The Importance of Business Listings SEO
Last updated: Nov. 9. 2019
Do you know if your healthcare directory listings are correct? Why should you even care?
You’re probably even thinking “what is the importance of business listings in SEO?”.
We are going to investigate the importance of ensuring your listings are up-to-date, uniform and how often they can change if you are not monitoring them.
This has a major impact on your practices local medical search engine optimization and showing up first in google search results. Ideally, you’ll want to ensure that your business listings are 100% accurate.
Doing so will streamline the process Google takes to pair your listing with a prospect’s search query. As you can see, having an up-to-date business listing is important if you want to generate leads and drive more revenue online.
However, managing your business listings isn’t as simple as checking for small mistakes. Below, you’ll learn what business listings truly are and more importantly – why should you really care.
What are business listings?
Business listings are the contact details of your practice or business listed online.
To put it simply, when a person searches for a business online, a listing will typically pop up and display the information for all businesses that have been paired to that specific query.
For example, if you wanted to find a “dermatologist near me”, you can simply type in the keyword in a search engine, such as Google, and gain access to a wide variety of business listings.
The most common and recognizable listing is your Google Knowledge Graph (pictured).
Typically most businesses verify and update at least this listing, however, most don’t take advantage of some of the visual features (such as adding images) that can greatly increase your monthly impressions and interaction (calls, requests for directions, etc.).
In fact, businesses with this additional visual content receive a whopping 416% more interaction. Optimizing your listing with as much helpful information as you can possibly think of is crucial.
After all, people searching for your practice don’t know anything about you, and every small bit of information helps them to become more comfortable with giving you a call or visiting your location.
However, did you know there are 80+ additional review and listing sites out there???
Why Should I Care? Especially if I have never heard of the listing platform?
While it’s true many of the listing platforms you need to verify, update and monitor are not recognizable to the general public and do not receive the traffic or reviews that the likes of Yelp, Facebook or Google, they are just as important nonetheless.
Think of it this way. Different people have different methods of finding businesses online. Some may consult your Google Maps listings. Others may take to Yelp or a lesser-known review site to discover a local business.
As an online business, visibility is everything. To maximize on all possible sales opportunities, it’s important to be visible to your entire target audience, no matter where they go to find information (Google, Yelp, etc).
Also, high-trafficked platforms are constantly checking the accuracy of their information against smaller listing sites such as SuperPages, WhitePages and Citysearch and visa versa to ensure the best search experience possible.
The more uniform your listings are and the more platforms you are on the greater confidence Google has that the information they deliver on your business is accurate.
Therefore, the more likely they are to return your listing if it pertains to the person’s search query. Remember that Google is a search engine. Its job is to provide the most relevant search results to web users (your target audience).
The more you help Google out by creating and managing a wide portfolio of accurate and uniform business listings, the better Google can present your listings right in front of your audience’s faces.
How to fix business listings
First, you cannot fix anything if you don’t know where to start.
Start by running your business through a free listing scan to get an instant snapshot of the health of your listing and review status, what errors are present and how you compare to other businesses in your area.
Once your business listing scan is complete, there are two different ways to go about fixing existing errors. One, which I have personally done many times for clients over the years, is the good old fashion manual process.
Just as you might suspect it’s a nightmare, not to mention I have had many corrected listing reverts back to previous information whipping out all the time and effort you spent updating them. Also, it is a downright pain claiming most of these listings.
Many require you to jump through hoops.
The second option is to automate 80-90% of the process by using local listings management software. Relative to the time it takes to update all of these platforms, this is by far the most cost and time-effective method.
Lucky for your business, in recent years using business listing management software has become more readily available and cost-effective with many agencies offering such services.
This means you can avoid the massive headache of putting in hours to fix your business listing errors, only for them to be reverted days later.
Advantage of a Local Listings Managment Software
Once you have claimed, corrected or bolstered the information across your listings your job has just begun! Why?
That’s because your listings can change or errors can pop up as often as one week after the changes have been made (check out the example above for proof)! If you are trying to manually handle the monitoring process, it would take hours to visit each of these sites, login, and verify accuracy. Again, this is where a local listing management software comes in handy.
Wrapping Up: Importance of Business Listings for SEO
The importance of local business listings isn’t understated. Just like you should not ignore your credit score you definitely cannot ignore the health of your online business listings. To get started it’s as simple as putting your business through a free scan.
While it will not guarantee your business will be on the first page of Google it is a substantial step in the right direction.
SEO is like a credit score, not one single thing gets you a perfect score but there are two or three things that make up a large percentage. It starts with business listings and if you want to know about the role reviews play in local SEO read our new post.
Learn more about our listings management for doctors services. We offer listings management for both practices and providers with the largest amount of niche-specific medical listings platforms including Healthgrades, Vitals, and more!