When I was growing up, and even into my twenties, if you wanted to find a local business or service provider - you had to find your “yellow-pages” directory to do it. Every household had at least one lying around. There were teams of salespeople making a living selling yellow page book advertisements to all of the local businesses.
While the yellow page directory books may be irrelevant nowadays, the directory concept is far from it. Society has made a paradigm shift in that regard, now that every person is connected to the internet with at least one or two devices. It is far easier to do a quick online search for the business you are searching for.
There are hundreds of online directories (at least), some are industry specific, while others are more generalized. If you have a business, there’s a chance you may even already have a directory listing such as with Google My Business or Facebook.
While the majority of searches do happen on Google - especially on mobile devices - it is still important to have listings on other directories since Google does take into account your presence on other directories to determine your ranking on Google Maps.
A great place to start is to create a Google My Business page for your business, as this will make it possible for your business to appear in Google Maps. The top three results in Google Maps searches get the vast majority of the clicks. If you can get your business to appear in the top three Maps results, your customers will find you far more easily.
So how do I get my business to appear in the top three results on Google Maps, you might ask…
Well, there are a few key factors which Google takes into consideration when determining how to rank search results on Maps:
Frequency of listings on other sites, for your site
Google will deem your business more relevant, and credible when your business is referenced by many other directories which it considers trustworthy. This will result in prioritization for your listing in the search results when your site has more listings than the other results.
Consistency of the directory listing information for your business
When Google finds your listing in multiple directories on the internet where the information (name, address, phone) is perfectly consistent, then it assumes that the directory information for your business is likely to be accurate. When Google has a high degree of confidence in the accuracy of your directory listing, your ranking will be more favorable.
The number of Google reviews and your overall rating
Your business’ reputation online matters. Google will not rank a business highly in search results when there are very few or no reviews. Nor would it do so for businesses with poor overall review score. Managing your online reputation is a critical step you must take to maximize your Google
Maps search ranking.
Your website matters
Is your website ready for business? Does your website render well on mobile devices? Do you have sufficient content? Is the content relevant to the keywords your customers are using to search for you? These and other factors right on your website will play a part in Google’s algorithm for ranking your site in the results.
Additionally, when it comes to directory listings - more is better. The more often your business appears in directory listings, the more likely people will find your business.
Getting your business accurately listed in many online directories is something you can certainly do yourself, and it will result in better Google Maps rankings. However, it is time consuming and tedious work to manually submit your business listings to many directories. It can also be error prone, which can cause your information to be inconsistent - undermining your efforts to help your rankings.
It should also be noted that you may need to repeat this process every few months since some directories may remove your listing due to “inactivity”. Other directory services may allow others to modify your listing, which could create inconsistencies - leaving you burdened with the hassle of reviewing and updating periodically.
If you’d rather spend your time doing more important things for your business, send me an email or click the link below to schedule some time to discuss your situation and let you know how we can help.
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To your success!