Claim and verify your business on Google My Business (and maybe 49 additional online directories)
Google My Business is a free listing service (from guess who- just kidding it’s Google) that you’ll often see on the right side of a Google search.
It typically shows a picture, maybe a logo, business hours, reviews, etc. of one particular business. Example, you search for Buffalo Wild Wings when you’re in Peoria, IL, you’ll likely see this:
By establishing your own Google My Business, you’ll be able to manage your business information, just like B-Dubs above. Make sure your hours of operation and contact information are correct because nothing irritates someone (me) more than driving to a place, assuming that place is open and not being able to order chicken wings that you rabidly NEED.
Also- get reviews. In summary, GMB gives you one place to manage your business information and YOU are in control of it. When people search for your business on Google, your Google My Business listing will appear, which can increase visibility and drive more traffic to your website.
A situation you definitely want to avoid is to not have a GMB at all. The most common excuses I hear for businesses not wanting to do this are:
“I don’t want to get any bad reviews.”
“I don’t want to manage it”
“What’s an internet?”
What if you get a bad review? Don’t fret! You are running a business, and this comes with the territory. People love to take their bad day out on someone else- they spilled their coffee on their lap, some jerk stole their parking spot, and they just watched the last episode of Game of Thrones. Now you get their wrath.
The best way to handle this is to take it like a champ- take a few deep breaths, count to 100 and if you still have violent thoughts, wait a night to respond. Once you have a clear mind (do not respond while under the influence), acknowledge their frustrations and ask if there is a way to make it up to them. There’s an excellent alternative to the last episode of Game of Thrones somewhere on YouTube. You can find it on youtube.com.
In the situation of a bad review pointing out an actual flaw with your business… you should be grateful! Maybe you didn’t know that the front desk person has a bad attitude! Or that your staff was crop-dusting the waiting room and blaming the customers. Use this constructive criticism wisely to make your business better.
You don’t want to manage it? Then pay someone else to! It’ll cost you around $100/month depending on how active you want to be. Having a well-managed GMB has immeasurable benefits to your business and is worth the time/money spent. Ours was banned for years because we don’t have a physical location and it only took a global shutdown + 2 years for Google to allow us back on board. We’re ecstatic to have one- in fact if you’re actually reading this, please leave us a review here because we lost our original reviews. Thanks, Google. Looooove you.
I almost forgot! Once you’ve gotten your GMB set up and have a process in place to manage it on an ongoing basis, there are literally hundreds of other listing sites that you need to set up and manage. Good news is that there’s probably only somewhere between 50-100 that are relevant to your business (depending on your industry). Here’s a sample of other directories:
- Facebook Pages
- Instagram for Business
- LinkedIn Company Directory
- Apple Maps
- HubSpot’s Solutions Directory
- Better Business Bureau
- Angi, FKA Angie’s List
- Yellow Pages
- Merchant Circle
- Dun & Bradstreet Business Directory
- City Squares
- Neustar Localeze
- Call Up Contact
- Just Landed
- City Local Pro
- Cylex US
- My Huckleberry
Maybe it’s a good idea to just pay someone to do it for you? Reach out to us here and we’ll save you probably 900 hours of work for something that makes me wonder why I do this. Oh yeah, we have an army of robots and humans. Speaking of robots, here’s what they say about this subject:
– Claiming online business listings verifies that you are the owner of a valid business and are authorized to maintain its presence on the web. This helps you control what information and images are displayed about your business online and improve your visibility and online reputation.
– Claiming online business listings helps your customers find you easily and quickly. Customers can see your contact details, location, website, reviews and more when they search for your business or related services. This also helps you attract more customers and increase your sales.
– Claiming online business listings helps you rank higher on search engines like Google and Bing. Search engines use various factors to determine how relevant and trustworthy your business is for a given query. Having consistent and accurate information across different online directories signals to search engines that your business is legitimate and popular.
– Claiming online business listings helps you manage your online reputation and customer feedback. You can respond to reviews, answer questions, update information and showcase your products or services on different platforms. This helps you build trust and loyalty with your customers and potential customers.
Love, Bing/ChatGBT Robots