To rank well in local search, you need consistent NAP data, website, hours, and more across all major listing directories. This is essential for search engines to validate you as a credible local business.
The more accurate and consistent data there is about your business across the web, the more search engines will trust the validity of the business. And the more the search engines trust the business, the higher they will rank in local SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).
According to Moz in their 2018 Local Search Ranking Factors survey, 11% of professionals list citation signals as the most critical element in the Local Pack Ranking factor.
What’s in an online business listing?
The information contained in business listings can vary across verticals and directories—but some key pieces of information hold true across them all.
The most crucial data held in a business listing is the NAP data—name, address, and phone number information. NAP data is critical for the online visibility of any business, and every listing source contains this information for the businesses listed. Having correct NAP data ensures that not only will consumers find your business online but that consumers will also have accurate, up-to-date information on how to contact you.
NAP data is also important for search engines like Google to display your business in Geo-targeted searches. If someone is searching “good seafood” in the Boston area, the local Boston seafood places with correct NAP data will appear. Of course Google gives search ranking priority to business with correct NAP data—how else are they supposed to tell where you are, what you do, and if you’re even a legitimate business at all?
Consumers are looking for your business! What exactly are they looking for?
- 53% of mobile searchers are looking for directions
- 50% are looking for business addresses
Despite the importance of accurate NAP data, our data shows that many businesses are failing even at this basic step into the world of listings.
- 86% of businesses have either missing or incorrect company name information listed across all listings sources
- 72% of businesses have either missing or incorrect address information listed across all listings sources
- 71% of businesses have either missing or incorrect phone number information listed across all listings sources
Data taken from the 140,000+ local businesses in our system
Hours of Operation
One of the most important details about your business besides NAP data is the hours of operation. When a consumer is searching for their business (or their goods/services), they have a high purchase intent, and are likely searching for an immediate need.
The consumer will likely a visit a business after the business is shown as “open” on their Google search.
If your business has no hours listed, the consumer would have to go out of their way to find out whether you’re open or closed from their website, or a phone call. Or, worse yet, they drive to visit your business and find that you’re closed! Now they’re not only inconvenienced by not knowing your business hours, but they’re also upset for wasting their time. Let the negative reviews commence!
If your competitor has their business hours listed, they’ll likely capture that consumer. People just want their needs fulfilled—they’d be happy to spend their money at a business that has their hours correctly listed if they were coming in-store to make the purchase.
- 73% of purchases that result from mobile searches happen within the same day, and most (63%) within a few hours
- 76% of consumers report that they expected hours of operation information when conducting a search
- Over 60% of consumers find that knowing the business hours helps them make their purchase decision
Consumers are often looking to make purchases the same day that they’re searching, so make sure they know your store is open when they go looking!
Does your business have a central “hub” of information to direct users to online? Throw that website link into your business listings. Consumers will often travel from Google search into a business website to get a feel for the business, and learn more about what they’re offering. So obviously, including a link to your website is important for their online presence.
- 93% of businesses have either missing or incorrect website information listed across all listings sources
- Only 7% of businesses have their website information correct across all listing sources
- Nearly half of small businesses don’t have a website (Clutch)