When you think of online directory sites, the first ones that usually come to mind are heavy hitters like Google or Yelp. Typically, you would submit your business information to these sites, so customers can find you easily. It’s an integral part of establishing your business’s online presence and reputation.
But did you know hundreds of lesser-known online sites publish your business information without your permission or knowledge? Online business listing sites actually get their information from a variety of sources. Consumers and data mining companies, for example, can also submit your information to listings sites.
Many home services businesses make the mistake of not taking control of their online listings. And you might think, “If their information is getting published already, it’s not a problem, right?”
Imagine if someone was going around town putting up flyers for your business with incorrect information (like your business name or phone number). It would put a pretty big dent in your reputation, wouldn’t it? This works the same way online.
Claiming your online listings is just the first step towards owning your online reputation. To help you learn more, we’ve got 4 excellent reasons your home services business needs online reputation management and several benefits you’ll stand to gain.
You’ll ensure your information is accurate.
As we mentioned above, third parties are able to submit your business information to online listings sites without you knowing it. Unfortunately, they’re not always accurate. Inaccuracies also can occur if you move to a new location, change your hours or change your phone number and you forget to update your listings.
This harms your business in two ways:
First, if customers find wrong or outdated information online, they’re less likely to trust you, and therefore, do business with you. It creates a bad customer experience for them and a missed opportunity for you.
Second, search engines such as Google won’t show your business in search results as often, because incorrect information damages your reputation with them, too. Google scans all the places on the Internet where your business information lives and if your listing information is inaccurate, Google’s confidence in your business will be low. If customers can’t find you, they’ll go to a competitor instead.
It’s crucial for you to claim and gain control of your online listings, so you can catch errors and fix them quickly. This way, your online reputation stays intact.
Want to see how accurate your business listings are? Submit your business information here and we’ll scan your listings for you.
You’ll improve your search ranking.
When a customer finds your business on sites like Google, Facebook or Nextdoor, finding consistent information creates a better experience for them.
It also benefits search engines — incorrect information affects your search ranking, but it also affects a search engine’s trustworthiness.
Google, for example, wants you to keep using Google when you need to conduct an online search. Therefore, it’s in Google’s best interest to show you accurate results. Your business name, address and phone number (NAP) should be at the top of your list when ensuring your business information is accurate.
This study from Moz shows that your NAP’s presence and consistency make up some of the top local search ranking factors that affect your visibility on search engines.
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You’ll direct more traffic to your website.
Online listings sites give you the opportunity to point searchers directly to your website. Most of them usually have a field where you can enter your website address, so customers can find it quickly.
Here’s a useful tip: The more visitors your website receives, the more relevant it appears to search engines. And that leads to more favorable organic ranking.
It’s good to remember that 75% of people don’t go past the first page of search results. That means anything you can do to boost your website’s ranking in search results is a very good thing.
You’ll be able to respond to customer reviews.
Regardless of how you feel about online customer reviews, they just go with the territory if you have any kind of online presence. Even if your service is top-notch, one bad experience can drive a customer to leave a negative review or worse, drag your name through the online mud.
Trying to get negative reviews brought down (even untruthful ones) is often an exercise in futility. Not responding to reviews at all can make you look like you don’t care about customer experience. It’s important to claim your listings, so you can respond to reviews and boost your reputation.
But don’t stop at responding only to negative reviews. Respond to the positive ones, too. Showing gratitude to happy customers and showing empathy to unhappy ones shows you’re attentive, which makes you more trustworthy.
Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask satisfied customers to leave an online review. Positive reviews help minimize overall damage caused by negative reviews.
You won’t have to shell out a ton of money.
The vast majority of online directory sites don’t charge a dime for you to claim your listings or create them, if necessary. Most of them usually have you fill out a form, which can take as little as a few minutes. Some listings sites take a bit longer if they take extra steps to verify your business. Regardless, it’s worth the effort.
Spending a little extra time to manage your online reputation and claim your listings can save you major headaches down the road. You’ll enjoy a more robust and complete online presence, and have peace of mind knowing it’s an accurate representation of your business.
ServiceTitan is a comprehensive software solution built specifically to help service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and substantially elevate the trajectory of their business. Our comprehensive, cloud-based platform is used by thousands of electrical, HVAC, plumbing, garage door, and chimney sweep shops across the country—and has increased their revenue by an average of 25% in just their first year with us.