Directory sites like Yelp and Yellowpages are easy ways for customers to get information about your business. However, there are many lesser known directories that can appear in search engine results, sometimes giving inaccurate information. Claiming all local listings is crucial to ensure customers are getting accurate information about your business. It can also allow you to build trusting relationships with customers by engaging with reviews.
Read Melissa’s original blog article here
Brent Haeseker: I am Brent Haeseker with Netsource Technologies. I’m a Website consultant here. And today I am talking with Melissa Thrush. She’s a co-worker right here and Netsource as well. And I’ve asked her to do this video with me because she wrote a blog article last year that was actually really good and still very relevant. I wanted to talk about with customers because it’s something I don’t think a lot of customers are really too aware of. We mention it a lot to customers but I don’t think there’s really that top of mind awareness yet on it. So we want to do a video to kind of bring it more out to light and hopefully share this important information with you. Basically what this is about is local listings and claiming your local listings online. So I’m going to first of all I’m going to let Melissa tell you who she is and what she does here at Netsource and then get started.
Melissa Thrush: I’m Melissa Thrush, I’m the director of customer care here at Netsource and I’ve been here since 2010. My job is to be a liaison between all of our team and our clients. I work with the sales team, the designers, programmers, technical team, and customers just kind of get a holistic view of projects that we’re doing and make sure things are running smoothly, on time, and on budget and I also work with the marketing team to make sure that we’re doing things that are up to date and that the sales team is informed on what those things are.
Brent Haeseker: Like I said, we’re going to talk about local listings and why it’s important to claim your local business listings so to start off first of all let’s just ask the question of what are local business listings.
Melissa Thrush: Sure. So local businesses listings are any site where your business information is listed in a directory format. You’re probably very familiar with Google Maps or Google My Business Listing, Yahoo and Bing yellow pages and things like that. But there are so many of them most of which people have never heard of before and they’re out there. Things like yellow bot, CitySquares and things like that.
Brent Haeseker: Those a lot of times will be the things that I’ll see like when I do a search for a company and I’ll see all these different directory listings pull up so that would be what you’re talking about. So they are important because even though no one necessarily goes to these services to actually do a search for a business in a lot of cases they still show up through Google. When you do a search. So that’s one reason why they’re really important. And so we know now since they show a lot in Google so it’s important but why exactly are they important to claim your listings. How does all of that actually tie in.
Melissa Thrush: Sure. So those sites get your information from the Internet. So depending on where they get it from when they’ve gotten that information we don’t know if it’s accurate or not. If You’re not claiming your own listings. You don’t know what information is out there. So there could be outdated addresses or wrong Web site links or anything like that just depending on how accurate information was at that time and what’s changed since then. So claiming your listings are important because then you have control over that. So making sure that your Google My Business Listing is claimed in your Yelp listing is claimed. There’s so many out there though that kind of a struggle is making sure you have all of your information updated.
Brent Haeseker: Yeah. Sometimes I’ll talk to customers and they’ll mention hey you’ve got these listings. When I do a search for you, you’ve got all these listings and there some of these have wrong information in them and they’re like I’ve never even heard of these services how in the world did my information even get on these services. Well that’s a good question. I’m sure they’ve all got their different techniques and there’s probably some scraping of data off the Internet and some automated stuff where this information comes from but obviously if you don’t have control of that then you’ve got wrong information that’s out there. So that can impact customer confidence if they’re seeing all this wrong information and they might drive to the wrong address for your business and then get all frustrated and go to a competitor or something like that. So tell us a little bit about curating your listings and how that helps with marketing.
Melissa Thrush: Sure. So some of the sites there’s actually the ability to add photos even some of them can do limited time specials that you can post online. So clearly these aren’t like your big marketing these are as important as your Web site and things like that but these are kind of like little additional things that you can put out there hopefully pointing back to your correct Web site as long as your listing is up to date. But you can add photos. A lot of them have reviews which is probably the most important aspect of that. So if you haven’t claimed your listing you have no way to combat bad reviews or to thank people for good reviews it’s just out there and you have no say in it at all.
Brent Haeseker: So right. Right. And you know a lot of people also ask me about how you get rid of bad reviews and really you can’t get rid of them. So the best way to deal with them is to actually address the sites respond to them and show how you respond to those negative reviews and actually that goes a long ways because really every time I go to buy something I always research it online and I’m always weeding through all the reviews because I know there’s going to be a certain percentage of really positive a certain percentage who really bad and then the certain percentage that is somewhere in between. And obviously even the best products out there usually even if there’s 98 percent of the reviews that are saying how awesome this product is or be 2 percent that’s telling you it’s a piece of junk. So usually you can people are smart enough to know that not every negative review is a true reflection of who you are as a business. And when you get those negative reviews and you respond and you show them what your true character is and how you deal in a positive way that can help people go oh yeah that’s just some jerk that was saying something negative about this business. It really got other good reviews and they responded really good to this particular person. So it’s a good opportunity to show how awesome you are.
