How to Rank Higher Online by Improving Your Business Listings

Factors for A High Ranking Listing

If you want to rank well on local search engines, you need consistent listings; NAP data (name, address, phone number), website, hours, and more across all major listing directories. This is a must in order to be validated as a credible local business. The more accurate and consistent your business’ information is, the more search engines will trust the validity of the business. The more the search engines trust the business, the higher you will rank in local Search Engine Results Page.

According to a study conducted by Moz, 13% of professionals say that having your business being mentioned online regularly (also called local citation) is one of the most important elements in Local Pack Ranking factor.

Business Listings

The information mentioned in business listings can vary but some key pieces of information hold true across them all.

NAP Data

The most determining data held in a business listing is the NAP data—name, address, and phone number information. It is critical for the online visibility of any business. Having accurate and up-to-date NAP data ensures that not only will consumers find your business online, but that they will also have the correct information on how to contact you.

In fact, 50% of mobile users are looking for business addresses.

NAP data is also important for search engines like Google to display your business in geo-targeted searches. If someone is searching for “good seafood” in the Boston area, the local Boston seafood places with correct NAP data will appear. Of course Google gives search ranking priority to business with correct NAP data—how else are they supposed to tell where you are, what you do, and if you’re even a legitimate business at all?

Despite the importance of accurate NAP data, studies show that quite a lot of businesses are failing even at this basic step into the world of listings. Here are some stats from a study by Localeze, 2015.

  • 86% of businesses have either missing or incorrect company name information listed across all listings sources
  • 72% of businesses have either missing or incorrect address information listed across all listings sources
  • 71% of businesses have either missing or incorrect phone number information listed across all listings sources

Hours of Operation

If you want to score some bonus points, don’t forget to include information like hours of operation. When a consumer is looking for a business or the service a business provides, they have a high purchase intent, and are probably searching for an immediate need. If the business is shown as “open”, they will most likely visit the business.

In fact, 73% of purchases that result from mobile searches happen within the same day, and most (63%) within a few hours.

If your business has no hours listed, the consumer would have to go out of their way to find out whether or not you’re open. 76% of consumers report that they expected hours of operation information when conducting a search and over 60% of consumers find that knowing the business hours helps them make their purchase decision! This is a big inconvenience for this customer, not only do they not know your business hours, but their time is being wasted.

Let the negative reviews commence!

If your competitor has their business hours listed, they will most probably capture that consumer. People just want their needs fulfilled—they’d be happy to spend their money at a business that has their hours correctly listed if they were coming in-store to make the purchase.

Website Link

Put that website link into your business listings. Consumers will often travel from Google search into a business website to get a feel for the business, and learn more about what they’re offering. So obviously, including a link to your website is important for their online presence.

Does your business have a central “hub” of information to direct users to online? Here is an interesting statistic: 93% of businesses have either missing or incorrect website information listed across all listings sources.

If a user can find your website, they’ll get a better impression of your business, and likely have a more positive experience. With nearly half of small businesses not having a website, you can make your business stand out on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) by including your website data in the listing information.

Some More Information To Consider

  • Payment methods
  • Services
  • Brands
  • Holiday hours
  • Images
  • Social profiles

Depending on your business vertical, there may be other pieces of information important for you to include in their online business listings. The more information you include, the easier it will be for consumers to find your business, purchase your products and/or services and leave a review!

Find out more about Review Management and how it can help grow your business, book a consultation now.


What are Listings and Why Do They Matter?

Listings are an online entries for your business. Their role is to help customers find you online and in real life. They contain 4 simple pieces of information that provide the basic information potential customers need to have: NAP+W

NAP+W is the acronym that explains it all.

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Website

If you want to score some bonus points, don’t forget to include information like hours of operation — it’s what consumers are most interested in!

Making sure your listings pay off

Having an up-to-date and accurate listing is important for your SEO performance. They are available through many sources, including search engines, online directories and maps, or social sites, and the more you are present on these sources, the better. This will create multiple avenues for consumers to find your business.

And remember, presence only pays off if the listings are accurate! Listings are accurate if the information is correct and consistent across all potential sources.

The importance of listings

With good presence and accuracy, they will undoubtedly pay off for your business. Here’s how:

No more hiding

Correct, consistent and readily available listings will help guide consumers right to your business’s door steps. If a business’s listing is incorrect or missing, the majority of consumers will feel less confident about the brand, leading them to choose a competitor’s product or service.

Here’s the sad reality: 75 percent of searchers will not go past page one if they don’t see what they’re looking for.

The availability of accurate listings ensures customers are actually able to find your business’ locations while it’s still open for business.

This means money in the business’ pocket and, just as importantly, it means the business can be reviewed.

