How to Find Local Businesses Using USA Business Directories

local-helping-localF-300x245Maybe you’ve heard of the Shop Local movement, and although you try to frequent as many local shops as you can, you still just haven’t completely made the switch. Or maybe you’ve heard all the hype about shopping local, but you don’t understand the reasons or motivation behind the movement.

If either of these sound like you, this article will help. In it, we’ll take a look at what the Shop Local movement is, why it’s important, and then tell you how to use USA business listings to make the switch yourself.

So, if you want to learn how to support your local community by shopping locally, read on for an in-depth look at this issue.

What is the Shop Local Movement?

A long time ago, people used to shop at the stores and businesses closest to them, but then came the internet and everything changed. People began shopping online because they could get bargains that they just couldn’t find locally. And before recent laws changed, they didn’t have to pay sales tax on those internet purchases either.

But along with global shopping came some disadvantages. Neighborhood shops began closing as they couldn’t compete with the internet giants for sales. And in addition to communities losing their iconic stores, people began realizing that when they bought from big box stores and internet giants, many of the products looked the same. In other words, uniqueness was taken out of the picture and people were forced to accept limited products and styles.

These issues gave birth to the shop local movement. People who are proponents of this movement always look first to their local communities whenever they need to buy something. They go to farmer’s markets for their produce to buy from local farmers who grow the vegetables, the locally owned hardware store when they need a can of paint, or to the local florist when they need to order a bouquet.

If you’re still unsure of the benefits of shopping locally by using USA business listings, here are a few more reasons why you should consider making the switch.

Why Should You Use USA business Listings to Shop Locally?

If you’re thinking that the Shop Local movement is right for you, but you’re not quite convinced, here are some pretty compelling reasons to do so.

  • You’ll help build your local community. It’s just common sense that when you spend money, you want it to go back into the local community that you live in. But when you shop online—or even in big box stores—that doesn’t happen. In fact, a recent study shows that when people spend $100 in local stores, $68 of that goes back into the local community. On the other hand, when people spend $100 at a big box store, only $43 of that goes back into the local community. And online shopping? Aside from local tax dollars, it’s a fair bet to say that none of the $100 would go back to your local community. In a culture where local communities are struggling to survive, doesn’t it make sense to use your consumer dollars to boost it up rather than give them to another locale?
  • You’ll help create more local jobs. It’s a common misconception that large, corporate businesses create the most jobs in America. In fact, small, local business owners are the job creators in our country. The U.S. Census Bureau says that of the 5.73 million firms in the U.S. with employees, 99.7 percent of them are businesses with less than 500 employees. Even smaller businesses, like those with less than 20 employees, make up 89.6 percent of those businesses who employee people. These are likely the business owners in your community who are providing employment opportunities to you and your neighbors. And when you shop locally using USA business listings, you support those employers.
  • You’ll keep your local culture alive. As we stated above, when you shop at big box stores, you’ll only have access to limited products and styles because these stores survive by appealing to the masses. But local shop owners understand the culture that surrounds them and tend to offer more culturally appropriate and unique items for sale.
  • You’ll encourage innovation among small shop owners. Another great benefit of shopping local with USA business directories is that local shop owners will begin to compete for business. Once they realize that local consumers are dedicated to shopping locally, they will work hard to ensure that their store is the best one in town.
  • You’ll create an engaged community. Communities that are close knit typically tend to care more about their area and work hard to keep it safe from crime. In addition, shop local communities have a higher quality of public health, which results in less taxes because government isn’t as involved in the cleanup of crime or health services.
  • You’ll positively impact the local environment. We’ve all heard about the importance of lowering our carbon footprints, and shopping locally is one of the best ways you can do that. You’ll eliminate the need to ship the product to you, as well as all the packaging materials that would need to be used.

Now that you understand the importance of shopping locally, let’s talk about the best way to do it. As you’re probably already aware, it can be difficult to find US local businesses on the large search engines. That’s because local results are often only found after looking at many pages of results. The unfortunate truth is that the results you see at the top of the page are often large businesses that have paid thousands of dollars in internet advertising costs, or they have engaged in other marketing tactics. That leaves local consumers frustrated. Luckily, there’s an answer. Here’s a primer on how to find US local businesses online.

