It seems like every year more online directories pop up, and it can feel overwhelming for business owners to try to keep up. It is easy to feel that these mass databases are chasms for your listing to get lost amongst the similar or spammy listings. You are not alone in your feelings, but don’t underestimate the savviness of the average online user. They are looking to see if you have taken time to claim, complete, and interact with that listing. In fact, by not doing those things, it could be perceived that you don’t care about earning their business or that you aren’t as reputable as the competition.
The way clients and patients find your business has evolved dramatically in the past few years. People use search engines like Google as an initial step, then dive further into a business’ social media sites, directory sites, and mobile apps before choosing a service provider.
Directories have significant benefits for businesses just like yours – they provide opportunities to showcase your specialties and services to interested audiences who are already well on their way to making a purchasing decision. Despite their size, directories have advanced filtering functionality that they use to connect users to your practice.
The number of business listing citations to manage for your practice grows every year. It is up to each business to ensure the information is accurate and approved. More obscure listings can be generated without your knowledge and contain inaccurate information, such as the wrong phone number.
Can you imagine if a new patient or client found your listing and called, but it was a non-working number – or worse, it was a competitor’s phone number?
NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone. NAP consistency means the name of your business, address, and phone number are listed identically across the web. This is desirable in particular to Google. Any inconsistencies confuse Google, and your rankings will suffer for it.
Google’s algorithm will treat businesses with inconsistent names as unique or separate businesses. All search engines desire trust from their users, so the more information referencing your website combined with the consistency in your information, the better your rank will be.
Improve your search rankings with on-site and off-site strategies tailored to your practice:
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Claim. Your. Listings.
One of the most important actions you should take is claiming your listing. If you don’t, then someone else can. This leaves you vulnerable to inaccurate information being published. Even worse, you could be vulnerable to less-than-ethical competitors or malicious former employees, clients or patients, spouses, or spammers wanting to publicly damage the reputation you have worked so hard to build.
On a happier note, a claimed listing gives your website a much-desired backlink. Backlinks help confirm authority with Google. Websites with more high-quality links (meaning verified, reputable third-party sites) rank the highest.
Direct Your Marketing Success
Search engines like Google use online directories to establish verified information for your practice. Ignoring them will affect your rankings, and therefore your business will suffer. Directories can generate a lot of traffic to your site, so why wouldn’t you want to devote time and attention to this dominating factor in your success?
In order to compete in the digital marketplace, your practice must take advantage of these opportunities. Choosing what is right for your business can be a hard decision. Many business owners spend thousands of dollars each month to advertise on Google, vying for the attention of internet users and hoping to convince them they are better than the competition. While this is a viable and necessary tactic, it seems silly to ignore the many directories that will bring clients and patients to your site for significantly less financial investment.
We understand it can be difficult to identify and manage this ever-evolving aspect of your business. Page 1 Solutions helps you stay on top of the listings. Let us help you decide which directories offer the highest traffic and which featured or premium profiles are right fit for your practice. Call 303-233-3886 for a free marketing evaluation!