Take Charge of Your Business Listings

The truth about your business listings is that they need to be complete in order for your business to compete. By having incomplete business listings, you are missing out on an opportunity to differentiate your business (see related blog post). Furthermore, you are not optimizing your business for local search due to three reasons. For one, your business’ information will lack the categorization that it needs. Secondly, by not listing your product offerings, your business will not come up in product-related searches. Lastly, if you have incomplete listings, web users might be able to fill in your missing information. On the other hand, the benefits of complete listings are proper categorization, product-related searches, and the avoidance of pitfalls related to consumer-generated information. The rest of this article illustrates the power of complete business listings.

Proper categorization

Oftentimes, when we work with a new client, we see that their business listings lack proper categorization. For example, a plumbing company isn’t categorized in the “home services” category of a directory. Therefore, how can the business owner expect to show up on local searches for home services? As you can see, listing your business is only half the battle. Properly building those listings out is what optimizes your business’ digital presence for local search. Another important aspect of proper categorization is making sure that the category you choose is one in which you can compete effectively. For example, a restaurant owner who owns a quick-service restaurant that serves Bahn mi sandwiches could categorize his business in the sandwich, fast food, Vietnamese, or Asian fusion categories. However, the categories that the business owner should place his business in is a different story. Therefore, every business owner needs to make a decision in which he or she determines the best categories in which to place his or her business. As a reference, Yelp has a very long list of possible categories on its platform. Click here to see. The possibilities (and opportunities) are endless.

Product-related searches

The main objective of your business listings is most likely to come up in local searches. Therefore, it is important that you post and consistently update your product/service offerings in the online directories that your business listings reside. Not only will listing your product/service offerings give a potential customer the ability to determine if he or she is the right fit for your business. Posting images of your products or services may be the extra push a web user needs to choose your business over your competitors. Therefore, it is best practice to list all of your product/service offerings in a crawlable format. From the perspective of search engines, your business listings will have your product/service offerings in its metadata. As a result, when an individual searches for one of your products or services, your listing will come up. To see our other blog article that outlines the importance of posting content in web crawlable format on your business’ listings, click here.

Pitfalls of Consumer-Generated Content

Your customer reviews and social media comments help your business. However, you do not want your customers to post any other information about your business. One of the main issues is that many platforms allow users to make suggestions on information about a business. For example, let’s say that your Yelp page does not have your operating hours. An individual with a Yelp account can make suggestions for your operating hours. If Yelp approves those hours, correct or not, it will be nearly impossible for you, as the business owner, to correct that information. The reason for this pitfall is that online directories, such as Yelp, Facebook and Google, value the opinion, input, and rights of the end-user above all. In this case, the end-user is a consumer.

How We Can Help

We, at TAPLocal, help business bring order to their, at times, chaotic digital footprint.  To see your current online listings, click here to use our free online scan tool. For more articles like this one, visit our blog

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