Business Listing Citations
Local listings are critical to your business for a variety of reasons, all of which we will get into here. First of all the majority of listings will include web links to your website. Beyond that, they also provide something called “citation matching” which is important to how your listing appears or gets picked up by search engines. Websites that have matching information across the eco-system of the web build likelihood of accuracy therefore allowing search engines to list your business address, phone number, and other information with a level of reliability. Search engines also use this information for validating data for their own business listing services such as Google’s “Google My Business” and Yahoo and Bing’s “Bing Places”. Business owners can either submit their information directly, or these services will try to automatically include listings based on citation accuracy.
Google My Business
Google My Business allows business owners to update, manage, and keep current their business listings on Google and the search giant is using and displaying these listings more and more frequently in top search results when people search for a particular business or even more importantly, when people are looking for any business service locally. Google displays the businesses information, maps, hours, reviews, photos and even specials. The more up-to-date these listings are the more likely they are to be accurate and provide users with helpful information, thus the more likely Google will show these listings prominently and frequently. Sometimes businesses will have these profiles which pre-exist an actual submission process, however, since they are not updated or ‘claimed’ Google will tend to show them less often and will automatically choose to show other listings which Google believes are more accurate or relevant.
Like Google, Bing Places also has its own business center which will allow businesses to submit and control the information shown in both Bing and Yahoo local business searches with all of the similar information that Google shows including specials.Also much like Google, the more accurate these listings are expected to be, the more likely they will be shown, and with Bing places, this means on both Bing and Yahoo as Bing data is used for both search engines’ query results. Bing is also important because it is the default search service for Apple products including iPhone and iPad. Both programs will verify business details by either phone calls, text messages or postal mail to your business with a special pin number which verifies the listings actual physical address. These services are putting great effort into providing their own business directory listing which is one of very many reasons print Yellow Pages has become somewhat irrelevant.
Other Business Listings
Additionally, there are virtually thousands of Yellow Pages services such as Yelp, Super Pages, Yellow Pages, CitySearch, etc., and these services are important because they usually take up some of the most important real estate of search engine results pages and will usually appear on the first and second page of search results after a search engines own business listings. They are also important because these are the types of sites that are used in local citation matching discussed in the beginning of this local business outline, so the best thing you can do to maintain preferential treatment in search engines is to ensure all of these processed are being followed and that accurate listings exist for your business across all of these services. With thousands of Yellow Pages websites to filter though this can be quite a tedious process which is why we use software which can control your business listing across all of these sites as well as push out updates and changes across hundreds of local listings sites simultaneously.