• Joanna Pelletier

What are online business listings and why do they matter?

Updated: Jan 28, 2019

Business listings are an online summary of essential information for your business. They’re a powerful tool that helps customers find your local business online and in real life. Here’s what you need to know: NAP+W.

No, I didn’t fall asleep on the keyboard. NAP+W is the acronym that explains all the information that should be included in business listings.

  • Name

  • Address

  • Phone number

  • + Website

These four pieces of information are the business listings starter-pack. They provide the basic information potential customers need to have in order to research, contact and locate your business.

Want to score some major bonus points? Include information like hours of operation in your business listing—it’s what consumers are most interested in!

Will my business listings work?

The effectiveness of a business listing depends on the information’s presence and accuracy. Listings are available through a variety of sources, including search engines, online directories and maps, or social sites. When it comes to listings presence, more is definitely better. Availability on as many sources as possible will create multiple avenues for consumers to find your business. But (and this is a big but), presence only pays off if the listings are accurate. Listings are accurate if the information is correct and consistent across all potential sources. Seems easy enough, right?

Why are business listings important?

Listings with good presence and accuracy will undoubtedly pay off for your business. Here’s how:

Secret agents don’t get found

Agent 99 from Get Smart and businesses without listings and/or businesses with listings and inaccurate NAP+W information have one thing in common: They’re elusive and hard to find. So accurate and readily available business listings, for all intents and purposes, are very much like spotlights that help guide consumers right to your business’s doorstep.

If a business’s listing is incorrect or missing, most consumers feel less confident about the brand, and will likely choose a competitor’s product or service. The availability of accurate listings ensures customers are actually able to find brick and mortar locations while they’re open for business. This means money in the business owner’s pocket and, just as importantly, it means the business can be reviewed.

“In my humble opinion…”

An ample review pipeline is an essential tool for developing a business’ online reputation and fostering brand loyalty. Reviews allow customers to communicate their experience with a business to potential buyers, but if consumers can’t find a business listed online, their opinion of it won’t be well-informed. Accurate listings create the opportunity for transparency between businesses and consumers in the form of reviews, and the availability of this information will help increase a business’s visibility.

All aboard the search engine

Consistent, accurate listings and the generation of reviews will directly benefit a business’s visibility by boosting its ranking in local search engine results. Search engine optimization is a complex, time intensive and ongoing practice—it is never one and done—so why not get ahead of it by simply ensuring your business is listed accurately! Increased visibility means more customers, and what business owner doesn’t want that?

Now what?

This listings low-down provides a basic definition and describes the benefits of business listings. Create listings on industry-relevant sites worth lots of points to improve your listings score. I’ve ranked them by importance using a lot of key factors—how many sites reference them, traffic, demographics and more. To learn more about listings or to get help with listing your business, contact Razzo today.

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