Local SEO: How to Tell if Your Local Business Directory Listing Has Been Claimed

Maintaining a positive web presence for your business is an important part of your search engine marketing strategy. Link building and business listings play an important role in ensuring that local customers can find your products and services online.

You may already have noticed that when you search for your business one the web, there are many directories & search engines that are offering information about your business to your customers. This happens because many sites “scrape” your information from public records, phone book listings, and other websites in order to populate their business directory or search engine. Most of these sites allow you to claim your local business listing so that you can edit it and optimize it, correcting any misinformation and adding descriptions of services and products, photos, and other information your potential customers might be interested in.

Every time you claim a business listing, you are creating an online account requiring a username and password. With hundreds of business directories and local listings available online, keeping track of which directory listings you claim and how to access them is crucial to maintaining an organized web presence.

Often, business owners hire professional local SEO companies to claim, optimize, & maintain their business listings. If you’ve worked with more than one professional, or have had employees claiming your listings for you, trying to figure out which directory listing is already claimed can become confusing.

How to tell if your listing has already been claimed on the top 5 local business listing sites:

Google Places

  • Find your Google Places Listing by searching Google Maps and click on your name.
  • Look in the top right corner of your Places Page. It should say “Owner-verified listing” if it has been claimed.

CCSEO Google Places Page

Bing

  • Search Bing for your business name. How detailed and filled in your business listing appears may indicate that it has been optimized, and therefore, already claimed. Near the bottom, look for this wording: “Change your business listing” and click on this link.
  • If it has been claimed, the phrase “This listing has already been claimed” will show up next to your business name.

CCSEO Bing Business Listing

Yahoo

  • Go to Yahoo Local and search for your business name.
  • Look at your listing to see if it is correctly filled out.
  • If it has not been claimed, it is unlikely that it will have photos and detailed information about your business.
  • Click on the words “Edit Business Details” at the bottom of the listing.
  • Click on “Edit as a Business Owner?”
  • You will be prompted to log in to your Yahoo account. You may attempt login recovery if you don’t remember your password.
  • If you are able to log in & your listing has been claimed, your business information will be available for you to edit.
  • If you are given the option to claim your business, then it has not been claimed already and you can do so now.
  • Be careful not to create duplicate listings. If duplicate listings already exist, you should claim and delete them.

 

Yahoo Local Listing

Yelp

  • Search Yelp.com to see if your business name and information shows up.
  • If it does, check to see if the words “Provided by business” show up next to your business descriptions.
  • If you find that your business listing has not yet been claimed, you can claim it on Yelp here: https://biz.yelp.com/claiming

Superpages

  • Search for your business on superpages.com
  • Look to see if the information is accurate
  • Look for a yellow box at the bottom of your business listing that states: “Are you the Business Owner?” and has a “Claim My Listing” button. (This will appear even if your listing is already claimed.)
  • Follow the process to claim your listing or log in to see if it appears in your dashboard.

Superpages Claim Listing Example

Other Local SEO Resources

Here are a couple more ways to see if your business listings have already been claimed:

Getlisted.org is an easy way to double check the status of your business listings. A quick scan will provide you with a free status alert, but be sure your information has been entered correctly.

Yext.com doesn’t let you know if your business listings have been claimed, but it will let you know if they’re listed and how well optimized they are.

GetListed.org Denver Local Search University

Internet Marketing, SEO, & Local Search Workshop – Thursday October 21st, 2010


Local search expert David Mihm and GetListed.org are bringing their “Local University” to Denver next week, Thursday October 21st. A natural extension of the hands on Local Search Workshop that we hosted in Fort Collins last month, the GetListed.org event is a half-day workshop focusing on SEO and marketing your business through Local Search services such as Google Places.

This is a great opportunity for Northern Colorado business owners to expand their knowledge and expertise on Internet Marketing, SEO, & Local Search Marketing. The “University” is described as, “an intensive four-hour crash course in Internet marketing that will help you navigate the possibilities for marketing your business on the web.”

Some of the nation’s leading online marketing experts will be presenting at this workshop including Mike Blumenthal, Mary Bowling, & David Mihm. The agenda includes a variety of presentations and Q&A sessions.

We invite you to join CCSEO’s Cecily, Kevin, and Colt at the event, with a special discounted agency price. Please contact us for further information on the workshop, and to sign up with our agency discount.

The Local Search University will take place at the Sheraton Denver Tech Center from 12:30pm to 5:00pm. You can review the website for the full agenda and details.

Google Excludes SEO & Web Companies from Local Results

local-search-man

'Dang it, I could have sworn I saw an SEO business around here somewhere!'

About a month ago we received a letter from Google congratulating us on the number of times Google users found our business listing between July 1 and September 30, 2009.

They said ‘Because you’re so popular, we’re enclosing a window decal that shows customers you’re a “Favorite Place on Google”.’

I know of at least two other local web design companies who received the same letter and decal. Google concluded the letter with ‘Congratulations on your popularity on Google. We look forward to providing you with more and better ways to grow your business.’

Well, we’re not a favorite place on Google anymore, because Google has decided to exclude SEO and web design/development local listings from the web results (see Google Maps forum thread).

Before exclusion our local listing averaged:

  • 894 impressions a month
  • with 77 click-throughs

Since exclusion we’ve averaged:

  • approx. 52 impressions a month
  • with just one click-through

If Google felt it appropriate to congratulate us on how popular we are with their users, which indicates the local interest in our services, why are they now ‘intentionally showing less local results for web design / SEO queries’?

An additional consequence of Google’s decision is that since helping businesses with their local business listings is one of the services we offer we can no longer use the ranking of our own local listing as an example of our capability and knowledge. In fact it’s possible that our potential customers may wonder whether we have a good understanding of how Google local listings work since we no longer appear in local searches.

Ultimately though, my main concern is that Google is arbitrarily filtering information with no convincing rational behind their decision. Do we really want to use Google Maps as our primary source of local business information if they can’t provide the same fair and balanced results that they supposedly do for their search product?