These are one-time activities for web properties you don’t own.
Define Company Data
Determine this information before starting so it is consistent across the web.
Official Company Name
It is extremely important to have your business's name correct and consistent everywhere around the internet. It should be the official name in government records and stay the same every instance it shows up.
Year Company Established
This is the address that has to be used consistently everywhere it is displayed.
Address line 2
Unit or Suite Number
City, State Zip
Main Company Phone Number
This phone number needs to be the main company line and needs to represent the company or an individual location everywhere.
Exact web address, including http:// or https://. This should be the exact same address used across every instance the web address shows up on the internet. For instance, don't use www unless it has been part of your website address for a long time.
Search engines like it when the business is in the same location every time it is referred to on the internet. The geocoordinates should be taken after the Google map indicator is properly placed.
Public Email Address - Company Inquiries
Email address for customers to contact the business. Many companies use this sparingly accross the web because it invites spam. On the website, forms can be used instead.
Images to used on directory sites
This is a collection of 20 images used across the internet uploaded to a folder in the company's Google Drive account.
Official hours must be consistent across the internet.
All Old Phone Numbers
Any phone numbers other than the official main phone number used by the company either currently or in the past.
All Old Company Names
Any company names other than the current official name used either currently or in the past.
All Old Company Addresses
Any alternate or old address for the company.
Review Acquisition Strategies
Develop System to Acquire Reviews
Reviews become more important to a business's online presence every day. They influence your ranking on Google and potential customers use them to qualify your quality of work and responsiveness to both happy and unhappy customers.
During Customer Interaction
The most effective way to gain reviews is to make it part of the interaction of every employee and customer. Casually asking pointedly for a review when the customer is happiest drives results. Also, it instills great customer service, worthy of a positive review, into the background of all your employee's customer interactions.
An email can be sent to customers if you routinely get their address or ask for it. It can be a template you send to one or a list of recent customers periodically or a personal email to individual customers with a link to your "leave-a-review" web page.
A text message with a link to your "leave-a-review" page can be an easy option. One drawback to this strategy is that reviews from a phone tend to be less thorough than reviews left on a computer since they take longer to type.
There are many great apps to streamline the process of getting reviews.
Pass these out to each customer, giving them a passive request with directions on how to find places you want reviews. You can add a QR code leading phones directly to the reviw section.
Create a small poster to put on the counter of the reception or checkout counter of your walk-in business. It should include a request to leave a review along with a QR code for customers to scan with their phones.
Many of our customers have set up a reward system for positive reviews left about the company when their name is mentioned on a review. Paying for reviews is prohibited, but this idea takes it away from the customer and promotes great customer service.
Review Response System
Every review site allows responses from the business owner. The advantages of this: Higher conversions by showing potential customers that you are engaged, the ability to further sell your company, SEO benefit from adding keywords, & looking less defensive when responding to negative reviews (since you respond to all reviews).
Free Ecommerce Listing
Google Merchant Center
If you sell products online as well as local in a store, add them to Google Merchant Center. These are free listings that can show up in search results. you can also import those product feeds into Google Ads to start a shopping campaign.
Permits for projects done by contractors such as plumbers and electricians sometimes show up on the internet creating access by Google. These should use the correct NAP for the company.
Basic National Data Warehouses
The most important site to have your data correct. Unfortunately, a business cannot directly control its data on this site. Third parties must be utilized to add or change business information in Factual. $99/year with Moz Local. The state of Factual is in flux since it was purchased by Foursquare.
Foursquare gained importance to local SEO recently when it merged with Factual. Now it is one of the main directories/listings services to get right. If no listing exists, it cost $20 to submit a new one. Details of a Foresquare listing are below.
Google Business Profile (Formerly "Google My Business")
Claim and Verify
Claim the business with a Google account set up by the owner of the business so they can maintain primary control over the Google profile for the life of the business. You may need to verify with a phone call, verification number sent on a postcard to your address or even a video phone call.
Elminate previous brand listings
Find any other listings that represent the company and get rid of them. Duplicate listings can wreak havoc on the performance of a company's Google listing.
Eliminate previous listings based on old phone numbers
Try to find instalnces of Google listings other than the main one with all alternatives of old phone numbers. Get rid of them.
Eliminate listings for all previous names of company
Find Google Business Profile based upon previous names of the business. Get rid of them.
Eliminate all previous addresses of company
Find Google Business Profiles based upon previous addresses of the business. Get rid of them.
Name, Address, Phone# (NAP)
All fields must be consistent with the name, address, and phone number established in the first section.
Make sure the exact url is represented here. If you have a secure certificate, use https. Don't include www unless your website uses www. If you have multiple locations, use the website contact page for that location page for the website URL on that Google business listing.
Add UTM tracking to your website url to track visits to your website from your Google business listing. (https://yourwebsite.com/?UTM_source=GMB_listing&UTM_medium=organic) This page will show up as an independent page on your analytics report.
