Business Listings

What is a Business Listing?

business-listingsOften called citations, a business listing is an online profile that contains a business name, address, phone number, and other details. Citations are commonly referred to as NAP information in Local SEO lingo – Name, Address, and Phone number. There are thousands of websites and directories on which local business owners are allowed to create free business listings. Some popular directories include: Google+ Local, Yelp, Bing Places, Internet Yellow Pages, and Yahoo! Local. Some business listings link to the business’ websites and some do not.

In order to qualify for a local business listing in any index, the business must meet all four of the following criteria:

  • Have a business name or DBA
  • Have a local phone number that matches the city of location (not a shared phone number, toll-free number, or call tracking number)
  • Have a dedicated physical street address (not a shared address, PO box, or virtual office)
  • Make face-to-face contact with your customers (business is not conducted virtually)

The purpose of creating local online business listings is to make your business highly visible on the Internet. Each new business listing created increases the chances of being found by customers who are searching online. At the same time, many of the local business indexes share data with each other. Thus, the more places you are listed and the more visible you are, the more these indexes trust the accuracy of your business data—increasing your chances of ranking well in local searches.

Why are Business Listings or Citations Important?

The core work of any local internet search marketing campaign includes the creation and management of online local business listings, as business listings, or citations, establish credibility. Citations also validate that a business is part of a community. Major search engines, such as Google rank them very highly because it’s hard for someone to fake membership in a Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau (BBB), an industry-specific business index, or a mention from a local online newspaper or popular blog. For these reasons, citations and links from these kinds of websites can dramatically improve local search engine rankings.

In addition, Google expects local businesses to have their NAP information on certain other prominent websites (Yelp, social media sites, etc.), so if you don’t have citations on the important sites, or your citation information is incorrect, it can really hurt how your business is ranking in search results. For example, if your business has moved, changed DBA information or phone numbers, or has multiple variations of any details, it is detrimental to your rankings in Google.

How Sparkline Media Manages Client’s Citations & Business Listings

As part of a customized, comprehensive internet marketing campaign, Sparkline Media provides business listing and citation creation, verification and management. The SEO experts at Sparkline Media proactively claim your local directory listings (which are likely out there on the internet even if you did not create them yourself) on Google Places, Yahoo, Bing, City Search, Angie’s list, Brown Book, Hot Frog, Best of the Web and about 100 other very important local online directories. Sparkline Media chooses directory sites that offer the greatest impact local search, so that when someone searches for a business in your industry in your area, they’ll find you. Sparkline Media experts build out your listings (uploading photos, videos, special offers, etc.), and optimizing them for top placement. Showing up on Google Places with a Google Map is the #1 return on investment for your internet marketing strategy, as these listings appear on Google’s first page of local search results. In addition, Sparkline Media seeks out errors and duplicate business listings in order to improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Managing hundreds of business listings is NOT easy- working on citations can very very tedious, but of course it’s well worth the effort. The SEO experts at Sparkline Media populate your business’s name, address phone number, and other key information in online business listings or directory sites. New profiles are created, and existing listings are updated with the most current details. Most indexes require the business owner to verify each listing you create. Sparkline Media guides each client through this verification process.

Are you ready to increase your business’ profits?

Sparkline Media is an SEO Company specializing in Local Internet Marketing Strategies that produce maximum visibility for your Home Services Business and are designed to take your business (and profits) to the next level! Contact Sparkline Media today for more information on growing your business online!