Step One: Find US Local Businesses by Looking in the Right Place

We’ve shown you why searching on the major search engines isn’t likely to produce the local results you want, but you do have an alternative. US business directories were created to combat this problem. These local directories only show the results from your local area so you will never have to wade through the irrelevant listings of big stores that paid to be there.

Step Two: Choose the Right USA Business Directories

Keep in mind that not all USA business directories are the same. Some will require the visitor to enter their zip code just to show them results from their area. But the more effective USA business directories use GEO location technology. That means as soon as a visitor logs into the site, the local directory will “read” their location and automatically show them the results from their area.

Step Three: Take Advantage of the Perks

Some USA directories like FindUsLocal.com offer visitors more than local search results. These quality local directories offer you the chance to see local events happening in your area, such as concerts, plays, and sporting events. The directory also allows you see real time social media posts from your area, the weather, featured artists, and even inspirational quotes that are changed every day.

Step Four: Check out the Reviews

Once you’ve found the USA business listings you want, be sure to check out the reviews other consumers have left for them. Studies have shown that consumers don’t like to do business with stores that don’t have at least some positive reviews, and there’s good reason for that. People who are thrilled with a local business are much more likely to leave a positive review, and those reviews help you choose the business you go to. And in addition to reading the reviews about a business, you should consider leaving one yourself if you’ve had a pleasant or unpleasant experience at the business.

As you can see, there are not only many great reasons for joining the shop local movement, but USA business directories also make it easy. Remember, you can boost your community and help with its economy by shopping at local stores, and you can find US local businesses by using local directories like FindUsLocal.com What are you waiting for? Don’t you have some shopping to do?

There is an Answer to the Retail Store Closings Epidemic

Open-for-BusinessIf you’ve watched the news lately, you understand that it’s a perilous time to be a brick and mortar local shop owner. The nation is watching as more and more retail stores close their doors due to the competition from online businesses. In fact, here are few of the most recent store closing announcements:

  • Bebe. The popular brand recently announced that it is closing every single retail store in the nation.
  • JC Penny. Once a popular store, JC Penny has plans to close 138 retail locations this year.
  • Sears. While Sears has been a national icon in the nation for decades, it has recently confirmed that there is “substantial doubt” that it will be able to continue to sustain its retail locations.
  • Payless Shoe Source. As with the other examples, Payless Shoes has announced it will close hundreds of stores this year.
  • Macys. Even high end stores are experiencing declining profits in their retail locations. For instance, Macys announced it will close 68 stores this year.

A report put out by the brokerage firm Credit Suisse anticipates at least 8,600 retail stores will shutter their doors this year. That means Americans will have 147 million less square feet to shop in after the year’s end. Compare this year’s store closings to other years and it’s obvious that local shops need to change tactics if they’re going to survive. For example, last year there were only 2,056 retail stores that closed their doors, and 5,077 closed the year before that. The record was in 2008 when 6,163 retail stores shuttered their doors. We are only a quarter into the year, and the to-date store closings have already surpassed that record.

USA Business Listings are the Answer

Many small, local shop owners are wondering what they can do in order to avoid the possibility that they will have to close their doors. After all, it’s no secret that many local shop owners are experiencing dismal sales in a world where people look for businesses online. But many shop owners can’t afford the expense of creating a large internet presence with an expensive website and costly internet marketing.

Enter USA business directories.

According to most experts, it’s mandatory for local shops to have an online presence if they’re going to make it in today’s internet driven world, and that’s where USA business directories come in. Local business owners can claim free USA business listings from sites like FindUsLocal.com. And the benefits of listing your shop on USA business listings? Here are 4 that will help you keep your doors open.

  • GEO Location Technology. Quality USA business directories like FindUsLocal.com use GEO location technology to make it easier for consumers to find the local businesses they need. This important technology automatically matches the visitor’s locations with the results they see. For example, if a visitor logged on from Los Angeles, California, they would only see the results from that area.
  • Piggyback Marketing. In order for USA businesses directories to stay relevant in the search engines, they have to do online advertising. A lot of it. And guess who benefits from all the expensive advertising the local directories do? The local shops who are listed on it. That means if you have USA business listings on sites like these you will benefit from online advertising without having to pay for it.
  • Consumer Draw. On some USA business directories like FindUsLocal.com, they aim to improve consumer experiences so they’ll return often, which puts your business in the spotlight more often. For example, this local directory offers local news, updates on local concerts, theatre events and sports games, inspirational quotes of the day, as well as other unique draws that keep consumers checking in daily.
  • Possible Exclusivity. You can get USA business listings for free, or you can pay $20 for a premium listing which will guarantee that your business is shown exclusively on the page, making it that much more likely that consumers will do business with you.

