You may think you’ve put your best foot forward. But how can you be sure?
So you’ve built a website. “Claimed” your business on Google. Created a Facebook Business Page. Optimized your LinkedIn profile and company page. That’s great!
A great start, that is.
Not that long ago, having a website was so unusual, just listing it in a yellow pages ad was enough to stand out from the competition. But Internet years are like dog years: changes come so fast. Now, not having a website is unusual, and a little off-putting. Suspect, even. A business website – a good, mobile responsive website – is just reaching the lowest rung on the ladder.
Don’t get me wrong. Every business should have a Facebook page, and a Google My Business page, and a presence on LinkedIn. That’s where most of your next new customers will find you.
In addition to the Big 3, people also look on lesser-used sites. Sure, compared to Facebook, the numbers are small. (Bing Places, anyone?) There are literally hundreds of directory sites, local directories, category directories with significant non-zero number of regular users. DexYP (formerly YP.com). Insider Pages. Yelp. Tripadvisor. Houzz. Home Advisor. Dealer Rater. Healthgrades. And many, many others. And just like Google and Facebook, they will populate their directories with your information, independent of your efforts. The question is, did they get it right?
The reason people look to these sites is pretty simple. In addition to your business name, address and telephone number, people are searching for feedback about your company. Eighty four percent of people now say they trust information in online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from a friend or family member. Ninety percent of consumers say they look at reviews when they are deciding where to spend their money. As odd as it may seem, online reviews – from total strangers – are the new currency of the internet.
To make it easier for local businesses to stay on top of the myriad directory sites, we have released a new tool. As part of the Local Online Visibility Report Card, we check the accuracy of your business listing on the 20 top directory sites, and provide instructions on how to correct or create your listing. We also analyze any reviews on those sites so you can take action. (Yes, offsetting a negative review is necessary, but so is thanking a customer for a positive one.)
You may think you’re on solid ground. But isn’t it better to be sure? Get your Local Online Visibility Report Card today.