To get your business found locally, in your own hometown or city, you need to be listed in online directories. A local business listing in a directory, otherwise known as a citation, is an online profile that contains your business name, address, phone number, and other information about your business and your location.
In order to qualify for a local business listing in any of the websites or directories, your business must meet all four of the following criteria:
- You need to have a business name.
- You need to have a local phone number that matches the city you’re located in. This can not be a shared phone number, a toll free number or a call tracking number.
- You need to have a physical street address that your business is located at. This can not be a shared address, a PO Box, or a virtual office.
- You need to make face-to-face contact with your customers. You can not be a virtual business for a local listing.
Local business listings are really not for online only businesses. If your business is 100% internet play, you’re not going to qualify for a local listing. Google and the other directories want to know that your business has a physical location, whether it’s a retail store, an office, or a warehouse.
Each online directory has a different process for claiming your business listing and verifying that you are actually the owner. It could be a phone call , text message, an email, or a postcard mailed to you. But make sure you go through the verification process. Some listings will not appear online until they’ve been verified.
In Part 2 of our series on Local Listings, we’ll discuss what directories to get started in.
Want more information on how to get found locally and win the local SEO game? Download our free eBook, “Demystifying Local SEO” below. And tell us what your experience has been with local directory listings.