The importance of online reviews

Reviews, whether positive or negative, are an essential tool for developing a business’ online reputation and promoting brand loyalty and they should be managed correctly. They allow customers to communicate their experience with a business to potential buyers, but if consumers can’t find a business listed online, their opinion of it won’t be well-informed.

In fact, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and almost 95% of shoppers read reviews before making a purchase decision!

Accurate listings create the opportunity for transparency between businesses and consumers in the form of reviews, and the availability of these accurate listings will help increase a business’s visibility.

Boosting a business’ SEO

Consistent, accurate and readily available listings, as well as customer reviews, will directly benefit a business’s visibility by boosting its ranking in local search engine results. Optimising your website for SEO should go hand-in-hand with building an effective website. But Search Engine Optimisation is quite a complex tool, so why not take advantage of it by simply ensuring your business’ listings are done accurately!

Get started today!

This listings low-down provides basic definitions and descriptions of the benefits of business listings. Creating listings on sites worth lots of points improves your listings score and we have ranked all of them for you by importance using a lot of key factors—how many sites reference them, traffic, demographics and more. Implementing the tactics mentioned above will give you a head start on your competition!

To find out more about listings and how they can help grow your business, book a consultation now.


Common Local SEO Mistakes That Are Negatively Affecting Your Business

SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, improves your website’s ranking and by doing so can increase traffic to your site. Optimising your SEO strategy is an extremely important part of your web content and any business or digital marketer needs to know the common mistakes and tactics to go around them.

If you want your business to have a good online reputation and your website to create a lot of new leads, attention needs to be given to SEO. And it is especially important for small local businesses to optimise for SEO! Unfortunately, a local SEO strategy isn’t simply creating a website and hoping clients can find it. It isn’t that complicated, but it is quite a time commitment, and you need to know what you’re doing.

Certainly, it is important to know the ways to enhance your SEO but it is just as important to be aware of all the most common mistakes that are made in order to avoid them. A bad SEO strategy could strongly damage your ranking and your business’s presence in search engines.

Here are a few common mistakes:

1. Forgetting your Google My Business Profile

Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps and your business absolutely requires it. When people Google generic businesses like ‘clothing store’ or ‘bakery’ near them, the results that appear at the top of the page in list and map format come from Google My Business. If you want yours to be on the list, you need to set up this profile.

This strategy is a quick and easy win that you can do today. When you set up your Google My Business page, it’s important to fill it out with as much information as possible, and don’t forget to verify your listing; having a great GMB listing represents a significant opportunity for local businesses.

2. Inaccurate Or Missing Listings

NAP, which means Name, Address, and Phone number, is crucial to get right online.

On every source that your business is listed on, the NAP information needs to be the exact same everywhere. Consistency is key. If it’s not listed, you should consider adding it as soon as possible, and if it’s incorrect or outdated, it should be updated right away because potential customers may attempt to reach out to your business, and if they can’t reach you due to wrong information listed, you’ve lost a client.

3. Low Quality Content

If you want to have a good SEO strategy, it’s essential to have original, high-quality content that is consistently reviewed and updated. A weak, repetitive or out-of-date content will have a negative impact on your SEO.

Here is a list of tools to help you better your content:

  • Study demic - Make sure to get copywriting guides so you can improve your writing
  • Academised – Use online editing tool that will improve the quality of your content and allow you to post more regularly.
  • Grammarly – Check your grammar and make sure no mistakes or typos are sneaking in there.
  • Paper Fellows – Use online proofreading tools, to help you create and edit documents.
  • Via writing – Get help coming up with original content ideas, generating keywords, SEO-friendly titles, descriptions and more.
  • Big Assignments – Use formatting tools.

The first thing your potential customer will see on your website is your landing page. If it’s out of date, full of mistakes or irrelevant information, then you’ll not only lose a customer but the quick bounce will negatively affect your rating.

Little tip: Using videos on landing pages can increase conversions by 86%!

4. Irrelevant or Missing Backlinks

A very common mistake is forgetting or disregarding backlinks. This can negatively affect your site and business.

Backlinks are links on another website that direct back to your site and having real and secure backlinks is an important step for SEO because a lot of search engines will give more credit to websites that have a good number of quality backlinks. These backlinks can be quite hard to line up for some businesses.

To make it easier, it is worth investing the time and making connections with other businesses that can help. Don’t forget to look for local business listings that work with your area of expertise, or local sites in your region that would accept a guest posting as a trade for a backlink. You can also speak to your suppliers and distributors for a backlink on their websites, and reach out to local media to be used as a source for their stories.

5. Insufficient Local Reviews

Don’t dismiss the importance of reviews on your website. The more good quality reviews you have, the higher your site will rank on searches. Consider developing a system to make sure that you receive a constant stream of reviews that you can publish.

