Online directory listing optimization

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Last time we were here, we discussed how to improve your online directory. Today we want to cover how to optimize a business listing for your advertisers.

Essential Guide to Optimizing a Business Listing for Online Directories

As directory publishers, the success of advertisers is a primary concern. By implementing a series of proven optimization techniques, listings have the best chance to maximize search visibility and satisfy the needs of consumers.

Include Consistent NAP Information

It’s extremely important to make sure the name, address and phone number (NAP) information for your advertisers (publishers call them advertisers) is consistent online. We realize that you’ll often use a tracking number for your advertiser. If this is the case, you’ll want to use the primary number as the tracking number, and include their actual phone number as a secondary number.

So why is NAP consistency so important? In brief, it’s because consistency leads to trust, and we know trust is very significant. Search engines and consumers rely on the information from business listings and want to trust them, but inconsistencies inevitably cause confusion and distrust.

Search engines process NAP data with the aim of delivering the most accurate information to users. When a search engine finds an inconsistency, it reveals that the location data can’t be trusted. Therefore, the search engine is then less likely to serve a business listing to a searcher.

Similarly, a consumer that follows incorrect NAP is much more likely to have a poor user experience. In practice, this often means a loss of business and even a negative review.

Write Effective Business Descriptions

In our directory – Trusted Local Directory™ – we’ve previously covered how to write a business description. To recap this information, the business description offers a perfect opportunity to target relevant keywords associated with the business. Giving advertisers the space to include at least 200 words can ensure that a series of search terms and services are listed. In addition, the content can provide background information that forges trust in consumers.

The description is also a space to target local towns or cities relevant to a business. These locations provide context for local shoppers and increase the chances of listings appearing for local search terms.

Finally, it’s worthwhile to help advertisers format a description with the user in mind. For example, Trusted Local Directory lets advertisers include bullets to increase the formatting options, but even simple paragraph breaks will improve readability.

Create Enhanced Business Listings

Business listings that are rich in detail can offer an improved user experience and increase their search visibility. By acquiring a broad range of information from advertisers, a listing provides consumers and syndication partners with the data required to properly categorize a business.

The following information can help create a fully-enhanced and optimized business listing.

  • Business hours – Accurate hours of operation provide clarity to consumers. When business data is distributed, online directories share this information with users.
  • Primary category – The primary category is the top-level classification for an advertiser, and will influence how the listing is ranked.
  • Types of payments accepted – Demonstrating the ease of payment and available options helps streamline the process.
  • Products – Advertisers can showcase what they have for sale to consumers.
  • Services – Increase search visibility using keyword-rich service listings.
  • Identifiable attributes – Attributes like woman-led or veteran-owned help advertisers build more detailed listings that are easier to categorize.
  • Founding year – The date a business was established is one factor used to build trust and help support a good reputation.
  • Social media – Giving advertisers the ability to add social links helps demonstrate the relationship between business listings and social media platforms.
  • Images – High-quality images diversify the available media an advertiser can use to showcase the business.
  • Videos – Video content increases user engagement and can lead to a higher dwell time on a business listing.

Publishers that submit their advertisers for a Trusted Local Business™ Seal collect this important information. Subsequently, when the listing distribution is completed for these businesses through ADP, the information provided to us is shared and distributed to the online directories that utilize this data. For advertisers, there is considerable incentive to secure a seal as their comprehensive, detailed listings get distributed far and wide.

Promote Reviews

Reviews are a form of user-generated content that enhance a business listing. Encouraging customer reviews helps to create a more substantial listing featuring relevant keywords that can improve local search visibility. When advertisers respond to reviews, they further strengthen the listing and build trust and credibility for their business.

Join the ADP and Become a Trusted Local Publisher

The Association of Directory Publishers is the preferred choice for print and online directory professionals. Become a Trusted Local Publisher™ and ADP will take care of listing distribution for you. Sign up today or call (800) 267-9002.