A Discussion on Local Business Listings for Google My Business/Maps SEO

Here are the high points of a discussion about Local SEO I recently participated in on reddit.

Question

Best methods for getting local directory listings up?

I know there are a lot of programs out there that get you listed in every directory, has anyone used these? And where can I go to find out where my local listings are missing?

My first reply

The moz local tool is pretty good.

Follow up question from another redditor

Do you ever really see any increase with this? I use it for my clients as well, but I can’t say I actually see an increase in anything

My answer

It submits the listing to all 4 major data aggregators, which is the main benefit. This will give your google my business a boost if there are currently gaps or inconsistencies in your NAP on the aggregators.
A couple hints that your business probably has gaps or inconsistencies in your NAP on the aggregators include if any of the following has happened or is the case since the last time your did a manual (nobody does this, but you can spend a few hours and get it done if you’re a hardcore DIY guy) or paid local business business data submission to the aggregators.


Opened the business or branch
Changed the address of the place of business
Changed the name of the business
Changed the primary phone number


Even a small change (Bill’s Plumbing LLC becomes William’s Plumbers or moving to a bigger space 4 suites down in the office park for example) could make a difference. Some might argue that website address is also a factor and event going from http to https could make an impact.
If you are the unicorn business which has been at the same location with the same name and phone number for 20 years, the aggregators probably have the correct info for you and you won’t get any real benefit from a fresh submission.


There are other options than moz local like yext (way more expensive) or britelocal (paying someone else to do the manual submission for you).
That said, consistent NAP on the aggregators is only one ranking factor. There’s a convincing argument that either managing to get 3 five star customer reviews that include your target keyword in the user generated text or more fully completing just a couple important listings (maybe yelp, GMB and an industry specific one) will provide more ranking benefit than consistent NAP on the aggregators.


In any case, profile completion, NAP consistency, customer reviews, traditional SEO, schema markup on your website, and proximity to the customer are the inputs google uses to rank local results on maps search listings and in the maps app.


I also believe that social media signals count, but a lot of angry SEOs who hate social like to shout me down on that one.
All that to say, all other things being equal, buying a year of Moz local might help you rank on maps, but if a lot of people want to show up for that keyword, it won’t be enough.

So there you have it, local SEO in a nutshell. If you want to rank better on google maps listings and any of that didn’t make sense, please feel free to book a call where we can discuss your unique situation and develop a plan to help you get more traffic from Google Maps/My Business/Places.

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