Published on June 18th, 2015 | by Kathy McGovern0
What You Absolutely Need to Include in Your Online Business Listing
Grabbing the attention of local shoppers online is key to getting them through your shop doors. Having the right type of information in your online business listing is essential to that process. Your online business listing could include any place (besides your own website) where you list your business’ information so customers and prospects can find you. These online listings include sites such as Google, Yahoo!, Yelp, Bing, Foursquare and other online directories. If you haven’t claimed your listing on these sites, check out our previous post on the top 20 online business listings where your business should appear.
Besides just showing up in an online directory, the goal is to get the right information at the right time into the hands of potential customers. It’s important to consider the type of information shoppers look for when they do a search on a mobile phone versus a desktop. People searching on a smartphone are more likely to be in the midst of shopping. Compare that need for information to someone doing a search on their PC or tablet while at home or the office.
Recent research conducted by Deluxe, shows the type of content shoppers are looking for depending on the device they’re using:
Shoppers conducting a search from their smartphones:
- 54% are looking for business hours
- 53% are looking for directions
- 50% are looking for local store addresses
Shoppers conducting a search from their desktop PC or tablet:
- 45% are looking for product availability
- 42% are looking for business hours
- 38% are looking for local store addresses
In general, the above information should be included in your online business listing. It’s a no-brainer to include your address, hours of operation, product brands you sell, and directions. However, it’s also best to put yourself in the mind of your potential customers and how they would probably search for your particular type of business.
If you owned a restaurant as an example, besides the above information, potential customers typically want to know what type of food you serve, and what’s on your menu. They may also like to find out if you take reservations, and whether you’re a five-star restaurant or casual neighborhood joint.
If you own a retail clothing shop in a busy area of town, consider that parking is top of mind among patrons. Not only would a searcher want to know your store’s specialty (women’s, men’s, children, plus size, athletic, etc.) but also any recommendations on parking.
Think about how your customers are finding you online and the types of information they’re looking for and then include it in your online business listings. If you’re not sure, you may want to take an informal survey of your customers as you interact with them. Just a simple query like, “Did you find my shop on the internet? Can you tell me what you searched for?” should provide you with the information you need.
If you’d like to check out how your business currently appears across the most popular online directories, you can conduct a free scan. This tool provides an online report almost instantaneously with how your business listing appears on sites like Yahoo!, Bing, Facebook, Yelp and more. This scan is a quick and easy way to see how your business is listed. You can verify your information and discover which directories are missing your listing.
If you find managing numerous directories too time-consuming, there are services that can help you claim, manage and optimize your listings on your behalf. Local SEO services can help ensure your information is not only accurate, but also optimized so your business stands out from competitors on the search results page.
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© 2015 – 2016, Kathy McGovern. All rights reserved.