Google’s search ranking signals are trending in a direction where they are relying on listings in non-Google directories for search engine placement for local keywords. The sites whose on-site geographical information matches the information found on the various directories are being rewarded with favorable search placement.
In a nutshell, the information on your site has to match the directories as exactly as possible in as many directories as possible. While some directories are more important than others, and directories related to your business’s industry are especially influential, it’s vital to point out that there are dozens of directories on the Web that are potentially relevant to your business, and having inaccurate or missing information in the listings is bad for SEO.
So how do directory listings get messed up in the first place?
If your business is new, it is highly advisable that you take the time and effort to ensure that you submit to as many directories as possible, especially those that are related to your business. If you are able to submit fresh listings that do not yet exist, you can control what the listings say and ensure that they include accurate information and are uniform in appearance. This is the ideal situation.
However, if your listings are already active on the various directories across the Web, there’s a significant chance discrepancies exist. Discrepancies and errors can be defined as:
- Misspelled words;
- Variations in the business name (i.e. ‘West Michigan Transmissions’ vs ‘West MI Trans’);
- Variations in address listings (i.e. spelling out terms vs. using abbreviations);
- Variations in phone numbers;
- Varying links to URLs;
- Wrong phone numbers and addresses;
So how does this happen? A lot of ways actually. Directory listings were likely submitted by different individuals at different times, resulting in a lack of continuity between the listings. Or perhaps your business moved, or changed phone numbers, or has multiple phone numbers depending on the department.
Or more dubiously, perhaps at some time in the past you subscribed to the services of a Web marketing company who as part of the contract set up landing pages that they own, on domains that they own, with phone numbers that they own – and adjusted the directory listings to point to all of this information. This is a problem because now that you’ve cancelled your subscription to their services, all of these directory listings now point to a domain that you don’t own – a domain that no longer has a website (or worse yet – hosts a website for a different business now), displays a phone number that is either disconnected or forwards to another business, etc.
IN SHORT, NOW YOU HAVE A MESS ON YOUR HANDS.
At MoxieMen, we analyze the directory listings for your business using a variety of tools as part of our linkbuilding services. Once this analysis is complete, we formulate a plan to clean up your directory listings to ensure that the information is accurate and the links are correct.