Ever wonder why that other business with the ugly website ranks so well? The reason must lie somewhere out there on the Internet.
Now for the dictionary of terms all meaning the same thing; this is often called off-site SEO, and those off-site SEO areas are referred to as Local SEO or also called NAP ( Name , Address, Phone Number ) by the “hip” or using an old-fashion Yellow Pages term Business Listings. Now that we have that out of the way, the simple bottom line is:
Get this right and you’ll sail past 90% of your competitors. If its a mess (and for 50% of businesses this is true) it will feel as though your search rank is stuck in a tar pit. So if you are reading this, and your website(s) is suffering from Search Rank Malaise, keep reading.
Your visibility in search is greatly affected by how accurately search engines can identify your business location. They search other sources for business listings to find correlation in order to be assured their search results are accurate.
There are two fundamentals at play: 1) your business listing has not been propagated across the many directories on the Internet that search engines use for this purpose, or 2) what is more often the case, the listings that do exist have conflicting information causing search engines some confusion. This causes search engines to assume your business has moved, but which listing is correct? Something as simple as changing the phone number for your business or using a tracking number on your website can wreak havoc on your search rank. For the search engine its a simple confidence game that has been written into an algorithm so it can be performed by a computer.
There are companies that offer solutions. But unfortunately this area has been polluted by large, aggressive companies that try to apply a cookie-cutter approach which sometimes does more damage. You may be able to benefit from their services, but be aware of the dangers. One size does not fit all business needs. And this is one area in which you cannot afford to experiment. You need to understand how they do their magic before engaging these services.
Most offerings use automated submission robots that can help a new business get the word out. But this does not work for existing businesses. To be effective this service must be done by hand. Each directory must be analysed and if it contains inaccurate information, an interaction must take place. This process can become quite complicated and take weeks to resolve.