You’ve seen the Yellowpages, Manta, and Yelp listings when doing internet searches for specific types of businesses. You may be wondering why businesses do this when they have websites. This is a good question, because sometimes listings from these directory websites show up high in search engine rankings.

To answer this question, imagine these listings as multiple access points to your business. You can never have too many doors for customers to walk through. Not only do these listings serve as direct doorways to your business, but they can also lead people to your website where they can learn even more about what you’re offering. In addition, the more reputable listing sites have more “SEO Juice,” which means the link has is a quality inbound link to the website. You always want to have good inbound links so search engines can see the importance of your site and rank it accordingly.

Making Sure Listings Speak for Your Business

As for how the listing itself helps customers, they can acquire important information very quickly. Many potential customers are in a hurry, performing voice searches on their mobile phones while they’re on the move. They need answers fast. These listings can give that to them, as certain pieces of information are provided on a single page. That information includes business hours, what you offer, where you are located, your telephone number, and some sites even have review platforms that allow people to leave their feedback. Everything needed to make a fast decision is there. If they need more information, they can click the link to your website.

Just make sure you keep your listings updated to ensure visitors are getting the right information. If they receive the wrong information, they are going to be extremely frustrated and won’t give you their business. They’ll move on to your competitor that keeps their listings updated. Listings can speak for your business, so you need to make sure they’re communicating the right information.

Keeping Your Listings Consistent

You also need to keep the information consistent. This means that every listing should share the same details. There is a good chance that potential customers will check out more than one listing, especially if reviews are involved. They will notice inconsistencies and wonder what is correct. When information is consistent, they know they can trust the information they are given. Trust is one of the components of converting a potential customer into a customer.

Quality Over Quantity

Now that you know why business listings matter to your business and that you need to keep them consistent, another rule of thumb is to focus on quality over quantity. There are businesses in the world with hundreds of listings from every listing site they can find. Unfortunately, they get less SEO juice than a business listed with fewer, more reputable sites. In fact, Google could see too many low-quality inbound links as spammy and penalize the website. No one wants to be penalized when so much work is being put into ranking well. As long as you stick to reputable sites, keep your listings updated, and keep your information consistent, your listings should work well for you as multiple access points to your business and as high-quality inbound links.