Marketing online is not new. Most businesses are marketing online in
some way – email, social, blogs, web sites or in some other way.
Local advertising, however, is only recently getting attention. Yelp has a growing following of local businesses, Google Local Search is the king of this space and other companies are providing local listings, including Yahoo and the Yellow Pages.
The problem for some businesses is that when they submit their
listings they use one name for listing A, another name (similar but
different) than listing B and so on and so forth.
Localeze offers 10 tips to
ensure that when you market your business in local search engines
you’re listing is not penalized or taken down due to incorrect listings.
Provide a consistent Name, Address, or Phone number (NAP)
If a business is self-submitting to local search platforms and social
networks, it is important not to use variations in core listings
information – NAP – as this can create multiple versions of a local
business’ online identity and make it difficult for local search
platforms to verify the identity of a business.
Update listings on all major Local Search platforms
By submitting business listings only to sites like Google Maps, a local
business establishes their “true core identity” in only one place and
may miss the opportunity to be found on other major search engines,
Internet Yellow Pages, social networks and vertical directories.
Do not confuse business listings with paid search advertising
Paid search campaigns do not take the place of local search listings.
Even if a business has a banner ad or paid search campaign, they need
to incorporate a business listings identity management strategy into
their marketing campaign.
Don’t just submit local search business listings; actively manage over time
Businesses need to proactively manage their listings and make updates
when a location moves, closes or opens. It is crucial to check in to
re-verify periodically even if nothing has changed, so that local
search platforms have a higher level of confidence that listings are
Avoid using a P.O. Box number
A physical address to a true business location should be included in
local business listings when possible, because some search engines do
not recognize P.O. Box numbers. Those businesses with only a P.O. Box
number should provide the physical address that was used to set-up the
Don’t ignore long-tail directories
Businesses shouldn’t forget about the dozens of long-tail directories
that provide added exposure to consumers and serve as a
reference-source for major local search platforms to verify and link
business listings information.
Don’t change the company’s business listing name for SEO
Local businesses shouldn’t add marketing language, descriptive keywords
or branding into their company name for their business listings. This
creates confusion of a business’ core NAP identity. Most local search
platforms provide areas to add descriptive keywords and text to
accommodate extended information.
Don’t replace your primary phone number or URL with tracking numbers or URLs
If done so, tracking phone numbers and URLs cause a listing to appear
inconsistent and can confuse local search platforms during the
verification process. Call tracking phone numbers and URLs should be
utilized in paid advertisements, but businesses need to be wary of
improper use that can confuse a business listing’s identity.
Think long-term versus short-term
Managing business listings requires a long-term strategy for
maintaining information across many local search platforms. Businesses
need to take a strategic approach of managing their listings and
remember that submitting content once—and only in one or two
Establish an internal business listings identify management guru
Business-managed listings are very important to local search platforms,
provided the manager of the information is authorized, valid and
up-to-speed on best practices. Typically, marketing and/or Internet
marketing specialists are ideal to handle the ongoing maintenance of
listings. Make sure to designate a guru within the organization no
matter the size.