As usual, the media is overflowing with the latest buzz about the biggest celebrities. And while their claim to fame may be different, they all have one thing in common – the immense power to reach large audiences. Though it’s not likely to have our practices reach Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, or Angelina Jolie status, claiming your local listings can certainly help your practice achieve its own claim to fame.
With the yellow pages almost extinct, major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing are the driving force behind how people are finding local businesses. Whether you’ve personally submitted a listing on one of these sites or not, more than likely, it already exists. The question is, has your
First, a listing that has been claimed is more credible in the eyes of the search engines. This will then impact your positioning in the search results and how easily your target audience can find you.
Second, once claimed, you’ll have the ability to update or edit any information in your listing. Search engines often gather data that might either be incorrect or outdated. Once you are a verified owner of the business, you’ll have free reign to edit the listing as you wish.
Third, once verified, not only can you edit the info, but you can also add information to optimize the listing and make it more thorough. This is not only helpful to the consumer, but the search engines will deem your listing as useful and will bump it up in the search result rankings. Thus, if physician A only provides a phone number and address but physician B also provides a website, images, and a video, the search engines are likely to perceive physician B as more credible and place them higher in the results. With a higher position in the search results and the ability to add your website address, your web traffic will soon be on the rise.
Hopefully you remember if you’ve already claimed your listing, but if not, the easiest way to be sure is if you have the ability to edit the listing as the owner of the business. Google refers to claimed listings as “owner-verified”, however, while Yahoo and Bing don’t specify, they only allow verified owners to edit the listing. Each have a slightly different verification process, but most are simple and done via telephone or standard mail.
So, if you want to maximize your online presence, make sure to claim your listing(s) and watch your web-based marketing efforts come to fruition.
By Chad Schwarz