Let’s pretend for a second that you have the greatest website known to man. Madison Avenue ad agencies would kill to create one like it for their clients. It’s the Citizen Kane of websites. Your employees love it, your family raves about it, your customers can’t stop complimenting you on it, and it’s the only thing your friends want to talk about. The Cowboys haven’t signed Zak Prescott yet? Yeah, that’s great, but how about that website of yours? However, there’s one problem―it’s not getting traffic; people aren’t finding it. Instead, they’re finding your competitors’ websites, even though they look like they were designed by somebody who, up until a week ago, hadn’t even heard of the Internet. Online Listings will help.

How can I get new clients with all this competition out there?

It’s staggering how many customers purchase from the very first company they call as a result of a Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., search. And if your business is on page 2 of search results, or worse, you’re cooked. A miniscule percentage of consumers ever look beyond page 1. Sorry, it’s true.

The question is, if you’re one of dozens, hundreds, maybe thousands of people or companies that need your service, how do you get noticed? There are an array of issues you need to consider if you want to take advantage of this digital marketing world we live in (SEO, relevant content creation, an easily navigatable website, reputation management, links back to your site, social media strategy, search and banner advertising, and more), and Online Listings Management is one of them.

Managing Your Online Listings is Critical to Local Search Success

Listings management is a vitally important part of optimizing your website.  But what exactly is listings management? It’s simply standardizing the way your company’s important information is listed on the Internet. By the way, this means everywhere on the Internet. Sounds simple enough, right? Sure, until you consider that there are thousands of online business directories out there. Yelp, Foursquare, Yellowpages.com, Mapquest, Superpages, Yellowbook.com, Yahoo Local, BBB, etc., etc., etc. Don’t get bogged down by the numbers; stay with me.

You can get started on listing management by doing these three things:

  1. Start with the basics and ensure the accuracy and consistency of your location data. Make sure your firm’s name, address and phone number are all listed consistently throughout your website. It sounds basic, but you may be surprised to learn that over 40% of business listings contain errors in the address―seriously. Oh, and 85% of customers won’t return to a business if there are mistakes in its listing.
  2. Distribute your listings data to all of the four major data providers and aggregators. They are Factual, Infogroup and Neustar/Localeze. Why is this important? Because they are referenced by over 300 online listing directories, which distribute information on businesses throughout the Internet. All are free except for Localeze, which requires a minimal fee. Each are easy to use, and instructions on how to submit a listing are available on their websites. And in case you’re wondering if Google and the other search engines utilize these 4 aggregators, the answer is, as we say in my native North Dakota, Ya, you betcha’! Just remember, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn do not. These must be updated manually.
  3. Claim your business listing on Google My Business. When you search for a company on the Internet and you a map that includes a few companies with their websites, phone numbers, and online reviews, you are seeing the magic of Google My Business at work. It’s free and an essential part of your listing management. Just go to Google My Business (https://www.google.com/business) and type in your name and address, then select your firm from the search results. You will need to go through Google’s verification process to claim your listing.

Questions about Online Listings Management or any of the many elements required in a solid digital marketing strategy?

Talk to the tenured, highly experienced professionals at d2 Designs, Dallas/Ft. Worth’s most innovative digital marketing agency. d2 creates, executes, and manages multi-marketing solutions for customers with a focus on brand engagement that optimizes the digital experience through traditional media, social media, lead gen and key analytics, e-commerce, and experiential events. Check us out at d2.design, or email us at info@d2.design. And please follow us via social media for more great, informative digital marketing tips and suggestions.