In order to qualify for a local business listing in any index, your business must meet all four of the following criteria:
- Have a business name or DBA
- Have a local phone number that matches your city of location (not a shared phone number, toll-free number, or call tracking number)
- Have a dedicated physical street address (not a shared address, PO box, or virtual office)
- Make face-to-face contact with your customers (business is not conducted virtually)
If you meet all four of the above criteria, you are ready to move forward to the following topics:
In 2016, local results are as fierce a battleground as the organic and paid listings. Results can change on what seems to be a daily basis — and to be in the running, you have to be paying close attention to the fine details.
We will look at the top 10 factors in each category so that you can improve your visibility and positioning, not only in the local pack, but also the localized organic. We will also cover the negative ranking factors so you can understand anything that is working against you.
Why are citations such an important ranking factor?
In lieu of having to manually review business information for millions of companies, Google uses data points it can process programmatically to determine your rankings.
When determining how you rank in local results, Google scans the web for mentions of your business name, address, phone number, website URL, and several other data points.
Most indexes require you to verify each listing you create. Know what to expect during the claiming process.
The time between completing verification and seeing your listing appear online varies widely from search engine to search engine. In some cases, your listing will be live in a matter of days or even minutes, but other local search engines have a lengthy manual review process, meaning that it can take several months for your listings to be approved for publication.
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While you wait, resist the urge to make any further changes to your submitted listings; this will only cause problems. Just be patient and check from time to time to see whether your business has gained full inclusion.
Small business owners are always looking for ways to get more customers, both online and in person. One of the most powerful ways you can reach a wider audience is to get involved with local directory site listings. When your business appears there, you increase the chances and the number of ways that potential customers can discover you.