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

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

Getting the basics of your local listings in order

Here are some of the things you’ll need to get in order from the start.

  • The most essential 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 lacking 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 online that contain your information. This is a great way to get info out there about your business, and the more you can inform readers, the greater shot you’ll have at getting that new lead.

Taking the next step

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

  • 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 find that their local packages can be less than you might have thought, and can make a huge difference.
  • Use tools like Bright Local, Moz Local or Whitespark to monitor your citations and track your progress. This will be an ongoing process, as you’ll want to keep getting more and more citations that will give your business even greater reputation.