You’ve launched your business, your website, sent out the first of many emails to your existing customers. Now what are you going to do to get new customers visiting your site and purchasing from your store? If getting your business listed on the many free business listings isn’t at the top of your to-do list, it should be. What are business listings? Much like the yellow pages before the internet, the online landscape for local businesses starts with listing your business name and contact information on the proper channels so that your customers can find you and the search engines will favor you. Local listings are simply sites where you can do just that.
Where should you list your business? There are thousands of review sites and data aggregators across the internet. But with so many websites to stay current on, such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, Angie’s List, Google Business Profile, Waze, Apple Maps, etc., it’s no small feat to keep your local listings up-to-date and consistent for users and search engines. Search engines crawl all of these review sites, directories, and data aggregators, and if your information is contradictory or missing, they will be less likely to show your website in search results. Some of these sites are more valuable than others, so here are our top five picks for the best places to list your business in 2022.
Google Business Profiles
Google is still the number one search engine online, so it makes sense to list your business where the most shoppers frequent. Listing your business on Google Business Profile is easy and free. Plus, Google offers more than just a listing and link to your website, you can also post interesting updates and images to attract new visitors. For more tips and tricks, check out our article on getting the most out of Google Business Profiles.
With a domain rating that sits a few points below Google Business Profiles and the third most visited review site online, Yelp is still the place that 90 million users go to everyday to find small businesses and franchises that provide the quality product or service that they’re looking for.
Facebook Business pages have dropped slightly in domain rank since their brand change to Meta. Still, with 65 million small businesses listing their offerings for nearly 3 billion users on the planet, Facebook is still high-ranking and a must for small and local businesses to showcase their offerings.
The Better Business Bureau, or the BBB as it’s been known since 1912, is still the reputable place to list and review businesses and yes, consumers do read those ratings. It’s a good idea to build and improve your businesses’ presence on their site.
Known to most as Yellow Pages and serving over 60 million consumers, YP.com is another oldie, but still just as effective as other business listings and you can claim your free business listing online easily.
Now, here are a few important tips on what to do and not to do for your business listing:
- Always be sure that your location and contact information is updated and accurate from the beginning. This is especially important for Google My Business. If listings are incorrect, it can be a challenge to update after the listing is created and verified.
- Make sure you post the times that your business is open and the best way to reach your business contacts.
- If you are selling products or services and you have the option to upload images, make sure that you take advantage of this option.
- Lots of Business listing sites will allow you to respond to reviews from customers. Respond to those reviews and let the customer know that you care about their feedback. Google My Business actually pays attention to levels of engagement on your GMB listing (regardless of whether it’s positive or negative). Your SEO is affected when you don’t respond.
- If you add images to your business listing or make posts to the listing, be sure to use high-quality images and don’t use images that could be viewed as offensive or misleading to what you’re selling.
- Never use language that is misleading to what you’re selling or that could be taken as offensive in your listing or your listing’s posts.
- Never delete reviews that are negative from your customers, instead respond to those reviews. This will show that your business cares about customer feedback and responds in a proactive and effective way to customer complaints. Also, engagement is seen as a positive thing in the realm of SEO. Additionally, never have employees post fake reviews or pay customers to post fake reviews. Real customers can tell the difference and will frown on that.
- Try to make sure that you update customers on any changes in your location, hours of operation or how to contact you. Falling behind on this detail could cause you to lose customers.
Think of your listing as being a digital business card and representation of what your business does and who you serve. If you need help getting your business listings up to date across the web, we can help! CyberMark’s Digital Utilities and SEO services handle all of that for you. On top of listing your brand in the appropriate directories, we also make sure your information stays consistent and up-to-date. Change your business hours? Move locations across town? Need to update photos or business information? Just let us know and we can update your information. Our citation services have helped hundreds of local businesses get found in local searches. To learn more, request a consultation