Claiming your profile
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Claiming your profile

I was recently talking to one of my accountability partners, about her strategy for getting referrals and new clients. During the conversation, I asked which social media platforms and other sites she used for her business. She is in the home decorating industry and knowing that there are different sites that specialize in different industries, I was interested in which platforms she was leveraging. She told me about her profiles on some of the usual sites I would expect for someone in her industry, but she didn’t mention Yelp. I asked her if she owned her Yelp profile. She told me she had heard of Yelp but wasn’t entirely sure what it was.

What is Yelp

I explained that a Yelp was a review site for businesses. It is most commonly known for being used for restaurants, but people in all industries can have a profile as long as you have an address. Yelp is a good way to find a particular service near you. My friend had never set up a profile herself, so she assumed she didn’t have one. I explained that Yelp and many other sites will set up a profile for you if you have an address they can find. You can then claim that profile when you can prove you own that business.

How they get your info

You might think it is great to have your profile set up for you. It is less work, right? While it is nice to have a profile, the information is not always correct. For my friend, I found an old phone number on her profile, so that wouldn’t do her much good if someone was trying to call her. The way companies get this info is by scraping the web. It is typically a computer scraping this info, and because it is usually free for you they don’t double check to make sure information is accurate. Wrong information has the potential duplicated over and over. There are many sites out there, Yelp is just one example.

Why Claim My Listing

There are a number of reason to claim your listings. First of all, you want to be able to correct wrong information such as contact info and location. It doesn’t help your business if someone can’t contact or find you. A second reason, these sites will often allow you to add more than the basic information, such as photos, links to your website or other social media sites. Like a website, the more information you give to a person looking for you the more engaged they will become and more likely contact you. A third reason to claim a review site is to be able to respond to reviews. It is always good to engage with people who take the time to comment on your business, good or bad.

Why are there so many sites

If you really start digging you will find that there are hundreds of sites your business can be listed on. This can be helpful if you are listed correctly. The more places you can be found, the more likely you are to be found. It can also help with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Having more links back to your website is one way to improve your SEO. The reason these sites are created in the first place is to sell advertising. If a company can create a free directory and get people to use it, they can then sell ads on the site. Yelp is a little more developed, but many of these sites throw you info on a page with ads. To them, you are just another business. It is important that the information is correct, but they would rather you correct it. It is up to you to manage your digital presence.

What is your Digital Presence?

Your digital presence in simple terms is space online that you occupy. It used to be just a website. It now includes your blog posts, social media, directory listings, articles about you or anything else online that mentions you or your brand. Some of this you can control, some you cannot. It is important to be aware of your digital presence and what message is conveyed. You want a consistent message and you want to control that message.

How do you control your Digital Presence?

Your existing digital presence can vary depending on how much information you have put out there, how long your business has been in existence and what industry you are in. One of the first things you can do is “Google” you name and see what entries come up. You can make sure you have set up and claimed all the social media listings. You can also research all the directory sites and create an account with each of them and update your information. Hiring a company like Angry Ape Creative to manage your digital presence is an option as well. We also have a tool that you can use to view your current digital presence score.

This tool will also allow you to manage all of the places that house your digital presence in a single location. If you are interested in learning more or about signing up please contact us.

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Jay Bilunas is a graphic designer and marketing consultant. He loves helping small businesses succeed with great marketing and design. He also teaches and tries to help up and coming designers.