My business is currently listed on independent directories does it matter if the details are slightly inconsistent?
Part of ensuring that your website gets good organic search results is ensuring that you also list your business on independent directories, such as, Yell, 192.com, netmums and other sector relevant directories where your customers might look for your services.
However, it is vital that all your contact information is exactly the same on each listing. If your contact details (name, address and phone number) are inconsistent this could penalise your results in organic search.
Whilst search engine algorithms are sophisticated, they can invariably get confused as to whether two similar listings are the same or not. Given that businesses can have comparable names or that businesses may share an address, it is essential that you do not put your rankings at risk by being sloppy.
So, if your address contains the word ‘Road’, decide whether you will choose to spell it as ‘Road’ or ‘Rd’, and stick to the way you will always write your address. If you have a limited company, do you want to have Ltd at the end of the company name? Decide and be consistent.
A personal bug bear of one of the founders of Perfect Layout Digital Marketing is the way in which telephone numbers are listed. For example, in London, telephone numbers should be listed as 020 8XXX XXXX or 020 7XXX XXXX and not 0208 XXX XXXX or 0207 XXX XXXX. Make sure that your telephone number is listed in the same way each and every time.
What happens if my details change?
This is not a problem. But make sure that you keep a record of all your listings with usernames and passwords, so that should you need to alter any information, you can dedicate a period of time to update these in one go. This means that by the time the spiders trawl the internet for updated information, all your details across all the directories that you are listed on are updated at more or less the same time.
The only thing that must be different on each and every directory listing is your description. Search engines penalise plagiarism, so even if they are your own words, copying and pasting the same content numerous times is seriously frowned upon and could hurt your rankings too.
To sum up – Contact details (name, address and phone number) must always be in the same format; description of services and products should be unique to each directory listing.
If you need any help with creating or editing your directory listings, Perfect Layout can do this for you. Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01708 578 015.