Local business listings can be best defined as portfolios that contain basic information about your business, including your name, address, working hours, and contact information. Most online directories are free to use though you might be required to make a premium subscription if you want to claim your business.
The primary objective of local business listings is to increase the visibility of businesses to searchers looking for products and services in specific geographical locations. The more accurate your information in a listing is, the more likely it is that the local audience will find you online. We have compiled below a list of all the details that should be included in a good listing. The guidelines will go a long way towards ensuring your Google My Business management practices chime with the search engine algorithm.
The title or business name is the most important component of a local business listing. Ensure you use your real business name in the listing without adjusting or modifying it in any way. Google can read the signage outside your store so it is important that what you provide in the listing matches information that Google picks up automatically. Additional keywords and locational modifiers will only confuse the search engine spiders and potentially cause them to display misleading information during searches.
Your address also needs not to be modified before being inserted in the listing. The most advisable thing to do as regards this in virtually all citations is to ensure the street address is at the top in the address section while any other additional information, including mailbox numbers, is put in the second line.
Note that you cannot create a Google My Business listing or claim one if you do not have a physical address.
Questions have been raised over whether it is advisable to use a toll-free telephone number in a Google My Business listing. Well, you can, but Google generally recommends that you have the area code prefixed to your business’s telephone number. This can be plausibly difficult for businesses such as hotels whose visitors come from other states or even countries, which is why Google made an algorithm change to accommodate toll-free numbers.
The golden rule is that whichever number you use, ensure it is consistent across all portals and platforms. Basically, the number you include in the listing should match what is in your business’s website.
Forget about the listing and a potential favorable ranking; including the correct website URL is important in that potential customers will access your website with ease and get to look at what you have to offer. You know where the most important information is.
If you want the homepage to serve as the landing page, include a link that directs potential customers to the page. If it is another page, insert the link but ensure there is consistency and that the link is working. Your choice of a landing page should always be a good balance between ranking favorability and human usability.