This post is an example of the content I share every Friday in my Living by Experience Magazine. If you’d like your free copy, just click here.
Have you ever looked up yourself online? Don’t worry. The results don’t really matter. Unless you’re at least a B-list celebrity, most people won’t look you up by name. They’ll look up topics they’re interested in. Products or services your business may offer. Or content you’ve written that resonates with your audience, like a book or blog posts.
But if you have a business with a local presence, things are different. Your web listings matter, and most business owners don’t take advantage of this overlooked marketing channel to stand out in their local area. Long story short, listings are an online summary of essential information for your business. This “summary” is displayed in local search results, and it serves as a powerful tool to help customers find you online and in real life. So they can connect with you, and buy cool things from you.
Here’s what you need to know:
No, my cat didn’t walk across the keyboard. NAP+W is the acronym that explains all the information that should be included in business listings.
The last one is often missing. When you look up any business, search engines will often have figured out at least some of this information, but it doesn’t always include the website link until a business owner “claims” their listing. This is where it gets interesting. And unfortunately a lot of business owners don’t keep track of their listings, making it more difficult for a potential customer to find their site.
These four pieces of information are the business listings starter-pack. They provide the basic information potential customers need to have in order to research, contact and locate your business. Want to score some major bonus points? Include information like hours of operation in business listings—it’ll help your business stand out from other businesses who didn’t bother claiming their listing. This upfront information is what consumers are most interested in before they visit you either online or in-person.
Will my listings work?
The effectiveness of your business listing depends on the information’s presence and accuracy. If the information is missing or incorrect it won’t do you any good. Listings are available through a variety of sources, including search engines, online directories and maps, and social media platforms. They’re everywhere and you often may not even notice or be aware of the many different places that keep “track” of your business.
When it comes to listings presence, more is definitely better. Availability on as many sources as possible will create multiple avenues for consumers to find your business. But (and this is a big but), presence only pays off if the listings are accurate and consistent. Listings are accurate if the information is correct and consistent across all potential sources. Seems easy enough, right?
Listings with good presence and accuracy will undoubtedly pay off for your business. Here’s how:
No more hide and seek
Accurate and readily available listings will help guide consumers right to your business’s door steps. If a business’s listing is incorrect or missing, the majority of consumers will feel less confident about the brand, likely leading them to choose a competitor’s product or service. The availability of accurate listings ensures customers are actually able to find brick and mortar locations while they’re open for business. This means money in the business owner’s pocket and, just as importantly, it means your business can be reviewed.
“In my humble opinion…”
Ask your customers to review you online! A steady stream of customer reviews is an essential tool for developing a business’ online reputation and building brand loyalty. Reviews allow customers to communicate their experience with a business to potential buyers, but if consumers can’t find a business listed online, their opinion of it won’t be well-informed. Accurate listings create the opportunity for transparency between businesses and consumers in the form of reviews, and the availability of this information will help increase a business’s visibility.
Get into action
Consistent, accurate listings and the generation of reviews will directly benefit a business’s visibility by boosting its ranking in local search engine results. Search engine optimization is a complex tool, so why not take advantage of it by simply ensuring your business is listed accurately! Increased visibility means more customers, and what business owner doesn’t want that?
Forty percent of local businesses have listing errors, and 73% of consumers lose trust in a brand when their listings are incorrect. Guess where they’re going? That’s right—the competitors who are more discoverable.
Good news is, it’s an easy fix with big benefits. By claiming and correcting your business listings across the web, you not only prevent charity for your competitor, you boost your SEO results and gain more visibility among potential customers.
Quickly establish accurate business information on Google My Business, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Own your business listings and keep your customers up-to-date.Listing Management
P.S. Questions, comments, compliments? Text me: 604-210-8668. I’d love to hear from you.