All Mean Something Unexpected In Online Marketing: Find Out More
Statistics reveal that four out of five consumers today search online directories to find local businesses and service providers. Further, nearly half of all mobile phone users who searched for nearby businesses stopped by that same day. As a small business owner interested in connecting with your local audience, it’s time to add online directory listings to your business’ web presence and digital marketing strategy.
What Is NAP ?
NAP is short for NAME, ADDRESS and PHONE number. Your NAP must appear in any local and industry-related directories, like these:
• Local Chamber of Commerce Directory
• Local Better Business Bureau Directory
• Angie’s List
Think Like a Customer
If you think like a customer, what information would be important to you if you were searching for a local business? Basic information about the business, right? Consumers want to see your NAP, your hours of operation and your website address. What will really catch their eye is if you beef up your directory listings by adding some HIGH-VALUE DATA, such as:
• Your logo
• A picture of your business
• A picture representative of your services, such as a completed kitchen
• A description of the services your offer
Claim Your Listings
Some online directories already have your business address listed. If that is the case, you need to claim your listing.
How to claim your business listing varies from site to site. On some, you click on a link that sends a verification code to your phone. Others may send you information via email. Regardless of the process, it’s important to verify your business listings.
Once you claim your listing, you can edit information, respond to reviews and customize your profile.
Is Having a Presence in Online Directories Important?
And then yes again. Your information in online directories increases your performance in search engine results and increases the chances that new customers will find your business and buy from you. Isn’t that what this is all about?
Tied in with the all-important directory listings are CITATIONS.
A “Citation” is a mention of your NAP on webpages other than your own site. Google, Bing and Yahoo consider your company’s citations when computing your ranking and that all important SERP (Search Engine Results Placement).
To further define citation: any mention of your business occurring anywhere on the internet with or without a link is a citation.
Citations from sources like the directories discussed above prove to the search engines that your business contact information and how it is categorized are valid and correct.
Citations also show that your business is part of a community. Membership in a Chamber of Commerce or an ad in a city or county online business index, or being written about in a local online newspaper or blog, all provide citations that improve your local search engine rankings.
Participation in local events helps you gain citations. The event site will list your NAP. Also it’s another way for your business name to get associated with the local community.
Accuracy Counts ~A Lot!
Your NAP needs to be ACCURATE across the entire internet. Big search engines use NAP data when determining which companies to display in area-specific searches.
You will be shocked and amazed when you start looking at your company’s listings. Every possible variation of your company name is out there. Sometimes listings are even incorrect. Have you moved in the past couple years? Guaranteed your old address is still out there and needs to be changed ASAP.
How bad is it if your NAP is inaccurate or outright wrong? A mismatched NAP is one of the main negative local ranking issues impacting how a website is ranked.
Directory listings and the citations they create, and citations from other sources as well, play an integral part in your online marketing program. They represent a great way to ensure prospects know you exist and can find you. Further, directory listings and citations prove that your business is well-established and respected.
Kitchen Design Partner offers a Local Foundation Package that includes Directory and Citation Clean-up. Contact us online at www.kitchendesignerpartner.com or call 888-766-8470 to learn more about how to increase your local online search results.