6 Steps to Auditing Your Online Listings
During a recent Google search for your business, you found that your location had incorrect information in the local listing section of Google. As you scrolled down in the search page, you noticed other listings on sites such as Yelp, yellowpages.com or Angie’s List are also incorrect or worse- you are not even listed.
We have spoken in detail about the importance of having the correct online listing information for your business. This includes having the same name, address and phone number on your website, online and via the data aggregators, such as Infogroup, Axciom, Localeze and Factual. Make sure that your address matches exactly with post office records. Use a local phone number in your listing; most data aggregators will not take 800 numbers as the primary phone number.
So, what do you do if you found the incorrect address or name online? Is there a way to look for these listings and try to fix them?
Steps for Auditing Online Listing
Auditing online listings is a process that every business needs to do regardless of whether they have just one location or hundreds, because if that information is not correct, potential customers might not be able to find your business. This is a risk you can’t afford to take! In order to audit and correct online listings problems, there are steps that need to be completed. In some cases, in order to audit your company’s online listings, they should already have an account set up, especially on Google My Business.
- If you are just beginning the search for incorrect information about your business, then the first thing that you need to do is search the web for the incorrect information. Search for your business via a combination of either name and address or name and phone number. This will allow you to thoroughly search to how people try to find your business. There are many sites that should be checked during this audit including, Google, Google Maps, Yelp, Facebook, yellowpages.com, City Search, superpages.com, Yahoo, Bing and Angie’s List. Linkmedia 360 actually runs an audit on the Top 50 most relevant local directory websites to check for incorrect listing information. We look for any variances in abbreviations, naming conventions, addresses, websites, and phone numbers.
- Once you have set up your listings in the various directory sites, there are many tools that can be used to complete online audits, such as BrightLocal or MOZ. However, if you are just one location, creating an auditing spreadsheet to compare your information against the information found online is the best solution.
- Look for duplicate listings of your business. There should only be one listing per site for your business. Duplicate listings can pull traffic away from the listing that you have created or syndicated in the search engines, which causes your information to be less authoritative. If there are duplicates, you will need to remove the secondary listing.
- Most websites, especially Google, Yahoo and Bing, require a manual process of claiming or verifying. This requires creating an account, which then triggers a phone call or postcard to verify that the business information is correct. Make sure that all of the information in the account is completely filled out including business category, hours and URL. In order to make changes to the listings on these sites, you must first verify the listing.
- To make changes to the incorrect listings online, it is best to go to the main source of the data to make the change. Most of the major online directories and search engines share their information to smaller websites. It is better to change the information on the larger sites, because they will “trickle” down to correct the information on the smaller sites. This is a quicker process than changing information on smaller sites over and over again.
- Follow up on the changes that you made to a site that was displaying inaccurate information about your business. Check on the listings a week, 2 weeks and a month after you made the changes to make sure that the update has been completed.
Displaying the correct online listing information is crucial to having your business found by your customers. If you have the wrong information listed it can negatively affect search rankings, which makes it harder for people to find you. It is important to sit down and take a look at your company’s listings. Linkmedia 360 has local online listing management solutions that can help find, correct, update and maintain your business’s online listings.