Why Every Contractor Should Claim Their Unclaimed Listings

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.

What are unclaimed listings?

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:

  • Google My Business
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Facebook business page
  • Yelp
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Angie’s List
  • Home Advisor
  • Yellow Pages

You are not alone

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:

Claim this business

Where do unclaimed listings come from?

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.

Listing Sites

  • Some sites are publishing and promotion sites, like Facebook, and offer you the opportunity to post new photos and status updates.
  • Many are review sites, like Yelp, and even if you haven't "claimed" the listing, your customers can still post reviews. Monitoring and replying to reviews is an important marketing function for any contracting business.
  • Others are promotional sites, allowing you to create offers and/or engage in online bids for customer projects, like Home Advisor.
  • Then there are a large number of sites that are simple directories and lists, offering the basic facts about your business. Their data source comes from several large data "aggregators" and the listings can be hard to correct. As soon as you fix one entry on one site, another one appears or the listing reverts back to the original wrong data. You should check and update these entries 3-4 times a year.

What's in a Name? Plenty

The difference between "Joe's Roofing" and "Joe's Roofing LLC" can make a difference in your Google rankings.

What’s a contractor to do?

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.

Listings Log

Contractor Nation Takes the Pain Out of Listings Management

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!

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