Wednesday, August 30th, 2017
Whether you've got a website or not, whether you've just started out or have been in business for years, whether your business is big or small… you should claim your online business listings if you have not already done so. These are called unclaimed listings and they could be working for you to spread your name and reputation.
There are a ton of sites out there that create listings for you whether you asked them to or not. Here are just a few:
One recent study by BrandMuscle showed that 56% of location-based businesses had not claimed their listing on Google My Business. And 84% had not updated their Better Business Bureau entry!
An unclaimed listing will have information about you, right or wrong. For example, an unclaimed Yelp listing may display phone, address and even reviews for your business. If it's unclaimed the right-hand side will offer the option to claim it, as shown below:
You might think Facebook or Home Advisor would wait for a contractor to join and create a page or account. Not so. Instead, many of these sites pre-populate their own directories from online business directories and sites called "aggregators."
So, your business is out there on the Internet in more places than you know about. That seems good, right? It must increase the chance that someone might find you. Sadly, no.
Inconsistencies in your NAP - your company name, address and phone number – hurt you because search engines have to reconcile all that data and return websites and businesses they think searchers are looking for. Google and the other search engines look for consistency as one method of judging the validity of your existence as a business. The longer you've been in business, the more likely there are inconsistencies out there. If you've ever changed your business name or address, it's likely there are inconsistencies out there.
You can take control of these listings by "claiming" them and then correcting or updating the information: the name of your business, physical address, phone number and website address. Beyond claiming the listing, many sites can benefit by additional information and/or monitoring:
1. Claim & Correct Your Listings!
So, the first step is to simply claim your listing if you haven't already and correct any errors in the name, address, phone number or website address. Once claimed, Google will see the listing as legitimate or owner verified. You'll also instantly build trust with visitors.
2. Beef Up the Important Listings
The second step is to enhance the important listings with photos, lengthy descriptions, your logo, business hours and any other information specific to that specific site.
3. Monitor and Refresh
Unfortunately, you do need to stay on top of your listings, by checking them at least twice a year and whenever your essential information changes. Use a spreadsheet to keep track.
For the major listings (Facebook, Yelp, Google My Business), add new content regularly, such as photos or status updates. Set up notifications on these sites to you can respond to new reviews as they come in.
Contractor Nation's local listings team helps home improvement contractors in our network manage their listings. With advanced software tools and our Listings Log widget, we audit, correct and monitor listings across the leading local listing platforms and take this time-killing task and get it done!