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If you are a small business owner, chances are you have no idea if your business is listed correctly in most of the online directories available. In a recent survey from SinglePlatform, a division of Constant Contact®, Inc., 49 percent of local businesses admitted having never updated their online listings, whether on a search engine, review site, or mobile app.

If you are a brick and mortar store, equate that to operating your business without any signage and hoping people will find you. It is just as crucial for small businesses to list their information, products, services, menus and payment methods online as more consumers use these directories and mobile apps to make purchase decisions. Like most small business owners, keeping your online information up to date is difficult due to time and resource constraints, however, there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure your listings properly reflect vital information such as your address, phone number, business hours and special promotions.

The first step is to assess how people are finding your business online by analyzing referrals in your site analytics. If you don’t have an analytics program, visit analytics.google.com and sign up for free. As soon as you create your business account, you can request the analytics code from Google and forward to your site administrator to place on your site. By looking at the referral sources to your site, you can see the driving sources where visitors have found you.

Next, review the top five to ten sources to see how your current listing appears. You’ll also be able to see if your business has been reviewed and what customers and visitors are saying about your business. Take the time to make any necessary updates and familiarize yourself with the process and time it takes to make the updates.

The third step is deciding who will continue to update your business listings. If you are not comfortable in doing this yourself because of time or technology restraints, consider other options including employees, an outside digital firm or freelancer or third-party paid provider such as SinglePlatform or yext that enable businesses to update listings from one place. Whatever you decide in either terms of time or investment, keeping your business listing up to date will pay off in terms of visibility and added marketing exposure.
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