26th September 2014
Eight Steps To Take Control Of Your Brand In Local Search
Local listing optimisation is crucial to local SEO.
You should check that your company name, address and phone number on local listing sites is correct and consistent as a part of the local search strategy.
First of all – it must be understood that there is no one default listing resource that Google and the other search engines use but a collection of listing sites of varying credibility. In this collection of local listing sites for an area, your business details will be represented on a number of them. A search engine will look at all of them and correlate the details it finds in order to make sure that the business exists.
Quality of accuracy for directories varies. Some directories distribute the details on to other directories, some listing sites will check the details are correct and some will not. The ones that check – by phoning the company for instance – will ultimately be held as more credible by search engines for accuracy.
Match, Not Mix
The fact is, geographical location is a key part of your ranking profile with important search engines like Google and Bing. For many businesses, location is an important factor that needs to be part of the search strategy – for retailers for instance that want their local shop found online. For any business to be found in search as well as by physical location, it’s wise to make sure the business details align on listing sites.
The problem is that your business will likely be listed on a number of sites beyond your control or even without your knowledge.
If your company address details match on different listing sites this gives confidence for the search engine that the business is genuine. If, on the other hand, there are conflicting addresses, content, descriptions and phone numbers for a company this may confuse search and your SEO will suffer.
Beyond the company name and address it is also helpful for SEO to have company descriptions and logos matching on different listing sites. It is also helpful to have Google + Local reviews on the sites if allowed.
Your business may in time change telephone number or services but for search it is wise to be as consistent as possible across the different sites.
Tips On Managing Your Local Listings
In our experience, and speaking to people in the industry, we would recommend that you need to clean and optimise your local listings to get the consistency across them for your business listing, that will empower your SEO. We suggest that you take specific steps for local listing optimisation.
In summary these steps are:
- Make the listing details like name and address consistent. Don’t make up addresses that are not yours, use postcodes and don’t have too many telephone variations (don’t have multiple tracking numbers for paid listings etc.)
- Use business categories as consistently as possible (especially if a category maps to Google) – this is more important than key words!
- Claim your listings and fill them with your own content if possible. If you find incorrect listings do correct it and do not leave it as is.
- If permitted in the listing – add content like logos, photos, business descriptions, opening hours, social media links, products & services and website links.
- Proactively find the important listing sites that are relevant to your business and manage them. Keep track of your login details for each listing site – if you lose log-in details you lose control.
- Ask customers to put reviews on listings sites where possible. Make sure you have your house in order so you don’t get a flood of bad reviews, obviously! If someone complains – address it professionally. Many reviews written from the same IP address will be penalised – so no cheating or asking to write in store from one device!
- Monitor your various listings over time and adjust on an on-going basis to make consistent.
- Make sure you have the relevant address on your website, especially if you have multiple addresses. Google will check the listings against your website so it is important multiple locations on your website are structured properly.
If you want to optimise your local SEO then please contact Varn where our team can help you.