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Everything You Need To Know About Your Business Listings

Not that long ago your business was only listed in a few places, like the phone book or in your local Chamber of Commerce’s business directory. Not only are those days long gone, but as those business listings have transitioned online they’ve become so much more than just your business’s location, contact info, and hours of operation. Now, business listings are another way you can market your business to consumers, boost your search engine optimization (SEO) and respond to customer reviews. 

This all means you have to take ownership of your listings and stay on top of managing them. Otherwise, you may stumble upon one with false information about your business, or a slew of negative reviews that could influence potential customers to avoid doing business with you. 

With 97% of consumers using search engines to find local businesses, if you’ve never really thought about them, it’s time to change that (or risk missing out on business)

Let’s dive in…

Through the course of a person’s search for local products or services, if a search engine finds your business’s listing appropriate, it will be displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs) showing the physical location of your business on a map along with other critical information. 

There are a few main platforms that it’s essential you have your business listed on. Search for your business on each of these platforms and double-check for consistency:

Where you should be checking your listings first 

  • Google My Business

  • Facebook

  • Apple Maps

  • Bing

  • Yelp

There are many more, like Foursquare and Angie’s List, and plenty of location-specific and industry-specific business listing sites, but the five mentioned above should be claimed and set-up as a first priority.

You might be thinking…

 “I’ve never set up a business listing on Google, Yelp or any of these websites and I don’t intend to. So what do I have to be worried about?” 

Just because you’ve never set up a business listing on any of these platforms doesn’t mean our digital overlords in Silicon Valley haven’t created one for you. You might be shocked to find that Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc. have all created listings for your business that are waiting to be claimed by you. Failing to claim them could deter customers from patronizing your business, as an unclaimed listing can sometimes be taken as a business that’s been permanently closed.

You want to make it as easy as possible for your customers and potential customers to do business with you, right? Then why wouldn’t you put a little time aside to make sure your business listings are claimed and properly optimized?

Setting up a business listing on at least the five sites listed above will make it easier for potential customers to find your business and get all of the information they need to decide if they want to buy your products or use your services. 

When setting listings up, it’s important to be as thorough and consistent as possible across all of your listings. Your local business data has a direct impact on SEO which will affect your local search engine rankings, which in turn affects web traffic, foot traffic, and transactions. 

Remember: If people can’t find you they can’t become customers.

Information to include:

  • Business name/title
  • Address
  • Hours of operation 
  • Phone number
  • Website URL
  • Description
  • Tagline
  • Social profiles
  • Images
  • Brands carried
  • Special attributes

A customer loyalty program is a great way to improve your local reviews

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Business listings are also another way customers can interact with your business by leaving reviews. Obviously customer reviews can be a double edged sword, but as a business owner you always get a chance to respond. Which you should do, no matter if the review is negative or positive. It shows people searching for businesses like yours that you’re invested in your customers and their experience with your business.

Business listings are essential to making sure your local customers are aware of your business and getting them in the door. So, set some time aside, grab your favorite beverage, and start setting up your business listings. Be as thorough as possible and make sure none of your listings contradict each other. The easier it is for customers to find you the more likely it is they’ll give you their business.

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