Maintaining your online business listings is more important than ever. Search engines now localize most of their results based on the location of the user, and GPS-enabled mobile devices rely heavily on accurate business listings to aggregate helpful information. Google reports that 20% of all searches are local, and 40-50% of all mobile searches are local.
Knowing this, it’s important to establish your anchor identity early on. Your anchor identity is your business listing—usually consisting of your business name, address and phone number (NAP).
Business owners must closely monitor the accuracy of their NAP information. Several sites create listings without a business owner’s knowledge by pulling information from various other listing sites on the web. That’s why it’s important to get things right ASAP. Here are a few suggestions for managing your online listings:
1. Don’t alter your business name.
Keep it consistent. Don’t use an abbreviation on one listing that you don’t use on another, and don’t add a new description to your name just because you started doing something new.
(Example: Bob’s Auto Repair Shop started tinting windows. They should not start listing themselves as “Bob’s Auto Repair and Window Tinting.”)
2. Maintain your real address.
Only use addresses where you have an actual business location. Lying won’t get you anywhere, and P.O. Boxes won’t help. (After all, the search engines know the post office’s address too.)
3. Use your primary phone number.
We focus on conversion tracking and think multiple phone numbers have a place in marketing—but NOT on your business listing. Consistently using your primary number will make your listing seem more reliable and will allow search engines to aggregate more information about you.
4. Only include information for the long term.
This is not a place for short term promotions. The information in your business listing is not as easy to control as you may think. It will be copied over and over again throughout the web, making it nearly impossible to edit everything.
5. Keep an eye out.
Set up Google Alerts to notify you every time your business name appears on the web. If someone posts incorrect NAP information for your business, you may be able to catch it before it spreads to too many other sites.
If you need help managing your online business listing, give The Primm Company a call at 757-623-6234.