Creating free local business listings is an exact science, and unless you get it right, all your marketing plans may not become a reality. But many small business owners don’t realize that and they list their business on a local business directory the wrong way. Not only will that cause your search engine results to suffer, but it may actually hurt them. Here’s why.
How Search Engine Spiders Classify Local Business Listings
The search engine bots are literally that: bots that are designed to look for certain information without the guidance of humans. When you keep this in mind, it makes it easier to understand why being precise when creating your free local business listing is so important.
The bots search the internet for information and when they find matching information about a particular business, they automatically assign it to that business. In other words, if there are 14 matching local business directories, the bots will assign all 14 of them to that business, and the number of credible listings will increase the search engine rankings of that business.
But what happens when they don’t match?
Unfortunately, bots are only bots and even if a local listing is off by a letter, the bots won’t understand that it belongs to the same business. That’s why it’s so important to carefully construct your local listing in a way that makes it easier for the bots to identify.
Here are some helpful hints that will allow you to expertly create your free local business listing so that the bots will find it and attribute it to your local business.
Get the Business Name Right
It might seem simple, but when you create more than one local business listing, you need to ensure that your business name is exactly the same on each and every listing. For example, if your business name is John’s Cars and Trailers, Inc., you’ll need to decide whether to include the “Inc.” on your local business listings or leave it off. It doesn’t matter which one you decide on—as long as you enter the name exactly the same on every listing.
Your Business Address Matters, Too
Things can also go wrong when entering your business address. If you abbreviate words like Street, Avenue, or Parkway on some of your local listings and spell them out on others, the listings won’t match and the bots won’t attribute them all to your business. Decide in advance how you will spell your business address and do it the same on every listing.
Don’t Forget about Your Business Phone Number
When you’re asked to enter your business phone, you’ll have to decide whether or not to include the area code. Something as simple as including it on one local business listing and leaving it out on others could confuse the bots and result in lowered search engine rankings for you.
Your Website Address is Important, Too
Finally, when you enter your website address, be sure to either include the http at the beginning of the URL or leave it off. It will make it possible for the bots to attribute all of your local business listings to your shop or restaurant.
Local business directories are the most important aspect of your local marketing campaign, but in order to utilize them to the fullest, you must first make sure your local business listings are created properly. Visit FindUsLocal.com to find your local listing and if it’s not correct, make the necessary changes to ensure that the bots—and future customers—can find it.