Sushi, plumbing, pizza, carpet cleaning, salons — what do these types of business all have in common? They are all things that consumers need. From food, to services, these types of places are sought-out by consumers on a daily basis.

The Phone Directory: an essential element of everyday American life in the pre-internet-era. What’s for dinner? Look in the directory for restaurants nearby. Need your carpet cleaned? Look in the directory for a carpet cleaner.

Fast forward twenty years and consumers are still using directories, so that hasn’t changed, but some aspects of these directories have. Directories are now online and are most often referenced by a Google search for something along the lines of “restaurants near me.”

So what’s the deal with online directories anyway? Well, let us be the first to tell you, they are very important.

Google is the biggest and most used search engine right now, and millions of hungry customers search it every day for places to eat. The goal is to have your business show up in search. So that you are on the first page when that potential client searches “food near me.” Because if you are on the first page, you are more likely to see that customer for dinner.

There are a lot — hundreds, even — of online directories out there in the world wide web. It is important that you are utilizing these directories for your business for three reasons.

  1. These online directories are how customers find information on services.

If someone goes online to find a dry cleaner near their house, and your dry cleaning studio doesn’t pop up on the first page, you’ll likely lose this customer to the competition.

  1. Google’s algorithm is built to filter out bad information to give searchers the best possible results.

The more directories you are listed in the better. But only if your information is accurate across the board! If Yellow Pages says that you are on Westin Avenue, and Yelp says that you are on Westin Drive, Google’s algorithm will see the inconsistency. Google doesn’t want its users to get lost trying to find dinner so it will cast your restaurant out of the results. It is important that you show up with accurate information so customers can find you.

  1. Some directories, like Yelp, also have a customer review aspect.

Customers can review any restaurant regardless if the restaurant has set up a Yelp profile. That means customers can be saying pretty much anything they want without your knowledge! It is best to get active in your review websites like Yelp and FourSquare to see what people are saying, and even respond to them.

It is time to take action and get online and claim your directory listings and review sites. Since there are many different websites, this can be a daunting task! For a low price, Daily Digital can help you get your directory listings claimed and cleaned up — so customers can find you, so you show up on google, and so you can see what others are saying about your business.