local business listingsYou may not be aware of it now, but your business has likely suffered at the hands of incorrect business listings.

And as a customer, I’m sure you know from experience the impact it can have. To put it bluntly, when someone is trying to buy a product or service, an incorrect listing makes that process more challenging, and customers will waste no time finding another place to spend their hard-earned money.

Don’t let your customers lose out on business because of incorrect listings—claim and correct them instead!


Out with the old, in with the new

As you are probably aware, phone books are starting to corner the doorstop and firestarter market. As tech-savvy generations age and account for more significant percentages of our population, target customers continue to shift further away from paper and digital. 63% of people under 40 never use phone books to find local business listings. This means having your business listed online is critical to tapping into a vast demographic of potential customers in the up-and-coming 80-million Millennial generation.


The Internet’s hottest spots

With 85% of consumers browsing online to find your business, it’s more important than ever to be showing present and accurate NAP (name, address, phone number) data in the Internet’s hottest spots. For this article, we will narrow our focus to “The Big Four”: Bing, Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Google. These four listing hubs account for 85% of all search traffic and provide businesses with access to 314 million monthly users, and these are the listings you want to be claimed, corrected, and working in your favor for free.

(1) Bing

Bing is a big up-and-comer in the digital world. Accessible from Bing Places, getting a business online is as easy as one, two, three! This engine now accounts for 30% of all searches performed online. That’s a considerable amount of traffic for local consumers looking for your business.

(2) Yelp

Traditionally known as a review platform, Yelp has evolved into a one-stop-shop for your businesses to manage information and reviews, as well as post photos, promotions, and events for your customers, all under the roof of one little listing. Yelp is a massive draw to businesses because it has so much to offer and so much traffic! With up to 36.3 million monthly users looking for reputable and trustworthy businesses, wouldn’t it be great to get found on Yelp? Get started now.

(3) Yellow Pages

Aptly named for its predecessor, YellowPages (or YP as we more affectionately know it) has taken over where the original Yellow Pages left off. Yellow Pages has already wormed its way into customers’ hearts with a built-in user base from its paper days and has become a reliable source for listing information. On top of all that, YP has some of the highest US local search numbers in the game, making it the perfect place for your business to get found online. Get started here and get YellowPages working for those local business listings of yours!

(4) Google

“Just Google it” has become a common phrase in most of our daily lives, so it should come as no surprise that its listing source, Google My Business, makes our Big Four. Unique to the other three, Google’s demographic reaches far beyond the female decision-makers, 45+ age group, and $60,000+ income earners using Bing, Yelp, and Yellow Pages. Part of Google My Business’ draw is that its listings are seen by everyone who uses Google. With up to 175 million monthly users across every demographic, that’s a pretty big draw.

Not only does Google My Business get you found in searches, but on Google Maps as well! Accounting for 78% of mobile travel usage, if your business isn’t found on Google My Business, there’s a good chance it’s not getting found in real life either. Don’t send customers driving around in circles; get your businesses on Google my Business now.


Accuracy really is everything

Now that we’ve talked about where to be listed online let’s talk about how your business information should be listed online—100% accurately! Customers trust Bing, Yelp, YellowPages, and Google to give them the correct information they need to find the business they’re looking for. When the information is incorrect, customers lose significant trust in the brand. Not only can inaccurate business listings and inconsistent NAP data diminish your brand, but did you know it can also affect search engine optimization (SEO)? Yep, you read that right! Listings with false location information are the #1 negative local ranking factor when it comes to SEO. So, not only can incorrect listing data make it hard for customers to find you physically, but online, too.

As you can very well see, being present and being accurate where it matters most in online listings is crucial to survival in today’s dog-eat-dog digital world.


Need more local marketing tips? Check out our entire Guide to Local Marketing for Real Estate Professionals