business listings graphicManaging your local listings can be a pain if you don’t have a plan. There are many moving parts, and even a relatively small error can lead to problems that can cost you in a rather expensive way.

In many ways managing your local listings is more work than a site serving globally. You have to make sure all your data is correct for each location and this can be challenging. Let’s look into some of the essentials necessary for good local listing management.

The basics: getting your local listings in order

Here are some of the basics you need to take care of before trying to be a local superstar.

  • The most important aspect of managing your local listings is to ensure that your NAP data, that is your company’s name, addresses and phone contact, (along with all your other data) is correct across all locations and platforms.
  • Many times local companies make the mistake of not having a phone contact number. Don’t be that guy! Even if it is only a voicemail ensure your customers and prospects can reach you.
  • Make sure to completely fill out any profiles that contain your information. This is a simple way to get info out there about your business, and the more you can inform readers, the better shot you’ll have at getting that new lead.

Taking local listings a step beyond

Once your basics are covered, make sure you are taking advantage of all the wonderful sites and opportunities that are available to local businesses. Many of them are free, and others have a modest fee. Here’s just a few to get you started.

  • Ensure that you have a local presence in Google, Yahoo and Bing.
  • Look at local directories like Infogroup, Acxiom, Localeze, and Factual as aggregators like these provide data to mobile companies and search engines alike.
  • Look into listings with properties like Yelp, Yext, Foursquare, Facebook. You’ll realize that their local packages can be less than you might have thought, and can make a very big difference.
  • Use tools like Bright Local, Moz Local or Whitespark to monitor your citations and track your progress. This is going to be an ongoing process, as you’ll want to keep getting more and more citations that will give your business even greater reputation.