Claiming your business listings on such services as Google Maps means you can manage the information yourself. Once claimed, enhance your presence by updating your business hours and adding photos. You likely already have some automatically created listings. Find these listings and go through the process to “claim” or “verify” that the business is yours. Typically, it is a simple process. You may simply need to request a phone call or receive a postcard in the mail with a code, for instance. Then, take that code and enter it in the website to claim your listing.
Here are the top sites to look at and claim your business listings if necessary.
Google My Business
Google My Business lists your business hours, phone number and directions to your location on Google Search and Maps–these are key to making sure your local business can easily be found.
Facebook For Business
Given how popular Facebook is now, your Facebook Business page is likely going to be the first thing potential customers find when they search for your business. Even if you have a website that you direct your business traffic to (which is what we recommend), your Facebook page is your hub that includes basic information to help people find you.
Yelp For Business
We feel that Yelp has some flaws, particularly in what reviews they choose to weight heavily and what criteria they use when allowing people to post reviews. However, it is a popular and often-used site where a lot of people get their information to help them make decisions about what businesses to support.
The iconic print business directory has migrated online.
At the bottom of this page is a “Submit Your Site” button that allows you to submit your site directly to the Yahoo Search index.
This page above allows business owners to create a business listing on Yahoo, similar to the one Google allows you to create. While Google is the most-used search engine, Yahoo is no slouch coming in third, so create a listing on this search engine as well.
Bing Places For Business
Claim your business listing on Bing, the second most-used search engine in the world. It is likely already created, and just waiting for you to claim it and edit it.
Manage your listing on Foursquare and attract more customers. Foursquare lets people “check in” on social media platforms such as Facebook.
On each of these listings, strive to ensure that your business information is consistent. Use the same business name, same ZIP code format, same telephone formatting, etc. Keep a document of each listing, if necessary, so you can duplicate it.
Add logos and photos wherever you are permitted to. Add new photos once in a while, perhaps seasonally, to keep things fresh. If you have a brick-and-mortar business, encourage people to use an app such as Foursquare to “check in” and share their location with their friends.
Look for and claim your business listings on all of these sites, because the listings are likely already created automatically from other information that is online. While it is not likely that someone else could claim your business listing and use it as their own, not claiming it leaves you unable to manage the information that is out there and keep it updated.