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Here are 11 solid benefits you will get from claiming your business online with Google and other business listing sites. You know it is important to claim your business online, but why? What could claiming your business on Google and other business listing sites possibly do for you?

When we start a business, we still put it in the newspaper for legal reasons, right? Despite that fact that we know that readership rates have experienced huge declines. This is primarily due to the popularity of the Internet and information is easily within our reach at any time. Yes, it is required in many places to list your new business in the newspaper. But to really tell everyone that you’re open for business, you need to claim your business ONLINE.

The Issues:

1. It Builds Trust

Your business needs to be trusted. People do business with those that they know, like, and trust. Claiming your business online builds that ever-so important trust. It is only a beginning. But when people see your unclaimed businesses, it appears that you Mr. or Ms. Owner, doesn’t care. Therefore your unclaimed listing does not build trust or confidence in your business.

Years ago phone books were the major method of building trust. If you listed your business in the phone book, you were someone!! But this was also VERY expensive to do. Fortunately, it doesn’t cost anything to claim your business on Google. However, you may want to ask someone knowledgeable to do it for you. Doing this incorrectly could be worse than not doing it at all.

2. It’s Great for SEO

The more places you list your business and your website, the more links you will have going back to your website. This is extremely important for Google. You see, these links from directories mean a lot to Google because they have high regard. Due to this, Google will rank your site higher in the search engine results when you list your business on directories. Claiming your business on Maps and listing your website there is a big step in your successful SEO efforts.

3. Locals are Drawn

When someone is looking for a business in a particular niche, do you think they look in their phonebook anymore? No, of course not. Most everyone these days has a computer, a table, a smartphone or even a GPS in their vehicle. When they need something, either they get a referral from someone they know OR they search for it online! Even if they get a referral they STILL may search online just to verify other people have had a good experience.

If your business is not claimed it will not rank as highly in the search results. It will not be found as easily as if it is ranked.

4. It Draws Tourists

When I am out of town, the only way to know what is available for services and products is Maps. If you are not there, I and any other out-of-towners will never know about you.

Listing or claiming your business on mapping programs is the only way to know you exist.

5. It Creates Opportunities

Everyone has an opinion of your product or service. When you add your listing to sites that accept reviews such as Yelp, Facebook, Merchant Circle, and of course Google, you allow people to review your business. Oh, I bet you are saying “But I am afraid someone will say bad things about me or my business!” Yes, you are right – they may do that. But they will do it anyway, without your control!

When you see any review, be sure to respond to them. Some competitor MAY leave you a bad review. Someone may leave you a bad review that was meant for another business. Someone may have had a bad experience (remember your business IS in your control) and leave you a bad review. OR, SOMEONE MAY BE THRILLED WITH THE EXPERIENCE AND LEAVE YOU A GLOWING REVIEW. By claiming your business online, you can take ALL feedback and make it into something useful for your business.

Remember – the positive comments will provide you with badly needed social proof. This will actually HELP other people to buy from you! Managing ALL reviews online will help your business in more ways than you could ever consider.

6. It’s Free Marketing

What does it take to claim your business on the various directory platforms? You have to fill out some forms. You have to respond to some emails. You have to verify the listings have the correct information. But this is all a part of marketing, right?

Not claiming your business means that your competitors are where you are not. This leaves your business in the dark and not receving the income that is due to you. Which do you choose?

7. It Stakes Your Claim

When you do not claim your business on the listing directories, you have no control. Think of it as a gold mine – if you don’t stake your claim, someone else could. Is that something you would want for your business – a competitor controlling your listing?

8. It Prevents Misinformation

Unless you claim your listing online, you cannot manage the information. Do you know how business information gets on Google when your listing is not claimed? By customers – those that like you and those that do not. By competitors. By anyone that wants to put your information on Google. Do you see how this could be abused? How about mis-treated?

Even after claiming your business, you should update your information as needed. What can change about your business? Your hours? Physical location? Website address? Any changes should be reflected as soon as possible.

9. It Increases Brand Visibility

When someone searches for a service or product in your niche, they will come up with a list. A list of businesses, logos, addresses, phone numbers, and directions to their business. This brand recognition is critical to small businesses. Branding itself is crucial to your business and is something that needs to be done all the time.

We have a course on branding – it is 1.5 hours long and will pay you back in diamonds if you use the concepts. Right now, the course is free – contact us today to request it!

10. It’s the Only Way People Know You Exist

No one will know your business exists online if you do not claim your business online. This is a huge potential revenue stream. You are not not taking advantage of it. Once listed on multiple location service sites, your business will officially be open to the general public. That is what you want. It is like posting an A frame sign outside – all passersby have the opportunity to see you!

Marketing experts want you to list your business online because it exposes your brand to anyone who is online. This is pretty much everyone, in case you haven’t been watching. If you don’t care to claim your business online or you don’t feel it is worth the time or energy, you are missing out on income. A competitor will happily take that from you.

11. You Can’t Manage Your Google Reputation Without It

Do you see the reviews that businesses get online? Do you see that sometimes the business responds to those reviews? Do you think it is a good idea to do that? You bet it is!

However, unclaimed businesses cannot respond to reviews. Those reviews, no matter if they are good bad or indifferent, remain alone and unresponded to. Do you think it is important to respond to bad reviews? How about good ones? All reviews should be responded to so people see that YOU are in touch and care about your business.

Recap:

Here are the major pain points for imminent lost business that an unclaimed listing will cause:

1) If you have negative reviews, you cannot address or respond to them. Negative reviews are a deal-breaker for many people looking for your product or service. They will simply go to a competitor with more favorable reviews or that respond to their negative ones. This shows they care and are in touch.

2) If your location is incorrect you will cause frustration and grief for people because they will not be able to find your business easily when looking.

3) If your website is not listed or is incorrectly listed people that are looking will not find additional information from your website that you wished them to know about your business.

4) If your hours are wrong and someone attempts to contact or go into your business during the times your listing says it is open and you are not, they will feel frustrated and will probably never use your business.

Result: Claim your business today! Your business will be happier, and SO will YOU!!