The UAE's biggest digital marketing solutions provider for small & medium businesses - bfound - has brought to the region a new unique service "Listings Management" to help businesses in UAE claim and manage their business listings on sites like Google Maps - giving them the ability to view and respond to customer reviews, set the accurate pin drop on the map, upload images, update business hours, manage duplicate listings, and let customers call up the business directly, all through one zero-hassle platform.
At this time, Google Maps requires Google to send businesses a verification post card, delivered to their business location. The business is then required to enter the code into their Google My Business account to verify it. Businesses in the UAE often have to wait for weeks if not months to receive the postcard. To make matters worse, a significant share of businesses fails to receive the postcard due to miscellaneous mail-related complications.
With bfound's new "Listings Management" service, local businesses will be able to instantly claim, verify and manage their business listings on Google maps, Facebook Maps, Uber, Waze, Apple Maps, Foursquare and more, all in one centralized platform.
This comes at a time when the UAE's digital penetration is at an all-time high and over 80% of the UAE uses the internet daily while 96% prefer to do it through their smartphones. Annual sales linked to digital maps in the UAE are estimated to be around AED 114 Billion.
According to Erik Bjerlestam, CEO at bfound "Claiming and maintaining your local business listing on Google and other maps is the first step to digital success". Based on research, bfound estimates around 70% of local businesses in UAE don't have an online presence. In addition, Google confirms that businesses with claimed listings are 5% more likely to generate leads than those with incomplete or inaccurate listings.
In these times, a well-maintained business listing gives small and medium businesses (and those with limited resources) almost the same opportunity to be found that large multi-national businesses enjoy. With bfound's new service, business owners can give potential customers all the important information that they need, right from the search engine results page. This information includes the business phone number, business category, website, location, opening hours and reviews as well as internal and external location images.
A portion of businesses in the region are already listed on Google maps (thanks to Google's advanced data collection system). However, a staggering majority of these listings is not claimed by the businesses themselves, meaning any user can change information on the listing. It is because of this scenario that The Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Google kicked off 2018 with the launch of their "Get Dubai Businesses Online" campaign.
It is important to know that anybody can contribute to the information on a Google maps listing, and it is the business's responsibility to claim, verify and correct the listed information. The UAE has over 300,000 small and medium businesses but over 70% of them do not have a strong digital presence. Bfound currently has served over 1,000 small & medium businesses in UAE across more than 30 verticals, and aims to bring this unique service to thousands of local businesses in UAE.