Business listings can be free advertising that works for you 24/7. Search engines, review sites, social media, and directories are all customer touch-points. If someone is searching for you, you need to be there.

That’s just a start, however. Business listings play a pivotal role in SEO, visibility, and trust.

Business Listings Improve Overall SEO

While the specific formulas search engines use to rank websites are secret, what’s not a secret is how the impact of your business listing on search engine optimization (SEO). Each time your business appears in a listing, Google considers it a citation. The more links you have from quality websites, including listings and directories, the better chance you have to improve your search rankings.

Search engines also rely in part on listings to prove your business is legitimate.

Business Listings Improve Visibility

It’s pretty simple. If someone is online searching for your business, you need to be front and center. While your website is a place to start, it really is only the beginning. For example, Google highlights relevant businesses for free in its “map pack” that appears at the top of the page before organic listings. Your Google My Business listing, along with ranking signals from other online directories and sources, play a role in whether you show up in the map pack and how high you show up.

This is a big deal. Between the paid search results at the very top of the page and the map pack directly underneath, organic listings are often pushed below the fold. This means even if you are able to achieve the top position in organic search, your business may not appear on the screen without scrolling.

Business Listings Regularly Top Organic Search

Once you get past the paid ads and map pack, industry directories and listings often rank among the top organic results. This can push your own business website even farther down the list of results. In many categories, even the top business will be in the 10th position on the page behind directories.

Keep in mind more than 60 percent of clicks on a search page go to only the top three results on the page.

Business Listings Build Trust

Being listed among other top businesses in your industry helps inspire trust and gives potential customers the confidence to use your products or services. Conversely, if you are not listed among your competitors, it can create doubt.

Accuracy And Consistency Is Critical

It is essential that all of your business information is accurate. Just as important is that your information is consistent across all business listings and directories. Check to make sure you have a consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) in every listing. By consistent, we mean identical! You may know that North 4th Street, Fourth Street, and N. Fourth St. are the same, but search engines may not. Inconsistency can hurt your quality scores search engines use to rank you. Listings and directories draw information from a variety of sources. Even if you haven’t created or claimed your listing, there’s a pretty good chance a basic listing is on major search engines and directories. However, if you haven’t provided the information, it might be inaccurate. Consumers report a large deal of frustration with incorrect information in listings and say it negatively impacts their purchase decisions.

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