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What You Need to Keep Updated

Making sure the information you display online is accurate is crucial to the success of your digital presence. It is your responsibility to ensure that when someone searches for your business that they are presented with correct information. Critical information about your business likely won’t change too much. However, for example, when holidays come up that may alter business hours, or you are opening a new location, you’ll want to be sure the information out there is adjusted. Google and other search engines try to add notices with major holidays that remind customers hours may be impacted, but guaranteeing the correct hours are posted is up to you. If you’re open on a holiday and your competition isn’t, or vice versa, that is vital information a potential customer could use to decide where to bring their business.

Keeping photos of your business up to date is important as well. If a potential customer sees pictures that are outdated, they may question what else about your business is. Or, if someone is trying to find your location and relying on an out-of-date storefront image, they may drive right past it. Having timely promotions and coupons listed will keep customers updated on what’s current and help drive traffic to your business. All of these factors together contribute to your overall ranking, or where your business is listed on the Maps results page. A business with fewer pieces of information is likely to rank lower than one that has a full profile of information and is regularly updated. Rank is important because you want to do everything you can to make sure your site is seen before your competition’s.

Beyond basic business information, you want to make sure you are putting your best digital foot forward when someone searches for your business. You can do this through multiple elements such as pictures of your business or products, reviews, videos, and 3D tours. The text-based information is great, but many people are also visual learners and can benefit from seeing your storefront, where it’s located on a map, or what your new seasonal offerings look like. The information that you update in one place can feed other major local listing services as well. Beyond Google, your potential customers could be searching for your services on sites like Yelp!, Bing, Waze, and more.

Why You Should Care

Regardless of what your business is, a potential customer is likely to search on their local listing site of choice to get hours of operation, nearest location, reviews, customer testimonials, pictures, current sales, and other key pieces of information. If something critical, like hours of operation, is listed incorrectly it could instantly ruin an opportunity for a sale if someone shows up and finds the lights off. Local listing sites make information easy to find but they are not responsible for verifying accuracy. That duty falls squarely on the shoulders of the business and that is why you need to care.

Risks of Not Monitoring Your Online Presence

Like other aspects of your business, quality control of your online presence is necessary. While it is easy to update your company information and hours, it can be just as easy for someone to contradict what you say. Your hours are listed as 8:00am to 7:00pm? Someone can comment saying they arrived at 6:30pm and your doors were closed so the information must be wrong. Now your real hours of operation are thrown into doubt.

Other reasons to regularly monitor your online presence could be to announce and update sales, new product releases, and other timely pieces of information. We’ve all heard stories of customers being unhappy that a coupon they found online was no longer valid or a sale announcement wasn’t taken down when the promotion was over. Avoid that uncomfortable situation by making sure that information is always readily available online and accurately presented. Plus, if you have a sale going and it’s easy to find online but your competition isn’t, that alone could be the deciding factor in where a customer decides to go.

It sounds like a lot, but with the support of a digital marketing agency they can take the guesswork out of the process. MDA can help you check your online presence and offer suggestions on ways to improve your organic ranking. You’re in charge of your digital presence, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little help along the way.

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