With a zillion things to do while running your business, it can be incredibly hard to keep up with basic maintenance around operations, marketing, and accounting. When’s the last time you picked up the phone and called current customers? Or reviewed contracts? Or thought, “I really should update my business information online”?
I don’t have to tell you what happens if you ignore this stuff. You can end up with a hot mess, from missing out on sales to wasting money.
That’s why it’s critical to update business information online – regularly. And by business information, I mean your business name, address, phone number, and basic information about your business that appears in directories, search engines and social media sites.
Here are three reasons why it’s so important – followed by how to stay on top of it.
New customers will be able to easily find you
Google changed their search engine results page (SERP) layout earlier this year, which can be very good for your small business. If your listing is filled out completely on Google My Business, your small business can be one of three local company listings that appear on a Google map. If your listing is accurate, potential customers will be able to reach you.
You will gain credibility
Your listings in directories – like Google My Business, Yelp, etc. – contain reviews. People read, trust, and make buying decisions based on reviews. The more great reviews you have, the more credibility you will gain, and the easier it will be for new customers to decide, “Yes, I want to buy from you.”
You can highlight your business’s value
Most business listings allow you to write a brief introduction to your business. Use that space to really highlight the value that you deliver. As your business grows and you add more services or products, you can update your listings to include your new offerings.
Here are five ways to keep up with your business’s information on directories, search engines, and social sites.
Schedule a recurring event on your calendar so you don’t forget. Depending on your business, you might want to review and update the information every month or every quarter. But I wouldn’t spread it out more than that.
Make a list of all online assets
Open up a spreadsheet and list out all online directories, search engines and social media sites that you have accounts with. Don’t forget to include your website! Add columns for login credentials (user name and password) and who else on your team has access. At the top of the spreadsheet, include the date of the most recent review and who did it.
Create a master document of up-to-date business information
Whether you add it to the spreadsheet of online assets or create a separate document, you need a master copy of ALL of your business information. If you have more than one business location (good for you!), list out each location separately.
Check for accuracy
Keep that master document open as you go through each asset and check for accuracy. Read everything out loud. Not only does reading out loud make you go more slowly, but you’re also more likely to catch transposed numbers and misspellings.
Add to your business processes
Whenever you make a big change in your business – adding a new location, changing a menu, introducing new products or services – you’ll want to update that information online. Put together your process and make sure it’s accessible to everyone who handles operations in your business (now – or in the future as you grow!).
How have your online business listings helped your small business attract new customers?
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