What are Local Business Listings?

Local business listings, also known as local citations, play a vital role in financial advisors’ reputation, rankings, and revenue. That’s why it’s critical to understand what these marketing tools entail and how they can help you grow your business.

Think of local business listings as a super-charged yellow page ad that can be found in every phonebook in the world. These business listings typically include a minimal amount of information, but that information can be very powerful for driving business as long as its accurate and consistent.

Marketing pros use a term called “NAP” when they talk about local search best practices. This acronym refers to the bare minimum of information needed to secure an accurate listing and stands for your business’ name, address, and phone number. Basic enough, but very important for helping potential clients find your advisory firm.

But to make the most out of your local search engine marketing, you’ll want to include more information to fully optimize your business listing. When you add relevant information that is important to your future clients, you make it much easier for them to choose your services.

Here is a list of the type of relevant content you should include to optimize your local search engine marketing:

  • Certifications
  • Featured services
  • Additional media
  • Alternate contact numbers
  • Website URL
  • Business description
  • Social profiles
  • Categories

Find out more about local business listings and why they are such powerful tools for digital marketing with our marketing tip video below.

Why Local Search Matters

More than 70% of Internet searches are for local business services, and 59% of consumers use Google each month to locate a local business. If a referral or prospect can’t find you easily, they won’t be inclined to choose your services. You could be missing out on prime opportunities that you can’t realize any other way.

Look at it this way: Business listings are like your current financial services clients and Google is a potential referral. Google “asks” these business listings about your advisory firm looking for relevant information like what services you provide and where you’re located. The more information Google finds, the more it will trust you as long as that information is accurate and consistent. As a result, you’ll end up higher in Google local business listings. If Google doesn’t receive sufficient information to instill confidence, it may question the legitimacy of your business and be less likely to consider your financial advisory services. As the digital marketing experts at MOZ put it, “Citations from well-established and well-indexed portals (i.e., Superpages.com) help increase the degree of certainty the search engines have about your business’ contact information and categorization.”

Here are some other reasons why local business listings are so crucial to your firm’s success:

  • Local search is one more place for potential clients to find you.
  • Your online presence is more competitive because you control the type of content and its accuracy to protect your brand’s reputation.
  • Local business listings improve your overall SEO by providing Google and other search engines with more linking opportunities.
  • Instead of being a little fish in a big pond, i.e. national firms, you can become the financial services provider of choice across your local area.

How to Take Control of Your Online Local Business Listings

Search Engine Watch, an online company that researches and analyzes digital marketing, finds that 73% of consumers lose trust in brands when they find inaccurate or outdated listings. When you take control of your local business listings, you can be sure that every potential client has sufficient information to make you their first choice.

Optimizing local listings is more like a marathon than a sprint, so you must approach managing your local listings with a patient and methodical mindset. You’ll not only have to make sure all of your business information is accurate and relevant, but you’ll also need to be sure your services are listed under the right categories for each online directory.

Even if you take the time necessary and work your way through every online directory updating, deleting and otherwise ensuring all your data is accurate across every listing, you’ll still have to revisit these listing platforms regularly to maintain them. In addition, you’ll need to make sure there are no duplicates of your business or information online. These duplicates can be directory profiles that were started and never finished, social media accounts long forgotten, or some other digital marketing effort that has fallen by the wayside.

Local Business Listings and Search Marketing Strategy

A local business listing is one of many marketing strategy components to help you increase your reach online and make it easier for clients and prospects to find you. By having sufficient and accurate information across the many platforms and sites, you can increase your SEO, establish your authority, and give your firm the credibility it needs. Just like most effective marketing elements, your local listings increase the effectiveness of all your marketing efforts and vice versa.

Whether it’s a Google local business listing or a listing on another major search engine, links to and from your website and between your other online platforms are essential for page rank and more. If your firm has local listings in 50 directories, that’s 50 opportunities to create links to your website, 50 more for social media, 50 more to your guest blog, and so forth. It should be easy to see how optimizing all your local business listings can be such a powerful tool.

Why Let FMG Suite Manage Your Local Listings?

Because we see advisors struggle to make the most of their listings, we created a valuable resource with our newest product, FMG Local Search. With FMG Local Listings, your company is listed on more than 60 directories including Google, Bing, and Yahoo, and you can easily update your information across the board.

  • Update clients immediately about time-sensitive changes such as hours of operation or unforeseen closings.
  • Control the data Google receives about your locations to ensure consistency.
  • Streamline data management processes with a single click on your dashboard.

Because online data like business listings can change frequently because of search engine updates and other reasons beyond your control, FMG has partnered with Yext, the leader in local search marketing, to give you their patented Match & Lock™ technology. This powerful tool locates, claims, and locks in your business listings on every popular directory online. With FMG Local Search, you get the latest marketing technology, control over your listings, and comprehensive reports from FMG to monitor your increased results.

FMG Local Listings works seamlessly with all our digital marketing tools like financial advisor websites, social media automation, email marketing campaigns, and more.

Request a Demo today to learn more about how local search engine marketing can help more customers reach your business.