The online listings of the business


Leave your digital footprint (5/10)

In this fifth lesson on Local SEO, we will talk about the references of your business on other websites and their importance for Local SEO.

Local business listings are when your business information - name, address and phone number - is listed on other websites. It's your online identifier - third-party backups of your business information that help you prove that you are a local business at your real address.

1st type of reference

There are in fact two types of references, even though most people only consider one. Most business owners and marketers equate referrals with directory lists - this is the first type of report, called a "structured report". NAP information is listed in a structured format, usually with your business name on one line, address on another, and phone number on another.

2nd type of reference

Ο second reference type is called an unstructured reference and occurs when NAP information is listed in a... you guessed it - unstructured format. These occur when referring to long-form content, such as a a blog post or a news article, where name, address and telephone number are all given, but not in strict line-by-line format.

Citations were an incredibly important element in Google's local algorithm, but have become less important in recent years. Now, they're a fundamental element - something you need to get right to show up in local searches, but not something you can work harder at to influence your rankings.

But here's what you need to consider. It may no longer carry as much weight, but it is still a factor that affects your ranking. Also, with 80% of users searching online it is very important that your information is correct. So what if:

  1. You have wrong opening hours and a customer comes with his family and friends to your physical location?
  2. You have wrong address and he can't find you?
  3. Do you have a old phone and can't make a reservation?

As we mentioned, this is not only true for Google Maps. All this information is available in navigation apps, on sites like Trip Advisor, FourSquare, Apple Maps, Brownbook etc. You should make sure that whenever you change even the slightest thing in your information you change it wherever they are listed online.

Referrals are much more important for showing up on Google Maps - if you don't have your citations set up correctly, it's very difficult to show up.

100% correct company information

Your references must be 100% consistent. Whenever Google's algorithm sees your NAP information listed on another website, it expects to see the same information. Any mismatches, incomplete or duplicate information sends a bad message to Google.

Google is smart enough to understand address abbreviations - you may have read older posts that argued that your citations should be consistent in each individual character, but this is no longer the case. Google understands that "st" and "street" are the same thing.

Enter your real address

Apart from that, your address must be your real address. Do not try to use virtual offices such as post office boxes to spoof an address. Always use your real address.

If you have multiple businesses at the same address, you need to make sure that 2 of the 3 NAP items are different to avoid visibility problems. Since the address is the same, this means that every business needs a a unique name and a unique telephone number.

Listing on relevant websites

You should also register on the websites that are relevant to your business. There are some sites that every business should be listed on, while other sites are only relevant for specific industries.

Think of it this way - your business needs to be listed (correctly) where Google expects it to be listed. Is it possible that a restaurant business is not listed on Trip Advisor or the listing has mismatches? Keep in mind that your information in Apple Maps syncs with Trip Advisor or FourSquare. If your information is not 100% consistent then.... good luck.

Search for your business

The easiest way to see which references are most important to your business is to do a quick Google search. Simply search for your business name and then read the first 3 or 4 pages of search results.

Any sites listed in the results that mention your business are the sites to watch out for. These are the sites where you need to make sure your NAP information is absolutely correct.

So you're probably asking how you see what your reports look like and how you correct any bad information. You have two options here... You can handle everything yourself or you can use a platform to handle everything automatically for you.

Some businesses and traders prefer to handle things by hand. If you are in this camp, then you will need several man-hours and as we all know, time is money. On the other hand, you can use the platform that has been trusted by thousands of businesses worldwide and of which we are exclusive representatives in Greece. By using AI technology we have managed to automate all these processes so that you can deal with what you know how to do best: managing the business. It is this automation and the fact that no man-hours are required from anyone that has allowed us to have a highly competitive price that is anything but prohibitive for businesses in Greece.

This is what we had to tell you about the fifth lesson on Local SEO and we are waiting for you in the next lesson where we will see what to do after receiving a review on Google.

If you're wondering if all your online listings are correct, we're here for you. With no obligation we can study the site and tell you what you need to fix.

For any questions you can contact us.

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