Online Presence: How is Your Business Represented Online?

Have you ever googled yourself or your business?  Come on! We all have.  What comes up when you google your business?  Is it even actually your business and is it an honest representation of the services your business provides?  Is the information accurate: such as the name, address, or phone number?

In today’s world where everything is at the tip of your fingertips and there is nothing you can not find online. Having a great online presence can make or break your business and be a determining factor when it comes to growth potential. If you have a google entry or a yelp listing that leads people to in an incorrect address or even worse to a competitor there is no doubt that your business will be negatively impacted.

Where Do Google Listings Come From?

If you have been around for a while, then google or yelp may have created an entry on your behalf from data that they may have cloned from your website or somewhere else and it may or may not be correct.  Therefore, it is important to watch for these types of entries so you can either remove them or correct them.

If you do not have a google listing that they created to claim you can create a google listing in a few simple steps which you can see in the recent Barbara Talks Business Podcast with Janice Means Janice, from Marketing with JR, gives step by step instructions on how to create a GMB (Google My Business) Listing and even some really great tips to create the best listing possible.  One of the most helpful tips given was to make sure you fill out everything completely when creating your GMB because once you click verify you cannot change anything until after you receive your address verification postcard.

Do I Really Need a Google or Yelp Listing?

The short answer as to whether you need a listing is YES.  Claim your google listing if you have not yet or create your listing if there is not one to claim. Your google listing directs people to the correct address and is what comes up when people google you.  Having a google listing is especially important to the internet driven society we live in.  No google listing means you literally are hoping your business can stay afloat on word-of-mouth referrals, ONLY.  

If you can avoid a Yelp listing it is in your best interest as their algorithm is not apparent and rather confusing.  Some businesses cannot survive without yelp, such as restaurants, so in that case you must have a Yelp listing.

If you have a listing that you have not claimed people can still write reviews, but you cannot respond. How you respond to a negative review can have a huge impact on how people view your business.  Most people if they have had a customer with a bad experience, they want to try to fix the problem.  Fixing the problem will not only make that customer happy but it lets other customers know that if a mistake is made you will make effort to fix it.

Nurture Your Listing!

Do the obvious things. Keep the information up to date. Direct your customers to your listing when you can. Most importantly, make sure at the end of your customer’s experience if they had a really good experience that you would appreciate them writing a review on your listing.   Having good reviews on your listing increases the chances you will be found by other clients. Good Listings also it promote a good reputation.  A good reputation is everything in the business world and creating a good online presence is key.

Amber N. Waggoner
Administrative assistant at Fuse Empire

Amber Waggoner is a former Illinois family law attorney, where she practiced law for nearly 10 years in the cook and will county courthouses.  She now serves as the administrative assistant for Fuse Empire which is owned and operated by Barbara Carr.  She has a passion for helping to find new and innovative ways to operate, magage, and grow your business.

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