How To Claim Your Local Search Listings
By claiming any of listing of your online business you are certifying that you own a valid business and are authorized to maintain its online presence. Every online local business index contains their own processes for claiming with unique steps that verify your listing. In this article we provide a general explanation of what you can expect to go through during the process of claiming at the majority of local business indexes.
Generally entities will start off by asking you to determine whether your business is already in their index. If it is, do not be surprised, even if you have never placed a listing there! Unless you just opened your business today, there probably already is some sort of record on the web of its existence. Generally you will have to enter the name of your business or your phone number to find out if you already have any listings.
You will then have to look over any information that already exists, correct any information that is incorrect and provide any information on the name, phone number, address, business categories, website address, and any other details that are new or missing. This is where it is crucial to be accurate and consistent. Keep in mind that on every listing. You want the core details of your business, for example name, phone number, address, website, etc. to be identical.
Once all the information on your business has been filled out, you will then be required to go through a process of verification. There are three ways in which this typically could happen:
- Through and immediate phone call in which you will have to verify your pin number
- Through an email where you will have to click on a verification link
- Through a postal mail postcard as well as the verification of a pin number
If the verification is being done via postcard, all staff members who are responsible for retrieving mail should be alerted to keep an eye out for the postcard. These tend to arrive in only a couple of weeks, they are however small and rather plain. The last thing you want is for them to get lost so check your mail carefully every day.
The time it takes between having the verification completed and being able to see your listing appear online varies drastically from one search engine to the next. There are cases in which you will see your listing appear in only a few days or even a few minutes, however there are local search engines that have manually review processes that are quite lengthy, this means that it could take even a few months before your listing is approved to be published.
As you wait, steer clear from making any other changes to the listings you submitted; all this does is cause problems. Be patient and every once in a while check to see whether your business has earned full inclusion. There are some indexes, such as Google Places or Google+ Local, where any changes done in the future to the core data for example business name or address, could trigger a re-verification.
That being said, this such as business photos and descriptions can typically be edited without having to once again go through the process of verification. On some search engines, the verification process is easier than on others. If you are going to claim multiple listings at the same time, you should consider creating a simple spreadsheet that can help you keep track of your progress and efforts with every listing that you are creating and/or claiming.