Do Consistent Business Listings Really Affect Your SEO Rankings?
I wanted to use my holiday vacation time to share the following post.
It is about recent conversations I have had with friends, prospects, and people that want to know more about SEO and the competitive factors that help them rank higher.
Specifically their business listings.
When I tell them how impactful their business listings across the web are, invariably they all ask a variation of the same thing. “Do consistent business listings really affect your SEO rankings that much??
In a word, Yes.
Let’s Start With The Basics
When in a discussion I always start with business listing data since this is a very important factor with a pretty quick fix that plays a significant piece of the SEO puzzle.
When I start with some of this SEO lingo, people are like, “whatchu talkin’ bout, Willis?”
So let me simplify before you ask.
Discrepancies = Lost $
Every business has tons of free business listings that exist on many different websites. Google, Yelp, Yahoo, Yellow Pages, Waze, Mapquest, etc would be a good initial list to help clarify what listings I am referring too.
If a consumer is looking for your simple business info, what we call NAP – Name, Address & Phone number, you would want to make sure you are listed and more importantly, listed correctly.
Why you ask? Well, According to a study by Greg Sterling, there are more than 10 billion dollars of lost revenue yearly from discrepancies in business listings.
Your ‘Google My Business’ Listing is your most important
To illustrate this point, I just went through someone’s information the other day and their company doesn’t even own their own free listing on Google!
Mind you that Google’s listing is your most important listing of Google search results.
First of all, the GMB (Google My Business) info is found in three places:
1. Google Search (knowledge panel)
2. Google Maps
Secondly, it is a major (the largest!) ranking factor for Google’s Local pack/Finder!
The mere fact that they do not “exist” comes off pretty bad to the person searching for their location. This isn’t complicated to create or even just claim/verify the page, as Google will walk you through the prompts and clicks necessary to claim or create it.
Search engines & consumers are equally affected
This consistency issue is not just a search engine consideration; this is a consumer consideration too.
Let’s say, for example, a potential consumer goes to Google and does an organic search for your service or industry or even a direct search for you without typing in your web domain name for the company (let’s just use mine for simplicity…..if they searched for ‘localbizguru’ instead of ‘localbizguru.com’).
If it’s a restaurant they are looking for and it says you are not open even though the listing says they are open, that consumer may have driven 20 minutes for dinner and now they are up a creek without a paddle….. As the famous line from Seinfeld goes, ‘No Soup For You!!!’….. well at least for the consumer, and certainly not at that establishment. Not now and quite possibly not in the future either! A blown opportunity!
Let Me Get Some Of That
If the 10 billion dollars of lost revenue is happening now every year, don’t you want some of that?
There are a variety of ways to fix the problem but the question is which way to go. There are a variety of ways to fix the problem but the question is which way to go.
The specific ways to fix and secure your business listings were discussed here in an earlier article. However, my personal favorite and recommendation are to utilize a one-stop solution to address all of your general listings. This is also the best way for any business which would like to remain ‘hands-off’. If you ever need to make a change, put it in once and it is fixed all over – in real-time!
Yes, your business listing and location data play a very integral role in your SEO and Yes! Consistent business listings really affect your SEO rankings!
They are able to be fixed in a variety of ways. We are believers in taking control of that data and securing it so no one can mess around with that crucial information.