Get Your Business Listed and Defy the Odds

Just because so many brick and mortar stores are closing this year, that doesn’t mean yours will too. But the local shops that survive the internet takeover will have to be smart and make sure their stores are easily found online. And the best (and least expensive) way to do that is by listing it on a local business directory. Why not spend a few minutes on sites like FindUsLocal.com and claim your listing. You’ll receive all the benefits listed above in addition to taking the necessary steps to ensure your local stores future for years to come.

How to Change Your Morning Routine with USA Business Directories

my-morning-routine.001If you’re like most people, you have a set morning routine that helps you start your day. Many people start the day with a cup of coffee or tea and the news. Others like to spend some quiet time with devotionals or other inspirational sources.

What would you say if we told you that certain USA business directories can provide a great way to start your day? That’s right, by logging onto FindUsLocal.com, a modern and unique kind of local business directory, you can have a great start to your day.

Here are 6 ways logging onto USA business directories like FindUsLocal.com can help improve your morning routine.

Read the News of the Day

If you asked around, you would probably find that most people start their day by reading up on the latest news. But in times when newspapers have gone the way of the Yellow Pages, that can be a difficult task when it comes to local news. After all, unless you pay monthly for a subscription to the local paper, getting local news isn’t easy.

Unless you visit sites like  FindUsLocal.com. USA business directories like these offer local news, but they go even farther than that. On the site, you won’t have to type in your zip code or city to be shown the local news in your area because it will be automatically shown to you. The site uses GEO location technology, which matches the results visitors see with their location—all without having to lift a finger.

How’s that for convenience?

Check Out Local Sporting Events

Imagine being able to log onto one site and find out which sporting events are happening in your local community. USA business directories like FindUsLocal.com not only keep you updated about which sporting events are coming to your area, but it also provides handy links so you can go directly to the ticket site and purchase tickets. All without having to get out of your pajamas!

Plan an Evening Out

What better way to plan for an evening out than to do it as you partake in your morning routine? In addition to sporting event notices, USA business directories like FindUsLocal.com also keep you informed about all the concerts and theatre events coming to your area. And just like with the sporting events, you’ll be able to click on a link that will take you directly to the site where you can buy tickets.

Learn Some Cool Facts

Some people like to energize their brains in the morning by learning about new things, and USA business directories like FindUsLocal.com give you the opportunity to do just that. For example, you will find a birthday feature that talks about what being born on a certain day means for your personality. And the Name of the Day feature is good for a chuckle as it previews a new unusual name every day. For example, today’s name is Carrie Bucket. Keep in mind that these names are real! You’ll also find a thoughtful quote for the day that will kick your mind into gear as you contemplate it.

Read up on Local Social Media

If you like to keep up with what’s going on in your local community, this feature is just for you. The site highlights the latest tweets from local residents and business owners from your local area. For example, if a business is having a flash sale and announces it on Twitter, you’ll be the first to see it. Or if a community alert is put out, you’ll see that instantly, too.

Check Out Local Reviews

Finally, if you’re looking for a local shop to do business with, you probably want to read up on all the local reviews before you make a decision about which one to shop at. And because many local shops don’t have an online presence, that can be tough. But USA business listings give you a place to find those reviews—as well as leave them yourself.

USA business listings are a handy tool to have when you need to find a local business, but as you can see, they’re also a great way to start your morning. You’ll find local news, events, unique facts and quotes, as well as the latest social media feeds and local reviews. If you’re looking for a great way to start your day, why not head over to FindUsLocal.com and see what it has to offer?

 

9 Statistics You Should Know Before Claiming USA Business Listings

directories2If you keep up to date on local business marketing, then you’ve surely heard about the newest tool many local business owners are using to drive new customers to their store: USA business directories. But even though many people understand the importance of claiming their local business listing, they do it improperly, which will not only hamper their efforts, but could actually hurt their rankings.

But the solution is as simple as understanding how to maximize the effectiveness of USA business listings so they have the impact you want them to.

