The ubiquity of smartphones in our culture is both a blessing and a curse, as information is right at your fingertips in an instant but getting the correct information can be harder than ever.
Recently, I was looking up the phone number to book an appointment at my salon when I dialed the incorrect location twice thanks to an unclear listing. It’s not an uncommon occurrence: Several years back, I went to an interview and nearly showed up late since the regional office wasn’t listed anywhere online and I’d only been able to find an address that was outdated. The only reason I didn’t drive around lost and frustrated was because I checked the address with the interviewer a few hours before our appointment.
And while we like to think that Google knows everything, it’s only as good as the information out there, which is why your business needs a little checkup on its web presence. Before you shove this task to the bottom of the to-do list, I want you to envision a customer right now looking up your store hours, location and phone number — are you sure they’re getting the correct info?
Make a List, Check it Twice
First, you’ll need to actually know what information needs to be out there and at minimum this should include:
- Physical address
- Mailing address
- Hours of operation
- Company email
While you might know all this information backward and forward, it must be written down for everyone on your team. If you’re a larger company you might have several email accounts, phone lines or addresses — make sure each one is documented clearly and add it to your wiki.
Spread the Word
Updating your company information is a little bit like moving to a new house — you never realize all the places that need your address until you have to update everyone. As you create this list add it to your company wiki; it will be invaluable when there are changes down the road.
The first place you’ll want to go check that your company information is accurate is on your social media profiles. Company Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, LinkedIn listings, FourSquare … this should be easy if you followed our social media system published last month. Be sure that the information listed in your profile is correct before saving and moving on.
Search engines like Google Places for Business, Yahoo! Local Listing and Bing Places for Business should each be updated, especially with your address for mobile customers needing directions. Want your team to spend less time on the phone telling someone how to get to your store or office? Ensure this data is accurate and easy to find online!
You may also be in local or national business listings for the Chamber of Commerce, trade associations or networking groups. As you’re updating these groups make a note of your login information or who to contact for changes in the future.
Does your company have a listing in the physical Yellow Pages? If so, you may need to update your listing or ad on an annual basis. Online listings are much more popular these days, so review the online Yellow Pages, White Pages, Yellow Book and Local.com. You might be surprised that a listing already exists; just ensure it’s up to date.
Review sites are popular places for new customers to look, so check out Yelp, Angie’s List and City Search, as well.
There are thousands of possible listings out there online so if you’re feeling stuck, google your own business name and see what the most popular links are and if they have the correct data. Old media articles might exist pointing readers to an old store location or the misinformation might even be coming from your own site.
Whew! Now that it’s all done you can ignore this forever, right? Not quite. By taking the time to make the list and the information that you’d like to disperse, you’ve made future updates that much faster and easier. Add a reminder to your calendar every six months to review the information and, if changes are required, update all the places on the internet where potential customers, investors, wholesale partners, media outlets or employees are going to get information about your business.