But...what exactly are optimized directory listings?
Optimized Directory Listings Include...
Without all of the following elements, your listings are incomplete and, therefore, their ability to rank high organically is limited.
The Right Name, Address & Phone Number
Your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) should be accurate, first of all. That means no typos, outdated numbers or old addresses. Not only would this be frustrating for potential customers, but it could also cause indexing bots to rank your site incorrectly.
Second, this core business information should be consistent across all listings. If your business name is Realtors Incorporated, for example, all of your listings should use that name. You wouldn't want to use Realtors Inc. on some directories, which could ultimately confuse search engines.
A Detailed Description
Your description needs to make clear exactly what you do or offer so that visitors to your listing can quickly determine it's relevance. You can't expect them to stick around and investigate what's what. They simply won't do it. Their interest is in finding what they need fast. If you don't make it clear that you're what they need, you miss out. In plain terms, an unclear description will send would-be customers to your more articulate competitors.
A Link to Your Website
While your description should give a good overview of your business, it'll still be brief compared to the more extensive explanations on your website. Therefore, in addition to that description, you should link to your site. That way, anyone who wants more information can easily learn more and engage further, potentially leading to sales.
Up-to-Date Business Hours
If you want more visits to your physical location, provide your up-to-date business hours. If people are not sure when you're open or closed, they will be hesitant to pay you a visit. Why risk wasting their time, especially when they can be sure that your competitors have what they need and are open for business?
If you're on directories that aren't industry-specific, you'll need to add appropriate categories so that people looking for your type of business can easily find you.
One reason people often research businesses online before becoming customers is to find out what to expect. By providing quality pictures of your location, staff, products, and so on, you can put potential customers at ease and get them excited to interact with you.
The same goes for other visual elements such as company videos and virtual tours.
Encourage and Respond to Reviews
A review strategy can go a long way in helping your business rank well organically. If customers are consistently visiting your listings to give feedback and you respond regularly to reviews, indexing bots will take note of such activity and boost your rankings.
Start Ranking Locally!
Now that you know how to optimize your directory listings, don't wait to make the needed changes. Only then can you begin to enjoy the benefits of local SEO!
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But wait...do you have questions about ranking organically within your locale? Contact us for assistance!