Ins & Outs of Local Business Listings


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local-link-buildingI started to write this post on local link building and, and when I went to check my link building resources, I became distracted and actually started building links to my own website. It’s a common complaint among online marketers and SEOs that we hardly have time to market and/or optimize our own sites let alone keep up with client websites.

So I took advantage of my wandering attention span and got to work!

I now have up-to-date practical hand’s-on experience to tell you how you can claim your local business listing in a handful of top-tier directories in about two hours. Your prep time will add to the total time invested, but preparing a business profile will help speed things along and serve you as you continue to seek out local on-topic directories for your ongoing link building.

First off, create a Business Profile document. This will help clarify your thinking about exactly what your business does and/or the services you provide. You’ll be asked to provide a business description, so you want to prepare several in varying character lengths (150 – 500 characters) to have handy to cut and paste into this field. Start with 250 characters including spaces and shorten (or lengthen) as necessary.

Next, identify your top five categories; not all directories provide the same categories, so you may have to get creative. Then, list “tags” which are keywords that may or may not be part of your category names. This will be important for search engines and visitors who may want to know more specifically the types of products or services you offer. Include: year established, years in business, operating hours, payment methods, language(s) spoken, products and services and anything else that may be pertinent such as education and awards.

A Few FYIs

I experienced a glitch with They could not verify my physical address. I tried variations and even someone else’s business address to no avail. This may be temporary, but I’m a busy business owner and may or may not return to try another day. Just FYI.

Another area of confusion for me is that the snapshot provides states that my Business listing on Google cannot be found. This is incorrect. My Places Page has been verified and listed for months. In spite of that inconsistency, I still recommend GetListed as a one-stop shop for trusted local optimization and educational resources.

This is only to point out that the process of getting your business listed is not without its hiccups. And, if you’re new to online marketing, you may be tempted to think that you’re doing something wrong. Another FYI.

Ins & Outs of the Big 3 – Google – Yahoo! & Bing

You may need to reserve an afternoon getting these listings just so. Each has their own unique approach. In fact, once you have your Yahoo! listing, DO NOT touch it. I made the mistake of changing my address from Houston to Naples and now it appears that they’ve de-listed me because I office out of my home.

This is when taking the time to create your Business Profile document will come in handy. They’ll ask you for your Name – Address – Phone (NAP). Be certain these remain the same across all your listings. A discrepancy here will affect your listing in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Google especially notices non-matching information, so get this right.

Bing requires that you sign in using a Windows LiveID or by using Facebook. I don’t like either of their choices, but there it is. Bing does give you the option of not displaying your business address which works great for businesses that don’t have a brick and mortar location or for individuals who work out of their home. I’m not thrilled about their Categories, so again, take some time to think this through. While you can go back and edit your listing, most of us won’t think about it once we’ve hit “publish.”

Google Places is the least complicated to claim. Simply go to and get started.

Photo credit: Digitalart

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Nicolette Beard
As a former publisher and editor, I'm passionate about the written word. I craft content to help drive the autonomous customer experience (CX) revolution. My goal is to show call center leaders how to reduce the increasing complexity of the customer journey.


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