One thing that can make your local business known among your customers is, of course, promotion. Business promotion and marketing can be done in various ways, but these days online marketing is something that certainly brings the best results. If you think for a bit, you will hardly find anyone who is not used to finding necessary information on the web. And, most of them actually rely on what they read online. That is why tracking the online appearance of your business can sometimes be crucial for your further development. Claiming your local business listings is definitely one of the ways. But what does it mean, and what are the dos and don’ts of claiming local listings? Let’s find out.
About the listings
Since online marketing is now basically a necessity, local business listings and citations help people discover your business online and learn the basic info about it. It is the accuracy of the information provided that makes the difference between whether your customers will finally reach you or not. This is especially important if we talk about the online listings that you haven’t created yourselves.
Local business listings include information about the business. That information is usually the business’ full name, working hours, address, and contact information. They can be very helpful for your customers when finding your service on Google, Bing, Yahoo, or some other search engine. If any of the given is inaccurate that will not only bring in confusion among the customers but will also influence your business’s online reputation. That is because inaccuracy and inconsistency are some of the triggers that make search engines believe that a business does not deserve top positions among the search engine results. That’s why you need to make sure you take this part under your control.
Claiming your listings
Before you start thinking about setting up some new listings, first you should deal with your business listings that already exist online. Look them up, and check out their accuracy. If some listings appear among the search results, you should choose the ‘claim your listing’ option and verify the information. By claiming a business listing online you basically confirm that you are the owner of the business and that you have the authority to maintain its online presence.
The claiming process differs from one local business index to another. However, there’re some things that are always the same. At the very beginning, all of them will ask you to confirm whether or not your business exists in their index already. This will be checked by simply using your business’s name or your phone number. After that, you will be able to see all the information they have. At this point, you can correct the possibly wrong information, or add the missing ones. Just take care to respect the consistency of the information you provide on all the listings. Finally, you will be asked to verify everything via phone call, or mail.
About dos and don’ts of claiming local listings
Here is what you need to remember:
1. Never forget to check your online listings from time to time
This is especially important because of the listings you didn’t create yourself. When it comes to Moz, for example, nowadays we have a special tool to help us out. It checks our listings and citations scores and helps us speed up the process.
2. Keep records of all your local business listings
Create a spreadsheet where you will enter all the important details about the listings. Include passwords, dates when they are submitted, links, everything. Make sure you write down all the details that will be helpful in case of emergency when you need to find your listing as fast as possible. This kind of record is useful in general but is especially important if you manually manage your listings.
3. Never use someone else’s business account for claiming the listings
Well, this is one of the very important things to do in the local listings claiming. The whole process of online marketing is sometimes tiring, and hiring some professional help like the AZ Citation Services would be more than helpful. Thus when it comes to local listing claiming, it is natural that you’ll need some help. Hiring someone to create and manage your listings is all right, but that would be acceptable only if that person claims the listings only under your own account. Remember, you need to take all control. You should be able to manage them every time you want.
4. There is a difference between owning and claiming – make that clear
It is true that you have the right to manage the listings and make all the necessary changes within them. However, that doesn’t mean you own them. The listings in fact belong to the platform where they appear. That means they keep the right to remove the listing if they decide it is against the rules. They can also make a selection of the reviews that appear online, or approve someone else’s edits to the data in your listing. And, they actually won’t need your permission to do that.
5. Make use of the modern services
Although there are still many people who use manual claiming exclusively, this isn’t the only option available nowadays. Namely, today it is possible to employ some automated services that will help you manage your local business listing information, and thus considerably save your time. This way you will have all your listings controlled, and you can be sure the necessary accuracy will be maintained. What’s more, they will also warn you if there is something you need to correct right away.
Things should seem a little bit clearer to you. With these dos and don’ts of claiming local listings, you have all the necessary information you need for the beginning. Now it’s up to you to employ them.