There are so many ways to set up a business online. You can call it multi-dimensional! The establishment of a business is established and enhanced by a few factors and marketing is one important component, which when done strategically can bring great results.
Marketing of your online business (website), or should we say your brand, is valuable in different ways,
- Helps in SEO (Search Engine Optimization).Helps to target the local market through search engine results
- Your business will be readily accessible when the customers are looking for you
You might think that marketing is fun! Hosting a unique event with cool photos of fans on your social media platforms- connecting with the customers at the same time, does sound rewarding and is all a part of marketing.
Indulging in the “fun stuff” of marketing right from the beginning can be detrimental for the health of your business. The essentials need to be taken care of first. The essentials often act as a platform where your targeted customers have the access to your business- both online and offline.
Thus, one important thing, which every business need to pay attention to, is online listings.
You might have taken initiative and have made sure, your small business information is recorded and listed in the area’s phonebook with key information like name, phone number, and address. However, that is not where your job ends.
As most of the business is now done via digital media or online, you also need to leverage the customers that are looking for your brand or business online. This is where online listings come to play. With online listings, your business information is readily available to the customers when they are ready to choose you!
In spite of much influence of the internet and digital media on the businesses of today, many entrepreneurs are still in the dark as to what is business listing and why is it important anyway?
To put, it in simple words, business listing is the information and contact details of your business listed online. the most recognizable and popular business listing site is the Google Business Listing. Most of the business typically, verify and update their businesses in this listing. Google Business Listing comes with additional features, which are not used properly by most of the businesses.
Taking advantage of some of the visual features of Google Business Listing like adding images plays a positive role in your monthly interactions and impressions. A study shows that adding visual content receive an astounding 416% more interaction from the targeted customers. This is not all, apart from Google Business Listing, there are other 80+ additional reviews and listing sites available online.
Why should you care about Business Listing?
As we have already mentioned earlier that Business Listing Management is multi-faceted and it can help a business in several ways.
Accuracy and Consistency of Information Across All Channels
Businesses that are already listed online will agree with the fact that most of the listing platforms need verification, monitor or update. Moreover, many business listing sites are not recognizable to the general public and unlike the big names like Google, Facebook or Yelp, they do not receive much traffic, then,
Why bother to list your Business online?
Business listing on different platforms is important nonetheless. The high trafficked platforms are continuously checking for the accuracy of information against the smaller or unrecognizable business listing sites and vice versa.
More uniform your listings are across all the platforms, you will have greater confidence, Google has the right information for your business to deliver to the targeted market. Therefore, chances will be high that these search engines will return to your business listing to each query placed on the internet.
Accurate Business Listing Plays a Role in Local SEO
Every online business has the goal to be relevant or get top rankings in the search engine portals, and how to do that? Of course, SEO has a role to play here!
There are so many factors that play into Search Engine Optimization and you need to accomplish those basics for your website to get higher ranking in the search engines. Also, there are tricks and ways to optimize the business online so that it appears above the competitors for queries in the search engines.
One such trick is optimizing and correcting local business listings for SEO to work better and give results to draw traffic to your business. Local business listing and management is also called Local SEO, however, it is just a piece of the big puzzle named SEO.
Business Listing As A Part Of Advertising/Marketing
We had mentioned earlier in the introduction that business listing helps a business in its marketing strategy. You can also say that online listing forms the basis of local marketing. However, online business listings can help you in several ways. For example, advertising via local directories allows you to be specific about your business. You can draw a targeted audience based on your business profile, like the service(s) or product(s) you sell.
Local listings are also great for cross-promoting the social media platforms. Attach Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn etc. This, allows you to grow as a brand and raise awareness. It can work as a free marketing and advertising strategy when you will utilize tweets, posts, and pins to create brand awareness and promote a product(s).
Why is Business Listing Management important?
Local business search online is done every day. Think about how many people search for plumbers, hair salons, contractors, restaurants, schools, kids activities and other service providers every day.
People search for local activities and destinations that translates into local business for you. Businesses should have the aim to get in front of these consumers search similar to the business or service you provide. Once, that is achieved, it is a big opportunity and a dynamic market to explore.
Being a local entrepreneur, your job is to make the search easy for consumers. Business listing will make it simple for local customers to find your local business. Managing a business is local listing directories facilitates the process for your customers to find your business more easily. You can provide as many citations as possible. A citation is called the place where your local business is listed online.
Ways to Manage your online Business Listings
A recent study shows the ways in which consumers search for new or local businesses has changed over the years.
Consumers are now, not only relying on the search engines like Bing or Google. They are also largely depending on city guides like Citysearch, mobile apps like Foursquare and review sites like Yelp to find new businesses.
It is a good news for the entrepreneurs. Now, there are more ways for customers to connect with your business.
However, this is not all, there is a bit of a problem as well.
Now, you will have to manage more business listing citations than before. The online listings which are automatically generated, mostly contain out-of-date or incorrect information. So, it is more important than before to manage the online listings.
Here are a few ways to do that,
Identify The Hot Spots Of Your Industry
Take time to research the citations where your target audience is turning to while searching for a similar business to yours.
Start by searching for your business online with Google or any other search platform and see the type of results that appear. You should also look out for publishers who specialize your industry you belong to. These publishers can be the next best platform to get connected with your next potential customer.
Once you have the list of information required, you can start acting on those platforms to control it.
Claim the Listings
Many top publishers allow the business owners to “claim” listings. Every business should take advantage of this method. Now businesses can take control of the information that people find about their enterprise online.
You can go for a manual update of the information and add something more to it, like, photos, updates about the business, promotions, and specials. It can help you get traffic depending on the platform you choose.
Website Location Information Optimization
Publishers like UrbanSpoon and TripAdvisor depend on business websites to gather information. So, businesses need to make sure that their contact information is up-to-date on their official website to avoid any inaccuracy of information.
Encourage Social Interaction
You might not know this, but the social interactions can have a positive effect on your search results rankings. This will improve your chances of providing genuine information to the potential customers when they search for your business online.
Get More With Soffront
We at Soffront understand the complex integration that Business Listing Management requires. Our team expertise in understanding your business and target audience and customize plan for maximum traffic on your website through online listings.