Legacy dupes. What to do with previously owned listings that you see ranking? The listing has the same address, but a different business name and phone, tempting you to claim it. You often see business listings with outdated or erroneous data, duplicates created by users, or split listing caused by acquisitions. Should you claim these listings that once belonged to someone else and revamp all the data or close out these once-owned listings and create new listings for your business – starting fresh and new? This article provides information so you can choose the most promising tactic that will allow your business to perform better online.
Since there are a number of business directories, being flexible, versatile and cross-trained on how they all operate is keen. Don’t forget that a business’ listing should focus on immediacy, accuracy, and consistency: immediate exposure, accurate NAP, and the accurate NAP displaying consistently across desired directories.
Go Right or Go Left?
Familiarize yourself with directories like YellowBook, Manta, Yelp, and Get Fave. They all work differently. Most require you to register. Many allow for communal edits. Few require you to phone verify a listing before you can take it under your ownership. Ask yourself: “Does this directory take a while to update when I submit my changes? Or will my edits take effect immediately?” For a quick boost to your visibility, claim the listing when you’re permitted to. This is the best action since you then have complete ownership and thus will be able to modify and enhance the listing to your liking.
If you know that City Search requires an exhaustive amount of time for your NAP edits to display live, delaying your business information from being displayed, create a fresh listing and close out the one you were initially trying to claim. That way, you have your new listing out there, awaiting attention, and the listing you close out is pending – this increases visibility for your listing and improves chances for the competing listing to be removed. If Super Pages offers an option to claim an older business’ listing that previously was located at your current business address – without a phone verification and a payment – claim the listing, then re-brand it with your keywords and content. On top of that, you will acquire the current history and traffic for that listing. As a business owner, you want the impressions and traffic of an existing listing so you don’t have to start from the bottom up: awaiting first page ranking and obsessively tracking your analytics for page clicks starting from zero.
Combat Negative Reviews, Positively!
When claiming an existing listing, you will also acquire the reviews. Yep, even the bad ones! Relax! Negative reviews appear as a threat, preventing you from claiming that listing, but it is always best to acknowledge and address the community regarding bad reviews about your business, instead of ignoring them. Additionally, bad reviews won’t hurt your ranking. The more your company reputation is talked about – good or bad – the more involved and busy your business is with local search. Because after all, how will those reviews be read by consumers if the listing isn’t ranking due to inconsistencies and inaccuracies?
These work-around tactics and loop holes can help get your business better visibility, even if operating on free basic listings. The only thing that may stand between you and your business’ exposure may be the lack of knowledge about specific directory guidelines. Be involved. Stay current, subjective, and updated with your listings and their competing dupes and local listing bliss will soon be yours.