Listing your company across various online directories can not only become a minefield of which to pick, but also very time consuming. The benefits of doing so though are huge, from using business directories to improve local SEO to building online visibility and gaining those all-important online reviews.
Without a doubt, some directories are better than others and some have a wider reach or will be best suited for your target audience.
So, what do we recommend?
If you can, we would recommend listing on at least a handful of online directories (such as Yell, Thomson Local, Hotfrog, Applegate, 192.com and Scoot) – after all, when potential new customers are searching online and researching your brand you want to be as visible as possible. That said, if you are time poor then we would recommend investing some time in developing your Google My Business profile.
How can Google My Business help to promote your business online?
Well, for a number of reasons…
1. As the name would suggest, it’s owned by Google, (the most visited search engine with an 88.01% share of the search market) so if you’re not listed you’re missing a golden search opportunity
2. Being listed within its directory ensures that you appear on local search results, maps and also Google+
3. Unlike some other directories, you have the ability to add and update entries such as opening hours, services offered, image gallery, logo and reviews
4. Reviews – all reviews left via Google My Business show up alongside your company listing on Google, this helps recognise your business as being credible and search-worthy
5. You receive monthly performance summaries to your inbox, with extra analytics and insights showing how your listing is performing with recommendations of how to gain higher visibility and better page views
6. Once set up, it automatically generates you a Google+ listing, which helps to raise your SEO profile
7. ….it’s free!
Is Google My Business for you?
You can list most businesses on Google My Business – unless you are running an online only business and then unfortunately this isn’t available to you yet.
You can read more about the restrictions by clicking here
Are you ready to get started with Google My Business?
Here’s some help with setting up your Google My Business account and profile
Read on to discover how to set up your profile in a few easy steps.
• Click here to take you to the set up page, once there select “Start Now” – here you will need to enter the Google email address that is used to manage your business, if you don’t yet have one then you will need to create one.
• A map will appear of your country, here you enter your business name – Google will automatically try to autofill the boxes with similar names, if you see yours – click and select it
• If you are the person responsible for managing the business listings, just click the box to confirm this
• Final step – verification. This is usually completed by postcard but there may also be the option to do this via phone, email or instant approval
Once verified, you’re good to go!
How your listing will appear on Google
Once your listing is verified and complete, when people search your company name in the Google search bar it will appear in the right hand column at the top, see example below.
What insights do you gain from Google My Business?
As well as the monthly round-up summary of activity sent to your nominated email address, you can also log into your profile to drill down into the insights – you can do this by day, month or quarter.
Below are some examples of the detail you can receive such as; how customers search for you, where they view your business, the actions customers take when clicking on your listing as well as photo views.
4 quick tips and advice on how to improve and increase the effectiveness your Google My Business listing
• Make sure to keep everything updated, add new content regularly – as with SEO, if Google doesn’t see that you are updating content or interacting with your target audience then it assumes that you are not updating your website either – which is key to keeping your listings high up the rankings
• You can edit your company’s details anytime and they will automatically be updated on Google Search and maps – all from a single dashboard
• Interact with your customers, whether that is responding to reviews or simply adding new photos into your gallery – it has been stated that “Businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions to their location from users on Google, and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t have photos”
• Ensure that you are verified. “Verified businesses on Google are twice as likely to be considered reputable by users” according to Google.
Need advice or support?
If you’re looking to boost your visibility online, increase your sales leads or need a hand getting listed in all of the relevant business directories then why not get in touch with the one of our friendly team today.
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