In order to best understand how to best create your business listings, let’s take a look at a study that outlines exactly what consumers look for when using USA business directories. Here are the 9 most important takeaways from the study.

Consumers Want a Way to Find the Local Business

It’s not enough to know that a local business exists, when consumers use USA business listings, they want to know how to find or contact the business. According to the study, two-thirds of consumers expect to find the address or phone number of a business on their listing. But when creating your listing, be sure to mind your NAPs. That stands for name, address, and phone number, and if that data isn’t exactly the same on all your USA business listings, it could harm your rankings. For example, if your business is located at 100 Main Street, your NAPs should all list your address the same. If you input 100 Main on some listings and 100 Main Street on others, the search engine spiders won’t understand that all the listings belong to your business.

Consumers Want to Know When You’re Open

This may sound obvious to some, but you’d be surprised how many local business owners don’t list their store hours on their USA business listings. And that’s a problem because the study shows that a full 58 percent of consumers expect to see that information when they try find US local businesses online. Make sure your listing show the days and times your business is open so consumers don’t bypass your listing and go on to one that makes the information available.

Consumers Want to Know How to Get to Your Business

When people search USA business listings, they not only want to find the address where a business is located, they also want to know where it is. According to the study, 58 percent of lookers have a need to understand how far they are away from the business. If you can include a map or some simple directions that include the closets highways and cross streets, it will satisfy most consumers.

Consumers Want to Find Your Website

Some consumers use USA business directories as a way to find the websites of those shops they want to do business with. Even for locally based businesses, websites offer a great way for business owners to showcase their products and services.

But most USA business directories don’t allow local business owners to include a link to their website on the free listing versions. In order to overcome this obstacle, you can seek out USA business directories like FindUsLocal.com and use their premium version. For only $20, you can include a live link to your website so those customers who are looking for it will be able to click on it and land on your site.

Consumers Want Pricing Information

Before people can make a buying decision, they want to know what price the business charges. In fact, according to the study, 53 percent of consumers expect to find pricing information on USA business listings. Whether you list the price for your daily lunch menu, service call, or for your bestselling product, you should at least include some pricing information.

Consumers Want General Information

In addition to wanting to understand specific pricing, 52 percent of consumers expect to find general information on the products and services that a business offers. For example, if you run a local air conditioning service, you can include information about the services you provide. Or if you run a bridal shop in the local community, list the various service and products that you offer to local brides.

Consumers Want to See Reviews

Many recent studies have shown that consumers are hesitant to do business a local shop unless there are sufficient reviews from other customers. But sometimes those reviews can be hard to come by. Talk to your customers and point them to your USA business listings and ask them to leave a review. Once potential customers see those reviews, they’ll be more likely to take a chance with your business. Be sure to list your business only on USA business directories that allow consumers to leave reviews. Remember, 38 percent of consumers look for reviews on a company before they will make a decision about whether or not to do business with them.

Consumers Want to Know How They can Pay

Not all businesses accept the same types of payments, and most consumers want to know their options before they drive to a business. In fact, the study shows that 28 percent of people who look at USA business listings specifically want to know which forms of payment are accepted at a business. That’s why so many local shop owners include that information on their local business listings. Once you claim your business listing, be sure to list all of the various forms of payment that you accept in your shop.

Don’t Leave Anything Out

Finally, the study shows that 16 percent of those surveyed are looking for some type of information that wasn’t listed above. And while the study didn’t make it clear what information those consumers were looking for, it should make you stop and think. When you consider that if consumers don’t find what they need on your USA business listings they will likely move on to the next one, it only makes sense to include all you can in the listing. For example, if you offer a loss leader product at a great introductory price, include that information in your listing. Or if you run a local restaurant and are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, be sure to tell your potential customers.

What’s Next?

Now that you understand how to most effectively set up your USA business listings, let’s talk about which USA business directories you should list your business on. Here are 4 things to look for.

