What are listings and why do they matter?
Listings are an online summary of essential information for your business that serve as a tool to help consumers find you online and in real life. Here’s what you need to know:
NAP+W is the acronym that explains all the information that should be included in business listings.
Name Address Phone + Website
These four pieces of a business's information are the business listings fundamentals. They provide the basic information potential customers will need to know to research, contact, and locate your business.
If you want to improve your chances of having potential customers visit your business, include information like hours of operation in your business listings. This information is what customers are most interested in.
Will my listings work?
How effective a business listing is depends on the presence and accuracy of the information. Listings are available through several sources, including search engines, online directories, maps, and even social media networks. One thing is certain - when it comes to listings presence, more is better. Being available on as many sources as possible will create multiple avenues for consumers to find your business. But presence alone does not do the trick. It only works if the listings are accurate. Listings are accurate only if the NAP+W information is correct and consistent across all potential sources.
Why are listings important?
Listings with good presence and accuracy will pay off for your business. Here’s how:
No more hide and seek
Don’t hide from your potential customers and make them find you. Accurate and readily available business listings will help guide consumers right to your business’s doorstep. Incorrect or missing business listings reduces the confidence level consumers feel about the brand. This will likely lead them to choose a competitor's product or service. Another advantage of accurate listings is that it helps customers find a business's brick and mortar locations during business hours. This means more money in the business owner’s pocket and, just as importantly, it means their customers can find a way to review the business.
Online reputation and brand loyalty is fostered and grown on the foundation of an ample review pipeline. Reviews allow customers to share their thoughts about their experience and interactions with a business to other potential customers. But if consumers are unable to find a business listed online, their opinion of it won't be well-informed at all. Accurate business listings allows for transparency between businesses and consumers in the form of reviews. The availability of this information will then help increase a business’s visibility.
What about search engines?
Consistent, accurate listings along with customer reviews will directly benefit a business’s visibility by increasing its ranking in local search engine results. Search engine optimization is complicated, so why not make it easier by ensuring your business is listed accurately. Increased visibility means more customers, and more customers means more sales, and what business owner doesn’t want that?
This brief article on listings provides a basic definition and describes the benefits of business listings. Creating accurate listings on sites can help to improve your listings score. And thus, increase your brand awareness, potential consumer confidence in your brand, and likely increase traffic to your business.