show up in the listings.
Why are business listings important?
Building a large number of accurate listings will help. Here’s how:
If a business listing is incorrect or missing data, the customer will lose confidence in the brand. This leads to them to choose your competitor. The availability of accurate listings ensures customers are actually able to find brick and mortar locations while they’re open for business. This means money in the business owner’s pocket and, just as importantly, it means the business can be reviewed.
Reviews are Critical
A strong pipeline of reviews is important for establishing your online reputation. Reviews allow consumers to share their experience with potential customers. However, if people can’t find a business listed online, then this opportunity is wasted. Availability of accurate listings will help increase a business’s visibility.
Moz did extensive research on local search rankings and found that Citation Signals and NAP accuracy are a top 5 ranking factor in BOTH organic localized search AND the local pack maps listings in Google. Local SEO is hard enough, so fixing business listing accuracy is one of the easiest ways to increase search visibility.