Often Over Looked: Why Your Business Listing Accuracy is so Important!
Regardless of the number of local listings you’re managing for your business, be it one or hundreds, your NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number) data has to be accurate and consistent. This trinity of information can help your business grow or hinder potential customers from discovering you. Here’s why.
You’ve probably already heard a lot about how important listing accuracy is to any business. But what exactly is it? Why does it matter? Why must you do it? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Read on to find out everything you need to know about business listing accuracy.
A Practical Example
To demonstrate the importance of accuracy of a business listing, just imagine yourself in this scenario. You’re looking for a barbecue restaurant. You perform a Google search on your mobile and get four local results. You pick one and use Google Maps to get to the exact location. Unfortunately, it leads you to a wrong location or to a restaurant that’s closed. You try calling the restaurant only to find that the contact information is incorrect. You ask around and find out that the restaurant doesn’t open on Sundays. Even worse, you’re told that it closed down several months ago.
The restaurant’s inaccurate listing may infuriate you to the point that you decide to stop using Google. Now you can see why Google greatly fears inaccurate listing and takes well-defined measures to provide accurate local search results.
Google Has to Trust Your Business
When it comes to showing businesses in search results, Google regards trust as a primary consideration. So, how does Google establish trust? That’s where the accuracy of business listings comes into play. Let’s assume you’ve already created your Google My Business page. You’ve set up your NAP and included additional information like hours of operation and images. However, all these efforts are not improving your search engine results. A possible reason for this is listing inaccuracy, which makes Google not trust the information you’ve provided. Why is that?
What you might not know is that there may be variations in your business listing information elsewhere on the Internet. This may be a difference in name, for example “Marlin Villas” and “Marlin Villas Apartments Chicago”. If you’ve ever changed the location of your business, the variation may be in the address. You may also have changed phone numbers at some point in time, hence the variation. Additionally, the variation may be on an obscure website you’ve never seen.
So what’s the big deal with websites having different information about your business? What if the differing information is on a website that your customers probably don’t visit? The problem lies with how Google determines whether the information you provide about your business is trustworthy or not.
As you already know, Google can crawl just about anything on the web. Your Google My Business page is just one of the places it can get your business information. Google can also get information from other places where your business has been mentioned, such as:
Online phone book Phone directories City directoriesGeneral and industry-specific business directories like Healthgrades and OpenTableNews sitesUser review sites like Insider Pages and CitysearchGovernment sites
Whenever one of these sites mentions your business, AND the information is accurate and consistent, the confidence that Google has in the business information you provided increases. As a result, the more times your business is mentioned, the greater the confidence Google has in your information. That increases the likelihood of it displaying your business in search results.
But here’s a problem: even the slightest of variations will make Google less confident in your business information. Assume all other sites say that you’re open till five. On the other hand, you’ve told Google that you’re open till nine. The other sites can override the information you provided. Google will take them to be more trustworthy and will tell your customers you’re closed, when actually you’re open. This can damage your business.
Let’s assume the other sites are mentioning your business as you would desire. However, they are giving some minor variations. For instance, one site may provide a phone number or location that’s entirely different from what you’ve provided on your Google My Business page. As a result, Google will get two different contact details for your business. It may not show your business in search results because it doesn’t want your result to have a call button.
Accuracy and Consistency Are Key
The key to fixing challenges your business may be facing when it comes to appearing in local search results lies in accuracy and consistency. Your business information should be both accurate and consistent across all listings, directories, mentions and citations. You’ll need to locate all information that’s inconsistent with yours and correct it.
It’s not easy to track down and change every inconsistent citation, but that’s exactly what you must do if you want to improve your rank. One option you can take is using primary data sources. These are sources from which small directories get their information. Some well-known ones include Factual, Acxiom, Infogroup, Neustar and Localeze. These are the platforms where phone books get their information. If you’ve tried signing up for Yelp and found your business already there, these sources are the reason.
Once you correct your information on a primary source, it will do the same on every site within its network. The primary source will also help you get your business information into places that you never knew. Therefore, by working with primary data sources, you’ll not only fix incorrect data but also create new avenues of accurate and consistent information. That will build Google’s confidence in your listing and increase chances of your business showing up in local searches. You can work with primary sources directly or via an agency.
But it doesn’t end there. You will also need ongoing maintenance because the information about your business that’s on other sites can get corrupted. This may be due to the fact that sites such as directories also get information from each other besides the primary sources. The primary sources may also crawl these sites that they indirectly give information to and end up with inaccurate information. So you’ll need to look for inaccuracies regularly, either manually or through professional service.
Get Professionally Done Business Listings
Business listings are often ranked ahead of other sites on search engines. It goes without saying that optimizing and managing business listings on your own can be time-consuming and overwhelming. Let’s take the stress away by creating and enhancing your local business listing. We offer fully SEO optimized business listings that are guaranteed to give you more customers. We create and correct listings to help you get the desired local search results. We’ll work with you and give you regular updates on all your listings. We’ll update them regularly to reflect any changes to your products, services or business in general. Contact us today and start experiencing exceptional search results.