“Claiming” your business on local directories can improve your marketing, encourage reviews and improve your SEO.
Claim vs. Create
There are many directories, including Google Places. Most directories are created from a third party database such as a mailing list and may contain errors.
Fewer listings (Yelp, Google) require the small business to actively create account de novo.
In either case, you want to either “claim” your listing to make sure that the information is correct or “create” a new account with accurate information listing your small business and practice focus.
For example, I am a retinal specialist (snobby eye doctor) and I have been incorrectly listed as an Internist and General Surgeon. I created accounts in these directories and submitted the changes.
Finding the Directories
There are dozens of local business directories, local medical directories and doctor ratings sites. We can provide you an analysis of the business directories that have you listed on their websites and you should proof-read then gradually.
You can also “Google” yourself. Go through the SERP (results page) and visit those sites that list your information. Each site usually has a method to change your information. In this way, you only have to bother with the most popular sites indexed by Google.
Be Accurate with Data Entry
Make sure your information is both accurate and uniform. For instance, while the use of “avenue” vs. “ave.” may not matter to you, it will have some impact on your web rankings. Other examples,
- Road vs. Rd.
- Suite vs. Ste.
- Boulevard vs. Blvd.
Most importantly, make sure you use your business name as listed with your state!
Encourage Ratings and Reviews
You want to encourage positive reviews and ratings by happy patients. Give them every reason to give you a great review. Leaving inaccurate information (wrong address, misspellings, incorrect specialty of practice); however, will dissuade your supporters from leaving any comments.
Stale/incorrect information correctly connotes that this is a stale listing and the owners of the listing (i.e. you) could care less.
You should get an email about a new comment left on the listing/rating site either from you Google Alert or from the website itself. Take this opportunity to review, and thank, your supporter. It’s a great way to show you care and appreciate their efforts to support you. It’s an easy way to create a “conversation.”
Add Your URL to Boost SEO
There are two reasons to add your URL. Anyone interested in learning more about you from the directory will want to visit your web page. More importantly, you should be in the habit of adding your URL everywhere you can to increase the number of links to your site….this will improve your rankings.
Many of these sites, such as HealthGrades, have significant PageRank and links from their site to yours will improve your SEO!