The Anatomy of a Local Business Listing
Today, 89% of people search for a local business on their phone at least once a week. 76% of those people will visit that business within 24 hours. Because so much offline traffic is coming from people conducting online searches, your listing accuracy and presence are vital to the success of your business.
Business listings can be found on various search directories – whether-or-not the business knows it. There are hundreds of search directories consumers can turn to for business information but the big ones, earning most of the consumer traffic, are Google, Yelp, Facebook, Apple Maps, Bing and Foursquare. If a business wants to be found online, they must claim and update their listings starting with those six directories.
In addition to claiming listings, businesses need to be sure the information found on those listings is always accurate. 80% of consumers lose trust in businesses with inaccurate online information. In order to provide searchers with accurate information no matter when or where they’re searching, here is everything a brand needs to include in their online business listings.
What To Include In Your Local Business Listings?
Every business listing has a set of information that must be included in order for people to find your business. We use the acronym NAPWCHD to refer to this information.
Name of the Business – This needs to be consistent with the signage of your business.
Address – Make sure your address is correct so consumers can find you. For service area businesses you can set a geographical area or zip codes that you serve.
Phone Number – This should be the local store phone number.
Website – If you have local pages, make sure this link sends people to the right web page for the listed location.
Category – Be specific with the category you choose. This should be the most common keyword people use to search for your business.
Hours – The most common inaccuracy found on business listings is in their hours. Make sure yours are accurate – even on holidays.
Description – Let people know what your business is about. Go one step further by including keywords to optimize your listing for local search.
If your listing information isn’t accurate it can cause consumers to lose trust in your business making them less likely to do business with your brand. In fact, an estimated $10.3 billion worth of sales are lost every year due to wrong, missing, or inaccurate business listings.
Choosing the right photos to showcase your business is essential to bringing in customers. We recommend including a photo of the outside of your business, a photo of the main lobby or dining room, and any photos that showcase your service or product offerings. Many listing directories allow for consumers to upload photos to your listings. Protect your brand image by uploading your own photos often in order to push down user-generated photos.
Including attributes are a great way to prepare customers for what they can expect when visiting your business. Do you offer free WIFI, delivery, or reservations? This is all the information you’ll want to include on your business listings.
4. Book An Appointment/Make A Reservation
If your business offers any reservation or appointment booking, you’ll want to enable a call-to-action for customers to book directly through your listing. Keep in mind that your response rate and time is visible to everyone, be sure you have the bandwidth to handle these requests before turning it on. But, if you remove steps from the process of booking by enabling this tool, consumers are more likely to take action.
Businesses that have a menu or list of services should be including them on their business listings. 90% of consumers seeking to eat out or order from a restaurant turn to local search to find their destination. Including a menu can help make that decision much easier.
6. Delivery Services
Whether your business is doing 1st-party or 3rd-party delivery through services like GrubHub and Delivery.com, you should include that information on your listing. For 1st-party delivery it can be as easy as adding a link or attribute for delivery. For 3rd-party delivery services, it will depend on the supported partners of each directory.
Google Supported Delivery Partners: Grubhub, Eat24, Delivery.com, BeyondMenu and MyPizza.com
Yelp Supported Delivery Partners: GrubHub, Delivery.com, EatStreet, and ChowNow
Facebook Supported Delivery Partners: Delivery.com and Slice
Foursquare Supported Delivery Partners: Delivery.com and GrubHub
7. Respond to Reviews
Many of the major listing directories include consumer reviews. Responding to these reviews should be part of any successful listing strategy. Responding to reviews can have many positive effects on your listings. 15% of how Google ranks a local business is from review signals. Responding to reviews is also a great place to include keywords to optimize your listings. But above all, responding to reviews shows you care. 78% of consumers say that seeing management respond to online reviews makes them believe that the business cares more about them.
8. Monitor and Update Regularly
Adding information to your listing is important but you can’t just set it and forget it. On average, listings can change every 5 – 6 days. This is due to user-suggested edits and user-generated content such as photo uploads. Protect your listing accuracy by monitoring and updating your listings across every directory regularly.
Managing listings for multi-location businesses at-scale is a lot of work. Chatmeter’s team of Local Listing Management Specialists is dedicated to protecting the listings of enterprise brands across 100s of listing directories. This saves multi-location brands time and money dedicated to keeping their listings up-to-date and duplicate free.