Online Business Listings FAQ: What They Are, Why They Matter and How Technology Can Help
When it comes to reaching local customers, it’s imperative that your online business listings are up-to-date and consistent across the web. That’s easier than said than done unless you have the right technology helping you manage your online listings.
Rallio’s Business Listings technology makes the task quick and painless, letting you update your listings in just a few clicks. Before we get into that, however, let’s talk about why you need your online business listings to be correct in the first place.
What Are Online Business Listings?
Online business listings, aka directory listings, encompass all the different places where your business information — such as address, website, phone number and business hours — shows up online. That includes search engines, social networks, online directories, as well as certain apps and websites.
When your customers conduct a search through one of these mediums, either for your specific business or businesses like yours based on key search terms, naturally you want your business to show up in the related search results. With correct, consistent online business listings for your business, you’re more likely to appear in those results and reach your desired customer right at the moment they’re searching for you — often from their mobile phones when they’re on the go and ready to pay you a visit.
On the flip side, if your business information is out of date or inconsistent — maybe you have a couple of different addresses online — it makes your business less likely to appear in search results and also makes it harder for people to find you.
Clearly, then, it’s to your advantage to make sure that your business information is correct, everywhere it’s listed online.
Related: Why You Need Your Social Media Company to Do Directory Listings, Too
Why Does My Local Business Listing Matter for Search?
With more and more people conducting searches from their smartphones, it’s crucial that your business is findable in search results. Imagine if you’re on the way home from work and have a craving for tacos. The quickest way to satisfy that craving is by typing a search into your browser or using voice search to locate the best tacos nearby.
The same is true whether you sell tacos, or luxury bedding, or wide-width shoes, or pancakes that look like celebrities, or injectable vitamins. People want to find what they want, when they want it, right then and there. According to a Hitwise “Consumer Insights Report,” “Mobile devices now account for a majority — or near majority — of online searches for almost every major industry.” The Food & Beverage industry alone accounts for 72% of searches conducted from a mobile device. The Health sector is a close second at 68%.
This means that no matter what your industry, your business needs to be thrown in the mix of search results for you to be considered by mobile searchers. Otherwise, it’s like you don’t even exist.
Particularly during the pandemic, when business hours may have been affected, it’s important to have a way of quickly communicating any changes. You don’t want a customer to drive all the way to your store if you’re closed, leave angrily, and maybe even leave a negative online review about you without even setting foot in your doors.
That brings us to another point. Your local SEO depends on much more than just your search rankings in Google. Online reviews, online business listings across the web, GPS services, social networks and more all play into your local SEO success.
In other words, you can’t focus solely on Google and Google My Business — which, while important, are just one aspect of your overall directory listings and local search functions.
Side note: As we discussed back in March 2020 when the pandemic first impacted businesses, GMB isn’t immune to technical difficulties. At that time, Google had announced that some of its GMB features had been suspended or limited, including new reviews, replying to reviews and Q&As. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that you can’t rely on any one particular way of doing things if you want to survive in business. It’s so important to be able to pivot — and, in this case, to continue utilizing other review platforms.
What’s the Answer?
To have the greatest impact in searches across the web and turn local searches into real business, you need all of the following to be true:
- You’re listed in as many online directories as possible.
- You’ve removed any incorrect information about your business online.
- You’ve also added or updated any information about you to make sure it’s the most accurate, up-to-date information available. If your business is operating under limited hours over a holiday weekend, for example, customers can easily find that out through local search.
To make the statements above true about your business, you can’t rely on manual methods of refreshing the information. Oftentimes, business information is added or updated without you even being aware of it — for instance, directory listings may be created from publicly available sources such as tax forms or government records.
To try and manually keep up with each and every instance of a change to your business’s online directory listings would be — well, exhausting, time-consuming and downright undoable as a busy entrepreneur. Plus, there’s a risk of making errors or omitting key details if you manually input the information. As mentioned earlier, having inconsistent information can be just as bad as having no information at all.
Makes Sense. Now What?
There’s a better way to manage your online business listings, and it doesn’t involve wearing down your fingertips as you try to type in your information on every directory listing site or app.
Save your digits and use Rallio’s Business Listings tool to create, correct and optimize your listings across all the different websites, apps, services and social media platforms. With our tool, you can easily:
- Manage your business listings across global business locations from your desktop or our mobile app, in just a few clicks — with access to over 30 listing sites
- Promote your brand across social media, search engines and voice search
- Update your logos and imagery for a consistent brand image
- Measure and optimize the channels that have the greatest impact on your customer acquisition efforts
With a partner like Rallio and our technology in your pocket, it’s much easier to find and retain your local customer base. Request a free, no-obligation demo to learn more about how we can help you make sure your online business listings are working hard — so you can focus on working hard for your business.