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In the old days, it was easier for customers to find you if your business was in the phone book.  In today’s digital world, local business listings are our phonebook.  Now Imagine a phone book where the phone company made up your listing the best they could and you’re entering the world of Local Listings.  In this post, we’re going to discuss why local listings are important and how you can make sure customers find accurate information about your business when they search for you.

What are Local Business Listings?

A local business listing is any resource on which your potential customer might find you when searching for a product or service in your area. There are many of these types of listings; most notably, yellow pages and white pages, but also including any searchable directories like Yelp or Angie’s List. Increasing your number of listings increases your findability by potential customers.

Accurate Data: NAP+W

The most important aspect of local listings management is ensuring that your data is accurate across every channel. NAP+W stands for Name, Address, Phone number + Website. A business’ NAP+W should be consistent across all online directories and indexed search engines for maximum findability. It’s vital to be found online—and proper listing management makes that possible!

Benefits for Local SEO

There are numerous benefits for local SEO, which help a business achieve its marketing goals. For example, having an optimized listing improves your search engine ranking—this means people will find you faster than before. Getting more visibility on search engines creates brand awareness—which leads to increased traffic and sales. Better local rankings also mean lower costs per click (CPCs) —another source of marketing expense that’s now less costly with a well-optimized site.

Increase Customer Confidence

When customers can’t find your business, their confidence in you wavers. They wonder if you really exist—after all, if your business isn’t listed or shows up with different addresses or phone numbers, what does that say about your level of professionalism? Listing management ensures that your company finds its way onto every platform where potential customers might search for you. With a comprehensive listing management system in place, no customer needs ever be lost.

Listings Can Affect Your Online Reputation

If you own a local business, getting listed in relevant directories like Yelp and TripAdvisor can be hugely beneficial. Not only are they sources of new customers, but these listings can boost your online reputation.  In fact, research shows that 80% of consumers look up businesses on review sites before making purchases. Moreover, 84% of consumers say that if a brand has an unsatisfactory rating on a site like Yelp or Google Reviews then they will immediately distrust that brand.

Where Do You Start

Check to see which sites you are listed on and check these sites for any inaccuracies or problems that might be affecting your listing. Remember that your listing may be one listing on multiple sites. Our free Snapshot Report can identify issues with your local listings as well as looking at other areas of your online presence.   If there are errors in information or if any of your contact information isn’t correct you need to fix it.  Managing local listing manually can be a tedious and time-consuming process, but with the right tools you can be sure potential customers will always fine accurate information about your company.