It is especially important for businesses that offer a service, like inspections, to claim and maintain their directory listings. These listings are a means for potential clients to contact you and make the decision to hire you instead of a competitor. Although it may seem like a no-brainer to claim and clean up your listings, as you add services, relocate, or change your contact information, updating all of your existing listings can be easily forgotten and more time-consuming than you expect.
Inconsistencies, inaccurate information, and unclaimed listings will negatively affect the growth of your business. For instance, there are several popular websites and search engines that generate a listing based on a user’s input, and if your business has a listing you’re unaware of, it could contain incorrect contact information or erroneous service categories that could be causing you to miss out on prospective inspection projects.
What Are Online Directory Listings?
Online directory listings act like a digital phonebook for your commercial property inspection business. An accurate NAP (name, address, phone number) listing is important when people are searching for your business or the services you offer. An accurate address can also ensure that you appear in local listings that typically include an interactive business locator map and visual map placement.
Some listing features, like NAP, are controllable, while other features, including user reviews and sometimes photos, are more dependent on the general public.
Reasons to Claim and Clean Up Your Listings
- Increase your chances of showing up in search results. Achieving that number-one spot when potential clients type in “commercial property inspectors” is important to the visibility and credibility of your business. Claiming your directory listing and ensuring the accuracy of your information encourages search engines to list your business higher in search returns.
For example, if you’re a home inspector and are listed in an existing online directory, it’s likely that your primary business category is “home inspector.” Improve your rank in the search results for “commercial inspectors” by adding additional business categories. These categories help potential customers find accurate and specific results for the services they’re interested in.
NOTE: Google listing categories are pre-set. You cannot create your own. The most common commercial inspector category is “Commercial Real Estate Inspector,” so make sure you’re listed as one.
- Make sure your contact information is accurate. If someone searches for a commercial property inspector and finds you but the wrong contact information is listed, you’re unlikely to get their business. This is true for everything about you, including your phone number, your email address, your physical address, your business hours, your website address, and even your social media handles. Having inconsistent contact information across your directories is not good for search engine recognition.
NOTE: SEO is improved when your business’s address, phone number and contact information are placed within descriptive text on multiple pages on your website. The important thing to remember is not to overdo it; gaming the system by keyword stuffing will actually rank you lower in search returns. Just make sure that the information is placed in a location on the pages of your site where the prospect is likely to look for it and see it.
- Monitor online customer reviews and feedback for your commercial property inspection business. Many directories allow users to review or rate a business based on their experience. There is no way to validate that the client actually used your service prior to writing the review. For that reason, it is important to monitor all the reviews written about your business.
Some platforms like Google Business allow you to respond to reviews. This gives you an opportunity to thank clients for their review or clear up any misunderstandings. It may also be worth noting that sometimes users give reviews to the wrong businesses. This can be confusing and change your company’s rating, which means that you should address that issue if it occurs as soon as possible.
The Major Directory Listings
There are countless online directory listings, but several that you may want to pay extra attention to include:
- Google Business Listing
- Bing Places for Business
- Yelp Business
- Facebook Business
- Foursquare for Business
- Merchant Circle
- Yellow Pages
How to Manage Your Directory Listings
If you’re familiar with your existing directory listings, make a list of them and verify that they’re claimed with your correct and consistent information. Make changes accordingly.
In a perfect world, an Internet search of your business name would pull up all of your directory pages. However, depending on how long your business has existed and your general online presence, making this a reality can be tedious and time-consuming. You may consider hiring digital marketing professionals to help you use online directory listings to your advantage. Directory listing management services can efficiently and accurately secure all of your information so that you’re able to maintain control of your online presence and increase your business. And handing off this task frees you up for other important business tasks, including performing commercial inspections.