According to Todd Wallace, a well-known digital marketer: “contact customers you’ve had in the past and clients and ask if they can leave a review, send an email to your current client base requesting the same, or post on social media asking for feedback. You should also ask customers to review your business immediately after a visit as a regular follow up.”

In fact, 57% of consumers will only use a business if it has 4 or more stars!

6. Low-Quality Website

The quality and usefulness of your website is one of the factors that Google considers when defining high quality SEO. It’s simple, if a site is of low quality, it won’t get ranked by Google.

They have built-in indicators of poor quality sites like high bounce rates, low conversions, bad design, irrelevant landing pages. Customers who have a good experience on your site will spend longer on it and this will rank your business higher in search engines. And don’t forget mobile optimisation to ensure that visitors who access your website from their phones have an experience optimised for the device. Your focus as a business owner or manager should be growing and improving your business, and not wasting your time optimizing for SEO! With the assistance of SEO experts, develop a good SEO strategy so you don’t need to worry about it as much and focus on what matters.

By avoiding these common mistakes you’ll be able to see your SEO strategy pay off.

Find out more about Local SEO and how it can help grow your business, book a consultation now.

online review

What is Online Review Management?

Word of mouth and print advertising encompassed the reputation of a business. But now consumers are the ones in charge of the reputation of a company. They do it by providing real-time online feedback via social media, forums and review sites. Online review management forms part of a digital marketing strategy that works towards social media management, SEO, business listings, review management and paid search in order to help your business stay relevant and competitive in the online sphere.

Four out of five consumers that did a survey said that they use search engines to find local information from diverse devices to find store addresses, business hours, product availability and directions. However even though the numbers say it all, there are some businesses that still don’t manage the digital segments of digital marketing in order to maintain their online presence, therefore, their offline reputation.

Online reputation management: your business has options

The reputation of your business affected at any time by any kind of source across the whole web. There are some products that can help you cut down the management time expenditure of your reputation such as (SaaS), services (outsourcing services) or people (outsource or hire a digital marketer).

Even if your company is constantly checking their social media there will always be a new review site from a listing that they will miss. Firstly, your business has to decide whether it’s better to conduct online reputation management in-house or through outsourcing by looking at their pros and cons. Your business must always take into consideration that there are better practices when responding to reviews than you may believe.

Why your business’s online reputation matters

An online reputation of a company has to be backed up by rates and reviews made by consumers. Without them, it would seem like no one visits the business and that’s no good.

Ready or not, consumers are talking about your business

A business choosing to manage their online reputation or not, does not correlate to consumers talking about their favourite or least favourite businesses. But if a business completely ignores their online reputation the consequences will be devastating.

Whether a business chooses to manage their reputation online or not, consumers are talking about their favorite and not-so-favorite businesses. If a business simply ignores their reputation online, the consequences can be detrimental.

Social media is a two-way conversation where businesses can no longer just broadcast the message they want people to see. Brands, consumers and everyone has an equal voice.   

Customers can and will talk about their terrible experience with a company. The incorporation of social networks to businesses has changed the way they communicate. Currently, customers can maintain conversations with brands and vice versa as if they were speaking to a friend. Due to this, businesses have had to be more personal and manage their social presence.

Reputation drives conversion

Everything that people sees online matters. Approximately 74% of customers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. Customers only put their money where their trust is. For instance, a Harvard Business School study found out that a sees a one star increase on Yelp site their revenues increase from five to nine per cent.

As stated before, businesses believe that harvesting their digital profile by themselves takes them too much time. There is a solution to that, today we can find many monitoring tools that facilitate this process with customers, saving time but also money. The worst thing your business can do is to ignore your customers online.

What makes a good online reputation?

Staying present, means being listed online and having a good reputation go side by side. Not appearing on reference sites is as bad as having bad reviews on that site. Building a reputation and an image is important for both search engines and consumers. Some of the most important aspects of the online footprint include:

  • Number of business listings
  • Consistency of business listing information
  • Overall sentient in reviews
  • Frequency or current velocity of new reviews
  • Overall volume of reviews
  • Social activity and engagement

Currently, reviews and social recommendations are seen as more authentic by customers due to the fact that they want their experience to be the same as the ones on the reviews. This means that online reputation is becoming more important every day.

Online Review Management: The main sell

Google stated that 9 out of 10 of local searches lead to action, with more than 50 percent leading to sales. If someone’s website is better than yours, customers will go to theirs rather than yours. 79% of customers use their phones to compare prices and look are reviews, and 74% end up buying. Therefore, online reputation management has a very important role in your business plays when the goal is to make sales - which let’s be honest, is what we want!

With our Review Management service, you can make sure you aren't missing out on any potential customers or conversions. To find out more about how it can help grow your business, book a consultation now.