Today’s blog post was written by David Blide, our social media expert. 

Once a year, I see the latest phone book sitting beneath my mailbox.  At last count I have 3 phone books on my counter but I can’t tell you the last time I opened any of them.  When it’s time to find a local business or service I pick up my smartphone or head to my computer.  In 2014 over 70% of consumers said they had replaced their phone book with the internet.  And that number is expected to get even bigger each year.

As a business owner, the ability to be found online is critical to success.  At the heart of this is the accuracy and consistency of your Name Address and Phone Number or NAP across your website and local apps or citations.

The Importance of Updating Directory Listings

A recent study by Constant Contact uncovered some disheartening patterns among small and medium businesses. While 85 percent SMBs say that they know the importance of being listed in local business directories, less than 50% of these organizations have ever updated their information. The same number of them, 50%, said they know they have erroneous listings, however 70 percent say that they simply lack the time to correct them.  In fact over half the business owners haven’t even claimed their free Google business listing.

The number-one factor in negative local ranking is a listing detected with incorrect or false NAP.

According to SEO company Moz, the number-one factor in negative local ranking is a listing detected with incorrect or false NAP.  Next is inconsistent name, address and phone number across several platforms.  This means that your Google listing doesn’t match your BBB listing and so on. Inaccuracies like these will kill your local SEO.  All told, NAP consistency plays a role in over half (54.4%) of ranking performance.  Even if your website has the perfect on page search engine optimization an incorrect or inconsistent NAP will place your business in the bottom half of rankings.

Although those statistics are shocking and even a little bit scary there is good news. The clear solution to place your business ahead of your competition is to claim your local business listings.  Once you claim your listings you will be able to make corrections to your NAP and business information.

Let me warn you it’s not easy.  There’s a reason for the numbers above.  Once you correct an incorrect listing, it’s quite possible for it to pop right back up again later because there is no one single authority for business data.  What this mean is if you correct a Bing listing, Bing may see that listing still exists on Yelp and re-create it automatically. So success depends on you correcting a large majority of the inaccuracies.  If you don’t it’s unlikely you’ll ever rank locally for anything but non-competitive keywords.

We started off by talking about phone books and technology.  Let’s end with a hypothetical situation.  Joe Customer is walking down Main Street U.S.A.  He pulls out his smartphone and does a search fora product or service that your business offers.  Will he find you or did you just lose a potential customer?

To learn more about how Identiwrite Creative can update and manage your NAP citations, call us today at 940395-5115 or email us here.


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