I’m sure you’ve heard the importance local search has on your business. Just in case you need a rapid-fire refresh, let me explain it this way:
If a donut shop opened up a store but no one can find it in google search results, does it really exist?
What I’m trying to say is local search is no longer a nice or must-have, it’s an absolutely essential and vital part of your marketing strategy, regardless of location.
So now that we’ve established that local search is your energizing coffee (or “exercise of choice” for all the non-coffee drinkers), the local listings are your donuts, which complement, enhance and elevate your coffee experience.
For you to have the best type of experience and success with local search (or coffee) you need to ensure that your local listings are on point.
Moz, the authority site on local search, explains that local listings are what make you visible on the internet and search results. The more local listings you have (with correct information) the more likely you are to be trusted, making it more likely for you to rank well in local searches.
Local listings are like donuts. If they are stale or old, nobody will want them. When your local listings are misaligned or inaccurate, your business will not come up in search results no matter how hard you try to push it in front of your customers.
Here’s a quick checklist of items to keep in mind when updating your local listings:
1. NAPWC: Stands for Name, Address, Phone, Website & Categories. This may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many businesses (especially small) forget to align their NAPWC across the major social media channels. To have a local listing in an index, you do need to have a local phone number (toll-free or tracking numbers not allowed), a physical address and have a physical presence (not just online)
2. Google & Facebook: Primary Sources For Local Listings: Specifically look at Google and Facebook profiles as those are now considered your primary source of local listings. Having contradicting or missing information from either one of those profiles will negatively impact you.
3. Local Listings On Direct Network Sites: Foursquare, Super Pages, Info group, Localeze, Factual, Citysearch, Insiderpages, Bes of the Web, Bing, Acxiom
4. Remove Any Duplicate Listings: it is imperative to have a single listing on any index, including Facebook. We’ve come across some businesses that have had two very similar yet slightly different Facebook Business Page Profiles and that was affecting their local search rank.
5. Build Local Authority on Local Blogs: Local blogs that are already coming up in the first few tiers of search results for your particular geographic location can help increase your local authority and trust. So getting links to your business from these blogs is a great plus in increasing your local search rank and overall relevancy.
6. Update All The Listings!: You’re probably busy with multiple projects pertaining to digital marketing and you simply don’t have the time to check ensure and that your listings are on fleek (i.e. your donuts are fresh). We get that. That’s why we love using the Moz local tool, which allows you to submit your ideal listing for reasonable annual fee. You can check your local listing grade and then follow along with the prompts of fixing any potential issues (duplicate pages, missing categories, inconsistent names, etc).