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Okay, you’re ready to open the doors and enjoy running your new business. You’ve got your storefront looking perfect; your employees are well-trained in their roles; your branding is on point; you’ve got ads ready to go on billboards, radio, and TV; and you’ve even set up some digital ad campaigns to push traffic to your shiny new website. You’re all set, right?

Wrong. Without complete and robust business listings with listing services like Google Business, Yelp, Bing Places, and others, you’re leaving a lot of effective marketing – most of it free of charge – on the table.

In this article, we’ll discuss four reasons why your company’s business listings are vital to making sure your company is visible to people looking for products and services like yours.

1. Business Listings are Vital for Local SEO

When internet users in your service area search for products or services like the ones you offer, you want your business to be the first name they see. Letting search engines know what products or services you sell and where you sell them is the first step in the game we call “Local SEO.”

When a user searches for something best served by a local business, Google and other search engines pass the search off to their local algorithm, a special sub-program that returns local options first. If you’ve ever done a Google search and seen a map of nearby options appear, that was considered a local search.

Let’s say you run a woodworking supply store in M&R’s hometown of Macon, Georgia. We’ll even make  one of our copywriters and one of our founders happy and say you’re running your store downtown, conveniently close to our offices. You want to be the first name people see when they’re located in or near Macon and search for terms like “router bits,” “sandpaper,” “bandsaw blades,” and “specialty hardware.”

To that end, you’ll want to set up your business listings so that they tell search engines:

  • The name of your company
  • Your address in downtown Macon
  • Your primary business focus is materials and supplies for woodworkers
  • Your phone number so that potential customers can reach out
  • Your hours of operation so that customers know when to check out your selection

If that information is all available and is consistent across multiple listing services, search engines are far more likely to identify your company as one that can help people when they need “woodworking supplies near Macon, GA.”

2. Business Listings Serve as a Second Website

Your business listings can be as detailed or as general as you like. At a minimum, every listing must contain your company’s NAP info: Name, Address, and Phone Number. But as listings become increasingly sophisticated, your company’s profile on Google Business, Yelp, or other services can become almost like a second, free website.

Your listing can contain details including:

  • Your service area, if you perform customer services on-site.
  • Special promotional offers and product announcements.
  • Product and service reviews.
  • Real-time, relevant updates to your business information, such as early closings or special events.
  • Photos of your location, your products, and more.
  • Links to your website and social media platforms.
  • Lists of products, including “Buy Now” links if you have an eCommerce presence.

Once you begin to dig into business listings, you’ll find that they can provide almost as much information as your primary website – and with a robust business listing, customers will use it that way, too. With the ability to update the information anytime, you can ensure that searchers always find the most up-to-date information about your business.

3. Business Listings Help You Connect With Customers and Manage Your Reputation

Think back to the last time you had to hire a company to provide you with service at your home or business. How did you determine which company would be the most trustworthy, dependable, and offer the best service?

Odds are, you gave at least some consideration to the reviews on their business profiles. Users see the reviews on listings as being more unbiased than those on your website, giving these ratings considerable weight when making their buying decisions.

Through your business listing, you can acknowledge and thank people for positive reviews. Most importantly, though, you can respond to people who leave negative reviews and demonstrate that you’re a conscientious business owner who cares about their customers’ experiences. By responding to negative reviews, you show that you’re willing to do what it takes to make a customer happy, which will encourage more customers to bring their business to your doors.

(Note: Not all negative reviews warrant a response. If someone’s review is abusive, derogatory, or irrelevant – such as a review for a different company that gets left on your profile by mistake – you can sometimes have those reviews removed altogether by the listing service.)

4. Business Listings Drive Traffic and Conversions

If the three other reasons weren’t enough, here’s the last and one of the best reasons for maintaining accurate business listings online: they’ll make you more money.

Business listings have proven time and again to be remarkably effective at bringing in customers. When they’re kept up to date and consistent, business listings:

  • Enhance your brand’s visibility by giving users a quick, easy way to see who you are and what you do.
  • Build customer confidence as users see a robust business listing as the mark of an effective, established company.
  • Increase website and other platform traffic by allowing users to find your website, social platforms, and other marketing materials.
  • Bring in more and higher-quality phone and email inquiries by giving people quick, one-click access to your phone number and email address.
  • Draw more customers into your physical location by providing easy directions to your door and handy information about your hours of operation.
  • Grow online and in-person conversions by combining all of the above benefits into one easy-to-navigate, familiar package of actionable information that users trust.

Want help managing your business listings? We got you!

Give us a call today and let our Google- and Bing-certified team of digital content strategists manage every aspect of your online business listings: 478-621-4491

Want to learn more about Local SEO, and how your business listings can help you improve your rankings in the local algorithms? Check out our Definitive Guide to Local SEO!

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