4 Local Listings Your Tour Business Should Claim

October 23, 2018, Kyla Steeves
Female traveler searching on a local business listing site while looking for things to do in a city.

Get discovered by more travelers with the best local business listings

Many travelers today are booking tours and activities last minute. Our recent bookings study shows that 24.50% are same day bookings, and 33.78% are within one to seven days in advance — which implies that the majority of travelers are booking while in-destination. For this reason, your tour business should claim a local business listing right away.

Why? Because if a traveler is just around the corner, then their search is tied to their geographical location. In other words, a local listing site will give them the best tours and activities nearby. When you have a listing, your tour business will show up in the search results, and the traveler will get a bite-size of information that might entice them to learn more or make a booking.

On top of that, a local listing can also increase your visibility outside of the directory. For instance, every listing you create helps with local SEO (search engine optimization) in two significant ways:

  1. Citation building: by inputting your tour company’s Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP) on multiple business listings, you tell search engines where you’re legitimately located.
  2. Increasing backlinks: most business listings allow you to add your website URL — which creates a backlink. The bigger your backlink network, the better you’ll rank on search engines.

To reach more travelers and optimize your online presence, you can sign up for plenty of online business directories. But we suggest starting with the prominent platforms first. In this article, we’ll let you know what these are today, and outline why you should create a listing for each:

1. Google My Business

Screenshot of Google My Business local snack pack search results of bike tours.

Google is a dominant player amongst search engines — Google it has even become a generic descriptor for online searching. That’s because Google aims to provide the best user experience by presenting the most relevant information as fast as possible.

Regarding local searches, Google even has a local snack pack to narrow down the results — which is the boxed map area that features three local businesses. Since it’s positioned on the first page, above the organic search results, these listings often attract a high volume of clicks.

To increase your chances of getting a taste of the snack pack, you need to let Google know you’re a local business first by setting up a Google My Business listing. Once you do, you might not see your tour business show up immediately  —  considering there are other factors to the ranking algorithm  — but you will have other benefits right away, like:

  • Guests can leave Google reviews for other users to see — which strengthens your credibility
  • Your local listing will show up in the knowledge panel when someone Google’s your business
  • You can get valuable customer insights by connecting Google Analytics to your account
  • You’ll have access to the best Google tools right from your Google My Business dashboard
  • And soon guests can make a booking with Reserve with Google and Checkfront!

It’s free to set-up a Google My Business listing, so get started today. 

2. Facebook Local

Screenshot of Facebook Local app searching attractions in Victoria.

Facebook continues to be an excellent tool for businesses to connect with their customers. With a Facebook Business Page, you can engage with your followers, promote your tour business by boosting posts, and even make it easy for guests to book right on Facebook.

But there’s more! Facebook also has an online business directory to help users discover businesses, too.

Previously, this feature was called Facebook Nearby Places, but since the rebranding of the standalone Events app, Facebook Local is the new portal for seeing what’s happening locally. Existing in the form of a mobile app, and a replacement to the Nearby feature in the More tab, searchers use various shortcuts and filters to see places their friends and locals love.

While the categories represent businesses like restaurants, attractions, and more, it’s only a matter of time until there’s a category for tours and activities — especially with the growing interest of in-destination experiences. But for now, users can still find your tour business by using keywords in the search bar.

If you already have a Facebook Business Page, then you’re on track to show up in Facebook Local. Just make sure you’ve added all of your basic Page information — including name, address, category, hours of operation, etc.

But if you haven’t, now is the time to set one up. Since the search results are based on user-generated interactions — like reviews and check-ins — you can work on engaging with your guests today so that you can reach new ones tomorrow. Here’s how to create a Facebook Business Page.

3. Apple Maps Connect

Screenshot of Apple Maps Connect sign-up page for a local business listing.

Google Maps isn’t the only web mapping service available; Apple Maps is just one of the many alternatives. Given that Apple Maps is the default app on iOS devices (iPhones and iPads), approximately 23.3 million monthly US users trust it for getting around and finding nearby businesses.

Although that number is small in comparison to Google Maps monthly US users — 154.4 million — you shouldn’t ignore listing with Apple Maps. After all, to maximize discoverability, your tour business needs to show up in more places.

Apple Maps is also improving — a new version was released with iOS 12 to take Apple Maps to the next level. Built from the ground up, Apple Maps will no longer collect data from third parties, but rather from its own devices. That way, Apple can make corrections, changes, and updates faster than before.

Additionally, the redesign is supposed to better the user experience in other ways — including generating more relevant search results. As more iOS users notice the quality improvements, the percentage of Apple Maps users might increase significantly.

For that reason, you can position yourself for success by establishing a strong presence on Apple Maps now. And that starts with adding your business to their directory. Here’s how to make that happen with Apple Maps Connect.

4. Yelp

Screenshot of Yelp local search of kayaking adventures nearby.

Yelp is a local search service that’s characterized by its online reviews. Travelers often use this directory to see the businesses that have 5-star ratings and what locals say about their service. As you might guess, travelers want to make the most of their trip, and that means booking the best experiences.

However, Google is quickly surpassing Yelp as it’s acquiring reviews faster than any other platform. Not to mention that Google Reviews help to improve your search ranking on Google. That said, should you still list your business on Yelp?

The short answer is yes — Yelp is another place to secure a backlink because you can add your website URL to your listing. As I mentioned, the more backlinks, the merrier. Plus, a link will also encourage cross-traffic and check-ins at your location.

Beyond local SEO strategies, Yelp also has 142 million monthly users — so there’s a tremendous opportunity to attract and engage with new guests. When you claim your business, you can pique a user’s interest by uploading quality photos, adding relevant business information and best yet, responding directly to reviews. So claim your business on Yelp today.

Final thoughts

Once you become familiar with the set-up process of local listings and using the unique tools the sites have available, you’ll have no problem claiming your business across the online world. And soon, travelers can find your tours and activities anywhere — without having to stumble upon your doorstep first.

P.S. Some local listing sites favour positive reviews…

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