Whether you have a big or small business, you need to claim your online business listings. Failure to do so will be considered unclaimed listings. You must know that there are a plethora of sites out there that generate listings for you – whether you asked them or not. Some listing sites include Facebook business page, Twitter, Yelp, LinkedIn, Home Advisor and many more.
What does unclaimed listing mean?
Unclaimed businesses listings will have information about you – right or wrong. For instance, an unclaimed Yelp listing will display address, phone and reviews for your business. If they get it right, it is good for you. If they get it wrong, it can potentially hurt your business. In the case of negative reviews, you do not even get a chance to respond.
Where does it come from?
You need to understand the mechanics of listings. Many people think that sites wait for a contractor to join and create a page or account. You should be aware that many sites pre-populate their own directories from online business directories and sites. This is called aggregators.
What does it mean if your business listing is unclaimed?
Your business is out there in more places than you know about. While it would increase the chance of future customers finding you, it is just the opposite. Since it will automatically pre-populate, there will be inconsistencies in your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone number). Inconsistencies will surely hurt you because search engines have to reconcile the data.
How to look more solid in Google?
Keep in mind that Google and other search engines look for consistency as one method of judging how valid your business is. Simply put, claiming your listing will make you look more solid. However, the longer you have been in business, the more likely there are inconsistencies.
What are directories and other listing sites?
Directories and other listing sites include the following:
- Publishing and promotion sites: this includes Facebook, which offers you the chance to post status updates and new photos.
- Review sites: this includes Yelp, which allows you to post reviews. If you haven’t claimed the listing, the customers can still post reviews. Reviews are vital marketing function for any business.
- Promotional sites: this includes Home Advisor, which allows you to create offers or engage in online bids for different projects.
- Directories: there are a large number of sites that are simple directories and lists. This will offer basic facts about the business. The data source comes from different large data “aggregators” and the listings may be hard to correct. If you fix one entry on one site, another will appear or the listing will revert back to the original wrong data. With this, it is crucial that update your entries three to four times a year.
What do you need to do?
As a contractor, you need to take control of listings by “claiming” them and then correcting or updating the information such as the name, physical address, phone number, and website address.