It’s no secret that the most popular way to find new places today is by searching online. What’s less obvious though, are the factors affecting how easily your business is found in a search. Before you spend time and money on SEO (search engine optimization), take a few minutes to read this guide and learn how your online listings play much more of an important role than you might think. In this quick guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about listings, including what they are, how they affect your business, and how you can gain more business by monitoring and managing them. Let’s get started!
What are listings?
A listing is your business’s basic information displayed for others to find. Aside from more exposure, being listed online is no different than being listed in a phone book—the ultimate goal is for consumers to be able to contact you and find your business. Depending on the source, a listing might have your:
- business name
- street address
- phone number
- website URL
- hours of operation
Some websites and sources that might have your business listed are Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, Yahoo, and Bing. It’s important that your information is listed correctly so that potential customers are able to easily find you.
My listings are incorrect! How?
You might’ve searched your business online before and realized that some of the information presented to you was incorrect. Well, due to the nature of some of these sources, anyone can change your information. Before blaming your competitors, it’s possible that one of your customers actually suggested an edit to help out the general public. Think about it: you’re listed on Google as being open 7 days a week, but you’re actually closed on Sundays. Your customer, who either knows you very well or was disappointed after trying to visit you on a Sunday, saw this mistake on Google and corrected it.
Why does it matter if some of my information is listed incorrectly?
The smart ones will figure it out, right?
They might, but realistically, they might not. If you’ve ever had a customer complain to you about a menu item they saw online that’s no longer available, relying on a false listing causes just as much frustration. We’ve all experienced it; calling a number you found online that’s no longer in service, getting so lost because the address in the GPS is outdated, and the list goes on. As much as 73% of consumers lose trust in a business with inaccurate listings and we don’t blame them. Making sure your listings are correct and consistent across multiple popular sites will only benefit you in the long run.
In addition to preventing angry customers, correcting your listings can also land you a higher spot in a search. A higher spot in a search means more exposure, and more exposure means… more customers! It might not make total sense to you just yet, but let us explain: search engines, like Google, rely on consistency. If your information is presented differently on Yelp than it is on Facebook than it is on Twitter, how will Google know which listing is actually correct? They won’t, and since they are so unsure, their best bet is to not display the information at all. Why? Because if people can’t rely on Google for accurate information, they’ll stop using it. So, your best bet is to correct your listings and make sure they match across all sites.
How do I go about correcting my listings?
If you haven’t already, it’s absolutely necessary that you create business accounts on the previously mentioned popular sites (Google, Yelp, Facebook, Yahoo, TripAdvisor, etc.). This way, you—the business owner—are in control of the page. It’s important that you do this so that you have the ability to respond to any reviews written about your business, answer any questions people might ask, and of course correct any misinformation. Correcting false information on these sites is a start, but remember—anyone can go in and change your basic information on most sites. And not to be the bearer of bad news, but… there are hundreds of sites out there that have you listed—sites that we both have never even heard of before.
So, correcting your listings one by one is a solution, but clearly has its flaws. We know how frustrating this can be, and that’s why we’ve come up with a better solution for you: Visibility Enhancer. Through Visibility Enhancer, your information is synced on a daily basis to 30+ of the most commonly used listing sites. We’ll also walk you through every step of the way, and show you how to monitor and manage your listings in 1 easy portal. The best part? Visibility Enhancer also includes Menu Sync, which means that the most accurate version of your menu will be distributed to these sites as well.
It’s time to stop losing customers to your competitors and start winning them back. Get in touch with us today to speak with an expert and learn more.
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