We recently wrote about Citations and how important they are for local business owners. We decided to dive deeper into the citation process by signing up on several sites to see how their process/flow is and the overall experience. We are putting several citation sites “on trial” and will render our verdict on how easy they are to sign up for and how effective they are for your business. We are starting with YP.com. Here’s our interaction diary:
Citation Study – Day 1
I registered on yp.com and tried to sign up our business. The signup flow was weird – it kept clearing out my registration. It took me 3 times entering in all the information to get it setup. On the 3rd try, it got past the first page and asked me to enter our business phone number. I did that and it said it “found” our business. However, it still didn’t “list” the business on the site, and I got a pop up informing me that I should call their toll free number.
I called the toll free number. The gentlemen who answered was very pleasant. I explained my situation and he told me that my issues were “typical, but we can’t get the tech team to make any changes, what are you going to do.” He manually took some information from me and told me we should be listed “no later than” 24 hours on the site.
Three hours later, I got a call back from yp.com from another rep. She wanted to make it clear we were getting only a free listing, that very few people would see it. She was trying to upsell a premium listing. I said no to everything she offered me, and she said we’d be live in “probably a few hours, no more than 24”.
I checked the site literally 24 hours after I had registered. We still weren’t listed.
I checked the site again. We still were not listed.
This was the first time I could get back to this after the first few days of effort. I called the same toll free number I tried on Day 1 and spoke with a 3rd customer service rep. She didn’t seem to have any interest in my prior history – I was trying to explain that it had been 6 days since I signed up and I still wasn’t on the site. She just wanted my business name and phone number. I gave her that information and she told me she “found” my record, but it wasn’t added to the site yet because my email wasn’t registered. But I had logged in on Day 1!
She asked for my email address and I gave her my business email address. She tried setting me up but said she was getting errors with my email address (she didn’t specify what errors she was getting). I once again tried to explain that I was currently logged into yp.com using that email address so I wasn’t sure what problems she was having.
Then she asked something that I found very surprising. She asked me if I had another email address I could use for my listing. I found this very odd – I would think that a business listing on the site should be managed by a business email address? Given that she didn’t seem to have any interest in hearing what I had to done to date or try to troubleshoot what was going on with my original email (I suspected it had to do with signing up via Google vs. using a separate email/password), I gave her a second email address. She said that email address worked, and that she created an account for me with a temporary password. I was then told to log into http://adsolutions.yp.com in order to manage my listing. I found it ironic that I had to go to a site specifically for Ads in order to maintain my free listing.
I did what she asked and I was now able to see my business information on a dashboard. I could update information, add hours of operation and other business info. Progress!
I asked the rep when my page would be viewable on yp.com. She told me I’d have to wait another 24-48 hours again before it would go live. I asked why I had to keep waiting 24 hours each time I spoke with somebody and she said she didn’t know.
I checked the live site – we still weren’t listed yet.
I wasn’t able to come back to this for 2 days. When I came back, I opened an Incognito Chrome window and did a search for my business in the town we’re located. It showed 2 businesses from 45 miles away and changed the name of the business I was searching for! When I specifically asked for my business name, I finally saw my listing! Of course, on my page were ads for all sorts of other businesses, but I was finally there. Woot!!
I was very surprised at the amount of manual effort required to get a free listing on their site. I spoke with 3 different people and spent several hours of total effort on this. Seemed like an awful lot of work (on all sides) for a simple listing. The organic search results have yet to be determined. I’ll be very curious to compare this with other sites to see how it compares. Given the experience so far, we’d have to conclude – FAIL.