As we all know, change is inevitable and in order to keep up with it, we need to update. When you think about it, you probably update everything from your Facebook profile to your wardrobe on a monthly basis at the very least. So why do you fall short when it comes to making sure your business listings stay updated?
It is a common belief that once your business is listed with Core Data Providers (CDPs), that the database will automatically find and update your information when it changes. This is both true and false. Yes, CDPs will find your new business information and add it to their records. However, they often do not remove the old information and leave the outdated business address, phone number, business name, website, email address, product and service offering or owner name. This is because CDPs are in the business to sell a lot of leads. They makes more money by having more records available, even if they are duplicate records. For this reason CDPs do not make an effort to delete old information. Top directories then buy business information from CDPs that they then turn into listings. If there are two different sets of information for one business in the CDPs database, they will often take both.
As a result, you will have two different business listings in directories like Google, Yahoo!, Yelp and Merchant Circle; one with the correct information and one with the old, incorrect information. You can understand how this could get confusing for potential customers trying to find your business as well as search engines who are trying to index your information. This is why having duplicate or inconsistent business information will hurt your search engine rankings.
Another problem with only having your business information listed with CDPs is the update frequency of your listings. Top directories rely on CDPs to provide them with business listings, however many of them do not ever go back once they’ve used CDPs and they do not update automatically. This means that updated listings will not be found in directories like Google and Yahoo! unless someone manually goes to each directory to update the listing. Odds are if you changed addresses or phone numbers, unless you or your Internet marketing company have done something about it, your listing will be incorrect in Google Maps. This incorrect information will hurt your rankings, reputation and chances of attracting new customers.
Verification is another thing you need to think about when submitting your business information to directories. In many cases, just because you submit your information, doesn’t mean the directory will turn it into a listing. Directories often have moderators that decide whether the information is made into a listing and the time it takes for this decision to be made could be months. By the time your listing is approved or rejected, you could have forgotten you even submitted it. If it is rejected, you’re not helping your link building efforts or your ranking.
Some directories such as Google require a verification code to ensure that the information being submitted is correct and the owner is really the person “claiming” the business. CDPs have few methods to produce precise verification, which is one of the reasons why they contain misinformation.
Local Splash submits business information on behalf of their clients to a variety of top directories such as Google Local, Yahoo!, Relevant Yellow, Yelp, Facebook, Merchant Circle, SuperPages.com, RateItAll, YellowBot, Clush, Oodle, AboutUs, Vast and Acxiom. Then the company provides “permalinks” to prove that your business has been submitted and accepted to directories. Local Splash maintains a direct relationship with top directories in order to get its clients approved faster. This means clients will be able to climb the Google rankings quickly which will help get them leads and sales within a few weeks. Using the Local Splash Back Office platform, clients can log in and see all of their placements in one location online. CDPs do not provide this kind of service.
Local Splash also “cleans up” inconsistent data for clients. This means getting rid of duplicate listings, correcting misinformation and making sure all inconsistent data is fixed. One of the main downfalls of CDPs is that they do not do this.
It’s important to remember that updated listings are key for good rankings. CDPs may help get your business name out on the Internet but they help get misinformation, inconsistent data and duplicate listings online in the process. Working with an expert local SEO company like Local Splash will help get your correct business information submitted to multiple directories as well as your misinformation cleaned up. Without this service, getting to the top of the Google rankings is much tougher and takes much longer.