18 May 2010

Important Listing Attributes

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Important Local Business Listing Attributes – A Look Inside

  • Your Business Title
  • Links and Citations
  • Categories
  • Reviews and Ratings
  • Photos / Videos
  • Other Attributes

Your Business Title

Your business title is an important factor for ranking well in the Local search engines. Having a title that remains consistent across all data sources is very important because it helps the search engines establish trust in the existence and location of a particular business.

If you call your business “Joe’s Pizza” in one directory and “Joe’s Chicago-Style Pizza” in another directory, there is a chance that Google and the other search engines might see that as two separate businesses when it comes to indexing Joe and his business. Joe should pick one title for his business and ensure that he adds himself to whichever directories he chooses (including the print Yellow Pages) using the same business title.

Links and Citations

Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines find out about your business in two primary ways:

1) Visiting links that point to your website and tracking the sites where those links appear.

2) Tracking citations of your business and the sites where these citations appear.

The search engines use these factors extensively in determining where to rank a particular business.

– What Are Citations? Citations are defined as “mentions” of your business name and address on other web pages, even if there is no link to your website. An example of a citation might be an online yellow pages directory where your business is listed, but not linked to.

Categories

Many Local search engines, including Google, Yahoo, Bing and others allow you to place your business into a number of categories (usually between 2 and 5) that help describe what your business does.

This may seem like a trivial step but it’s actually very important. The search engines use this data when deciding which businesses to show for particular searches. The search engines will not display a business which is not categorized, or even worse, mis-categorized, for particular sets of keywords.

Reviews and Ratings

It’s unclear how much reviews and ratings of a business influence its ranking position, partly because the reviews and ratings are displayed in so many different ways across different search engines (or in the case of Google, even on the same search engine). But reviews and ratings are very persuasive to prospective customers when it comes to actually receiving a call or email. A good review can encourage someone to pick up the phone and call you!

Photos / Videos

Attractive photos and videos have been shown to increase the number of clicks that a particular listing gets. They generally offer a great way to show off your business—either projects that your company has worked on, some of the people in your office, your office itself, etc. A human stamp (or a professional stamp) can help you stand out in an otherwise flat playing field.

Other Attributes

A simple step that some small business owners overlook is to list your contact information on your own website in a format that the search engines can read. If, for whatever reason, you’d rather not list it on your homepage, or on every page of your website, at the very least you should set up a clear “Contact Us” page which displays your address and phone number.

— References – Getlisted.org

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