Go online and you’ll find many platforms that include listings for local businesses. From online directories like Yellow Pages, Yelp and Trip Advisor to search engine listings like Google My Business, consumers expect to get everything they need at the touch of their screen.
Last week, we explained all the reasons why claiming your business is essential in today’s digital world. The next step is understanding best practices for optimizing your business listing.
Creating Your Business Listing
All the major online platforms offer free listings for a business. Plus, it’s easy to do. Platforms offer space for business owners to add a description of services, images, logo, hours of operation and depending on the platform, links to the business website or social media pages.
Claiming Your Listing
Here’s the important part—once your business is listed, claim it! Each platform has a different process to verify that a person, is in fact the owner of the business. Automated phone calls to the number on a listing or a postcard mailed to the address are two options to claim a business. Each option will provide a verification code to complete the process.
Customizing Your Business Listing
Once a business owner claims their business they should double check the information that already exists to make sure it’s accurate. Why is that so important? According to Yext, two-thirds of all big business listings contain inaccurate information. A business address, phone number, company service and product information, the company name and hours should all be double checked after claiming a business.
Optimizing Your Business Listing
Let’s face it, an online business listing is a marketing tool—so business owners should use it to their advantage. Adding logos and photos will help a business stand out and give the consumer a better understanding of their business.
Beyond the images, business owners can include as much information as they’d like in the business information section including a link to the website and a link to message the business directly. It’s a small investment of time that will pay off. In local searches, optimized listings almost always show up above unoptimized listings.
Frequency and Consistency
Don’t stop once you’ve claimed one online platform! There are many platforms and search engine listings that consumers use today. It’s important to hit them all—and even more important to make sure those listings are consistent. For example, if a business address is 300 West Main Street, make sure it doesn’t appear as follows:
- On Yelp: 300 W. Main St.
- On Google My Business: 300 West Main St.
- On Yellow Pages: 300 W. Main Street
Notice how each listing shows the same address differently, with abbreviations making all the difference. Online, these businesses won’t be recognized as the same, potentially impacting search results.
It’s the little things that can go a very long way. GRIT is always here to help your business grow, and we would be happy to claim your listings for you. It’s a quick and very cost effective way to boost your business. Contact us today for help!