  • GEO location technology. If you’ve ever visited old school USA business directories, they you understand just how difficult it can be to find the local business in your area. They require to enter your zip code, and then the system doesn’t always work. Sometimes you’re left looking at results in a different city, and may never find the local results from your area. But some quality USA business directories offer GEO location technology which matches the results visitors see with the area that they’re logged on from. For example, if you logged on from Cleveland, Ohio, you would only see the results from that city.
  • Local News. In addition to providing USA business listings, the best local directories offer visitors a chance to see the local news in their area. On FindUsLocal.com, visitors see a news stream that highlight the local news of their area.
  • Local Events. In addition to wanting to understand the news in the local area, many people like to see what local events are playing in their area. For example, on sites like the one listed above, visitors will see the local concerts, theatre events and sporting events in their area. What’s more, they won’t have to search out where to buy the tickets because each of events have a link in it that takes them directly to the ticket site.
  • In addition to all the practical things, people like to see inspirational quotes and items, especially if they’re starting out their day by searching USA business listings. On FindUsLocal, you can find an inspirational quote of the day, a humorous name of the name that showcases real names like Bill Board, and an interesting feature that tells people the meaning behind their birthday. It’s unusual for USA directories to include information like this, and that’s why many people use FindUsLocal.com as their USA directory of choice.

As you can see, there are some USA business directories that are a cut above the rest. Whether you are using the local directory to list your business—or if you are visiting it every day as a consumer—it’s good to know which one offer the best benefits and features.

Clearly, FindUsLocal.com is just the right local business directory. If you haven’t yet listed your business there, go there now and just see how many more consumers find you. And if you’re a consumer who uses USA business directories, check it out and see why so many people make FindUsLocal.com the first site they visit every day.

USA Business Directories are Good for Consumers and Local Shop Owners. Here are 5 Benefits for Each.

local-seoAsk anyone who uses the internet—for business or for pleasure—and they’ll tell you that one of the most beneficial solutions to come out in a long time are USA business directories. These directories are taking the internet by storm because they offer both consumers and small, local shop owners a way to find what they need and attract shoppers.

If you haven’t heard of USA business directories and want to know more, here’s the latest information and how you can use it to better your life or your small business.

What are USA Business Directories?

When consumers try to find US local businesses in their area, they’re faced with a challenge when it comes to the large search engines. That’s because those search engines tend to give preference in the rankings to nationwide companies, or those that have paid thousands in online advertising fees. That’s frustrating for consumers because it can make it difficult to find US local businesses in their area, and it’s prohibitive for local shops because they can’t afford to compete with big business.

But USA business listings have changed all of that. Now it’s possible for small business owners to list their shop on one of the USA local business directories and be found by the many consumers who now use them. It’s a win-win for everyone and that’s why they’re gaining so much in popularity.

So, what are all these benefits? Let’s first talk about the benefits for consumers, and then we’ll delve into the ways that local shop owners can use the local directories to attract more business.

How USA Business Directories can Benefit Consumers

According to recent studies, people use the internet to find the businesses they want to shop at, even if those businesses are located in their immediate area. But while that was difficult to do in the past because local shops aren’t very visible on large search engines, it’s now easier with USA business directories like FindUsLocal.com.

But in addition to being able to find the local shops they want, consumers can also get other benefits from using these local directories. Here are 5 ways that sites like FindUsLocal.com can make your life easier.

 

  • Stay Current on Local Happenings. When you log onto a site like ours, you’ll automatically be shown the local concerts, theatre events, and sporting events near you. That means you won’t have to call the local stadium or visit multiple websites in order to find what’s happening in your local area. It’s all right there in one convenient place. And on sites like FindUsLocal.com, you’ll be able to click on a link in the listing and be taken directly to the site offering the tickets for the event. You can use listings to plan your weekend, a date, or simply keep up to date on current happenings. How easy is that?
  • Learn the Opinions of Others. It’s always helpful to know the opinions of others in your community about the local shops and restaurants in the area. And by looking on USA business directories like FindUsLocal.com, you’ll be able to find US local business reviews that others in your community have left. By reading the reviews, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether or not to visit the shop. Can you even imagine going out to eat at a restaurant without having read online reviews for it? If you’re like most people, you won’t. But local US business reviews left on the directory means you’ll never have to go to a restaurant again without first reading what other locals have to say about it.
  • Hear About Sales and Job Openings. Another benefit to using USA business listings sites is that you will be find all the latest tweets from business owners and others in your area. You’ll be the first to know when a sale is announced at the corner store, and if an employer announces a job opening, you’ll be one of the first to know about it. Just imagine all the tidbits and information you’ll gleam from watching the local tweets as they come in.
  • Get Some Inspiration and Humor. Along with all the practical things you’ll find on USA business listings, you’ll also find unique items such as inspirational quotes of the day, or other features that make you laugh. For example, at FindUsLocal.com, you’ll see a Name of the Day listing that showcases one unusual name every day. You’ll chuckle as you see real names listed like Bill Board and Dr. Creip. There is also special feature that gives insight into the personality of people born on specific days. You’ll find this fresh content every day on FindUsLocal.com, and it’s just another reason why you should check into the sight every day.
  • Artist Spotlights. Finally, quality USA business directories add a touch of class to the offerings by spotlighting talented artists. For example, you’ll see artists featured who produce photography, and then a website link will be offered if you want to purchase some of the work you see. These are hard to find, innovative artists that you won’t find in just any old shop.

