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Should You Update Online Business Profiles?

Online business profile services (directories) such as Google Places, Bing Local and Yahoo Local, among many more, are a great, free services that can bring you new customers, more traffic, and more interactivity with your clients. A properly optimized and complete profile gives your enterprise a better chance of being found in map and directory searches, lets those searchers know what you’re about, and gives them an extra level of confidence when they actually want to visit your establishment.

Lets take a closer look at some additional services like this and what they allow you to add to your profiles.

Online Profiles Your Company Should Consider

  • Google Places
  • Bing Local
  • Yahoo Local
  • Yelp
  • UrbanSpoon (foodie)
  • VoicePlaces
  • CitySearch
  • MojoPages
  • SpottedHere
  • Kudzu
  • SuperPages
  • YellowPages
  • InsiderPages
  • TrueLocal
  • Any Local-Specific Directories

This list is not exhaustive, but should be a good starting point. There are hundreds of these business profiles on the web, and you really only need to focus on updating those with the biggest reach. If you have had success with one not on this list, please do leave us a comment so we can check it out.

Common Online Profile Features

  • Address, contact & website information
  • Ability to add images
  • Inclusion in multiple business categories
  • Hours of operation
  • Short Description of your business
  • Customer reviews, including the ability to respond (in some cases)
  • Social Media Feed syndication of Twitter feeds (in some cases)
  • Additional information about services or products offered, including general pricing and payment terms (in some cases)

These features sometimes require you to verify the profile represents your business before updating. This is usually done via a post card of phone call that contains a verification number.

Benefits of Updating these Profiles

  • Visibility in local map and directory searches
  • Potential for your profile to show up in organic search results if the user is within proximity
  • Customers are more educated about your business upfront, and more confident
  • Patrons can leave positive (or negative) comments, allowing you to see how they are interacting with your business
  • You can respond to this feedback, creating an additional level of trust and confidence (if handled properly)
It all boils down to looking like your doors are open, showing up for as many searches and categories that are relevant, and being able to capture and manage those customer reviews. If a potential client sees you have an updated profile, with positive comments and as much information as possible, there is really no reason they shouldn’t give your business a chance, but if you are just an empty profile sitting out there with no information and some bad (or no) comments, then they are much less likely to ever find you, much less actually pay you a visit.

Get Your Profiles Professionally Updated

Have questions? Not sure how you should go about getting all of your profiles updated and optimized to their maximum possible potential?

Email Us, and we’ll get you taken care of. We offer a few different packages that will have your business on its way to receiving the benefits listed above.

 

11 Comments

  1. Visitor on January 6, 2012 at 5:06 am

    Awesome post

  2. Shondra Aristide on January 10, 2012 at 12:17 am

    I just added this webpage to my feed reader, great stuff. Cannot get enough!

  3. Visitor on January 9, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Hey this is somewhat of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding know-how so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

    • jeansond on January 10, 2012 at 5:22 am

      I recommend WordPress. You get a WYSIWYG editor, or you can write raw HTML. You can download (free & paid) third party plugins, themes, etc that do a lot of work for you (though they often need a bit of customizing themselves depending one what you are looking for).

      I prefer writing all of my HTML for my pages/articles because I dislike some of the code that WYSISYG editors inject, but for most users it is not an issue.

      Good luck! You shouldn’t have a problem figuring out WordPress – just take a little time and give it a chance.

  4. Nancy on January 10, 2012 at 4:22 am

    cool topic, very relevant now!

  5. Latha on April 18, 2012 at 4:17 am

    Local Pages and Business Review pages have increased traffic of many of my customers. This is a nice comprehensive article. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Raphael Coccia on April 28, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Most of our traffic comes from local search. Its much easier to compete in the local market. thanks for the extra info

  7. InMotion Hosting on May 1, 2012 at 3:00 am

    It will really help if you have an updated online business profiles. It can contribute on how you can get more clients in the market as well. Thanks a lot for sharing this information.

  8. […] more about the importance of online business profiles like CitySearch Business […]

  9. Loretta on August 29, 2019 at 3:03 pm

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    Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a
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    • Jason Oeltjen on September 1, 2019 at 3:13 pm

      If you are just wanting to blog and do not have a following yet, the paid “Personal” plan from WordPress.com is a good place to start. If things take off and you need more customization, etc, then you could hire an agency like us to migrate that site to a self-hosted WordPress install on another host like Siteground or WPEngine (our favorites) where you could have more control, etc. I would avoid platforms like Squarespace, Wix, etc – they advertise a sexy system, but we end up re-building a lot of client sites that start there and are very disappointed.

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