Imagine this:  Your friend, wife, husband or colleague tells you to meet and pick a sushi restaurant downtown.  You’re aren’t particularly sure what’s the best selection, in that vicinity, and if they’re even open.

And like most consumers out there, you’ll take out your phone, open Google Maps or Apple app, and type in “Sushi”. Several areas pop open, you scroll through their business listing, getting an idea of location, parking scenario, hours of operation, a glimpse of the menu, photos of their top meals, a virtual tour and layout of the restaurant and most importantly, customer reviews.

As a consumer, what made the most impact in your decision to pick a specific location?  Reviews? Photos? Tour? Directions?  Hint:  ALL OF THE ABOVE attributed to the selection.

As a business, here are several ways to ensure you control and manage your online business listings.

Verify Business Listings

If you haven’t already, it’s important to gain full control and verify your business location (offices, restaurants, retail stores, doctor offices, etc)!  Your customers or prospective customers will “Google” or “Yelp” you and will find your business page.

This section will contain telephone number, address, hours of operation, services/menu and website link.

Bottomline: MAKE IT EASY FOR PEOPLE TO FIND YOU.

Photos & Virtual Tour

Share the best images of your business.  Or take prospective clients on a virtual tour and open your doors before they arrive.

Reviews

Let customers and fans share their stories to the world.  If you’re managing this, this will significantly impact your business.

Note: Apple Maps pulls from Bing business listings.  It is important to update information on both.