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Posted on 07-10-2017
Businesses necessarily pay plenty of attention to their search engine rankings, but it's important to remember that these listings are just one aspect of online marketing. Directories are often overlooked companions to search, and getting listed in the right ones is an essential aspect of a full internet marketing strategy.
Today's directories are vastly different from the ones from just 10 or so years ago. Instead of being mere pages of phone book-like listings, they offer ratings, reviews, extended information about the business, and more. This makes them much more valuable and noticeable to users.
The directories you should focus on now include those at the most popular search engines: Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. These directories are huge thanks to being attached to sites that already draw plenty of traffic. Their directory listings are also tied in with their search results, which brings even more attention to them.
Every site has a slightly different process, but we'll focus on Google since it is the biggest one out of all of the options. The procedure will be similar to the other directories, so these steps can be easily adapted as needed.
The first step is to assign someone specific to this project if you aren't doing it yourself. This is because you'll have to follow up with Google to confirm your listing. If nobody in particular is assigned to this, it likely won't get done.
Choose an email for the registration. This email must be on the same web address as your business. No Gmail or other generic email addresses will work.
Decide what you want in your listing. Common information includes business name, address, phone number, website address, hours and days of operation, fields of business, and similar data. It will help to write this down in advance.
Go to Google and log into your account. Click over to ‘Google My Business’. There, type in your business name. Usually, a listing will appear and say whether it is already claimed or not. If it is already claimed, you will have to request access. If not, you will have to claim the business. Either way, this involves responding to a verification email with a code.
Respond to the verification email. Whether you have requested access or made an update, you will receive a verification email from Google. This will take from 5-7 business days. When it comes in, the person assigned to the task will need to confirm receipt of the code according to the instructions in the email.
Enter or edit your listing. Now, you'll finally be able to create or edit your listing. Put in all of the information you wrote down in Step 3 and hit submit.
Once everything is done at each major directory, you should benefit from increased visibility and more prospective clients and patients!
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