8 Ways to Power Your Business Listing

Complete information, strong images, and good reviews can woo customers.

After digital advertising, business directory listings have the most potential to boost sales, according to a recent survey. The ever-expanding directory world is a source of new customers for small businesses. But there’s lots of competition for those eyeballs and clicks.

Here are eight ways to make your listing stand out:

  1. Spread the word. Don’t limit your directory listings to Google Plus because Google itself rewards companies in search rankings if they appear on many directories. “The more, the better,” says Laura Cole, vice president of marketing for the Berry Company, a marketing firm.

  2. Be consistent. “Create the perfect listing with consistent business and contact information,” says Mike Juba, content marketing strategist at EZMarketing. Use the same name in every directory, rather than going back and forth from, “Joe’s Pizza” to “Joe’s Chicago-Style Pizza.” Search engines might think you’re two separate businesses and ding you in the rankings.

  3. Remove the errors. One study found that 43% of business listings have an incorrect or missing address; 37% have the company name missing or wrong; 19% lack the company’s website URL; 18% lack the phone number or have it wrong; and 15% of the time the listing is missing altogether.

  4. Get down to specifics. A Google study found that when customers do a local search, they want specific information—business hours, store address, and directions. Adding location extensions, a phone number, or a click-to-call button will help consumers take action faster.

  5. Get your location on the map. Google Maps helps consumers find local businesses, view maps, and get driving directions.

  6. Picture this. “Attractive photos and videos increase the number of clicks a particular listing gets,” says Moz, a SEO consulting firm. “They are a great way to show off company projects or products, your team, or the office itself.”

  7. Link to your site. Don’t rely on your directory listing to answer all your customer’s questions. Link back to your company website so they can dig deeper.

  8. Let customers speak. Adding online reviews to your listings on Yellow Pages, Google Plus, and other directories can have a strong impact. Avoid unethical practices like paying people to write reviews. And provide a space on your website for reviews or a comment jar next to the register.

Remember that, once you’ve taken all these steps, you need to check your listing on a regular basis—it’s not a “one and done” proposition. Phone numbers, business hours, and other details change, so it helps to review your listings for accuracy about once a month.