Ideas That Work
Online Listings Can Help Your Business
by Penny Stacey
Have you checked your company’s listing on Google Places, Yelp.com,
or any of the other free, online listing services lately? If not, one
Missouri auto glass shop owner says it might be time to do so.
“Shops need to make sure that they have a profile on everyone of those
… and that all the correct information is there,” says Larry Diesbach,
owner of Bachman Auto Glass in St. Louis. “If you get misinformation on
one, these other directories will scrape from it, and once incorrect information
is out there, it’s nearly impossible to get it fixed.”
Google Places, which offers a list of businesses when a user searches
for a particular service in a certain area, also pulls from these, along
with any reviews listed about your company on the various sites, Diesbach
“A lot of people are searching zipcodes plus auto glass or windshield
with the zipcode,” says Diesbach. “When I search [for a service] that’s
pretty much what I do, too, and with Google Places it helps so much [for
shops] to have their information filled out and to make sure it’s accurate.”
While Google gathers as much information as possible from other sites,
you also can log in to claim and update your company’s Google places listing—this
is as simple as going to places.google.com/business, and following the
online steps. This simple service, used by many, is free.
“Shops don’t need to spend all this money [for listings, etc.],” says
Diesbach, “… and there are companies that will take your money to do something
that’s already free.”
Diesbach also gathers customers’ email addresses, so that once the work
is done, he can contact them to ask that they complete an online review
on one of the various listing sites. Bachman Auto Glass has created a
list of these and offers the customer a simple dropdown menu to select
from, and the customer can utilize Yelp, Google, SuperPages, or any of
the other choices available to review the experience.
“Shops need to
make sure that they have a profile on everyone of those … and that all
the correct information is there.”
“We’ve had really good luck with building our local citations,”
says Diesbach. “… and maybe someone doesn’t have a Google account, but
they might have a Yelp. It makes it really easy on the customer to let
everyone know how the service was. I think a lot of people use stuff like
that when selecting a service.”
These reviews also will make their way back to Google, even if they’re
written elsewhere, Diesbach says.
“Say you had a profile on Yelp and someone says ‘they’re great to deal
with,’ Google will pick that review up and bring it back to your Google
Places [page],” he adds.
Diesbach also recommends that companies that do lots of in-shop work consider
the use of sites such as FourSquare to let customers “check in” at their
“You can make special offers to people where if they check in at your
place they’ll get a coupon,” says Diesbach.
So, for example, if a customer checks in at your facility (using FourSquare
or Facebook Places, or a related service), likely all his connections
and friends will see that he was there.
“It spreads the word,” says Diesbach, “and it doesn’t cost anything. In
this economy anything that doesn’t cost anything is great.”
Penny Stacey is the editor of AGRR magazine.
© Copyright 2011 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.