The Importance of Local Business Listing Sites
When your clients search for your business online, we’re willing to bet that your website isn’t the only result they see. Directory listing sites, like Yelp or Citysearch, often account for a large portion of first-page search results for local businesses.
Don’t believe us? Do a quick search of your practice or your industry and location and note how many of these results are from directory listings sites. Go ahead, we’ll wait.
You will likely have noticed that either a local search of your practice or industry resulted in various pages from directory listing sites. Sometimes, these sites even rank businesses on their pages claiming that they have found the ten “best” in your area according to customer reviews and popularity.
If you were unable to locate your own practice on these sites, that means you’re missing out on valuable exposure and the ability to rank on more search engine results pages (SERPs).
With the prevalence of these listing sites, it’s important you create profiles for your business before anyone else has the chance to. Take a look at some of the best benefits you will see from your local directory listings.
4 of the Best Local Directory Listing Benefits
1. Standardize your practice’s NAP
When both current and potential clients are searching for your business online, they are often looking for a phone number or address. After all, it would be impossible to make an appointment with you without this vital information!
Business directory listings offer you another way to make sure web users can find your NAP (name, address, and phone number) when they are scanning the internet for the best chiropractor or vision therapist in town.
One of the primary business directory listing sites we recommend is Google My Business. When a client searches for your practice, a Google My Business directory listing will allow them to call your office or navigate to one of your locations at the click of a button. People love a good shortcut, so make sure they have the option to take one.
There are plenty of other directory listing sites that prospective clients may be searching for your business, so do your research to find out which ones are most applicable to your industry and audience. Industry association websites may also have directories that will help lead clients to your website.
2. Receive feedback from clients.
Business listing sites typically allow consumers to rate and review businesses on their platforms. Considering 92% of consumers report that they read online reviews before making the decision to visit a business, it’s important to make sure your practice has a positive online reputation.
Your practice’s business listings may be how a prospective client first discovers your practice. So, make sure you make a great first impression with stellar reviews.
Happy clients can be one of your best marketing assets.
People love sharing their experiences with others. After an appointment, ask clients if they would like to leave you an online review either in person as they’re checking out or through a follow-up email. You may also want to post signage in your office that reminds clients that your practice can be found on various online review sites.
Unfortunately, there is a chance that feedback won’t always be positive. However, negative reviews give you an opportunity to both make corrections at your practice and show potential clients that you care about customer service.
When you receive a negative review, the worst thing you can do is ignore it. Instead, take the time to look into the legitimacy of the review. Investigate these fundamental questions:
- Is this a real customer that has visited your practice?
- Are the claims factual?
- Are there any team members that you need to talk to?
It’s possible that the client is simply disgruntled, but it’s also possible that their complaints are valid.
Draft a response that is polite, professional, and to-the-point. If it’s fitting and you are able to do so, offer a way to rectify the situation. Most times, people just want their complaints acknowledged but offering a resolution also shows potential clients that your team is willing to go the extra mile for your clients.
3. Populate on Google’s SERPs multiple times.
Why rank just once on Google’s search engine results pages when you can have your practice show up multiple times? Business listing sites increase your chances of populating on local searches and provide additional visibility when web users search for your practice in particular.
Let’s emphasize the importance of directory listings when you’re a local business. Oftentimes, people are making a quick search from their smartphone for a particular kind of business. Maybe they are having a pet-related emergency or they just broke their favorite pair of glasses and need to find an optometrist that can make them on the spot.
Online directories provide consumers with an easy way to filter through the businesses in their area that offers their desired services. They can even go from browsing to driving directly to your office with user-friendly map functions.
4. Create your own narrative.
Anyone can make a business listing profile for your practice. This can be tricky, as these web users may unwittingly post false information or mislead potential clients. That’s why it’s imperative that you create these profiles before someone else does.
Your practice’s business listings are a part of your overall online presence. Between the photos you choose to post to the description you draft for your profile, you are in control of the online narrative that defines your business.
Don’t be lackadaisical about your business listing profiles. Take the time to create consistent branding that ties back to your website, social pages, and physical location. Include your logo, a well-written description of your practice, and professional photos that show off your team, special equipment, and office space. This will enable clients to get to know your practice a little better and increase your credibility online.
Ready to create profiles on business listings sites?
Download our free checklist, 5 Steps to Maximize Your Local Directory Listing. We’ll go over the top five ways to create an effective business listing that makes a lasting impression on potential clients.
Are you unsure of where or how your practice’s business listings appear online? Scan your business listings to learn more about your practice’s online presence.
More resources to help you learn how to reach your business goals
Creating an Online Presence: Marketing Your Clinic to Increase Patients
Grow Your Practice With a WebMD Enhanced Profile
3 Ways Creating a Yelp Business Account Can Benefit Your Local Eye Care Practice