Welcome to another episode of Navigate the Rapids – the show where I explain digital marketing trends, strategies, and every day topics that every business owner needs for success – both online and off. This is episode number 28 – Your Online Business Listings
In today’s show we’re going to talk about…
- Googling your own business
- What is a NAP?
- How and why you should get more business citations
- Two tools to get consistent citations
- Why you need more reviews
All right, my name is Will Hanke. My company is Red Canoe Media. Today we’re gonna talk about your business listings and some different apps and different things that you can do, different websites you can use, to assist you with getting your business listed online correctly.
What happens when you Google your own business? Has anybody gone out and typed in the name of their business and just see what comes up? Did what came up what you expected or what you wanted? Of course, you probably work on it daily. Good. Okay.
Typically when you look up your business now, of course you get, hopefully your website and then a couple of social properties, maybe your Facebook page or Linkedin profile, things like that. A lot of cases you might start to get something like this now, where people have filled out questions or it has your address or it has your time, things like that, that you’re open.
This is what you should get if you do the same thing and get a different list or especially if your website is not in one of the first results, then you need to do some work on it.
Another thing that might happen is, of course, the photos, your reviews, your address, all this information about you and then some other different things over here which is pretty new from Google, is your business on Google. So it recognized that I was the one looking this up, recognized that it was my business because I was logged in to Google, so it started to give me some different things. You haven’t posted recently. In the past 14 today’s, less people are looking for your business, things like that.
So if you Google your business and these things don’t happen, then you need to get into what’s called Google My Business and we’re gonna talk about that in a minute, but first let’s take a nap.
Dan’s all over this. Right? Let’s take a nap. Nap in my industry stands for three things. Name, Address and Phone Number. These three things are extremely critical to your business when you’re listing your business online. The difference between them will be obvious in a minute. So the name of my business, Red Canoe Media. The address 152 Hinrichs Lane, Arnold, MO 63010. Phone number, 314-496, okay.
However, sometimes, my business might be listed as 152 Hinrichs Ln, and maybe a different phone number because I’m using a Google voice number on my website, so I can track those calls, right?
To the search engines, they’re confused. They don’t know am I Lane or Ln and it sounds a little silly but it really should always be the same no matter where you’re listing your business. The Nap is extremely important when you’re listing your businesses on other places.
So just for the heck of it, I went out and I typed in my business name and figured I’ll look and see what other people are doing. So, MapQuest, I didn’t even know MapQuest was still a thing, but apparently it is, they’ve got me listed as 152 Hinrichs Ln, interesting. Yelp has be may down here, same thing, Ln. Then on my website, in the footer, it’s hard to see but it’s Lane.
So there are obviously things that need to be fixed. Either I need to go to MapQuest and Yelp and get these fixed or I just need to come up with a solution one way or another and stick with it and then start fixing some of these other places. The reason that this is important is because it shows up here when somebody is typing in your business name.
If Google can’t make that connection between the two, you’re missing opportunities to list your business online and to get it recognized.
All right. I know you came here for apps. Come on, Will. All right. Google My Business. This is one of your first apps that you need to download. You can also get to this online at Google.com/business. Google.com/business. You need to go to this website and claim your business. If your business is not claimed or it’s never been filled out, then you’re gonna get a couple of different options. You’re either going to get nice job you’re on the map. Your business info might be incorrect. Or your business isn’t on the map at all. So this all does tie back to Google Maps as well.
So either way, you need to click the button that says verify your business info. Once you get on this page, after you verified your business and say, yes I’m really here. This is really my business. There’s a tab on the left called info. This is where you’re gonna wanna fill out everything related to your business. So your business name, address, phone, of course those three things. Hours that you’re in business and let’s see what else. Hours, your address, hours that you’re open and labels. They give you a section for labels so you can put in things like I put in SEO digital marketing, web design. These are things that people might type into the search engines to find my business. So since they’re giving me the opportunity to do that, I really should be doing that.
Also, up in the top left under Red Canoe Media, up there it gives you an opportunity to put in some different categories for your business. So in my case, I put in marketing, business, digital marketing, things like that, advertising agency. Stuff like that.
So this all reflects back to your business when somebody types in the name of your business online. It could also tie into keywords that we talked about earlier. Once you’re done filling it out, they’re typically going to send you a postcard so it’s not just going to go live on the website immediately, on Google. They’re going to send a postcard to the address that you put in. It will come about 10 days later with a little pin number. Plug in the pin number and that verifies your business online.
Bing also has the same thing. It’s called Bing Places for business. A lot of people don’t know that. Bing is still a thing and Bing is actually what’s powering Yahoo search now, as well. Yahoo is no longer a search engine. They’re powered by Bing’s results. So by doing this on Bing, you’re actually going to help yourself on two of the other major search engines. That’s at Bingplaces.com. There is an app for that as well, so both of these you can use an app. Both of these will alert you if there are any changes to your hours or something like that.
So when somebody looks up your business online, they actually have an opportunity to edit, let’s say the hours. Maybe I’m eight to five. They could actually say, actually Red Canoe is only open eight to four. What’ll happen is you’ll get notified and you can either verify that, that is true or verify it is not true. But those kind of notifications would show up on your app so you would always have the best information out there.
Speaking about an app, there are some services that will help you get your business listed on other sites like MapQuest and Yelp and a lot of these. The first one is called Yext.com and I don’t, Kara, do you know the price of Yext? A couple of hundred bucks a year, probably. The great thing about Yext is you put in your address once and they will go put your business on a 100 or so different sites. The nice thing is it’s controlled because you put it in one place and it’s on all of those. If your phone number changes, you go to Yext, you fix your phone number and it will send that to all of those sites. So everything stays congruent.
