Organization is Crucial for Local SEO Success

Why do some businesses appear in Google Maps, and others don’t?

That’s actually a complicated answer, as there are over 100 hundred local ranking factors. However, if you’re looking for some simplicity, organization is at the top of the list. A big part of the local algorithm is based on the consistency, and quality, of your reputation online. Each time the name, address, and phone number of your business is listed in a directory, it is indexed by Google and stored in a digital file. Businesses that have consistent, reliable information about their location tend to be more visible in Google Maps than businesses whose information conflicts, perhaps because of an old office address that hasn’t been updated.

Keep Track of Your Online Accounts

It’s important that you keep track of certain online accounts so they can be updated when you move offices, add an office, or acquire a new practice area. Not having access to this account information makes it much more difficult to keep a consistent online presence, which makes it much more difficult to achieve visibility in Google Maps.

Ideally, you, or your local SEO agency, will keep a global list of all the username, and password information for each directory your business is listed in. But it’s likely that, either you don’t have the time for this, or it’s too late. You’re listed all over the place, and don’t have any of the login info. Perhaps you’ve worked with numerous agencies over the years, and have no idea who controls what.

Get Started With These Directories

Which accounts should you keep track of with extra attention? There are 4. InfoUSA, Axciom, Localeze, and of course, Google.

There is a complex hierarchy on the local web of sites that supply information, and sites that receive information. InfoUSA, Localeze, and Axciom are “feeder citations,” meaning they supply the rest of the web with data about local businesses. Keeping these listings updated and accurate helps to ensure that the rest of your citations will be accurate as well.

A Real World Example

Consider this email we received from Dex Knows after requesting a duplicate listing be removed for a client:

Thank you for your email.  The listing that you have on the Dexknows.com site is a free listing that is being fed over by a third party vendor, InfoGroup.  You are able to make changes to this listing but you have to do so through them.  If you will go to http://www.expressupdateusa.com/, on the left hand side of the page there is a Check Your Listing section.  You can locate your business listing by searching for listed name or telephone number.  From there you are able to verify, edit, or delete the listing.   Updated information will feed over to our site within 30-60 days.

The email from Dex Knows is a micro level example of my larger point: most web directories, including Google, receive information about your business from other sources. If your goal is to organize your web presence to gain more visibility in local search, start with the directories that supply the rest of the web with information, and work down from there.

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