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The biggest mistake that us marketers see businesses making is failing to claim and control their online listings. If you don’t write your business’s story on the web, someone else will. Failing to harness online listings is failing to uncap the true potential of your business’ reach. Plus, managing listings doesn’t need to be expensive or difficult. The internet has several Free Media profiles for you to take advantage of!

What is a Listing?

A listing is an online profile that contains your business name, address, phone number, and other important details. There are thousands of websites and directories on which local business owners are able to create free business listings, such as Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook. Oftentimes, when you don’t create your own online listings, the internet will create them for you. This threatens your business’s integrity by introducing potentially false or outdated information.

Why is it Important to Claim and Control Your Listings?

The existence of false information on your business can massively harm your search engine ranking, as Google and other search engines highly value consistency across online listings. Claiming and maintaining your online listings allows you to take full control of your business and eliminates the possibility of incorrect and errant listings. This additionally ensures that accurate and up-to-date business information is always available to those who need it most: your valued customers.

What Is Free Media?

Businesses can have over 100 total listings that are made up of ancillary search platforms. While there are many widely used free platforms available to business owners to enhance their reach, the most well-known are Google My Business (GMB), Yelp, and Facebook. These resources each provide unique resources for reaching new audiences.

Google My Business is a free tool provided by Google that allows for your business’s core information to be displayed directly on Google’s search results page. This simplifies a customers search for information by exhibiting your business at the top of the page, both in branded and organic searches.

Yelp is an online directory designed to help users browse local businesses of all kinds. The platform predominantly revolves around exchanging business reviews. Yelp extends free profiles to all businesses, and also offers the option for Enhanced Profiles (EP) at an additional cost which provide users with several additional features. Managing your business’s Yelp listing can strengthen your business’s hyperlocal presence as well as give insights into customer sentiment.

Facebook business pages can ultimately function as a second website for your business. It offers another platform to display your business information including basic hours, address, and phone number as well as more information such as services and pricing. Many internet users look to Facebook as their number one source for information, so foregoing use of the platform could mean a significant demographic missing out on your business.

Especially in light of COVID-19, it is crucial to utilize these listings in order to keep your clientele informed of your business’s status and availablility. These platforms have made many changes both in the form of new features and temporary restrictions to assist businesses during the pandemic. Please read DSG’s article on Managing Listings Amid COVID-19 to learn DSG’s recommended course of action to maximize your free media presence during COVID-19.

At DSG, we consider ourselves to be listings experts. We’re here to keep an open conversation, so please reach out using the form below with any additional questions you may have.

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