One of the biggest mistakes that local small businesses make is not claiming their business on the various local business listing directories. In New Zealand, several florists discovered why they had made such a huge mistake when a competitor hijacked their listings and stole their Web traffic.
And don’t think it couldn’t happen to you. It could.
The scary thing is that it could happen to you and the thief could be someone in a foreign country. You might never find justice then if that happens. While the U.S. has agreements with some countries to expedite criminals who break U.S. law (and we, in return, would do the same for them), we don’t have that agreement in place for every country in the world. Your best bet is to prevent it from happening in the first place.
But how do you do that?
You start by claiming your local business listings at Google, Bing, Yahoo! and Ask. It’s free and relatively easy. You simply find their Local Business center and enter the data about your business, which could include phone numbers, addresses – even Web addresses – photos and videos and other pertinent data about your business.
You might as well claim your local business because if you don’t then someone else could. And it will be painful.