Obviously, there’s a lot more to USA business directories than just an ability to find the local businesses you want to shop at. But consumers aren’t the only ones who will benefit from these directories.

Below, we’ve listed 5 reasons that small, local shops should be sure to claim their listings so they can be found by the millions of consumers who use the directories.

  • GEO Location Technology. Consumers don’t like having to jump through a bunch of hoop just to find the information they’re looking for, which is why some USA business listings are ineffective. On these old school local directories, consumers have to type in their location and then give the site permission to track their location just so they can find the local shops they want to. And frankly, that’s just too many steps for some people. But some USA business directories, like the one found at FindUsLocal.com, use GEO location technology to automatically track visitor’s locations. That means that when a consumer logs onto the local directory they will see only the results from their area. No more hoops, and that means much happier consumers will be contacting your store.
  • An Online Presence. Not all local shops have websites, even in today’s internet environment, but the truth is that every business needs an online presence. Without one, you run the risk of alienating some consumers because they’ll assume your business is irrelevant and out of touch. But by listing your site on USA business directories, you will add credibility to your local store by having that online presence. And the great news is that if you claim your free listing, it won’t cost you a dime to have that online presence.
  • Search Engine Rank Positioning. You might already be aware that fresh content will increase your search engine visibility, but continuously adding new content to your site can be exhausting. And, as we discussed above, not every local shop owner has taken the steps to build their own website. But did you know that when you use USA business listings and people leave reviews on the site, it bumps its rankings up? It’s true. And that mean by listing your site on USA business directories you will benefit from the high search engine rankings that the site enjoys because of continual reviews being posted on it.
  • Listing Options. As a local shop owner, you will have the option of claiming your free USA business listings or utilizing the premium version. With a free listing, you’ll be able to list your name, address, and phone number, as well as encourage your customers to leave reviews for your business. But if you decide to create a premium listing, which costs just $20, you will also be able to link to your website and enjoy exclusivity on certain pages. Where else can you spend that little for such great exposure?
  • Credibility. Any time your business is highlighted on another website, it lends a certain credibility to your business. And if yours is listed on USA business directories, even more so. These directories are where consumers go to find reputable businesses, and if they find yours there, it will increase your credibility in their eyes. You can’t afford not to have your business listed.

Local business directories are beneficial for both consumers and the local businesses that serve them. If you haven’t already claimed your business listing, be sure to head on over to FindUsLocal.com now and do it. Who knows? Consumers may be there right now looking for a business just like yours.

 

Why USA Business Directories Should Be a Critical Aspect of Your Local Marketing Plan

local-seoLocal businesses have more challenges these days when it comes to marketing their business than they did in the past. After all, you can’t just run an ad in the Yellow Pages like you could in days past. And those word of mouth referrals? They’re beneficial when they come, but let’s be honest; most people look for local shops online these days. But luckily, the local market place has shifted and created a new way for local business owners to reach out to new customers: USA business directories.

What are USA Business Directories?

Many local shop owners haven’t yet heard of how USA business listings can revolutionize how they attract customers to their store. If you haven’t yet heard of how these local directories are helping small business owners everywhere attract new customers, here’s how they work.

Customers who try to find US local businesses on a large search engine are often disappointed because those search engines often only show the results of companies that paid internet marketing firms a lot of money to achieve those visible rankings. And so many USA business listings sank to the bottom of the listings, never to be seen.

In an effort to combat this, people created USA business directories. On these local directories, consumers can look for businesses in their area without having to muck through all of the other irrelevant listings.

So, now that you understand how local directories can positively impact your chances of being found online, let’s take a quick look at some of the best practices when completing your USA business listings.

