The Best New Year Resolution For Your Business: “To Be Found”

Whether it’s January 1st or December 31st, there is perhaps no better way to build your business than resolving to have your business found through internet searches. We search for everything online in 2015, and how your business presents will go a long way to determining its success or failure. Take charge of your business listing today with a few simple steps.

Getting found in internet searchesCustomers Always Search First

In this age of technology, there are few things we purchase or invest time in without doing a little research. If your business can’t be found, you will be limited to word of mouth, your storefront visibility, and repeat customers.

Even loyal customers can be lost to competitors who appear to offer better or more popular products or services. Don’t let your business fade away simply because you forgot to keep it in the forefront of your customer’s attention. The searches conducted by potential customers will always yield results. Make sure the results include your business and the information is accurate.

Your Business Name is Your Brand

Ranking well with search results requires effort just like any other form of advertising. There are a host of things to consider if you want to dominate the search results in any business niche, but the one thing you MUST consider is your business name. You chose this name, and whether it’s a great one or not, your customers need to be able to find it. Take a moment to start a web search and type your business name in the query (wrap it in quotes to further limit the unrelated results). If your business isn’t found on the first couple of pages, you need to fix this.

Even businesses who do appear with multiple links need to take the time to review the listings which appear. The information is often wrong, incomplete, lacking, or just needs some additional details to let others know what you provide. Many of these listings are auto generated based on web crawler results and are completely inaccurate.

Make Sure Your Listing is Accurate

To fix your listings, you usually need to claim the listing. Did you know that if you have no listing on a particular directory, or if the listing is unclaimed, others can make whatever change they want and misinform individuals looking for your business in any way they choose. Your customers may be directed to spam websites, competitors, unrelated articles, or even malicious sites in your name. That’s why it is important to research your business like a customer would to be sure what they see is what you represent.

You may think that ensuring your business is found on the proper directory listings is difficult, and actually… it is! It will take some effort on your part. You will have to research your business name, make a list of links which show your business, set up a user account for the service, claim and edit each one with the proper information, keep all your sign in information available for future edits, and keep an eye on the results from time to time.

Free Advertising For Small Business

Free online listingsThe reward for you if you take this step is that you can be found, and that while you are doing it, you are basically posting a free advertisement which will keep running. If 10 newspapers offered you a free advertisement, would you accept it, or just keep hoping someone would stumble into the door? The business listing companies need listings, and while they may hope you will sign up for the paid version, they will offer some pretty good free listings to build their search results. If you aren’t taking advantage of it, you can be assured that your competitors are.

Free online business listings give you the chance to “one up” the competition if you take the time to do it right. Take the “hands on” approach and edit each business listing with varying content. Don’t state the exact same business offerings on each listing. If you take the extra time to avoid a “copy and paste” approach, your business and the listing service will display better in search engine results.

There are many services available which offer to automatically list you on dozens of listing websites. They generally charge a monthly or annual fee to ensure your listing accuracy. If you have a lot of money, but just don’t want to spend the time, this service can help make sure you can be found. The drawback is that your business information will be the same everywhere. This method is not search engine friendly and will make your business offerings appear limited and out of touch.

Best Sources For Free Business Listings

After making sure that any business listings you find already visible are correct and claimed, the question arises “Where can I get a free online business listing?”. You will want to add and claim business listings for the most popular business search sites. For some time, Cocoa Enterprises LLC has been doing research on that very topic. The list started small and not well organized and soon grew into a sloppy mess. Recent efforts have taken root and it is starting to build into a manageable spreadsheet which we are using to update our on-going efforts.

The results may surprise some individuals and may not be the same as other’s experiences. In this post, we are sharing our current top 10 places to get your business listed online for free. These results are just our opinion, and are sure to change as we consider the 70 some services out of our current 97 which made it into the master list. There are numerous others in our list with lower results, but only the top 10 FREE listing sites are noted here.

Top recommendations for listing your businessDownload our Top 10 Free Business Listing Sites Review in PDF format. You can see our generalized rating (9 being top score) and our notes about any specific observations. Provided as well are direct links to the website page where you can most easily locate the option to submit your business. All the sites and links are provided from our related research only. We receive no financial consideration for our opinions or any link you may follow from this document.

You can take advantage of some of our efforts and get a head start on the competition by getting your business found today. You will be surprised how soon you will show up on any search for your business name. With a little extra effort, your business can move ahead of others with the same or similar name by having more relevant information and links.

Share Your Experience With Others

If you would like to share other listing services which would be helpful, get the whole list of 100 Business Listing Sites (we are sure to add at least 3 more), or just see what the top 20 end up being, take advantage of our Request Information page to get in touch. Just click on the “other” box and let us know what you would like to have updates on.

Cocoa Enterprises LLC is always happy to hear from small businesses and will try to provide recommendations for your web solution needs. Get in touch for any related need or just to say hi. You can always send us direct email through the “Contact Us” link on our home page.

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