How to Effectively Use your Listings
While your business may have a physical location, it also lives online. Running a simple Google search of your business could result in thousands of results – and it’s likely not all are relevant. Business listing pages like Google Plus, can be a major referral source for some businesses and commonly rank high in search. For your business to effectively use these listings, it’s important the right information is displayed and your business has been positively reviewed by multiple people. Of course, maintaining these pages does take some time, but the benefits are certainly reasonable.
If you own a business that distributes products or services, your visibility amongst business listings serves a huge purpose. Business listings are consumer and customer facing, and thus rank very high in search. Much like your social media pages, your reviews are likely to appear in search before your website. A good place to start, is to make sure your potential customers and associates are finding the right information about your company, is to claim your business on Google or Yahoo. By claiming your business, you’re able to update photos, hours of operation, and respond to any reviews, (positive or negative), that may already exist. If you own a brick and mortar business, including updated photos of the front of the building to your listing are a value-add, so that customers can find your business more easily and know what know to expect. GPS results are not always accurate and could not only misrepresent the location of your business, but also cause frustration that can deter customers. With accurate mapping of your business, you can also encourage check-ins via social media.
Business information should be regularly updated and consistent with any marketing materials, especially your website. If there is an email address included in your contact information, it should be an address that someone regularly checks and responds to. Consistency is key for SEO and should meant that when customers search across any platform, they will find the same information about your company. All listings should have the same name, address, phone number, website and hours for your business. Keeping a document of this information is incredibly handy so it can be duplicated and updated on the fly.
Do yourself a favor and set a re-occurring calendar appointment every six months to run an audit on your business. Through a quick online search (using multiple search engines and browsers), you’ll see what the top results are and confirm that the right information is being displayed about your business and existing reviews are positive. You may be surprised at the amount of search results that come up for your business online, and if represented well, can be a fantastic lead source. With minimal, though a consistent effort, you can make the most of your listing presence online.