What is local listing in SEO and what are its advantages for businesses?
Local listing in SEO is a practice to make your business visible online for local searches. That's basic. But before we proceed with its in-depth understanding, I want you to know that 46% of all Google searches are local. This means that almost half of the internet users look for businesses located in their proximity. Now, think of yourself appearing first in their search results. WOW, no? Being first means a good business reputation and so many potential clients. Now, let us dig into what local listing is and how important it is in SEO perspective.
What is local listing in SEO?
Local listing in SEO means publishing your business information in the local directories so that your company appears in the search results. Local listings work like virtual catalogs. They are considered the Yellow Pages or telephone books of the Digital Age. Any establishment can be listed on these platforms, mostly free of charge. Some are specific to an industry, such as TripAdvisor while others, list several types of companies, which are segmented by region and area of operation. Have a look at the image below for clarification:
The local listings include the name, address, and phone number (NAP) of the registered establishments. In some cases, the official website, opening hours, accepted payment methods, photos, and other details are also to be added to increase the credibility of the company. In addition, directories also allow customers to leave reviews and comments about companies —something indispensable to build and maintain a good digital reputation.
Thousands of people access the local listings to find restaurants, pet shops, stores, hotels, and other establishments. In 2016, Yellow Pages, one of the largest directories in the world, registered more than 60 million monthly hits on its website and app.
This reflects directly on a business. According to SEO experts, the growth of companies that list online is 40% higher than those that are not. In addition, they are twice as likely to generate new jobs.
Thus, it is clear that publishing your business information on local listings is important for SEO. They are essential to give visibility to your business and improve your local SEO strategy. The more trusted listings you use, the more likely you are to attract new customers. With this, there are several other advantages of local listing in SEO.
Advantages of publishing your business in the local listing
Certainly, registering with local directories has its advantages, among them are:
- Ease of being found: When your business appears in all the lists of local companies, it becomes easy for your customers to find you locally.
- Increase in potential customers: Reaching a broader audience will increase the number of customers who will discover you and become interested in your products or services.
- Lower the level of competition: By achieving a better positioning, you will surpass your competition, establishing appropriate strategies.
- Low Cost: A great advantage of local listings is that they are free, so it will not represent costs in your budget. There are also payment options, but in general, they are quite affordable.
- Increase in traffic to your website: Thanks to the backlinks offered by some directories, you will get an increase in traffic to your website.
- Improved reputation: Appearing in local business directories and lists helps customers see you as a serious option.
Knowing all these benefits, every business owner would like to add their information in the local listings, but where to start? To help you in this regard, here I present to you a list of top web directories that you should consider. Have a look!
Top directories you should consider for local listing in SEO
- Google My Business: The local business directory that can give your business the most visibility is Google My Business. Pointing your business to Google My Business guarantees that when someone is searching for your product or service on Google from a location close to your business, you appear above the first results.
- Yellow Pages: Yellow Pages is still the directory with the largest number of registered businesses. It is one of the old school directories that survives the internet. So, if you want to have free local visibility, you must include your business in Yellow Pages.
- Yelp: Yelp has a community of very loyal users who value and trust the reviews of each business. With 143 million visits, it is more than relevant in the world of business directories. It has many positive things; like that you can generate great confidence in the public. Although it is also true that you can go wrong if you have negative reviews.Even so, it is better to take a risk and also enroll your business in Yelp.
- Bing Places: Bing Places is much older than Google My Business. However, it has a much smaller market share, and you cannot expect great results from listing your store in this directory. But since it is free and has a much higher audience share than practically any other business directory that we have not included in this list, you must sign up.
- Apple Maps: The apple directory is essential if we take into account iOS users. For example, anyone who uses an iPhone is very likely to locate different businesses near him through his phone. In fact, it is the second most used mapping system today. You must be in this directory.
- Facebook: Facebook gives you the opportunity to add your company to its directory, which will give you visibility for both Facebook and Google users, as it is highly relevant to the search engine. Even if you don't want to keep your profile on Facebook updated, you should have it so that no one else comes and take your name away.
- Foursquare: It is the directory used by WhatsApp to locate a business on the map. Therefore, when a user is close to your company and shares their location, your business appears on their map. This represents free, viral advertising that you should take advantage of.
- AngelList: Angel List started as a survey site for local businesses. However, it now serves as a directory for local business listings. The directory offers a free listing to businesses in over 700 categories and 10 million customer reviews and ratings.
These are only a few options. Research, find high quality local directories or platforms to register your business. Yes, high quality well maintained websites, others will give you a bad reputation.
With all this information in hand, if you haven't begun venturing into the local listings' world yet, this is your chance to get started. Moreover, if you are looking for an all inclusive solution done for you, see our local SEO services (link to the service page).