Business listings can make the difference between a business’ online success and failure. They’re a free and effective way to spread information about your business and make your SEO strategy work for you. Search engines are constantly looking for information about businesses, and listings can make the difference in if a search engine has confidence or not in your business and puts it on SERPs (Search engine results pages).
Business listings do something that’s very advantageous for businesses – propagation. It’s called the “ecosystem”, and it’s a huge connection network of business listings that share information with each other. This propagation of listings is great, and the more business listings, the more propagation works for you. But there are a few issues that can arise as a result of listing propagation. And so, it’s important to manage your listings – and here’s how.
The first thing you need to be wary of for listing management is duplication. Some programs allow people to submit listings for businesses that aren’t theirs. This can be problematic and lead to duplicate information. Some people may even duplicate listings, as they think it’s increasing their citation count and securing their rank spot. This is, however, not the case. Duplicates make search engines suspicious of spam or inaccurate listings – and weaken the confidence they have in your business info, pushing it down the SERPs. Make sure you’re checking for duplicate listings and contacting companies to prevent them from being listed.
Another thing to monitor is incorrect information. It’s easy to do, you misclick or accidentally put an extra letter in your business name. However, this can once again jeopardize your business’ reputation with search engines and push your site down the SERP. It’s important to ensure that all data is correct before submitting listings, or if you have duplicate listings, ensuring that they are at least consistent across the board. You can manage this by updating listings on a regular basis with new information or at least verifying that the information you’ve already submitted is still accurate.
Another problem you can come across is not providing enough information on listings. This may seem like a small issue that could be a personal choice, however, it could be a much bigger deal than you would think. Providing a small amount of information on listings can lead to a problem called conflation. Conflation is the combining of business listings by search engines due to information of one business fitting for another. For example, your business is called “The Store” and you put down your address and not your phone number. Another business called “The Store” from another city or location puts information up about their phone number, but not their address. Search engines after crawling this will sometimes assume that “The Store” is one business, since their information matches together. This isn’t good! Combining information from other businesses can confuse and deter clients. You can manage this by regularly checking listings and ensuring that, upon submitting a listing, it has the most accurate information possible, and enough information to ensure that your business will be shown distinctly on the Internet.