Spring has finally sprung, and consumers are looking forward to getting their homes ready for summer. Tasks like fixing air conditioners, opening pools and getting home exteriors pressure-washed are appearing on to-do lists around the country — and residents will soon start contacting local businesses to help them cross these items off. Though word-of-mouth and local advertising play a part in connecting consumers with your business, the value of local online directory listings and proper listings management cannot be overstated.
Search Engine Watch reports, "Searches with local intent are more likely to lead to store visits and sales within a day. ... 50 percent of mobile users are most likely to visit after conducting a local search, while 34 percent of consumers on tablets or computers will go to a store." If your store listings aren't displayed correctly, you could miss out on valuable customers this spring and summer. Here are three key benefits of proper online listings management:
1. Up-to-Date Contact Information
When people search for your business online, their primary intent is probably to contact your business for more information. Whether that means making a phone call for a price estimate or a visiting a showroom to check out your latest and greatest, a consumer's immediate need is to find you. Make sure you're paying attention to listings and keeping your business's addresses, phone numbers, Web addresses and email contact data correct for all locations in both Google and Bing search listings. This lets consumers contact you as easily as possible, directly from the search engine results page (SERP).
In addition to knowing how, consumers need to know when to get in touch with you. Making sure your hours are clearly and correctly outlined in your online listing ensures that customers looking you up at 6 p.m. on a Tuesday know whether they can call, have enough time to come in or need to wait a day to contact your business.
2. High SERP Placement
Having the correct information in your listings does nobody any good if customers can't find it — but fortunately, that correct information makes it more likely they will. As Search Engine Land explains, search engines give higher rankings to businesses they have more information about. Outdated information in your listings can hurt your ranking in search. Making sure that your listings information is always up-to-date in all directories ensures not only that your customers have the correct information, but that they're finding it at the top of their search results.
3. Access to Reviews
Though having your basic information in your online listings is certainly important, you should also include links to review services to help bolster consumer confidence. For instance, if you own a pool maintenance business, having reviews in your listings that highlight your on-time service, affordable prices and courteous employees means consumers will be less tempted to search for another business and more likely to call or click immediately to find out more information.
Though some listings data is gathered by search engines automatically, small businesses who invest in listings management are able to give potential consumers the latest and most accurate information, which is crucial to taking advantage of local search.