The short answer? The more accurate and optimized your local business listings are, the more likely your company’s website is to rank.
On the flip side, if your business listings are inaccurate, outdated, or not optimized for SEO, you’ll get lower rankings.
In this blog, we’ll explain:
- Why local business listings are so crucial for home service companies
- Which listings are most important for your business
- Tips to optimize (and maintain) your local listings
Local listings (like Yelp) help customers find your business
The way consumers search for local businesses has changed over the years. Not everyone uses a simple Google search anymore.
Instead, more and more consumers are turning to review sites such as Facebook or Yelp to find quality home service professionals. That said, claiming and optimizing your listings across review sites like these can help your customers find and do business with you.
Keep in mind, though, that local listings are also a key ranking factor for local search results. When Google ranks sites in local search results, it looks at “citations”, that is, mentions of your home services business on other websites.
But of course, not all citation sources are equal in Google’s eyes. Let’s look at which citation sources have the most impact on local SEO rankings…
Which listings are most important for my HVAC/Solar business?
The impact of a citation source (where your citation comes from) can vary depending on the city or market. We’ve listed the top 4 sites that are most authoritative in Google’s eyes and that are most popular to consumers searching specifically for HVAC and/or solar services.
Outside of Google My Business, we see the most impact from the following sources:
- Apple Maps
- Bing Places
5 tips to optimize your business listings
Note: The following tips are generalized to all business directory sites, not just your Google My Business listing. However, if you’d like tips specific to GMB optimization, check out our blog, “How Does GMB and Proximity Help My HVAC or Solar Business Rank?”.
Tip #1: Claim your business
Most sites will require you to claim your business listing via phone or email. This is important, as verified listings are more trusted and more likely to rank well. Claiming your business across all listings is also important as this process will give you access and authority to edit and update your business details on those listings.
Beware that even if you haven’t created a listing for your business on certain sites, there is likely already one that exists. This happens often as a result of your business data existing elsewhere on the web, which can prompt a listing to be created on your company’s behalf.
Tip #2: Have consistent “NAP”
NAP refers to your company’s name, address and phone number. Having a consistent NAP means these details are exactly the same on every listing/profile associated with your business.
For example, if Google notices the NAP info on your website is slightly different from how it’s listed on other sites (i.e. an old phone number still displays on one of your older listings), it could hurt your local ranking.
Tip #3: Select correct categories
Review sites/business directories will require you to specify a service category for your listing. This allows users to understand what it is you do or offer. However, most directories allow you to add two, three or even more categories to help users better understand the breadth of your offerings.
Whether you choose to add multiple service categories or decide that a single category accurately and concisely represents your business offerings is less important than ensuring that your service category is accurate. In fact, Moz ranks “Incorrect Business Category” as the second most damaging factor for local SEO.
Tip #4: Add photos to your listing
Adding photos shows Google that your listing is accurate and up to date, making it more likely to list your business in a search query. Plus, it helps customers get a sense of your company’s professionalism and culture.
Some studies even suggest that profiles with more photos get more engagement with potential customers.
Tip #5: Ask for and respond to reviews
Reviews are becoming increasingly more important in local SEO rankings. Google looks at review content, how quickly you respond to reviews and how many reviews you have. Google also looks at whether you respond to reviews, so be sure to do that.
Responding to reviews can also help customers decide whether they want to do business with you. One study showed that 96% of consumers who read online reviews also read the business’ responses.
Our advice? Whether the review is good or bad, taking the time to respond professionally can help improve the way customers perceive your company and result in more business.
Need help optimizing your local listings?
We’ve helped HVAC and solar companies all over the country improve their rankings just by optimizing and maintaining their business listings/citations.
Just drop us a line or call us at (800) 339-7305 to chat with one of our SEO specialists.