So you’ve got your responsive website. You’re active on Facebook, and you have a great retargeting campaign running. Now it’s time to sit back and relax, right? Any minute now customers are going to come running in through those doors.
Except they’re not.
This may be because you’ve missed a critical, and often times overlooked, part of your business’s marketing plan: Lists.
Business listings are the method in which consumers can find your business information on online directory sites such as Siri, Comcast Search, Merchant Circle, OwnLocal, TomTom, and others. Though business lists can be seen as a supplement to your main marketing initiative, they still represent an essential part of ensuring that you have accurate and relevant business information available to potential customers.
There are a number of reasons it’s important to have a strong and accurate online presence outside of just your website:
Google bots crawl the internet looking for accurate, credible, fresh information for businesses. By managing your business on established and authoritative list directories, you’re helping to raise your business’s visibility to these Google bots. The exact process is a complex one, but Google uses these bots to crawl “billions of pages on the web to detect links on each page and add them to its list of pages to crawl. New sites, changes to existing sites, and dead links are noted and used to update the Google index.”
So by consistently managing your directory page listing, and maintaining consistent branding throughout, you’ll be improving your business’s Google index and becoming more visible to potential customers.
The increase in search ranking is a nice little note when it comes to the benefits of lists. But let’s talk about what’s really important for businesses: dollars and cents. With technology and resources at their fingertips, consumers, whether they are traveling or searching locally, are researching businesses more than ever before in order to find the right one for their needs. And if your business isn’t being found, or worse has inaccurate information on Lists, you’re missing out on potential customers.
How many potential customers? According to Search Engine Watch, 73% of consumers lose trust in a business due to inaccurate local business listings online. Also, Yelp! claims that the average annual incremental revenue generated by a business claiming a business page – with accurate information – is $8,000.
You should be continually maintaining your listing; adding your business to new directories and updating with fresh relevant content to keep the attention of Google, and more importantly your customers!