Set Map Marker
You can zoom in to drag the map marker to your doorstep. This is very important when potential customers will visit your office or store.
Hours of Operation
Find the closest business type that represents the business. These are constantly changing. If a better category is introduced for your company and you don't change, you could miss out on a lot of potential customers. Check the link in resources.
Describe the business with keywords, bullets, links, location references. This content should be unique, not simply lifted from the website "About" page.
Enter Service Categories and Descriptions
This is in the "Information" section of the Google Business Profile. This might or might not show up on the maps listing knowledge panel, but it is a very important opportunity to tell Google what your business is about using all keywords relevant to your business. This should be unique content. Studies show this does not affect your Maps ranking, but someday it could.
At Least 20 Total Pictures
Company logo, size is 250 x 250 pixels.
Upload Profile Image/Cover Photo
The main hero image on the profile. this image is used across many Google applications and has very strict dimension requirements to accommodate many devices. Google currently recommends a size of 720 x 720 pixels. The resource article goes in-depth to explain.
Upload pictures of the inside of the business to Google Business Profile.
Upload pictures of the outside of the business to Google Business Profile.
At Work Photos
Keyword Rich Name on All Pictures
Uploaded image need to be named properly with keywords and relevant
Keyword Rich Title on All Photos
They should be geotagged with company coordinates.
Geo Tag all Photos
coordinates. It is impossible to tell if this was done except to upload new. Recent tests have shown that this is not as effective as many have claimed.
Keyword Tag All Photos
Some have hypothesized tagging photos with keywords, geo locations, and name address and phone number of the company will increase the ranking power of a listing. This has been debunked by a few studies. We would make sure the file name of your image is named with descriptive keywords.
Description on all Photos
Include a short description and company information (NAP) in the description of every image. The effectiveness of this is highly in question, but it can't hurt.
Produce & Upload Video
Upload company overview video and every video you produce. Even if you upload to Youtube, upload it into your Google Business Profile too.
360 View Photos Uploaded
Have a Google Trusted Photographer take 360 degree pictures of your place and upload to Google Street View. These will show up on the search results knowledge panel. The photographer can transfer right to the company so the pictures will be considered "owner generated."
360 Virtual Tours Uploaded
A string of 360 photos can be connected together to form a virtual tour so visitor can walk around inside the business.
Add "Menu" if applicable
Add a menu to Google Business Profile if your company is a restaurant.
Install Google Beacon
Google gives a Bluetooth beacon to some businesses. It is always a good idea to participate in anything Google offers. Not sure this even exists anymore but put it up if you get one.
Enter Opened Date
Enter Service Areas for non store busines
Service contractors and businesses that do not receive customers at their place of business should based upon Google recommendation, enter a service area instead of an address.
Reply to Any Unanswered Google Questions
Google allows anyone to ask questions of a company directly on its Google business listing. Additionally, anyone can answer the questions, even if they are not part of the company. It is very important to answer the questions correctly as the business owner. Google indicates the answer if from the owner and frequently shows it as the first answer. This is also a good opportunity to use keywords and do some subtle selling of the business. it also shows visitors and Google that you are engaged, great signals for conversion and SEO.
Add Your Own FAQs
Since Google gives everyone the opportunity to ask a question to businesses directly on their listing, why not add common FAQs yourself. This is a great way to increase conversions by giving potential customers the information you want them to know about your company as they browse Google, without even going to your website.
Publish GMB Website
Google now offers a free "Website" that synthesizes all the information in a company's Google Business Profile into a website. You can modify it after it is created. It could work great for a company without a website.
Google allows you to enter a shortname for your Google Business Profile (instead of a bunch of letters and numbers) so your GMB URL is easier to remember and pass along to others. Try to get as close to your business name as possible.
If you sell products, add them to your Google Business listing. While there doesn't seem to be an SEO benefit at this point in time, it still could someday. It's also great to give your potential customers more information about your company since there is no assurance they will visit your website.
Add the services you offer to the services section of your GBP listing. You can list them and write a short description. Much like products, there is no evidence it will help with SEO, but still helps the effectiveness of your listing.
Indicate the attributes you can claim for your business. These can be marked either "Yes, No, or "Not Indicated" no answer and won't even show up on your listing). Many attributes change according to the type of business, so check all your.
Recent studies have shown that this can positively affect your rankings.
Health and Saftely
Appeared during COVID, indicate if appointments required, mask required, staff temperature checks, surface disinfectant, staff masks, customer temperature checks.
Indicate if you offer online appointments and onsite services.
You can now get messages directly from your Google listing. When looking at your Google profile from a phone, potential customers can open a "chat" button to send a message that goes directly to the phone of the designated Google Business Profile owner to chat. If you enable this feature, make sure you are able to answer chats most of the time.
Enable Call History
The Google Business Profile now shows you phone calls made directly from your profile (without going to your website). It is great to know how many come in, and you can check phone numbers to see if they became customers. Unfortunately, we can't tell the search term so don't know if they were simply looking up the phone number or searching for a business type. There is no visibility of calls made from a phone while looking at a computer. You have to enable this feature in the admin area, click on "Calls" on the left-hand sidebar.
