If you want your business to rank well in the local search results, it needs to be listed correctly on ExpressUpdate.com – AKA InfoGroup, formerly ExpressUpdateUSA.
But you might feel jarred by three extremely recent changes to the site and to the process of adding or fixing your listing:
Change 1. The new layout. It’s a little easier to find the area where you can check your listing. Unfortunately, this is the only change that makes things simpler.
Change 2. You now have to verify by phone if you want to claim and make changes to your listing.
Even if you already have a listing that you created and owner-verified by email and that InfoGroup published, you can’t simply log into your account to make changes. You can’t simply click the big green “Login” button and enter your trusty login info.
You must phone-verify – before you can create an account, before you can log in, and before you can make any changes.
Change 3. The area where you can add your listing for the first time (in case you’re not already listed) doesn’t seem to require verification – by phone or email. If you search for your business (see point #1, above) and nothing comes up, scroll down and you’ll see the “Add a listing” option.
Or you can just go straight to http://www.expressupdate.com/place_submissions/new
By the way, when it comes time to pick out a category to list your business under, you might find InfoGroup’s category-picker to be slow and frustrating.
It’s easier if you go to OSHA’s Standard Industrial Category search tool and find the most-appropriate category for your business there, and enter that into the “Primary SIC” field.
So what do you do now? Depends whether you’re a complete do-it-yourselfer business owner or you’re having a friendly local-search pro help you out.
If you’re going it alone:
1. Check up on your ExpressUpdate listing now.
2. If your business is listed 100% correctly, you don’t need to do anything – although it would be smart to take 2-3 minutes to claim your listing anyway.
3. If your listing isn’t 100% accurate, make sure you’re by the phone so that you can claim and then correct your listing. Do it now, or the incorrect info will come back to bite your local rankings in the rump.
4. If your business isn’t listed at all, add it and follow whatever instructions you get. Because InfoGroup’s policies just changed, I haven’t had the chance to confirm whether they’ll tell you exactly what to do, or whether you just have to check up on your listing again later and claim it by phone once it’s approved. In any case, you will need to claim the listing personally, sooner or later.
How about if you’re working with a local SEO? In that case, there’s only one difference: now ExpresssUpdate requires a little teamwork.
It used to be that your friendly local SEO-er only needed access to your business email address in order to do anything that needed to be done with your listing.
Now if your local-search consigliere says that you need to claim your listing in order to make changes to it, you two need to nail down a time when you’ll both be by the computer and you’ll be by the phone, ready to follow the instructions for verifying your listing.
By the way, if you need to, you can actually reach a human who can fog a mirror.
If you run a business in the US, the changes at InfoGroup matter to your local rankings and visibility. As a local SEO, I’m not wild about the changes, because they’re extra little hoops to jump through with my clients.
But I can totally see why InfoGroup made the changes: It’s harder for bad information to enter their system (which helps their new Data Axle offering). Ultimately, that means the local search results in Google and elsewhere will be a little more accurate. If your competitors are doing stuff that’s not kosher, life might get tougher for them.
I doubt that ExpressUpdate is moving to a freemium model, the way LocalEze did recently. But who knows. My advice is: square away your listing now, while it’s still free and relatively straightforward to do so.