If you’ve ever Google’d your business and found multiple directory listings with your business name but an old address or phone number, you got a problem. Both search engines and customers are confused about where or who you are. It’s an identity crisis your business doesn’t need as you try to capture more leads over the internet.
So you think “Well I’ll just change my information through my Google My Business account and that will solve it”. It’s completely rational to think you can fix by going to Google and updating the information there. However, that’s not how Google works.
This is how Google works:
It is within your and Google’s best interest to have accurate NAP information for your business. It validates the legitimacy of the both of you when customers can find accurate information on local businesses they’re researching. You also don’t want your cluster of 30 reviews to get separated and syndicated in different directions, which hurts your review equity.
The above graphic may look a little overwhelming, but there are only a few things you need to do to get your listings together.
If you already have multiple listings on one directory, it will not help you to make another on top of those. Even if one of those listings has the correct information, it doesn’t mean you’re golden. You never know when one will rank higher than the other. You also don’t want to confuse Google and hurt your SEO performance when the algorithm doesn’t know which listing to display.
The good news is that you don’t have to update each individual directory to effect change across all of them. The three major directory networks to check with are Localeze, Infogroup, and Acxiom. Two others worth mentioning are CityGrid and Yellowbot. If there are already listings on any of these directories, again, do not make a new one. Make a free account with the service in question and update the information there.
It’s a good idea to make a spreadsheet of this project for both inaccurate listings that need updating and for the log in information for any accounts you create. The next time you make a change to your NAP, the process will be much more straightforward. Use tools like this one on Moz Local to find your local listings and see where you need to update listings or where you might have to create them.
The most important thing to remember in this entire process is to have patience. The time it takes for changes to filter through the local search ecosystem is not instantaneous. It may take up to 2-3 months for permanent changes to show up everywhere.
This might seem like a long process but taking the time to fix your listings will make a large, positive impact on your business.