If you’ve been trying to do your own search engine optimization (SEO), you know it’s important to have your business listed in directories. Even if you aren’t actively trying to optimize, you’ve (hopefully) scoured the net looking for mentions of you, and if you’re in one directory, you’re in several. This is great in most respects, but what happens when some of the information contained in those listings is wrong?

Incorrect Listings Kill Your Local SEO

 

  • If search engines can’t make an educated guess as to where your business is or what your phone number is, they may just remove you from the directories. The ultimate goal of Google, Bing, or any other search engine is to deliver the best possible results for any given search. Their bots are constantly scraping the net and indexing the information they find. If your listings, including name, address, and phone numbers, do not match everywhere, the search engine algorithms will generally try to make a guess about which information is accurate. If they can’t, they may just remove your information.
  • Removal is almost a best-case scenario, because it’s better than having a listing that directs people to the wrong place. Losing your local listing is pretty bad, but the only thing that trumps that is having to calm the nerves of a customer who drove to the wrong side of town looking for you.
  • You miss out on being featured in the right local searches. Society has been increasingly going mobile for years and the giants recognize this. Google has its own local section that often lists businesses by proximity to the searcher and also offers calling with one tap. If your information is inaccurate, you will not appear in these kinds of searches and will miss out on customers who wanted your service and were right by you.

Your Listings Could Be Wrong, Even if You Created Them

 

In theory, you should be able to have a set it and forget it mentality with listings, but that’s not how it is. Oftentimes, services are linked together. Yahoo grabs some of its data from Yelp, Google grabs info from everywhere, and so on. If any of these listings becomes corrupted, it can spread like wildfire, and it happens all the time. Google sometimes hiccups and creates a duplicate listing. Customers are sometimes allowed to create new listings, like on Facebook or Yelp. Other times, it’s impossible to tell where a listing came from, but you have to clean up the mess regardless.

Fix Your Listings (+ Your SEO)

 

There are methods of correcting all your listings. At a very basic level, you can simply run a search for your business name and read all the results to find inaccuracies, then correct each one manually. It’s time-consuming and needs to be repeated regularly, but it can be done. On the other hand, we can also assist and make sure your listings are accurate across more than 300 different sites. If you’d like to make sure you can be found, contact us for more information today.