5 Reasons You Should Care About Being Listed In Local Directories
BY: AUSTIN ANDRUKAITIS ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2018
Ensuring people can find, contact, and interact with your business is one of the most basic requirements for success. It doesn’t matter what business you operate.
If you are a local business owner that operates within your immediate area, you need to make sure potential customers can find your information online quickly and easily.
But how do you build a strong online presence that makes it easy for people to connect with you?
Having a social media presence and a website is a great start, but that’s not all there is to it. You need to build local citations so that your business is seen as a trusted recommendation by search engines.
How do you earn citations? Why do they matter so much?
In this article, you will learn the answers to those questions and more.
Are you ready to grow your business faster than you ever imagined?
What Are Local Citations?
Simply put, local citations are mentions or listings of your business on local directories. This could include local business group pages, blogs, and news websites.
When search engines like Google are building the results you see after prompting a search, they use web crawlers. These crawlers scour the internet visiting websites, following links, tracking keywords, and monitoring mentions.
All of this information is ultimately used to create the results that someone sees when they search for local products or services.
Why You Need to Be In Local Directories
Being listed in local directories is about more than just being seen when someone visits the directory. These local citations can help improve your standing in online search results and, ultimately, help you grow your business.
1. Show Up In More Relevant Searches
When you build local citations, search engine web crawlers are better able to understand the area your business serves, and the products or services offered. As a result, the searches you appear in will be more relevant for you and your potential customers.
For example, if you operate a fine dining restaurant in Lower Manhattan, it doesn’t do you or the customer much good if you show up in search results for Upper Westside steak houses. While this example may seem exaggerated, it happens more often than you would imagine. This type of incorrect information about a business can mean the difference of a happy repeat customer and one that never makes it to your restaurant and leaves bad reviews online because their anniversary night out was ruined.
2. Get People in the Door
One of the most exciting statistics about local searches is just how effective they can be at converting shoppers into customers. In fact, Google’s data has found that 50% of people who perform a local search end up connecting with a local business within 24 hours.
Let’s use that restaurant example from before. When someone searches for local restaurant, they are likely not performing that search for fun. Chances are that they are looking for a place to eat at the time. In some cases, the need may be urgent.
When people are looking for your services locally, you want to be the first business they discover because, frankly, they may not have the time or patience to search through multiple pages of search results.
3. Customers Get Accurate Information
If your business has limited or outdated local citations, then there is no telling what kind of information potential customers may be seeing when they come across your business in their search results.
Old locations, incorrect hours, and missing websites or phone numbers can lead to confusion and frustration for customers. If it is not easy for them to connect with you and do business then they will simply move on to the next business in the search results.
By increasing and managing your local citations, you can ensure that the information provided by search engines is accurate and up-to-date.
Ultimately, this makes it easier for people to do business with you. When potential customers perform a search, they want quick, convenient information.
Building your local citations in online directories can ensure they get those results.
4. Citations Can Provide Credibility
Being ranked highly in an online search is about more than just earning clicks and making sales. Your ranking in a Google search can affect your reputation.
When people see your name at the top of the search results with a location, website, phone number, and business hours, there is a level of respect or prestige that comes with that.
On the flip side of that, if your business does not appear on the first page of a search or there is a lack of information, people put their guard up. Why isn’t all information available? Is this a new business? Are they a fly-by-night operation? There are a number of questions that may enter their mind.
5. Differentiate Your Business from the Competition
What marketing really boils down to is explaining why your business is different from the other options available. How your business appears in local searches is one more way to differentiate your business and stand out among the competition.
If you rank higher than your competitors and your search results return more relevant, complete information then you have already won the first battle.
Simply by taking charge of your local citations, you have given yourself an advantage when it comes to earning the business of customers.
Take Ownership Over Your Local Citations
Running a business isn’t a walk in the park, it’s a marathon. You must constantly overcome challenges and push harder if you wish to come out ahead.
Ranking at the top of your local search results will not win you the marathon alone. However, by giving yourself the early advantage, it’s like you got a head start on the competition. Own your local searches, provide exception service, and watch your business grow.
Get a ChamberofCommerce.com business listing today and receive a free Online Visibility Report. The report scans the internet to tell you where your business is listed, how complete and accurate your information is and what review your customers are leaving about your business across the web.