Online directories are a key player in your small business growth. They help to develop your business reputation, increase your online visibility, and place you in local search results. There are a number of websites and mobile apps available today that provide business listings based on industry, location, niche, and more. This post will get you started on where and how to list your business online, to increase your online presence and get found by more customers.
Google My Business is perhaps the most important place to list your business. Google is a world-wide platform, but not at the expense of its local capabilities. In fact, part of what makes Google so popular world-wide is its local capabilities.
Get listed on Google My Business to increase your visibility on the the world’s most popular and trusted search engine, and elsewhere on the web. Many other listing sites and business directories pull their data from GMB.
Google Maps pulls its data from Google My Business, so if you create a GMB account, you will automatically get listed on Google Maps. However, it’s important to check and make sure all information transferred over properly, and to update your Google listing frequently.
In addition to getting listed on Google Maps, you can also strive to rank on Google maps, so that your business shows up first in maps searches as well as in the local section on typical Google searches.
You can optimize your Google Maps listing by embedding your Google Map listing into your contact page, getting positive reviews on your map listing, and adding photos through your GMB account.
To check your Google Maps listing, go to Google.com/maps and search for your business. If it doesn’t show up, you will be given the option to add a business name. You can submit the business name and information, but in order to claim it, you will be directed to the page for creating a GMB account.
Facebook is a social media platform, but can also function as both a general and local business directory. There are a few ways to list your business on Facebook.
Creating a Facebook Business account is your first step in getting listed on Facebook. Just as with a GMB account, you can add your contact information, website, and photos. However, with a GMB account you don’t actually have a page that users can see. Rather, your information shows up in Google Maps and the local results of search engine results pages.
With a Facebook business account, you get a page that paints a coherent and chronological picture of your business, and which users can see and interact with. You can also look at insights on your page and include a call to action for visitors.
To create a Facebook business page, go to Facebook.com/business. You’ll need a Facebook profile to create your listing.
When you perform a search in Facebook, you’ll notice that results are separated into posts, pages, and places. The difference between pages and places is that you can check in to places. Therefore, if you have a brick and mortar location, you should also get listed on Facebook Places. The easiest way to do this is to change the category in your Facebook page to local business or place. This will automatically add your business to Facebook Places.
Another way to list your business as a Facebook Place is by attempting to check in to your location. If you are not listed as a Facebook Place, you (or any user) will be given the option of adding it to Places.
As you just learned, anyone can add your business to Facebook Places. However, if you want control over your Facebook Place, you must then claim it as well. To claim your Facebook Places listing, type your business name into the Facebook search bar, and locate it in the Places result. There you will have options and instructions for claiming it. When you claim your Facebook Place listing, it will then merge with your Facebook Business Page and you will have control over it.
Given the power of online reviews, Yelp is another important place for your business to get listed. Yelp is a popular business directory that has both a website and mobile app. In fact, it sees 65 million web users per month alone (not counting desktop and mobile app users).
It’s important to note that just like with Google Maps and Facebook Places, adding a listing is different from claiming a listing. Anyone can add your business to Yelp, but not anyone can manage your listing. To be able to manage your Yelp listing, you must also claim it. To create or claim your Yelp listing, go to https://biz.yelp.com/support/claiming.
Google My Business, Google Maps, Facebook, and Yelp are four among many important places to list your business. Some additional places include:
• Bing Local
• Yahoo Local
• Angie’s List
• Better Business Bureau
Listing your business on search engines, maps, social media, and directories can significantly impact your online visibility and overall growth. Just be sure to maintain these listings so that the platforms can successfully point people to your business.