Written by Lesley Goodaker, Digital Marketing Manager

Updating Business Directory Information Across the Web – Who, What, Where and How

In today’s mobile-first world, having accurate and consistent business information across the web is crucial. For many small business owners, updating your local business listings online may not seem like a top priority, but according to Google, approximately 4 out of 5 people use search engines to find local business information such as location and store hours. If that’s not convincing enough, consider the idea that incorrect business information (e.g. phone number, address, etc) online can damage the business trust of consumers by over 50%!

Now that we have your attention, let’s focus on how you can help your business perform better in local searches by taking a look at the who, what, where, and how of updating business information across the web. 

Who needs their online business listing updated across the web?

Let’s make this quick everyone! From new businesses and community staples to mom and pop shops and global organizations, every business should be mindful of the way their information appears across each online directory. Each business directory listing contributes to your online presence and increases the likelihood that your business will appear above your competitors in search results. Generally speaking, the more local listings you have, the better your chances are of showing up to customers in your area.

What business information goes on the web?

Again, let’s make this simple everything! The more you can provide when you create a listing for your business, the better. Everything from routine NAP information (name, address, phone number) to the products/services you offer should be listed across business listing sites when possible. If you’re looking to go above and beyond, consider incorporating photos and videos as well (as allowed by each publisher).

Where (and when) do business details need to be updated?

Think you’ve got this one? You guessed it. Business details should be updated everywhere and anytime there is a seasonal or permanent change! Moving into a new office? Planning ahead for holiday hours? Closed for inclement weather? Let your customers know as soon as possible and across as many channels as possible.

While it’s important to ensure your business listing is accurate, accuracy means nothing if your listings aren’t in a place where customers will find them. When it comes to listing your business, it’s crucial that your information is updated across all major online directories and websites including Google My Business, Bing, Yelp, Facebook, and so many others. This not only helps to maximize your business’ coverage on these platforms but also your chances of being found in general. Now for the kicker  — 

How do I update my business information?

While the “who,” “what,” and “when” are fairly simple to address, actually updating your business listings requires a bit more coordination. If you’re a new business, it’s likely no one has created listings for your business. The good news is you shouldn’t have much clean up to do to get your listings our there. The less than good news is that you are now responsible for creating those listings on every individual directory site which can be a very time-consuming job. 

On the other hand, if you’ve been open for longer than a few months, it’s likely that information about your business is already scattered across the web. Understanding the importance of directory listings for your business, make it a fall “cleaning” task to update existing listings you own or claim listings that may have been auto-generated. There are two ways you can do this:

  1. First, you can attempt to access your business information on online directories manually. To do this, you will need to go to every individual directory site and add your information or request an update. Similar to establishing new listings, this can be very time consuming as you not only have to access each listing individually but you also have to wait for your information to appear.
  2. Alternatively, if time isn’t a luxury for your business, you can use the services of a directory management service that will do this manual work for you. Though free listing services exist, keep in mind these are often limited in reach. But never to fear! At Harris & Ward, we understand your time is valuable which is why we have partnered with Yext to offer the benefits of automatic citation submission services to clients in need of listing management services. By utilizing this partnership, we will do the heavy lifting of listing management for you so you can focus on doing what you enjoy most! Better yet, this partnership grants us a customized dashboard for your business that integrates with over 100 of the leading maps, apps, and directories to ensure your business listings are accurate across as many channels as possible at all times!

Interested in learning more about listing management services? Contact us today!