A local business listing can be one of the best ways to gain authority in your area and get an influx of local clients, and the more listings you have the better for the SEO (search engine optimisation) of your brand and your website. This guide will help you create your business listing here, on DesignQwest , and anywhere else you choose to create a listing step-by-step so your listing is maximised to do everything it can for you.
Step 1: Your Business Name or Title
In this field, use your businesses real-world name – the name people refer to you by and would search for you as on Google, even if your legal trading name is something a little different. You want everything to feel cohesive and to make it as easy as possible for potential customers to find you.
If you have multiple locations, what you need to do will depend on the directory’s rules. For some, you will need to create multiple listings such as “Pumpkin Co. (Amsterdam)”, while others will accommodate for multiple locations and you will simply want to enter the business’s name and the directory will do the work with the separate locations.
Step 2: Enter Your Address(es)
Enter your real-world address, not PO boxes or legal addresses (like that of your accountant), unless that is your only address and your customers will understand that you conduct all of your business online. If you are concerned, use the address of your town or area when you search for it on Google Maps, don’t use one at all, or choose to hide your address, as some directories and listings (like Google) allow you to do this if you only service people at their locations.
Step 3: Add a Phone Number
Genuine local-code phone numbers or mobile phone numbers will always be preferable, but you can also use bought or toll-free phone numbers in your listing. If you want to include a phone number but are concerned, there are services online that will give you a phone number cheaply (or even for free) that will take the calls and forward them to your own phone.
Step 4: Enter Your Website URL
This is important, as it will add a backlink to your website and improve your SEO. Also, it will likely be the first place people go to check you out after they see your listing, so ensure the link goes to your online hub, be that a website of your own (preferable) or a Facebook business page. Some directories won’t allow you to direct this link to a social site and only a website you own, such as Google, so be sure you read any popups or notes as you complete the form.
Step 5: Choose the Right Categories
For many people, you’ll be rolling your eyes – of course, you’ll choose the right categories – but it’s worth mentioning as you’d be surprised how many people click the wrong category and that may be the difference between a potential customer finding you or not. Try to choose categories that are truly what you do, not what you feel you kind-of fit into or very generalised categories; if there are sub-categories, utilise those, too.
Step 6: Write Your Description
This field is where you have an opportunity to not only tell your potential customers what it is you do but to also sell it. No, this doesn’t mean it has to be super-salesy but do utilise all the space and use language that sells your services.
Make sure the copy (description) you write is clear, informative, and to the point. When you have a good description you’ll be able to use it across most directories and listing sites. Tell prospects exactly what you do and what they can do to find out more or take the next step.
Step 7: Add a Tagline
This varies from directory to directory, and if you had the opportunity to fill this in and skipped past it, that may be for the best. It’s important that you don’t make one up on the spot just to fill in the box, as often, a tagline won’t matter. But, if you have one, enter it in this box.
Step 8: Link to Your Social Profiles
This is another great step that will enhance your brand’s SEO. Most directories and listing sites will give you the opportunity to link your social platforms, so do where provided. Links to your social profile/s will also help give your brand more authority and people will feel that you are more trustworthy, so it’s worth doing. However, don’t make profiles on every platform just for the sake of the links. Empty profiles are much worse than no profile, so only add links to profiles you actually keep up to date.
Step 9: Add Images
Do you have to? No. Will it help? Definitely. As people scan through listings, those with images (even if they are stock) will stand out against those who have grey boxes where the images should be. Ideally, you’ll use images of your own business at work, but a few stock images can help, examples of your work, or at minimum the image of your company logo or brand name.
Step 10: Videos and More
Some directories will also allow you to add other forms of media like video, which will help you seem more professional and can influence conversions – however, this isn’t as important as including images, so if you don’t have anything ready to go make a note of it somewhere so you can come back to it later if it is something you want to do.
Step 11: Other Contact Details
Some directories will allow for extra phone numbers and even fax numbers, but the most important will be an email address if they allow you to add one. In most circumstances, people will be able to click the email address to open their email provider and send you an email with any questions or queries they have. Add any other contact details your prospect may need, but don’t overwhelm them with numerous phone numbers so they won’t know which one is best to get a response.
Step 12: Certifications and Qualifications
Some directories will provide a field for you to enter your certifications and qualifications, so use those fields if you have specialist qualifications prospects need to know in order to trust you.
Step 13: Brands and Payment
If you provide products rather than a tailored service, it will be worth including information about the brands you carry and the forms of payment you accept.
Step 14: Keywords/Attributes
Some directories will allow you to choose certain keywords or attributes that further describe your business, so choose these wisely if you are offered them, though they may prove most useful to retail stores and food vendors.
Overall, fewer quality listings will be better than blanketing every directory on the web with nothing more than your business name, phone number, and web address. If you put a little time into your listings you’ll see far better results than if you do it just because you know you have to.