Melissa Thrush: Also on that same thinking is that nobody’s perfect. So there are going to be times when you’ve just messed up as a company or you didn’t provide the best service and then using that format where you can reply to reviews in a way that says I’m going to make this right for you unhappy customer. That goes miles too for you and your and your business and people trusting your company to take care of them.
Brent Haeseker: Right. Absolutely. I’m just looking for some stuff we haven’t covered here and you’re doing some great information here. The visibility of your brand. How does that kind of increase it by having these listings online. Is there anything in particular that it can do to help increase your brand visibility.
Melissa Thrush: Sure. So let’s take for example maybe a local restaurant let’s say I want the Vietnamese food and I’m near Orlando today. If I go on Yelp is a great one to look for. They have some other services too, some restaurants you can make reservations there for example. So Yelp! is a good one to look for when you’re looking in an area and you’re looking for something specific. So if I go to Yelp! And I type in Vietnamese food near Orlando I want to be shown up there. So if I am an owner of my listing then I can make sure everything is correct. And I probably even list a little bit of description of why I’m better than the next Vietnamese place down the street or whatever. Claiming you’re listing and using anything that listing gives you the ability to do is additional marketing.
Brent Haeseker: Right. And really like mention since you can put additional information on there they might not ever even get to your website. So those services can actually be the place where they find out information about you and then contact you. And that’s the conduit to your business of getting that customer. So yes from a search engine marketing standpoint it’s good for your search engine visibility for your Web site but also it’s just an additional way of getting traffic to your site without even coming to your website. And they’re using these services already. So don’t let them choose another restaurant instead. If you’re there and you’ve got all the information and you’ve really informed them of what you offer.
Melissa Thrush: Yeah and another bonus too Brent is that most of those listings sites, I would go out on a limb and say all of them now have a Web site URL link. So having those links out there to your Web site from a relevant listing, relevant to your business and then linking out to your Web site. Those are inbound links to your Web site which is also good for SEO and just for your general optimization.
Brent Haeseker: Absolutely. Okay. Is there some other opportunities that you can think of for claiming your business listing.
Melissa Thrush: I think we’ve covered most of them. Just having consistent information online, not missing out on those little extra opportunities to reach people where they are. Those inbound links being really important those are probably the most important things. And also let’s just go ahead and say, Who has time to do all of those listings individually. I don’t. I mean between 40 and 60 places to go and update your information. Say you move. You have expanded you have a bigger location now you’ve just moved a few blocks down the street you don’t have time to go and update 40 to 60 different directory sites.
Brent Haeseker: Right. Exactly so. You know one of the things that we offer is the ability to manage that for you if that’s something that you don’t have the time to do because manually you’d have to go into every one of those sites and update that information. So if your phone number changes you’re like oh my gosh I just got all the stuff updated now I go through a manually do all this otherwise all my information is going to be wrong. So we do have a service that we can provide where we can handle that information for you. It can syndicate out all that that information whenever your information changes so that you don’t have to worry about it being updated. It changes quickly across all of those directory listings so we do offer services where we can help you out with this. You can also check online to find out how you’re currently doing in the listings. We’ve got a website address if you actually want to go to it, it’s https://scan.netsourceinc.com there’s no WWW with that. You can go there you can plug in your website address you can find out actually how your listings look in all of these different directory sites. It might shock you.
Melissa Thrush: Yeah to check out the health of your listings basically, it should give them a percentage of a grade on their listings.
Brent Haeseker: Right so that can be a very helpful tool for you to find out. And again we offer support with these directory listings. So if you need any assistance on it definitely give us a call. Some of the things that we do with our annual service that we have for managing directory listings is we can claim your listings. Make sure there’s no duplicate content because that happens a lot of times where your name might be listed a couple different ways like you know Acme Inc. Versus ACME incorporated and Google might actually see that as two different businesses. And so we can actually find those duplicate and get rid of them and consolidate them into one so that it’s correct. We can also do quarterly status reports. We can also let you know if there’s any reviews on those particular directory services so that you know Oh hey I’ve got a review I have got to go take a look at that and respond like Melissa said if it’s a good review you can say thank you for your review of the bad then you can deal with it in a positive way online and show people how great you are. So give us a call if that’s something that we can help you with. Obviously these directory services are they’re free for you to go on to and to be able to update your information and claim your listing. But it is a lot of manual time so if you do want assistance with that. Give us a call. Our number is 1 800 7 0 9 3 2 4 0. And is there anything else you want to add to this.
Melissa Thrush: I think that pretty much sums it up.
Brent Haeseker: OK great. So thank you for watching. We appreciate it. Make sure you like this video and share it if it was useful for you. And also be on the look out for other videos. We want to we really want to start giving you some more information on a regular basis here at Netsource for different things that we know our clients are either struggling with or just don’t have enough information on.
Melissa Thrush: And check out the blog. There is a lot of useful information there.
Brent Haeseker: Oh absolutely. And like we said this discussion is based off of a blog article that Melissa posted last year on this topic. We’ve got a lot of great information on our blog netsourceinc.com/blog. So make sure to check out some of the other articles we’ve got. All right. Thanks Melissa. And thank you all for watching. And we’ll talk to you next time.