Local business listings are a very important component of your overall local SEO strategy. Did you know that 72% of localized searches on a mobile device result in a purchase offline, and that 46% of all Google searches are related to local information? However, without proper listings, clients will not be able to find your business, even if they are looking for the products or services that you offer. The good news is that managing your listings is not difficult, but like any other aspect of business, it has its own particularities and hidden best practices. Here are four surprising facts about local listings:
1. Duplicate suppression is not the right solution if you want to remove duplicates
Duplicate listings can be a real problem—not only do they confuse your customers, but they also confuse search engines. To address this issue, many companies will opt for a duplicate suppression solution where these duplicate listings are hidden. However, the solution is not always permanent, and the duplicate listings could still have a negative impact on your search engine rankings. The right solution here is duplicate reduction. This process will remove the duplicate from the directory through the API. It is a more complicated and lengthy process than suppression, but the result is permanent. The duplicate will also be merged with your main listing, allowing you to keep any reviews it may have accumulated.
2. Facebook will automatically create a page for your business if someone checks in at your location
If one person checks in at your business location, Facebook will automatically create a business page for you. While this may sound like a great feature, it does come with a significant downside—you have no control over the page at first. The claiming process can be a headache as well. You’ll have to get in touch with Facebook and provide proof that you are the owner or the representative of the business. The best way to prevent this situation is to create a Facebook business page right away, even if you have no intention of posting on the page. Not only will you have total control over the page whenever you decide to start using it, it will also help strengthen your website’s SEO.
3. Google Posts have a positive impact on your rankings
Google Posts can add a little extra boost to your search engine rankings. The impact is relatively mild, but it is there, and some marketers believe that it will go up in the future, especially for local searches. Google Posts send out “Behavioral Signals” and they have been shown to improve click-through-rates. They also have a ton of other benefits. Google Posts are generally seen as content and not advertising, which is far more appealing to users. They also come with a CTA button that helps you track their effectiveness in terms of conversions. They are definitely an element of local listing management that deserves more attention.
4. Departments and practitioners in a business can create their own listing
As a rule of thumb, one business can have one listing for each address on Google. However, in some industries, individual practitioners and departments can have their own listing. Individual practitioners that can have their own listings include doctors, real estate agents, insurance agents, financial planners, lawyers, and dentists. When it comes to departments, the following organizations can add the extra listings: universities, pharmacies, government institutions, and hospitals, among others.