How To Manage Your Local Places Listings
There are so many different websites that show users your address, phone, web address. Websites like Google+, Yahoo, Yelp, Facebook, Merchant Circle, it’s all just a crazy mess but you have to be careful to keep track of your local listings.
How do customers find your online listing?
Often it’s not that someone randomly created a listing for you it’s that the bots scoured the internet, found (or scraped) your listing on an online directory and used that for its own website. Sometimes is wrong.. sometimes it’s right. Either way, it is important to make sure the information is accurate.
As customers are trying to find what they need or maybe, simply, find you, you might never know where customers will come from or where the reviews will show. They might see the Google Map listing or the Yelp listing.
If you’ve recently moved or changed phone numbers, is the information shared accurate? Does the website send you to the right page or do they get a 404 error? Did you include your working hours?
Outside of your website, managing your online presence is important to managing your brand. This coincides with managing your online reviews as well.
I’ve put together some of my techniques for keeping track and managing them.
- Create a worksheet of all your listings, web address, email address used to manage, next steps, what is missing. Maybe a Google docs that can be shared with your team. I’ve created one on Google Docs to get you started: https://gxsit.es/1nYLSAz
- Don’t allow others to claim your listing. There are 3rd Party companies that will ‘save you time’ by registering and claiming your listings for you. But, what happens when/if the relationship sours or you decide to terminate the contract? Who has access now? How can you get it back? I’ve run into this problem many times when we tried to reclaim the listing. Oftentimes, we have had to let the listing go and start over.
- Don’t allow employees to use their personal email address. It’s important not to let a single employee with their personal email or even a company email claim these. As with #2, what happens with the employee moves on? I recommend creating a generic email address like ‘[email protected]’ or a Gmail account that manages company-wide listings. I would then carry this over into your social media pages.
- Find all of your listings using a services like Moz.com or UBL.org. It’s almost impossible to manage or list or track the gazillion places your business has been listed. I like to use Moz Local for a modest annual fee to help me manage this.
- Make sure your listings all have the same information. Is the website and the phone number correct? Is the company name consistent? Service-area correct?
Uh..Oh! Christina.. I didn’t do those things. Now what!
- If a third party has access to your listings, call and email until you get a hold of someone. Be persistent.
- You might need to contact Google or Yelp directly.
- Well, that didn’t work so you might have to consider starting over. If you don’t have any reviews, it might not be a big deal. If you do, you’ll have to weigh your options.