The Do’s and Don’ts of Managing Business Listings

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Having a multi-channel business means that you need to focus efforts on each aspect of the business to drive traffic. Brick-and-mortar businesses also require some digital efforts to bring awareness to their existence. 

This is where online directories come in. They’re online listings, that help people find information about businesses in a certain area. 

A simple search like “x businesses near me” will bring up all relevant answers to a person’s query, but if your business isn’t listed there, chances are you are going to lose out on a client and by extension – all the exposure that comes with a positive client experience. 

Importance of managing business listings

Business listings form part of local SEO efforts and marketing campaigns. You need to keep the business listings in mind when working on SEO, and vice versa. 

As we mentioned before, the words“near me” are often tacked on the end of many searches these days. If you are a business the client is looking for and you are in the area they are looking in, it means that you have to make yourself present on online directories for them to pick up on.  

Benefits of business listings

Business listings make it easier for people to find companies online without much effort. That is one of the biggest reasons why it is so useful these days. All people need to know is your industry and the area you are based in to find you. It can also bring new customers to your brand

Business listings can also help with your website rankings and authority, especially if you do it correctly. 

Getting a business listing management tool

There are so many business listing options – Google My Business, Bing, Yelp, and Foursquare to name a few. There are also very niche directories that will be able to aid your business in creating visibility. Managing each of these profiles individually can be time-consuming and monotonous – it also leaves room for error. There are all-in-one bulk listings management tools that streamline the process for you. It will help you manage all the locations of your business in one place. 

Managing Business Listings: The Dos

  • When creating a profile to manage your listings, use your business’s online domain, as it will be easier to verify your account.
  • Use an all-in-one tool to help manage listings: It will make the process more efficient for you to manage, instead of managing the listings individually.
  • Once you are made aware of any changes in your business information, update it immediately.
  • If your listings are available on any platform, go ahead and claim it as soon as possible. 
  • To make the process smoother, create profiles for the main directories and listings, and fill in all your business’s information correctly on the forms. 
  • Audit your listings as often as you can. This will prevent any double listings and inconsistencies from occurring. 
  • Apart from your management tool, create spreadsheets regarding your listings. It will help you manage your information better. Keep this spreadsheet up-to-date at all times, so that you can keep track of your listings and prevent duplications, etc. 
  • Monitor your competition and rankings with the analytic tools provided. It will be able to tell how you are faring against your competitors. 
  • Use these directories and listings it to help build backlinks and citations for your business’s site. 
  • Always respond to reviews on your various profiles, it will help boost your ratings, and foster good relationships with clients. 
  • Add videos and categorical pictures to your directories, to help paint a better picture of your business for your clients.
  • Register your business on voice search, especially on the sites that the main voice assistants are connected to – i.e. Google for Google Assistant or Yelp and Apple Maps for Siri. It is important to remember that businesses with poor reviews are not picked up as a result by these voice assistants. 

Managing Business Listings: The Don’t’s

  • Don’t create fake locations: Virtual offices do not count either. You can only list a location if a staff member is at the premises during operational hours.  
  • Dont use toll-free numbers and PO boxes on your listing profiles
  • Stay true to your business’s name when creating your profiles, don’t alter the name to fit in keywords or locations to rank higher. The business can get penalized for such tactics
  • Don’t include untrue information or outdated information in your profile. 
  • Don’t keyword stuff when generating information for the company. Allow your keywords to fit in naturally in your information so that it doesn’t look jarringly out of place. 
  • Don’t link to your website’s homepage – aim to link to the page that is most relevant.
  • Don’t argue with clients when responding to reviews. Remember to be polite at all times – you are representing the company. 
  • Don’t create fake reviews and don’t ignore client reviews. Aim to respond to all, even if it means admitting defeat and taking accountability for errors.  
  • Don’t leave fake and negative reviews on other people’s businesses. 
  • Don’t delay when it comes to uploading the latest pictures and information regarding the business. Incorrect and outdated information will turn people away from using your business 
  • Don’t use stock photos as it gives a fake impression of your business. 
  • Don’t post pictures of people and clients without their explicit permission. 
  • Don’t have different info on your site vs your listings. It will confuse search engines if the information does not correspond.

Conclusion:

Business listings are great for helping your business gain more online visibility and for extending your reach in your niche. To make sure that you are on top of your business listings, it would be a good idea to acquire a bulk listing management tool so that you have control of your business updates and information, and can make amendments in a way that is efficient and streamlined. 

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