Local SEO strategies have a big impact on traffic to businesses. In fact, 50 percent of people will visit a business in person within 24 hours of running a search on their mobile device.
If your business isn’t prepared for mobile searches, you’ll miss out on this traffic.
Effective local SEO strategies do more than just utilize local keywords on a business’ website. Another essential tool is business listing sites.
Web surfers visit listing sites for many reasons. Some go for reviews. Others are looking for information about store hours.
More still will run a search looking for products or services to fix a problem that they’ve stumbled upon. By getting your company on the right business listing sites, these sites will help link you to customers looking for your products or services.
Keep reading for a list of the best business listing sites every company should be on.
The Business Listing Sites Your Company Needs to Be On
The business listing sites included in this guide are those that will help reach the largest audience. They range from review sites to search engines and will help you increase your business’ credibility and broaden your reach.
Keep reading to learn about the listing sites you need to get your company on.
Better Business Bureau
One of the most important business listing sites that companies in any industry need to register with is the Better Business Bureau.
We often tend to only hear about the BBB when someone talks about filing a complaint. But this is also a trusted source for finding businesses with a good reputation.
Unlike some of the of the other sites on this list, the BBB has a more extensive screening process that many web surfers are more likely to trust. This can be great for new businesses who may not have had a chance to gain positive reviews on other business listing sites.
While traditional phone books may be rapidly becoming a thing of the past, they are finding new life in an online format.
Yellow Pages is the modern phone book. Like the Better Business Bureau, it contains details about businesses, locations, and other info.
Like the BBB, the Yellow Pages name carries a strong reputation and a high level of trust among web surfers. When it comes to choosing which sites to list your business on, sites like Yellow Pages should be at the top of your list.
Google My Business
Every second, more than 40,000 searches are run on Google. Google’s algorithms are designed to give web surfers the closest match to the results they’re searching for. Because of this, many of those searches include local results.
A web surfer doesn’t even need to attempt to run a local search to get localized results. For instance, consider what would happen if you typed in the word “donut.” Alongside general information about donuts, Google would also give you listings for donut shops near you.
If your business isn’t registered with Google My Business, it won’t appear in these searches. Or it may appear, but web surfers won’t get information that they would need to visit you, such as your correct address, business hours, contact information, and more.
Another important reason to make sure that your business is registered with Google My Business is Google Maps. Android and Google Phone users searching for your business on their Maps app won’t be able to find your business or your correct contact information if you aren’t listed here.
Google Maps isn’t the only place that web surfers go for directions.
MapQuest is another popular app and website for finding business locations and directions on how to get there.
Updating your company information on all business listing sites designed for finding directions, like MapQuest and Google Maps, is a must if you run a brick-and-mortar business where customers need to come visit.
Bing is another popular search engine with a large number of daily users.
It cost nothing to update your business’ information on search engine listing sites. And it takes only minutes to do so.
The more business listing sites you put your company’s information on, the more web surfers you have the potential to reach. Even if Bing or other search engines have a smaller number of daily users than Bing, it’s important to cover any site where your customers might run searches.
Another of the most important business listing sites is Facebook.
Facebook is important for a number of reasons. Besides being a spot where users can go to find out what a business is about, where they are located, or how to contact them, it’s also a chance to interact with customers.
Facebook users can visit a business’ page to share reviews or leave comments. Businesses can share new products or services, provide updates, and more.
With more than 2.13 billion users on Facebook today, not having a page set up for your business is a big mistake.
If your business is in any way related to tourism, you need to be listed on TripAdvisor.
TripAdvisor is primarily used by travelers looking to check out new cities, though it could also be used by people looking for spots within their home city.
This app and websites have sections for hotels, restaurants, and activities, such as tours, museums, or rentals. Users can find important information about these businesses, leave reviews, and even book a stay, a tour, or a reservation.
Another popular TripAdvisor feature is their ranking system. They rank businesses by genre and city. So each city will have a list of the top restaurants, top hotels, and top recreational activities in the area.
While it will take time for new businesses to improve their ranking on this site, good reviews can help get you there, and landing those top spots can mean a huge boost in business.
Online reviews are becoming an increasingly popular way to find new businesses.
