Your Business Name is Too Long for Local SEO

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Most don’t realize this until it is too late, and they’ve made a big ‘ol mess. Your business name can’t be too long! I talk about standardization rules that you need to know about to plan your citation building.

[transcript]
Hey everyone, Adam Steele here with another episode of Adam Answers SEO. I just got an email from somebody. Basically, a team member and we’re having some issues with a citation clean up that we’re doing and my team was knocking their heads against the wall trying to do outreach. Trying to get different directories to update information and we’re having something like a 10% success rate whereas we usually find that we can get about 80, 85% of the citations or local business directories cleaned up. However, this one was not budging and so looked into it a little bit more and what I realized was that the business name was super, super, super, super long and nobody was telling us. So we would email these directories with this monstrous of a business name. I don’t remember the business name but it was something like Integrated Health and Wellness City Name, Doctor Something, Something, Something, and then his or her credentials.

So it probably was at least 14, 15 words long minimum, I don’t even know how many characters. And I think, and I’m not entirely sure but I think that’s probably it, is this is the main change that we are making to this citation cleanup for this set of citations and there really isn’t all that many. But directories are seeing this and generally we don’t get a response from directories. They’ll just make the change. We’ll go back in about two weeks, take a look to see if the change has been made and if it’s been made, great, we update our spreadsheet. They generally don’t get in contact with us. They just do what we need them to do. In this case, they’re not obviously letting us know and so our percentage is so low. So I wish I had caught this earlier, I would have let the client know that this is a no go. I’m going to have to let them know now that they should really consider a different name. Possibly just not having the doctor’s name at the end or something like that. Maybe instead of…if they really want the doctor’s name in there, maybe start a unique set of citations, a unique effort with a unique Google My Business page for that practitioner themselves. If that’s what they’re after we can accomplish it by doing that.

I’ve seen this before which is why I wish I caught it when it first came to us. I see this also with special characters, things like that, likewise with addresses. Sometimes you get these really goofy, funky addresses and the directories have a certain amount of standardization so that they can make it all standard across their site. Similar to Google for example. You give them something like sweet whatever and they’ll change it into number sign whatever just so that it’s standardized across their directory. In some cases that’s okay. In some cases like the zip code sometimes it’s five numbers and then sometimes it’s five numbers plus dash four numbers, I think that’s what it is in the United States sometimes. And from what I understand and what I’ve seen those two are basically one and the same. Two sides of the same coin. Doesn’t really matter that much.

It would be nice if it was consistent but it seems like Google gets that. But with crazy addresses where some directory just won’t be able to handle it, you will have to leave out something. That’s no good. So a little bit of forethought I think when it comes to business names, addresses, things like that, a little bit of consideration for these directories that have character limits or what have you and they’re just not going to be able to accommodate your every whim. And especially when you’re submitting to say a 100, you’re assuming that 100 different directories are going to have the exact same character limit, the exact same standardization, or address line one, address line two, etc. That’s just not the case and it never will be the case. So little mistake I made and hopefully a mistake you won’t have to make. Enjoy the rest of your day. I hope this has been helpful and if it has please subscribe. I would really appreciate it. Thanks, guys.