The most basic and possibly the most important step you can take to boost your site’s search engine optimization (SEO) is to list your business with the major search engines and aggregators; make sure the information is correct and up-to-date; and become the verified representative for your business. While finding the time to perform these functions can be a challenge, the payoff is well worth the time spent.
Sundog would love to be able to do this for you, but the engines that power the internet require verification that only the business itself can provide and need to work directly with a contact within your company.
If your business is new and there are no listings on any search engines or aggregators, you should create and verify a business entry on all the major sites. If you have been in business for more than five minutes, you most likely have a listing even if you have not created one and will simply need to verify your authorization to make updates.
One note when working with your business’ entries is to BE CONSISTENT. You should have the following vital information handy and ready to input:
- Business Name
- Address (City, State, Zip)
- Main Phone Number
- Business Hours
- A description of your business, minimum 250 characters.
- Category (-ies) of your Business
- Logo and images
Unfortunately, there is no single place to add your business. The most influential sites in regards to business listings are DMOZ, Google, Bing, Yahoo and the Yellow Pages. For each of these, you will need to be signed in. We highly recommend that you keep close track of the logins you use for your business and be sure you are not logged into a personal account before you get started.
- Google: a Gmail login
- Yahoo: a Yahoo login
- Bing: a Microsoft login
- Yellow Pages: a Google+ account
https://www.google.com/maps– if your business is not there, click “Add a missing place to Google Maps” – you will be prompted to login and can then claim the business and fill in any missing or incorrect information. You will also be required to verify.
https://business.google.com/create – Create a Google My Business account. Select the business type that best fits your category and then enter business name. If you are not there, follow the directions. This process also adds a Google+ Page.
Go to https://www.bingplaces.com/ and scroll down to the business type that best suits your business (store front, chain or at customer location) and follow the instructions. You will need a Microsoft login.
Go to http://www.yext.com/pl/yahoo-claims/index.html, enter your business information and click “Find My Listings”. A Yext page comes up with a busy, intimidating page – just click NEXT. Update the information about your listing and click “Continue”. Yext then offers paid plans, but immediately below these plans click the tiny link that says, “Claim your Basic Listing only on Yahoo.” Complete the checkout and click “Place Order” (it is free). From here, just follow the instructions.
Go to http://m1.adsolutions.yp.com/ and click top right “Get Your Free Listing”
The time between completing the verification process and seeing your correct listing appear online varies widely. Just be patient and check in every so often to see whether your business has been updated. We recommend that you not make changes again, it could make the process take even longer.
Your site’s SEO is within your grasp, so do not hesitate. Put your digital stake in the ground and claim your space on the web!