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What You Don't Know About Directory Listings Can Hurt You

How much do you know about your small business’s directory listings? Our guess: Not nearly as much as you should. They may seem negligible compared to the overwhelming, day-to-day demands of running a business; however, if you don’t stay on top of them, your directory listings could wind up being populated with incorrect information about your company. In turn, this will have far-reaching, negative effects on your web presence. Whether you’ve worked with an SEO provider in the past or your web presence is more of a DIY effort, it’s up to you, the business owner, to have at least a general idea of where and how you’re listed online. In this post, you’ll discover:

  • Popular directories where your business might be listed
  • What to look for when you check your listings
  • Why it’s critical for you to keep your listings accurate

Let’s dive in, shall we?

Know Where Your Business Is Listed

To get started, search for your company on some of the more popular business directories. These include Google Maps, Bing Local, Yelp, Manta, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and Angie’s List. Start with these and, if you’re feeling motivated, you can move on to a more thorough Google (or Bing) search for the rest of your listings. However, bear in mind that tracking down every site where your company is listed can be a tedious, time-consuming project. It requires several hours of sifting through page after page of search engine results. Unfortunately, most small business owners simply don’t have the time or energy to do this themselves. So if you currently work with an SEO provider, reach out to them and ask if they offer any tools or resources to uncover all of the directories that list your business. If you aren’t currently working with an SEO provider or your provider doesn’t offer this type of service, call Prospect Genius! We can conduct a WebFax® report that will tell you everything you need to know.

Know How Your Business Is Listed

Knowing where you’re listed is the first step. Next comes evaluating the accuracy of those listings. Remember, it may not be your fault if some of the information is wrong. Incorrect listings can result from a number of different variables. But regardless of whether errors were caused by a careless marketer you worked with in the past or a directory bot that pulled only partial information from another listing, it’s your responsibility to be aware of them. If you discover any errors, fix them right away (or contact whoever controls your listings so they can fix the errors for you). Here’s what you should be looking for.

Is Your Contact Info Correct?

First, verify that all of the following information is filled out. Then, check it for typos and other errors:

  • Phone number
  • Street address
  • Company name
  • E-mail address
  • Website URL

Prospective customers won’t be able to contact you if your information is wrong, so it’s vital you fix these errors ASAP. Understand the dangers of conflicting information by reading our blog post, “One Simple Way to Take Control of Your Online Presence.”

Are You Listed in the Correct Categories?

Next, take a look at the category (or categories) your business is listed under. These categories should accurately describe the selection of products and/or services your business offers. Even if you think your categories are probably correct because an SEO professional handled your directory listings for you, check anyway. We see a lot of cases where a business’s web presence is floundering, only to discover that a previous SEO provider had listed them in the wrong categories. Sometimes, they left out a category due to human error; other times, the provider got overzealous and named too many categories that were mostly irrelevant. No matter what caused the initial problem, you need to make sure you’re ultimately listed under the correct categories. This is a crucial aspect of your web presence, as it may determine who actually sees your listings. If you’re not listed under the right categories, you could be missing out on people who are searching for your services.

Is Your Service Info Up to Date?

Finally, for the same reasons explained above, it’s imperative that you keep your business’s service information up to date on all of your listings. It’s not uncommon for businesses to grow, change, and expand over the years. If your services and/or products have changed recently, make sure your web presence reflects that.

Ignorance Is Not Bliss

When it comes to your business’s directory listings, there’s no such thing as remaining “blissfully” unaware. Like everything else in business—and in life—you can’t help yourself by keeping your hands over your eyes. If there are problems with your listings, they exist whether you’re aware of them or not. It’s better to be aware. When you’re aware of problems, you can fix them. Otherwise, they’ll just quietly wreak havoc on your web presence. Armed with the information in this post, you can now go forth and make sure your business’s directory listings are working with you, not against you.