Copy of Verifying VII Capital Funds Business Listings

Buying local is more important than ever to consumers. Online listings can help you rank higher in local search results.

As you strive to improve your business’ search engine rankings, ask yourself how much of your business is driven by out-of-state sales and how much is driven by sales closer to home. If reaching local customers is more important, there’s an easy way to improve your visibility: online business listings.

Your potential customers are using their smartphones, tablets and laptops right now to find nearby businesses, and most of those search results point them to listing sites like Yelp, Bing and Google Places. You simply won’t get that business if you’re not listed. You can see how your business listing appears everywhere on the internet with a free Local Search Report from Manta.

Here are six reasons why it’s essential to verify your small business information on the top listing sites.

Improve search rankings: The top non-paid search results returned in broad searches (those with only a city name and a type of business) often include the business listings on sites like Manta,, MapQuest and Angie’s List.

Search preference: Google, Bing and Yahoo are businesses, too. The benefit to claiming your business on their listing services is that you can earn more prominent placement on their maps and search pages. For example, Google My Business will walk you through the process of claiming your listing, which is relatively simple. Doing so will put your company on Google Maps, Google Search and Google+. Those results show up in all online searches, including those conducted on mobile devices.

Mobile ranking: Consumers often search for businesses while they’re in transit. Verifying your company’s listing on MapQuest or Yelp will make you visible through the smartphone apps that are increasingly driving customer spending decisions.

Accuracy is important: Few things frustrate customers more than visiting a business during the operating hours listed online only to find it closed. You can bet they won’t be returning. Avoid the risk by claiming your business profiles on listing sites and adding the correct contact info and operating hours. On the Internet, accurate information is the hallmark of professionalism. Inaccuracies will cost you customer trust.

Join the professionals: Claiming your listing benefits your online reputation. This is especially true if you are in the process of building a website, have just opened or have acquired an existing business. Chances are, your competitors have already claimed their listings.

Visibility on a budget: Most listing sites allow you to claim and update your business profile for no charge. This is a relatively easy way to begin marketing your company online.

If you don’t have time to keep up with all the online business directories—there are more than 50 major sites—services like Manta’s Local Search Report can help. But however, you proceed, don’t wait any longer. Get online and start claiming your small business listings today!