The other one is Moz Local. Moz Local is about $89 bucks a year. Does something very similar and that’s moz.com/local. I think it’s $89 bucks a year, somewhere in the $100 range per year, but that’s the one we use.
And lastly I want to talk about reviews. Several people have commented about reviews today. Reviews are huge when it comes to your business online. If you don’t have a lot of positive reviews, it’s very possible that people will pass you over. It also shows up here, so we can see five stars, 39 reviews. Pretty good, right? And the other thing it does, it shows up in what’s called the three pack or the snack pack. So if somebody types in, my example is SEO expert. I type that in, these are the three results that come back. Red Canoe Media at the time had 25 positive reviews. Red Tail SEO, whoever those bums are. They got no reviews. And then the SEO Expert, two reviews. So just from this one example, it’s pretty obvious which one most people are going to click on or find out more information about.
So the driving those positive reviews moves you up in these map type listings as well, and there’s also some social proof there just of the fact that nobody has left a review for Red Tail. What does that say about them? Probably not anything positive. I don’t know who they are.
Reviews are huge and they don’t need to be overlooked. If you do want a free review score, let me know. I’ve got a free review tool that I can plug in your business name and it’ll give you a score and tell you where you are listed and where you’re not listed. What sort of Nap you have on the different systems and any incongruencies therein. Those are some big words. That was good. And that’s reviews.redcanoemedia.com or just see me and I’ll get yeah one.
All right. Questions and answers. Hopefully answers.
I notice a lot of times I’ll put my address in and it will correct it with, and I’m on Reflection Court, and they’ll correct it as Ct. So, how do we get that to where it’s the same?
If it’s on a website where they’re auto-correcting it, there’s probably nothing you can do other than maybe reach out to the webmaster and ask them to fix it but they’re probably not going to. So I would just move on to the next website. You’re not going to fix them all.
You mentioned that Nap is name, address, phone number. What about home based businesses? Do I want my home address out there for the world to come visit me?
So that’s up to you. Mine’s out there. If you look up mine, I just work out of my home. Probably the only bad thing about it, if I can get back there, is it does show my home, but I’ve never had anybody show up.
So it does have a thing there. See the outside of that business. So you could creep around and see who my neighbors are and that kind of stuff. But there is a button in the back end of Google My Business that says people do not come to this location to do business with me and I think Google has some sort of an algorithm in there where they won’t show your home as much but I’ve never had any trouble with it. I do have clients that say I don’t want to list it. I have a client, right now, who refuses to put an address out there because they’re home-based, so they’re never going to show up in any of these type of rankings, especially in the map or the three pack because they don’t want to tie an address to a location.
I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.
Something that I deal with all the time, I’ve never looked at it in this context and that is that the post office and the IRS have address databases and so when you deal with them and you have to fill in an address on an application or a form or something like that, it will return to you a screen that says, our database shows the following address. Either use yours or accept ours. And the address that they send to you has no periods in it, has no special characters or anything like that. It’s very structured and I don’t know if businesses tap into that or businesses use that or use that as part, but it doesn’t admit much variation in addresses at all.
If there’s an official address for your location, I’d probably use that and that would probably fix your problem, Richard, because that’s probably where they’re pulling that from is some sort of an address database in the sky, I guess.
Will, so real quick when I talked about my experience with the Dolphin Tank, I mentioned the talent in the room and the intelligence in the room, but also I failed to mention the giving heart. So Will is a genius and he has taken his time to spend time with me.
That Will, right there, in the Red Canoe shirt. So, this guy is amazing but I do have two questions for you and I thank you for that, Will.
I have two questions for you.
Thank you for the beer.
Well, you buy a beer, and you get anything you want. So I learned that.
So, on these labels, on these labels, do you put SEO or do you put search engine optimization or how do you do that and then on the address question, can you just like a city and a state instead of your home address because my business is out of my home also.
I’ll answer the second one first. No, you cannot just put a city and state. You have to have a real address, so it’s all or nothing and that’s the trouble I’m having with one of our clients right now. They don’t want to put a home address on there. But then Google doesn’t have anywhere to send the postcard.
What was the first question? I forgot now, answering the first one.
I would put both. So I would put SEO and I would type it out search engine optimization. So if there are acronyms, is that what they’re called? I’m former military so I’m very used to acronyms but you really need to type those out as well for people that are looking for you that way.
On the Google, I have a phone number here and I wanted to change it and it will not let me change it. I use my cell phone, but I just went in 10 times and it won’t let me.
Okay. You might want to try and do it on a desktop instead of the app. It may just give you more options.
Mary. Kara then Mary.
Moz is 99 to 1,000 bucks and their standard is 99. Yext is 199 to 999 with their standard being 499. Also, I had an issue with showing the outside of my house and you’re able to go into there and change the outside pictures of your house. So if you add different images, then it will populate and kind of override what Google puts for the outside of your house.
There is an option here for photos. Typically that’s for photos of your store or the inside or your products like that. If you work out of your home, you’ll have to just get a little more creative. Thank you.
I just wanted to say I had a P.O. Box for a long time and then I just started using my home address and I also have never, that’s been about 10 years. I’ve never had anybody show up. So, you know, I was kind of concerned but it doesn’t seem like it’s a big deal.
Okay. Thank you everyone. Have a great day.