If a consumer in 1987 wanted to find a local business, he or she pulled out a phone book and thumbed through the pages. However, when you flash forward 30 years, the process of finding a local business is much different as the internet has essentially replaced the need for a phonebook.
The vast majority (81 percent) of consumers perform research online before making a purchase decision and rely on online directories such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo to find the information that they need. These online directories include local listings that contain a business's physical address and contact information.
These days it's become virtually impossible to separate local search from mobile search habits. According to Google, 76 percent of consumers that use their mobile devices to find local listings visit a related business within 24 hours. This being said, including your business in online directories needs to be a priority.
How many online directories should you include your business in?
The internet includes hundreds of different online directories, and your goal should be to include your business in as many online directories as possible. However, each online directory has its own submission process for including a listing. Therefore, the process of adding your business to online directories can be incredibly tedious and time consuming.
Fortunately, with a listing distribution, you simply need to submit your business information one time and it will be distributed to more than 300 online directories. A listing distribution allows you to manage all of your listings from one central location and makes it easy to update your information when necessary.
When considering your options for a listing distribution service, make yourself aware of all of the online directories your local listings would be included in. If you're in a niche industry, be sure to include your business listing in some of the industry-specific online directories.
How does a listing distribution improve the accuracy of local listings?
Accuracy is crucial with local listings. Research indicates 37 percent of online listings contain errors. Inaccurate listings make it difficult for your customers to find your business and cause you to lose credibility with your audience. In fact, a recent survey reveals 73 percent of consumers lose trust in businesses with inaccurate online listings. A listing distribution service helps to eliminate errors in online business listings by making it easy to update information from one central location and cross-referencing information with major data providers.
In summary, business listings need to be a critical component of your search strategy. With online listings, you'll be able to earn more website traffic and maintain a constant, reliable online presence.