Google My Business Video Maker
Google released a platform to create a video by entering basic information like taglines and photos.
Up to 100 Images
Correct Map Marker Placement
Do customers visit you?
Business or Professional
COVID-19 Related Announcement
Social Media Profiles
Claim or Create Page
Facebook is one of the most prominent properties for a business to take ownership of and develop.
Enter exact Name, Address & Phone number established in section 1.
Website (Exact address)
Website should be entered exactly as it is (inlcuding http vs https)
Verify company's page using facebook's call verification system.
Create a username that represents as close as you can get to your business name.
Company's contact email address.
Additional Location Details
Identify if you have customers visit you, travel to your customers, and if you sell goods online.
If you visit customers, indicate the area you serve.
Write a short description of the company. It should be unique to everything else on the internet.
Impressum (2000 Characters)
In certain countries, online business are required to provide a statement of ownership. This is an optional section, but another chance to tell people and search engines about your business.
Correct Business Category
Search the facebook database of categories for the closest one to your business.
Facebook now allows companies to enter all the services they offer. This is, of course, good for visitors to your page from within facebook, but it also serves as great keywords and SEO for search engines since a company's facebook page is public, indexed by search engines. Since facebook is such a powerful website, company facebook pages generally rank just below their own website in search results.
Add "Our Story"
"Our story" is another great way to introduce visitors to your business. Again, it is also seen by search engines so could affect how they see your company and what keywords to associate it with.
Hours of Operation
Same hours shown everywhere.
Facebook offers a Bluetooth beacon to pages with enough followers and visits. Companies should pursue this if it is an option.
BBB Accreditation Plugin
This option is available if business is accredited by BBB.
Wifi Netword Info
You can give customers your wifi information on your facebook page.
COVID-19 Updates info
Temporary Service Changes
Your Covid related status, marke "operating as usual", "Temporarily Closed", or "Open with Changes."
Upload a QR code to your website.
From $ to $$$$
Add Action Button
Enter links to many other social properties in including Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Linkedin, etc.
Upload Existing Photos
Upload Existing Videos
Videos can be uploaded directly to faceboook so facebook hosts them. They will automatically be shared your feed.
Owner's Linkedin Page
Create Linkedin Page
Owner needs to claim or develop a company page with thier own Linkedin profile.
Company page should be a live link from company page
Should be started or claimed by owner's Linkedin profile
Good Cover Photo
Set custom button
100 - 2000 word company description
Add Showcase Pages for major products & services
Social Media Links
Tags on all videos
Transcripts on all videos
Designated as Business Account
Business Phone number
Yahoo has all but disbanded its local business listing service and it is hard to get or edit one. If you are very adamant about getting all your listings correct, you can either pay for a Yext account or claim a basic listing through Yext. Read details on the resources link.
Navmii is a GPS directions phone application similar to Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze. It gets data from large databases like Foursquare and LocalEase but you should check it for your business's accuracy. You can claim it and update it in Navmii but it costs about $10/month.
Waze is a Gps direction phone application with real time driving direction based on live traffic updates from Waze.
Open Street Maps
Core Business Directories
Verify Contractor License#
COVID Safety Measures
Better Business Bureau
Claim and enter NAP
Make sure your BBB listing exists and is correct. You have to email BBB to claim and edit. Even if you have no plans to obtain accreditation, it is still prominent. You can also still get and respond to reviews in a place highly regarded by Google and visitors.
The impact of BBB accreditation varies across business categories. It helps contractor types the most. It usually costs about $600/year for a small business, depending on the number of employees and annual revenue.
Embed linked BBB logo to webiste
If you do get accredited, be sure to add the dynamic seal to your website to get the maximum impact.
BBB Logo on company email signature
Add the seal to your email signature
Logo on BBB Listing
Images Uploaded to Listing
Business Overview/ Details
Additional Contact Numbers
Products & Services Description
Upload Company Video
Products & Services
Certification & Affliiations
Years in Business
Angi (formerly Angie's List)
COVID 19 Health & Safety Measures
Hours of Operation
Social Medias LInked
COVID-19 Updates/ Special Message
Are you still open for business?
Do you have special business hours?
Do you offer local delivery?
Do you offer in-store pickup?
Do you offer curbside pickup?
Do you have online ordering?
Accept Credit Cards
Questions & Anwers
Covid 19 Safety Measures
All business industries have a set of dedicated directories. Here is a list of the most important to popular types of businesses.
These directories include primarily business-to-business services including advertising, PR firms, employment agencies, auto services, & printing.
Home City Directories
Every city has directory listings focused only on that city. These can be for both the greater MLS area or any smaller city within. These important listings send strong signals to Google about your targeted geographies.
A simple Google search for "business listings [your city]" will uncover many opportunities. You can also search your competitors or other business with a strong digital presence to see where they are listed.