Is Your Business Listed Exactly the Same Across the Internet?
A consistent business name is key for coming up in search engines whenever someone is searching for services or products that match what you offer. It’s also confusing to potential clients if your business appears in multiple ways.
Here’s an example. Let’s take a fairly well known company, Smith & Hawken and see what would happen if their business listing appears in three different ways across the Internet:
Smith & Hawken
Smith and Hawken
Smith & Hawken, Inc.
Search engines would consider Smith & Hawken three different companies rather than one. The same thing is true for your business. Is your business name consistent on your website, Google Business page, Yelp, LinkedIn and industry-specific directories? If not, you are missing out on opportunities to get additional online visibility.
It’s also important for your address and phone number to be consistent across the Internet. Here’s why. It’s fairly common for several businesses to have the same name, particularly if they are in different cities or states. The way that Google and other search engines identify your business is to look at your business Name, Address, and Phone Number, together as a single entity.
Every place on the web that your business is listed — on your website, on your social media pages, and on business directories, is called a “citation.” Citations give your business more credibility with search engines. It’s essential that your Name, Address, and Phone Number are consistent wherever they appear because this lets Google and other search engines know that it’s really your business that’s being mentioned. If one listing isn’t consistent, it won’t be considered a citation, and it won’t give you any Google juice.
If your business has multiple phone numbers or multiple locations, it’s a good idea to choose a primary one to use on your website and business listings. Since search engines can locate and show any page of your website in search engine results, it’s also a good idea to make sure that your Name, Address, and Phone Number are included in the header, footer, or sidebar on every page.
Here’s An Easy Way to Make Your Business Information Consistent
Consistency may sound like a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s what I recommend:
Start with your website, and make sure that your business Name, Address, and Phone Number are consistent throughout. Check everywhere and every page. You may need to involve your website designer to make the changes. Then, update your Google Business page. Many directories use Google as the primary way of validating their own listings, so getting your Google Business page up-to-date sets the stage for everywhere else.
Then, use a Local Directory Listing Service to synchronize your newly consistent website and Google Business page Name, Address, and Phone Number throughout the Internet. There are many reputable services that will keep your listings synchronized for an annual fee. It can be well worth it! Here is an article describing The Top 15 Local Directory Listing Services.
By making sure that your Name, Address, and Phone Number are consistent everywhere, you’ll earn more credibility with search engines, which is always a good thing!
Carolyn Kohler is an SEO writer who specializes in helping businesses get found online. Her company is Website Wordsmith and she is located in the San Francisco Bay Area.