They are becoming so popular that more than 70 percent of people questioned in one study found that they trust online reviews. In the same study, less than 50 percent said that they trusted advertisements.
For businesses choosing where the best area to invest their marketing money is, these statistics are incredibly useful. Organic marketing strategies and encouraging online reviews not only often costs less than print ads, but it may also provide far superior results.
If you want to start encouraging reviews from your customers, you first have to get your company listed on the best business listing sites for online reviews. One of these sites is Yelp.
With Yelp, your customers can not only rate and review your business, but can also use it to find your hours of operation, contact information, and even things like product lists and menus.
Foursquare is a different type of business listing site.
While users can find general information about a business as well as leave reviews, they can perform other functions as well. They can also check in, share businesses with their friends who also use the app, and more.
Another function that businesses can take advantage of on FourSquare is to offer promotions or discounts to customers who have the app. For instance, you could list a sale on your products for a particular day, and FourSquare users could show you the app or a promotional code that you provide to redeem their discount.
Angie’s List is another popular listing site that all businesses should register with.
But while you should take the time to update your free listing, don’t get discouraged if doing so doesn’t lead to a big boost in business.
Unlike most of the sites on this list, Angie’s List gives business’ the option to pay to boost where their business appears in the search results. Like other paid ad services, when compared to organic marketing, the results are likely to fall flat.
Even though you may not choose to advertise, this site does have a large following, so including your site with a free listing is a must.
Many of the sites on this list are a great choice for businesses in any industry. While all businesses should list through this site, LinkedIn provides a different kind of service to different businesses.
If your business is in any way related to the B2B, or business-to-business, industry, LinkedIn can help you connect with business clients.
But even if your business isn’t in this industry, listing on LinkedIn can help you find applicants to apply for openings, connect with potential partner programs, and more.
Chamber of Commerce
Another popular business listing site that receives millions of visitors every year is ChamberofCommerce.com.
Like other sites on this list, you can claim your business and list important information like your address, contact information, hours, and more.
Tips for Optimizing Your Business Page Listings for SEO
Claiming your company on the business listing sites included here does more than just help out people who are already specifically looking for your business. It can also help you connect with customers who have never heard of your business or the products and services that you’re offering.
By optimizing your business page listings, you can actually help boost your SEO, which can help you reach a larger number of web surfers through organic marketing. Here are a few tips to help do so.
Put Your Keywords to Work
If you think that your keywords only belong on your blog and website, think again.
Keyword usage in your company’s profile on business listing sites can actually be a big boost to your SEO. Sprinkle your keywords into your business descriptions, and make sure that your industry/ specialty areas are correctly listed, as those labels are likely keywords that you already target.
The exact algorithms used by Google and other search engines are still somewhat a mystery. And because they are constantly being changed and updated, it is even more difficult to say exactly how much of an effect things like consumer reviews have on SEO.
But whether reviews have a direct effect on SEO or not, they are still essential to a business.
They help improve your business’ online reputation. They give buyers a sense of trust, even before they’ve bought from you. They can help get web surfers to check out your business’ website, which leads to increased exposure and more chances to land a sale.
By optimizing your company’s information on as many business listing sites as possible, you’ll increase your chances of getting reviews. You can also directly encourage reviews from your customers, either through social media engagement or by word of mouth.
Respond to Reviews
Even the best companies receive negative reviews from disgruntled customers. But how you respond to these reviews can be the difference between allowing them to hurt your reputation or keeping your rep intact.
Responding to negative reviews quickly and professionally can help mitigate the effect that they have on other consumers who may read the bad review. This can help reduce the impact of a lying customer or help explain a situation that went wrong.
Negative reviews aren’t the only ones you can respond to. Responding to and thanking customers who leave positive reviews can also help make your company seem more approachable and friendly, and can help improve your reputation even more.
Start Updating Your Company’s Profiles Today
Now that you know which business listing sites your company needs to be on and how you can optimize your listings to boost your SEO strategies, its time to get to work.
But managing your company’s SEO while juggling other jobs can be overwhelming.
If you’re ready to see how outsourcing your online marketing can help boost traffic to your site and increase leads, check out our services today and contact us to learn more!