Why Business Directories are Important, According to Google
Although we love to talk about all things sun, fun, culture, accommodations, shopping—you name it—VI, today we wanted to talk about business directories, and why they are so crucial for your business. We are starting a new category of posts which are intended to help support local business owners, entrepreneurs or aspiring business owners. This will be our first post of the batch. The reason behind this is simple. It’s what we are passionate about, and we want to help local businesses thrive and get noticed. There is a good deal of local business experience, passion for writing and helping behind WTDVI, so why not put that to good use? This blog is a great format for just that.
I know what you are thinking, we live on a group of small islands, can it be that hard to get noticed on a 32 square mile rock? What’s the fuss, and why bother? As technology and new marketing techniques advance at an unstoppable rate and more local businesses become marketing savvy, everyone needs to focus a little more on their digital game.
What is a business directory? It’s basically an online directory that categorizes businesses by name and or type of business. Sometimes they will provide backlinks, the company’s social media pages, a description, photos, a map, etc. Most importantly, business directories, such as the largest, Google, help tourists and locals find your business online. Online searches are the # 1-way people decide to buy from, or visit a business. In a recent report by Google, they stated that “…mobile searches for “things to do/activities” + “near me” have seen a 6X increase over the last two years”. That means that more and more people are looking for things to do while they are physically in a specific locale. It’s imperative that you set up your Google Business account so that your listing appears for your service when they do that search.
Googles’ “My Business” Listing for Virgin Islanders
If you are a business owner in the Virgin Islands, you may already know just how difficult it is to get added to the Google Business pages because of our location. If you haven’t already attempted, you are in luck because I have through this process many (at least 6) times before. So, follow the steps at the end of this article to list your local business with a little more ease.
If you do a basic Google search on optimizing your website, one of the top suggestions you will find is to be sure to include yourself in as many directories as possible. What To Do VI IS a local business directory, so you can always add your business to our site. We are growing ourselves to be the #1 hub of Virgin Islands things to do for both locals and tourists alike. Recently we have unveiled our newly designed website that is equipped with new features for business owners, tourists, and locals. Luckily we offer a free and easy way to get your business listing: click here to do it, it will take you about 30 seconds. Once you are in the business directory, you can easily upgrade to a paid listing for additional exposure and benefits. Have questions? Comment in the comment section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
How to Get your Business Page with Google My Business
1.) Go to www.google.com/mybusiness
2.) Click claim listing or create a new listing and follow the form questions
3.) Request a postcard to your physical address (YES, I know this is not possible for 99.9% of you, but it is just something Google requires, so do it and then read on : ) )
4.) In 14 days, you will have completed the verification process, and you will need to call Google Customer Support back and tell them your 14 days have passed.
5.) They will then proceed to let you claim the account and your listing will be live within the next 2 hours (say a day to be safe). You can then go into your listing and add the vital pieces of the puzzle: business description, hours of operation, and please be sure to add some quality photos— pictures are essential! The latest iPhones produce very high-quality images, and there is some excellent free editing software out there for you to use. There are also some top-notch on-island photographers if you want to get competitive.
So there it is. Our stateside friends have it a little easier, but it’s worth the extra effort to get your business on Google.Tags:business, Google, Marketing