The Importance Of Accurate Local Business Directory Listings
Accuracy says a lot about a business. When you see a business owner being meticulous, it tells you that they care for their craft, their customers, and the image of their business. This is important for any business, but it’s particularly important for funeral homes and other businesses in the death care industry. The last thing a person wants to do is trust their loved one to someone who doesn’t list their business information accurately.
Many customers will get their first impressions of your business through some form of business directory, so it’s essential that all of your information is accurate across the board.
Local Business Directory Listings
What’s in a Business Directory Listing?
Business directories are repositories for business information that are generally accessible to the public. These directories have existed since long before the Internet. In fact, if you remember getting the Yellow Pages in the mail, you know one great example of a business directory – and one that has a surprising influence on the present-day Canadian market (more on that later).
A business directory listing, then, is the specific entry your business has in a given directory. There can be a lot of information in a listing – your website, your hours of operation, your email address – you name it. While you want every part of each listing to be 100% accurate, the three most important parts of a listing are the name, address, and phone number (NAP).
Which Business Directories are Important?
Every business directory is special, but some are more exceptional than others. While you want as many directories to list you as possible (we’ll expand on why in the Online Marketing section), there are some key players you need to be listed with:
Yellow Pages is, somewhat surprisingly, still one of the most important directories in Canada. In fact, many directories pull most of their information from Yellow Pages. Other important directories include:
- Google (Google My Business)
- The Government of Canada (Industry Canada)
Companies like Dun & Bradstreet create their own directories for funeral homes, including listings of their financial statements. These companies generally update their information automatically, though you should contact them if a listing is wrong.
Connecting With Clients
Now that we understand what business directory listings are, we can learn about why we care so much about them. The biggest reason? Our clients care about them.
Imagine this all too common scenario: someone has passed away. In a panic, their loved one picks up their phone and Googles “funeral home near me”. They find your listing and call you, only to hear “We’re sorry, the number you have dialled…”. Disaster! In a second, they’ve lost all confidence in you, and you’ve lost their business.
Many business owners don’t realize that directories pull information from each other and from users – in other words, their information can be sourced from people who don’t own the business. Inaccurate listings can shatter trust – a trust that is fundamental to the relationship between funeral homes and their clients. You need to check directory listings for accuracy regularly.
Our Doors are Always Open
While your doors might not literally be open 24/7, your phone line had better be. I’m sure it is – you know as well as we do that death can happen at any time. The problems here are inaccurate listings – if your physical doors are closed at a certain hour, well-meaning but misinformed directories could list your funeral home’s hours as your hours of operation. Make sure that every directory has you listed as open 24/7, so potential clients know they can reach you in their hour of need.
Properly crafted business directory listings do more than just instill trust in your clients – they have a substantial impact on your online presence, as well.
Local searches form the cornerstone of a funeral home’s online marketing strategy. People want to find funeral homes near them. This is often as a result of needing help immediately, but local searches can help you find clients who are looking to pre-plan, too.
When your business directory listings are accurate, it means your address is accurate, as well. An accurate address means that customers near you (within X km) will find you – and how close a customer is to your location has significant weight in search engine algorithms.
Business directory listing accuracy has a significant impact on your overall search engine optimization (SEO), too. Search engines use the accuracy of your listings to establish how much they should trust you – just like clients do. Even small mistakes (like one site listing your business as being in Winnipeg while the other site lists your business as being in St. Boniface) can snowball into big penalties.
Our funeral home marketing agency understands the importance of accurate listings, and we’ll do the legwork for you. We’ll correct inaccurate listings, build new listings, and ensure that both search engines and clients trust you.