All local businesses want to get more business in the door. To do this, they need to be visible online. If a company is not visible online, does it even exist?
97% of consumers search for products, services, and businesses online. You want them to find your business and what you offer, but sadly the data shows us that 76% of consumers have arrived at a company based on their online search, and the hours, information, or location have been incorrect. You do not want this to happen. When someone searches, we want your data to be accurate. Accurate data means appearing more often in the relevant searches and more customers discovering your business online Local citation sources help increase the business’s online visibility and reach a broader audience. Greater online visibility translates to more business through the door.
So how do you do this as a small business? It starts by managing your business’s local presence and prioritizing citations and business listings in online directories. Let me elaborate.
First off, a citation is a mention of a business name online. It should include the name, address, and phone number, even better when it has hours of operations, business services, and media. These citations often appear on a business directory, mapping app, or social media platform. When these citations are listed, they are business listings in online directories and help build business trust.
How do you build search engine visibility?
Google’s job is to provide relevant search information; it uses multiple directories to cross-check and validate your business name, address, phone number (N.A.P.), and business information.
Google understands the impact of inaccurate or irrelevant search results for consumers. By gaining many citations on credible platforms using accurate data, you signal to search engines (including Google) that you have authority within your industry. AKA Trust.
So exactly how do you do this? How do you create these citations, find these directories, and build this trust?
- Start with claiming your Google Business Profile. (Episode two of the Sommer Show podcast dives into this.)
- Claim your Bing business listing.
- Claim your free Yelp business listing.
This is just a start, but you must ensure that your NAP data is accurate. When it’s not, you erode the trust, providing a poor user experience for the consumers and harming your chance of search visibility. Remember, 97% of consumers search for products, services, and businesses online. You want them to find your business and what you offer, but sadly the data shows us that 76% of consumers have arrived at a company based on their online search, and the hours, information, or location have been incorrect. You do not want this to happen.
Local Presence Management
Yes, you can do the bare minimum yourself, but to access a broad cross-section of directories, maps, voice search platforms, and more, is impossible without a dedicated service. If you want to level up your local SEO, hiring a company like Keep it Real Social to manage your local presence is the way to go, and it won’t break the bank. You can do this for as little as $120 per month for just one location and reach hundreds of directories to grow your local SEO!
Let me explain how it works if, for example, Keep it Real Social manages your local presence.
- We provide your NAP data to a network of data aggregators. The data aggregators crawl, collect business information and share the data with sources around the web. We can reach hundreds of directories by submitting your data to the aggregators. The top four aggregators we submit data to are Data Axle, Dataprovider.com, Foursquare, and Neustar Localeze. For instance, Neustar Localeze distributes business data to more than 100 search platforms, navigation systems, and mobile apps such as Nokia and Yahoo! (Nokia, in turn, ensures that in-car navigation systems include business data.)
- We provide your data to data accelerators like Bing, Yelp, Apple Maps, MapQuest, and several others. These sources have network platforms that trust them for accurate listings.
- We provide your data to enhancers; these authoritative directories get consistent traffic and maintain high standards. Most people think of directories as paid sites that are spammy and charge. Those exist, but we submit your data to trusted directories that improve search visibility, such as EzLocal, Chamber of Commerce, CitySquares, Judy’s Book, Verizon 411, LocalStack, Hotfrog, and many, many more.
Remember, when you gain citations on credible platforms with accurate data, you signal the search engines that you have authority. This, in turn, means you’ll be found more in local searches.
And to take it up a notch, Keep it Real Social ensures your website is voice search ready. The fact is that 50% of all searches are voice searches, with 1 billion voice searches done a month, and 46% of the users are looking for local businesses daily. You want your business to be voice search ready when someone is using Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant, for example.
Listing Management Services = Local Domination
The lesson today is that you need to manage your listings to ensure your customers can find you online, but you want the listings to not only exist but be accurate and fully optimized. When someone searches for your business through voice or traditional search, we want your business to be discovered! Test your local visibility below to see your score and how you can improve. You might be surprised! We worked with a local sewer and drain company that was killing in with Google Business profile. Still, when we optimized their citations, submitted them to the most authoritative directories, and built up that online trust, their score went from 30% visibility to 98%! The results don’t lie!
If you’d like to hand the local presence reigns over to a team of professionals, get in touch with us today.