As a local business owner, one of your primary objectives is getting found by targeted consumers. And for many years, listing management services have been a crucial component of improving visibility in search. But why are local business listings so important in increasing a business’ search discoverability?
How Business Listings Deliver Search Engine Exposure
When many people think of business listings they often envision an online yellow pages directory. These platforms are a valuable part of local search marketing, but business listings are actually far more comprehensive.
Covering everything from data aggregators and mapping apps to hyperlocal directories and vertical directories, local business listings can reach consumers in many ways. Let’s look at a few examples of business listings.
Google Business Profile
With Google firmly positioned as the largest search engine, a Google Business Profile (GBP) is a must-have for visibility in the local pack. However, GBP is far from being a set-and-forget platform. To ensure a long-term local presence through GBP, businesses must add GBP Posts, monitor data for accuracy, maintain products and services and so on.
Like GBP, Bing Places is essential for gaining search visibility in Bing’s local results. And as Bing is still a major player in search, a local business listing will deliver consistent traffic. See how to optimize a Bing Places listing to learn more.
Not only will a comprehensive Yelp listing act as a powerful citation for search ranking, it can also deliver traffic from targeted searches. If you have ever searched for an industry in Google (such as a local plumber or lawyer, for example), it’s likely that you encountered a Yelp listing on the first page. This reveals that maintaining a quality profile on Yelp can increase search traffic for targeted keywords.
For local businesses to reach many iPhone, iPad and Siri users, an Apple Maps listing is essential. When consumers use these devices or services to search for a business, Apple Maps is their default platform. By creating and maintaining an accurate business listing in Apple Maps, you can reach a substantial portion of smartphone users.
Why Businesses Need a Structured Approach to Business Listings
Speaking of Apple Maps, we recently encountered a story that explains why using a listing management service is so important.
Just last week, we received an email from a client stating that when customers requested directions in Google Maps, they were actually being directed to one of the client’s competitors. We immediately went to work to troubleshoot the issue. After double-checking the client’s Google Business Profile and Google Maps (which we manage), we emailed the client for more information.
The result? We found that the issue was actually with Apple Maps. The client had elected not to invest in Rocks Digital’s listing distribution service. Opting out of listing distribution meant the data about their local business was not distributed to Apple Maps, Waze, Foursquare (and many other data service providers). In essence, Apple has incorrect information about this client’s business, and the only way to correct it is to manually claim the listing – which involves creating an Apple ID or using a listing distribution service.
It’s extremely important to businesses with a storefront that consumers get directions to the business through their mapping app – no matter which app the consumer might use. And they might even use the in-dash navigation that comes with their car! With our listing distribution and ongoing management service, at Rocks Digital we’ve got these covered.
Reaching the Wider Local Search Ecosystem With Business & Map Listings
The listing services mentioned above are certainly among the most important. But ultimately, businesses need a broad-reaching approach to listing management. Besides ensuring your customers can find your business, distribution to data aggregators like Foursquare, mapping apps like Waze and premium directories like Judy’s Book help build trust with search engines and consumers. And thanks to local SEO services and listing management, it has never been easier for businesses to accurately distribute their data far and wide.
Listing Distribution Services for Local Businesses
At Rocks Digital, we help local businesses reach targeted consumers using on-page and off-page SEO strategies, listing management, along with many other digital marketing-related services. Speak with our team to see how we can help your organization increase its local search presence by calling (214) 989-7549, or request an online visibility evaluation today.