Following on from my post how to get found on Google, I look at the benefits of having consistent business directory listings.
If you are a business or organisation there are many directories where you can publish your details which will help attract customers and improve your reputation with Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
A local citation is mention of the name, address, and phone number for a business. These can occur on various platforms including local business directories, websites and on social media. Citations help users to discover local businesses and can also be beneficial to local search engine rankings.
A local citation can have a positive or negative impact on search engine rankings. This is calculated from:
1) The number of citations a business has
2) The accuracy of the citation
3) The reputation of where the citation is made
The search engines collate data about the business – if this data is accurate then the search engine trusts the validity and this is believed to strengthen the organisation’s chance of ranking well. On the flip side – if the data is found to be inconsistent then ranking opportunities lessen.
Where to start
For me, the obvious place to start if you wish to rank well on Google is Google’s own Places for Business… Postal verification is required in order to get listed – a code is sent out to the address used when registering – once completed your business will have it’s own page.
Other business directory listings that are important are Facebook, Scoot, Central Index & Yell. You’ll find that once you are featured on Scoot & Central Index your listing is then featured on many other websites that take their information from their databases.
Yell Connect Scan
A free tool I’ve found useful for my own clients is Yell’s Connect Scan. Simply enter your organisation’s details in to the search fields and the site compares against 35 important business directory listings. Inconsistent entries are highlighted along with directories where you are not included. It is highly likely that you will be made aware of business databases that you did not know existed and can now make the first steps to get included.
If you are able to list your sites on the majority of the directories listed with Yell then you will be on the right tracks to perform well on Google. Ensure that your information is consistent and accurate and you should see your (well written) pages rise up the rankings – We’ll save that chapter for another day…!