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What are the Benefits of Online Business Listings?


In the past few years, online business directories have taken off. There are multiple listing sites for everything, ranging from businesses to freelance services. As a result of the potential exposure that they offer businesses, we’re seeing more and more companies and business owners registering with these listing sites.


First, let’s talk about why you need accurate listings?


Online listing sites can be seen as the modern-day version of the Yellow Pages. Similar to the service provider section in the Yellow Pages, most listing sites are niche-specific.


Nearly a third of customers in the U.S conduct online searches for local businesses daily. A massive 76% of those potential customers visit a nearby business within 24 hours of searching for a product or service. Consumers depend on accurate listings when searching for local businesses online. If your company doesn’t show up in their search results, you could potentially lose out on sales opportunities. On the other hand, being listed incorrectly not only influences your search rankings but could also lead to frustrated customers, damaging your brand’s reputation.


The fact is, 73% of consumers lose trust in a brand when an online listing shows incorrect information. Therefore, accurate listings are considered to be an essential component of your marketing efforts. 4/5 consumers use search engines to find local information like business address, hours, directions, and more.

But there are so many listing sites! How do you know which ones deserve your focus? You might be thinking that you need to cast the net wide and add your business to every listing that you can find. Before you do that, you need to consider the return on investment that these listings offer. Even if it is free to get listed on a site, you still need to invest time creating and maintaining the listing. The general suggestion is to focus your efforts in spaces where you are most likely to see results.


I’ll offer some information on how the JGM team addresses how we vet the listing sites and determine our plan of action. Here is an infographic showing how listing sites stack up.

Business Listings Mountain Flyer
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  • Choose the big players first and make sure your listings are accurate.

Users (and that means potential customers) generally gravitate to brands they trust. This is also the approach they adopt when doing an online search for a business, product, or service. Being listed on a prominent and popular listing site extends the credibility built up by the listing site to your business.


For example, if you are in the hospitality industry, you’ll recognize some listing sites that make sense to you, like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Expedia, etc. These listing sites cater to your business space, so make sure you show up there. If you are in a different industry, perform research to learn what listing sites cater to your market and spend your time there first.




  • Once you are listed on the big players, you can look at alternative listing sites. If you are unsure of what listing sites to target, check your Google Analytics to learn more about what sites are referring traffic to your website. GA will show what sites are referring traffic to your website and how much traffic comes from that particular site. This will give you direction for making a plan. For example, for JGM, we get referrals from www.Clutch.com. When we noticed this referral showing up on our Google Analytics report, we went straight to the source to claim and verify our information. We know users are finding us on this listing site, so it’s a no-brainer to spend some time updating our business profile there. Once you have done this, you can consider placing listings on similar sites to the ones that are driving traffic to your website, according to GA.


  • The biggest misconception made regarding listing sites is that they only serve the purpose of providing basic information like NAP (name, address, and phone number), a location on MAPS, and hours of operation. While this is all true, there is also SEO value. For example, when Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., “validate” your business, they will rank you higher in search results based on various factors. One of these factors is being listed on listing sites where some kind of accreditation, minimum standards, or membership is required like Alignable, City Search, Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, etc.


Now, back to the original question… should you be listed on them all? Well, the more, the better for SEO value. Keep in mind that all your listings need to be tracked and maintained, especially if any crucial information around your business changes. The most important thing is to make sure you are listed on salient sites related to your industry. Sites that have a good reputation and are well known. Continue to monitor your listings and update the information as necessary. The JGM team offers synchronization of your business profile information to all listing sites.



Introducing Listing Builder by JGM


This graph shows typical progress when using the JGM team to update your business profile on listing sites.

See the results you want… Real results.



To learn more about Listing Builder by JGM, contact us today!


james@jamesgarrismarketing.com

www.JamesGarrisMarketing.com

321.405.9851



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