With all of the search engine optimization talk out there, there is an often overlooked method of increasing your rankings and visibility in search engines—listing your business with the major search engines. Submitting your business information to Google, Bing, and Yahoo is simple and free and can greatly improve your odds of getting seen by potential customers.

In this post, we will walk through the steps you can take to get your business listed with the big three.

Google My Business

Heard of Google Places? Now it has been absorbed by Google My Business, which combines several of Google’s former features and actually makes it easier for you to be visible to potential customers on many levels. When you register your business, customers can easily see your business information while searching the web, including your contact information, hours, directions, and even customer reviews. Once verified, your business will also appear on Google Maps so that customers can find you quickly. Additionally, during this process you will be prompted to set up a Google+ business page. This is a great social media tool with the added benefit of having your Google+ posts indexed by Google. (Facebook and Twitter posts are not indexed.) Your business information will be clearly visible and consistent regardless of what device customers are using. Here’s what you do:

  1. Go to the Google My Business page.
  2. In the top left, click “Sign In” if you have a Google account or click the “Get on Google” button to create an account.
  3. Once signed in, click the button that says “Get Your Page.” You will be prompted to choose a business type (storefront, service area, or brand) and then find your business or, if it isn’t recognized, add your business information.
  4. After you have entered your business info (address, phone number, category), Google will require that you verify that you can manage the business on Google. You can have the code mailed to you, which takes about 1-2 weeks. Once you get the code, go back into your Google Business account and enter it to finish verification. Why verify? Google will then use your business information in local search results and give you the ability to read/respond to customer reviews and get important insights on how your customers are searching and from where.
  5. As the final step in the process, Google will prompt you to create a Google+ page. (Click here for detailed tips on setting up your Google+ page.)
  6. Once you go back and verify your business, you will be able to reap all the search benefits Google offers.

Bing Places for Business

Similar to its much more influential counterpart, Google, Bing also offers a way to register your business called Bing Places for Business. The process is fairly similar to Google, but much easier since it lacks some of the features Google offers. You will need to sign up for a free Microsoft account to list your business.

  1. Go to the Bing Places for Business page.
  2. You will be prompted to enter your business information. Once searched, you will be prompted to verify your business.
  3. If your business can’t be found, you can click the “Create New Business” button to add your business.
  4. Bing will walk you through the steps to enter your business information.

Yahoo Listings

Yahoo has recently announced the termination of its iconic Yahoo Directory as of December 31st, 2014. However, they do offer a couple of new plans with different price points to enhance local listings. The Yahoo Local Basic Listing is free to try, and it just takes a couple of minutes. Click here to see Yahoo’s various local marketing options.

Once listed with the big three, you can significantly increase your online visibility regardless of how your customers are searching for you—for free!

Trying to develop a stronger online presence? OpenVine offers a variety of internet solutions to help your business get noticed by the right audience. Contact us today to learn how we can help you increase quality leads and convert more visitors into customers.

*Image courtesy of Yahoo (screenshot)

Get our monthly emails for website and digital marketing tips and tricks!