The ways potential clients and customers find you has drastically changed in the last few years.
In addition to search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing, people are using review sites like Yelp, city guides like Citysearch, and mobile apps like Foursquare to discover businesses and services they want to use. This is great news because there are now even more ways for new clients and customers to find you.
Unfortunately, all these new means of discovery, now mean you have a big problem.
There are now more places for you to manage, all at the same time! Many of these listings are automatically generated and can often contain incorrect or out-of-date information. Certainly, incorrect, out of date information is not the first impression you want someone to have of you or your organization.
That’s why it is so important to be in control of your online listings.
Here are 7 ways to do it:
1. Identify your industry’s hot spots
Take the time to identify the places that your target audience is turning to when searching for businesses similar to yours.
The best way to do this is to search for your business on a site like Google and see what type of results show up. Be on the lookout for any publishers that specialize in your particular industry, as they will offer the biggest opportunity to reach your next great customer.
Once you have an inventory of the information that’s out there, you can start to take steps to control it.
2. Optimize your website with location information
Publishers like TripAdvisor or UrbanSpoon rely on your websites to populate their platforms. Making sure your contact information is up to date on your own site will help avoid having potential new customers sent to the wrong location.
3. Claim your listings
A lot of the top publishers will give you the opportunity to “claim” your listings. Claiming your listings lets you take control of the information that people are finding on these sites. You can manually update contact information, upload photos, and even share updates about specials and promotions, depending on the platform you decide to use.
4. Encourage reviews and recommendations on social
Believe it or not, the interactions you have on social media can positively impact your search result rankings..Encouraging your fans and followers to share feedback and interact with your business on sites like Yelp or Foursquare will also help ensure the quality of user-generated content.
5. Offer location information to data aggregators
As you may suspect, collecting information from across the web and publishing it in a single location is hard work. That’s why many of the top publishers rely on data aggregators to provide relevant information about your brand.
6. Pay to sponsor listings
Just like you can pay to promote posts on sites like Facebook or Twitter, you can also pay to sponsor your listing on a number of the top listing sites.While this won’t help update information on other sites, it will increase the visibility of your best information on your most important platforms.
7. Find better solutions.
With a tool like SinglePlatform, you can manage all of your listings from one place and make updates across our entire publishing network of search engines, city guides, review sites, and mobile apps. You can also add your menu, products, and services everywhere that matters online.
This article is an adaption of: 7 Ways You Can Take Control of Your Online Listings | Constant Contact Blogs.
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Kara works with legal marketers and small to mid-size business to create a more clearly defined focus and distinctive business strategy that will provide them with a competitive advantage for new business, higher reputation recognition, and enhance their ability to attract, win, and retain the clients they really want.