With the ever-rising reliance upon things like Google Maps and click-to-call, directory listings are perhaps the most important component in providing your clients a comprehensive offsite SEO strategy. Search engines like Google scan the internet for business information to decide how to rank a business’s website. If the business’s information is absent, or even just inconsistent, search engines won’t rank it as high in the results. Not only would you be losing out on an SEO opportunity by not utilizing directory listings, you’d be missing a variety of paths by which people can find your clients. Having these listings in places like the Yellow Pages, Yelp and Business Finder create organic search results for people to find your clients. As an agency or SEO, it is your goal to get your client listed as high and in as many places as possible in the search results.
Consistent Business InformationHaving a consistent business name, address and phone number (NAP) across all directory listings is crucial. Search engine algorithms will deem that conflicting information detracts from its reliability and rank your client lower. One of our favorite examples is the inconsistent use of abbreviations. For example, something as minuscule as spelling out the word “Street” in one listing and abbreviating it “St.” in another can cause search engines to lower a business’s rankings. Take a moment to Google your clients and see if their listings are coming up with the same NAP. If you’re not actively managing their listings, chances are they won’t be consistent.
How to Manage Your Clients’ ListingsIn order to ensure NAP accuracy and consistency, you could go through the process of manually claiming ownership of every individual listing. We recommend against this for several reasons:
- There are hundreds of directories, making it extremely time consuming
- It’s prone to error
- Any changes to your client’s business information would require everything to be redone
- Directory listing and account information would have to be tracked in great detail