Really great companies seek every possible way to reach customers and prospects. More recently, those who relied on one method, such as a brick-and-mortar storefront, were practically forced to find another way. Often that new channel was, and still is, to develop a robust digital presence. For your reference, here is a great list of how to get started establishing an online presence for a new business.
Creating a website will get things started and yes, advertising through search engines will drive traffic to your site, but what else can you do? Here are three surefire ways to help gain exposure for your business:
1. Get a Dun & Bradstreet D-U-N-S® Number
The D-U-N-S Number is a unique, nine-digit identifier for businesses. There’s a robust process of validating and curating that takes place to make sure every business profile is continually updated because the D-U-N-S Number is used to establish your company’s Live Business Identity. Establishing your Live Business Identity ensures you are included in our Business Directory, which gets, on average, more than ten million visitors monthly.
Exposure through our Business Directory on the Dun & Bradstreet website is a reliable way to help partners, lenders, and prospects learn more about your business, and may also help them make more informed decisions about whether or not to work with you as a client, supplier, or partner. Once you have a D-U-N-S Number, you can use D-U-N-S Manager to update key information on your company for free.
2. Register with Google My Business
Google isn't the only search engine people use, but it does get the lion's share of search traffic in the United States. While the specifics of how Google's various algorithms work are closely guarded secrets, the Google My Business (GMB) tool is intended to help businesses share basic information online. These details can be shown on Google Maps, right-rail listings, or within other search placements.
The first step is creating or claiming your GMB listing. Next, you follow instructions to try and verify your business. Once verified, you can enter the company address, hours of operation, website URL, contact number, and other important details that you’d like Google to display.
While there’s no guarantee that Google will show what you want, verifying your business and providing information can be advantageous for several reasons. While it can collect public information online, Google may inadvertently list outdated details or omit information you may have thought could be found easily. Giving them the data, yourself may make this less likely to happen. Second, unscrupulous competitors may be more encouraged to try and sabotage your business details if they suspect no one is watching. GMB isn’t a perfect solution, but it can be a powerful tool for business owners.
3. Use Business Listing Plus
What’s great about D&B® Business Listing Plus is that it’s a swift, one-step solution to claim and help maintain a consistent business identity across 60+ sites on the web and in the Dun & Bradstreet Business Directory, that also helps your business stand out from your competitors.
According to a Neustar study, it can take up to 300 hours every year to review and update how a business, with one location, appears across an online search. Who has time to log in to multiple sites and make the same updates over and over again? Business Listing Plus allows users to maintain and publish business information across multiple platforms from a single solution, avoiding time-consuming updates, a bad customer experience, and missed opportunities.
Business Listing Plus also includes additional business information fields on your company’s profile in the Dun & Bradstreet Business Directory, viewed by more than 14 million unique visitors per month and growing. *
Making sure your customers find what they need about your business online is critical in today's market. According to Neustar data, local online searchers' goals are most often to obtain an address, find hours of operation, or get a phone number.
You can update hours of operation, location, and more across more than 60+ search platforms, including Apple Maps, Bing, and Yahoo as well as the Dun & Bradstreet Business Directory – all in one step – which can help you create a consistent business identity and develop trust with prospects and customers.
Choosing options that provide self-serve capabilities can give you more control over your business information presented online. Statista says that almost half of American adults rely on their smartphones to search for business information online and do so multiple times a week. The most important aspect of their search is to find accurate details. If your company profile lists outdated store hours or an incorrect address, and a potential customer relies on that information only to find it’s inaccurate, not only do you lose the immediate sale, you lose their trust. Trust builds loyalty, which in turn leads to more business and your opportunity to make your customers happy. When customers are happy, they refer others to you. Maintaining consistent information online is key to success in today's marketplace and finding solutions to help you make the process easier is worth finding.
The content provided in articles are suggestions only and based on best practices. Dun & Bradstreet is not liable for the outcome or results of specific programs or tactics. Please contact an attorney or tax professional if you are in need of legal or tax advice.
* The information you submit through Business Listing may be reviewed and validated by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B”). D&B may contact a D&B Registered Company Officer to validate submitted information. D&B cannot guarantee that submissions will be accepted or added to the company’s D&B Business Directory profile. Information submitted through Business Listing will not impact a company’s scores and ratings. For D&B Business Listing products that contain distribution services, customer may be required to additionally validate certain business information prior to the distribution of such information.