The SEO Benefits of Local Business Listings

Connecting with local customers is a crucial part of any business, and effectively applying the benefits of local listings is a great way to do it. As a growing number of customers search for products, businesses, and information online when researching a purchase, it becomes increasingly important to focus on providing accurate information to customers searching near you.

Fortunately, there are a number of free local business listings that can put you on the map and give your potential customers all the information they need to discover your business. Online directories have replaced regional newspapers and the yellow pages, allowing customers to search within an area or industry. All major search engines pull data from trusted listings that businesses can access and fill out.

Google results present a number of local options right at the top of your search results, and this information is largely pulled from your local listings on Google+. You can give your business a significant boost by completing your online profile and appearing among these results.

Local listings can include a variety of information, including:

  • Name, address and telephone number (NAP)

  • Website

  • Hours of operation

  • Accepted payment methods

  • Business Description

  • Images

  • Customer rating

In addition to providing information to your customers when they search locally, these local listings also provide significant SEO benefits for your website. The vast majority of local business listings will include an area for a link to your website, providing a valuable back link. You can usually also include another link in the description text.

Ensuring that the information in your listings is consistent also provides search engines with reliable information about your business, which can improve your rankings.

Many companies offer a local listing service to complete these profiles on your behalf, but proceed with caution. Businesses that use an automated system for this task often end up with incomplete, inconsistent, or missing listings, as they cannot be completed without verification of some kind. Personalized attention to your ads is worth the time invested and is the only way to ensure that all of them deliver the most benefit. Make sure that the business you are considering will pay personalized attention to each of your advertisements.

Free local business listings

There are hundreds of local listing directories available, with varying degrees of reliability and benefits for your business. Here are some of the top free local listings available for you to take advantage of:

  • Google+

  • Facebook

  • CitySquares

  • Yahoo!

  • Bing

  • dmoz

  • Inner pages

  • Firm

  • Best of the Web

  • Merchants Circle

  • Yelp

  • YP (yellow pages)

  • Super pages

  • Show me local

  • Blanket

  • Hot frog

  • Angie’s List

  • CityGrid | CitySearch

  • Golocal247

  • Express update

  • Kudzu

  • eLocal

  • Plancast

  • Konnecti

  • Factual

  • Yellowbot

These listings are definitely worth taking the time to complete. Not only are you more likely to show up to customers at the top of a local search engine results, but your website will also reap valuable SEO benefits.

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