How to Improve Your Online Presence with Business Listings

Learn how to improve your online presence with business listings.

Jeff Shibasaki
Sep 7, 2020 · 6 min read
A map of Metro Atlanta on Apple Maps.
A map of Metro Atlanta on Apple Maps.
Image from Apple Maps on macOS

1. Update Current Business Listings

Example of business listings on Google, Bing, Yelp and Facebook.
Example of business listings on Google, Bing, Yelp and Facebook.
Illustration by Jeff Shibasaki / Master Your Website

Inaccurate Listings

When listings are inaccurate, they obstruct potential customers from completing tasks (e.g. making reservations, ordering online) and may lead to problems. For example, businesses that have moved their location and didn’t update their address could upset customers who drive to the wrong location.

  • The business has moved to a new address
  • The business has added multiple locations
  • The phone number has changed
  • Hours of operation have changed or change during holidays
  • The website has changed from HTTP to HTTPS
  • Accepted payment methods have changed

Incomplete Business Listings

Incomplete listings are missing essential information like a business’s NAP and, if applicable, website URL, images and categories. Categories describe a business and help prospects locate the best result. For example, a vegetarian fusion restaurant might be categorized as Fusion restaurant on Google My Business, but as Vegan or Vegetarian on Yelp.

Inconsistent Business Listings

Inconsistent listings only lead to confusion. For example, imagine how confused customers would be if a popular restaurant was listed on Google Maps as I Luv Bento, but listed on Facebook as I Love Bento. Inconsistent phone numbers, addresses and more could further confuse potential customers, especially if they move their search query from one directory to another.

Duplicate Business Listings

Duplicate listings contain more than one listing of the same company on the same directory. For example, if an employee accidentally created a second listing after a business moved to its new location, that listing would need to be merged with the original listing to avoid being listed twice.

2. Claim and Verify New Business Listings

Yelp for Businesses’ sign-up page.
Yelp for Businesses’ sign-up page.
The sign-up page for Yelp for Businesses. Illustration by Jeff Shibasaki / Master Your Website.

Verification Process

When claiming a business listing, the owner needs to verify that he/she owns the business. Google My Business and Bing Places send a postcard to the business address with a code that needs to be entered online. Other business directories like Facebook, Yelp and Apple Maps may use an automated phone call to verify the business over the phone with the code.

  1. In your contacts app, enter your company’s NAP and any additional business information. Refer to this contact card whenever necessary to keep your information consistent on your website and across all business directories.
  2. In the notes field of the contact card, add links to the business directories where your company is listed, but safeguard the login credentials in a password manager like 1Password.

3. Build More Business Listings

Google My Business’ sign-up page.
Google My Business’ sign-up page.
The sign-up page for Google My Business. Illustration by Jeff Shibasaki / Master Your Website.

4. Routinely Audit Business Listings

Example of a business listing audit that includes NAP, photos and categories on Google, Bing, Yelp and Facebook.
Example of a business listing audit that includes NAP, photos and categories on Google, Bing, Yelp and Facebook.
Routinely audit business listings. Illustration by Jeff Shibasaki / Master Your Website.

Final Thoughts

You just learned how to improve your online presence with business listings. While an effective website with content marketing will improve on-page SEO, business directories will improve off-site SEO and build credibility.

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Jeff Shibasaki

Written by

UX Writer. UX Designer. Culture Blogger. See my work at https://jeffshibasaki.com

Master Your Website

Teaching how to design, market and manage websites.

Jeff Shibasaki

Written by

UX Writer. UX Designer. Culture Blogger. See my work at https://jeffshibasaki.com

Master Your Website

Teaching how to design, market and manage websites.

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