What is a Business Listing and Why is it Important?
By: Whitney Hamrick, Social Media Director at Local Impact
Think of business listings as online phone books with a library of important information like your company name, address, phone number, website address, map listing, etc. Business listings can show up when people search for your business online and help people find you via search engine for businesses in your industry.
What business listings should my company be on? That’s a complicated question. Below is a graphic of the top 20 business listing sites, however, there are different types of business listings for different types of businesses:
- Merchant Circle
- Yellow Pages
- White Pages
- Super Pages
- Yellow Book
- City Search
- Four Square
- Angie’s List
- Hot Frog
- Show Me Local
- Brown Book
Some of these listings are universal. Others can be more important depending on your business. For example, Angie’s List is designed for people that provide services, while Yelp is mostly for restaurants. Though not all of these are 100% necessary, the more citation listings that you have, the more likely you are to show up and be seen.
However, the most important business listings, no matter what your business offers, are Google and Facebook. You must make sure that these two listings are discoverable, optimized, up-to-date, and consistent.
Google’s search engine uses a tool called Google: Keyword Planner to match online users’ searches to the best results possible. Optimizing your Google My Business listing and Facebook Business page with accurate information and relevant keywords will help ensure that your company is found quickly and easily by those searching.
You may be asking yourself: how can I do that?
There are three vital steps to optimizing your business listings. The deeper you go when filling out the citation information, the better, but these three steps will get you up and running.
Step 1: Fill out the information completely and accurately. Ensure that your company’s name, address, phone number, and business hours are the same on both listings.
Step 2: Fill out the About section of your listings. Be sure to add the relevant keywords that your customers are searching online for; this will help link searching consumers to your business.
Step 3: Finally, add photos to your listings when possible. It is recommended that you have at least three photos of each type in your business listing: interior photos, exterior photos, team/staff photos, “at work” photos (photos of your team/staff doing what they do), and any branding by which you’re known.
After you do these three steps, your business listing can be launched. Again, the more information you can provide, the better your listing will be. It’s necessary to note that you should check back often to reply to any reviews you get on Google and/or Facebook. Whether they’re good, bad, mixed, or just plain false, every review should have an answer from the company business page.
However, how you answer matters. If it is a good review, be sure to thank the online user for the testimonial. Adding personal touches about the experience (if you remember the particular customer), shows users that you take the time to get to know your customers.
If the review is bad, thank the reviewer, tell them how they can reach you so you can make it right, then thank them again for taking the time to let your company know. Make sure you never place blame or get into an argument online. Not only does it not give you the opportunity to earn that customer’s trust back, but it shows other online users that you did nothing to resolve the issue.
You can also report false testimonials if you have any. Though this can take time for the platform to review, it’s important you still answer the review, even if you are going to report it.
Are you ready to take your online reputation and business listings to the next level?