If you’re on a quest to improve your search engine placement and ranking, then you are aware of local directory listings and how they may affect your SEO. There are many different providers of local listings and it can be cumbersome to manage.
Years ago, updating your local listings was a technique to gain links. Presently, it still helps with link building, but the primary value is improving your business’ local presence. Optimizing your local listing is more than having a consistent name, address, and phone too. It’s about total business consistency across all local listings directories.
This article aims to address how local listings management helps with your local search engine optimization strategy.
Why Is Local SEO Important?
We can’t discuss local SEO without briefly explaining SEO. Search engine optimization is the science behind creating content and updating your website to be found when people use search engines. Local SEO takes that same concept and applies it to being found within a local search.
Local SEO is important because so many internet users perform local based searches multiple times per day. If you’re selling new and used cars, and providing vehicle maintenance like oil changes, tire services, and brakes then local SEO is imperative for your online success.
Featured Snippets, FAQ’s, and Answer Boxes
Have you asked a specific question on Google and noticed they provided a direct answer within the search results? Depending on the question, the answer could be in an answer box, or you could get a list of frequently asked questions that support your search query. These types of featured snippets are pulled from your website, and your Google Business profile.
Some businesses would gripe about being featured because it answers the question and the user wouldn’t actually click on the website. However, if your business has a physical location that provides a specific service like brake repairs, equipment sales, or used car sales then this is a prime area to be in. Why? Because those searches usually have a direct action related to it. The search query, “Nissan dealership near me” will likely lead to a directions request if performed on a mobile device. Someone searching “Toyota brake repair” on a computer is probably going to make an appointment.
Effective management of your local listings can improve your chances of being in a featured snippet. According to Entreprenuer.com, featured snippets will get you more website traffic.
Virtual Assistants and Voice Search
Another trend affecting local SEO is how users are actually searching. Virtual assistants have caused an increase in voice searches and they are designed to query their respective platforms. This means Google Home will search Google My Business when a local search is done. Siri will search Google as well for certain queries, while also displaying Apple Maps for any directions requests. Amazon’s Alexa will search Bing to answer queries. If someone conducts a local search using any device, with any of those platforms, you want to make sure your company information is updated and consistent.
Company Information and Updates
Name, address, and phone number, aka NAP, are the top 3 bits of company information needed for local SEO. An optimized business listing will provide NAP and other data like hours of operation, payment types accepted, available parking, services, products, and even the latest news and/or events.
Google Business and other local listings allow businesses to share posts. These posts can be company news, coming events, blog posts, and even direct links to call or book now. It’s important to include a consistent local listings posting plan as part of your local SEO strategy.
Check and Fix Your Local Listings Easily
Having updated and maintained business listings are a key component to local SEO. It is vitally important for lead generation if you are a car dealership, equipment sales company, or repair shop. Consider the statistics that Millenials spend over 17 hours shopping online before they even visit a dealership. Most vehicle owners will search for a location for vehicle maintenance too. There are hundreds of local listings where the search could happen including Google, Bing, Apple, Yelp, Facebook, Better Business Bureau, Yellow Pages, and more.
Do you know the status of your business listings? Is your name, address, and phone number consistent in every directory? We have a local listings management tool called FastListing. Simply input your NAP, along with your email address and we’ll send you a report with your business listings status.