Your Google business listing doesn’t have a “forward to” address or a “301 redirect” to help you with changes. If you’re planning a move for your small business, or you’ve made some other change to your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number), it’s important to make the changes in not only Google, but all your local listings.
In the last post we went over the top citation services, the companies that do this for you. Here we’ll cover how to manually update your business listings and check for inconsistencies in your NAP that could harm your search results.
Where To Get Listed
Doing it yourself means you need to know where to get your business listed. Here’s a handy link to a compilation of the top 100 local listings for your business. Doing it yourself takes some serious time investment, and it involves checking all the listings so they are accurate and compatible.
Why is it so important to get listed and keep your listings accurate? The more online directories your business appears in with consistent information, the more likely Google will display your business in search results. Incompatible and inaccurate data could result in your business not showing up in a Google search.
Doing it yourself means you not only need to know where to get your business listed, but you need to maintain accuracy. This includes minimizing any possible duplicate listings as well as any inconsistencies in the data from one listing to another.
First Thing On Your To-Do List
Get started with your local listings by making sure you update your Google business listing. Because most people are searching for local businesses online and Google is the most popular search engine, you want your Google business listing to be accurate. So where to begin?
Go to Google My Business and make sure all your information is correct. Verify your business location so results will appear in Google Maps. Learn how to make edits so your hours and holidays are up to date. You can do all this for free from this one site. Next, check to see how your business shows up on Google search by going to gybo.com.
Google won’t trust your Google My Business listing unless it can verify the information with other sources. Even if the information you’ve entered into Google My Business is accurate, Google might not show your business in its search results if there’s conflicting data from other online sources. Making sure Google has consistent data as it crawls the internet includes avoiding even small typos. For example, spelling, abbreviations, and apostrophe use must all be exactly the same
Top Four Local Search Aggregators
There’s a difference between local search aggregators and citation services. Local search aggregators are like an hourglass for collecting your business data. They accumulate and analyze all the information from many sources and then redistribute it to local directories and other places.
These aggregators get their data about businesses from many different sources, including registration records, chamber of commerce rosters, phone bills. Citation building services use the aggregators to create their directories, but not all citation services use all four aggregators.
The top four biggies to pay attention to are Express Update, Acxiom, Neustar/LocalEze, Factual. Two others data aggregators to consider are Infogroup and InfoUSA. They will funnel your business information to local business directories to give you better and more accurate coverage.
A do-it-yourself method to updating your business’s local internet listings should start with these top aggregators since they feed the information to what’s known as the local search ecosystem. Check that your official address matches the US Postal Service database and use this exact form in all your listings. Follow these steps outlined by Moz for claiming your business as you contact each listing.
Doing all this manually involves an initial investment of time, but once your information is up and running (and it can take time for listings to go live), the maintenance is simple until you have changes that require updates.