Call me Captain Obvious, but customers search for businesses online – they just do. And according to Google, 4 out of 5 do so via search engines. To capture these new leads, you’ve got to make sure your business is one of the first they find when searching. When we talk “getting found,” one of the lowest hanging fruits is managing your online business listings – owning them, keeping them up-to-date, and ensuring your info is consistent on as many listing sites as possible.
If you don’t have a business listing management tool (something to handle all of that for you), you need to be getting the biggest bang for your buck. Basically, we want to minimize the painful man hours (or woman hours) you’re likely to spend scouring the web and ensuring your listings are on point.
A quick reminder – each online business listing should include:
- Hours of operation
- Product or service information
- Your business’s exact location, including directions if it’s difficult to find
- Online reviews
- Any special offers or promotions you’re running
We know this topic isn’t a secret among local business owners, because it’s the subject of one of our most popular blog posts. So it’s important we keep you up to date with this year’s most in-demand business listing sites.
Top 3 Places for Local Business to Be Listed Online in 2017
1. Google My Business (GMB)
Overwhelmingly, the internet agrees Google My Business has truly earned this #1 spot, the gold medal of online listings. First, it’s free-of-charge, which is probably because Google wants to provide its searchers accurate, helpful information just as much as you want searchers to find your business. It’s mutually beneficial. But more than that, GMB can do a lot to boost your local SEO. They’ve said themselves they don’t want to bombard searchers with the same chains and big names over and over again; they want to offer local alternatives.
Like Google, Bing tries to provide consumers the most accurate local search results possible. So it offers its listings for free as well. It also uses local business listings like “find Thai food near me,” which is a huge plus for small businesses who want to stand out from the crowd. Similarly to Google, a listing with Bing will improve your web optimization and SEO. Bing listings include location, hours of operation, photos, the products and services you offer, and contact information.
With millions of searches daily, Yahoo is still worth your time and consideration. They offer a basic listing for free, and they also provide broader listing services (management, analytics and more) with various plans ranging up to $999/year in price.
Other Noteworthy Contenders
4. Yelp – You should care about online reviews (here’s why), so a listing with Yelp is a must-have.
5. Merchant Circle – This one can be a small business owner’s best friend, because it’s meant just for you!
6. Yellow Pages – One of your main goals is probably generating new leads and potential customers. So Yellow Pages remains a tried and true way to get business in your door.
7. Superpages.com – Superpages.com is special for how it organizes listings with common categories.
8. Dex Knows – Dex Knows is best known for its insights. It gives you actionable information on your reviews and ratings as well as advertising opportunities.
9. …and tons more. Obviously the list goes on. Check out our recent blog on the steps you can take to cover your bases with these online listings sites and others.