Decide on a Free or Paid Listing

When you list your business on USA business directories like FindUsLocal.com, you’ll have the option of claiming your free listing or paying for a premium version. With a free listing, you’ll be able to list your business name, address, and phone number so customers will be able to find you. But if you decide to create a premium listing, which only costs $20, you’ll also be able to link to your website and gain exclusivity on the local directory pages.

Decide on Your NAP

One of the most important aspects of USA business listings is that the NAPs are the same on every listing. What is a NAP? It stands for name, address, and phone number, and it’s critical that information is exactly the same on every business listing you have. For example, if your business is called Signs, Inc. and it’s located on 322 Park Street, you should use that same information on every listing you claim. That’s because if you list your business as Signs, Incorporated, at 322 Park on some listings—or any other deviance from the core NAP, the listings won’t be credited to your business because the search engines won’t recognize them as belonging to your business.

Avoid this by scouring the internet for USA business directories where your business is already listed, and correct any information that doesn’t like up with your NAP. When you find it, submit the changes and be sure to check back in a couple of weeks to ensure the changes went through. And then on all new listings, be sure to use the same NAP.

Pay Attention to Details

When you’re creating your USA business listings, be sure to add in the details that people who search for local businesses are looking for. For example, you should include your business hours so people can plan trips to your store, and include directions. In one survey conducted by Google, 73 percent of people who use mobile phones to find USA local businesses want to see directions attached to the listing. And 78 percent of people who use PCs to find local businesses rely on directions provided by the business.

As you can see, small, local business owners are no longer at the mercy of large search engines that give preference to business owners with large internet marketing budgets. Now, by getting your business listed on USA business directories, consumers will be able to find your local shop easier.

Do it Right and USA Business Directories Will Improve Your Sales

If you’re like most small business owners, getting customers through the door is what it’s all about. After all, the more people that walk through your door, the better chance you have of making a sale. But times have changed and that means those local shop owners who want to thrive in these different times must be willing to make the changes that will bring them success.

If you haven’t already listed your business with FindUSLocal.com, what are you waiting for? Someone could be looking for a business just like yours right now.

The Ultimate Guide for Local Business Marketing, Including How USA Business Directories can Help Get Your Business Seen Online

UltimateGuideIf you own a local business, you’ve witnessed a radical change in the past few years that has all but made your former marketing and advertising efforts useless. Think about it; in the past you likely relied on the Yellow Pages and ads in your local newspaper in order to bring in new business to your store. But if you’re still relying on those old school tactics, you’ve probably experienced a substantial drop in business. Why? Because consumers no longer rely on those things to find the local shops they want to do business with. Instead, today’s consumers find US local businesses by using online local directories.

What are USA Business Directories?

Think Google, but on a local scale, and you’ll have a good idea of how local directories work. For example, if you wanted to look for a local business in Los Angeles, California, it would be difficult to view all of your options on Google. That’s because the giant search engine tends to highlight large businesses that have put thousands of dollars into online marketing campaigns. It’s the biggest reason why so many small, local businesses have thrown up their hands in frustration and decided that they simply couldn’t compete online with big business.

But luckily, that’s just not true.

Online local business directories don’t show visitors every option available, just those in their own locale. And some USA business directories, like FindUsLocal.com, use something called GEO technology, which matches the results visitors see with their local area. In other words, if a visitor was looking for clothing stores in Los Angeles, they would only be shown the clothing stores in the immediate vicinity. Compare that to a large search engine where consumers could be shown clothing stores all the way across the country.

Could it get any better than that for local shops?

How USA Business Listings Changed the Game

Now that consumers can find US local businesses by using local business directories, the game has been changed. Suddenly, what seemed impossible for small shops—competing with large, national chains—has been made possible. Because consumers are turning to local directories in masse, small shops now have the opportunity to grow their business without spending thousands of dollars in advertising and breaking the bank.

In other words, the small, local shops of the world are now on even ground with the large, national chains.

But if you’re going to use USA business directories to grow your business, there are a few things you need to do in order to make the most of them. Below, you can find some of the ways that listing your local business on USA business directories will help you increase your local shop’s business.

Use Consistency Across the Web

What many people don’t know is the way you claim your USA business listings across the web will affect whether or not you rank high in the search engine results. And the higher you rank, the more opportunity you’ll have to be seen by people looking for a business just like yours.

All USA business directories list local shop’s name, address, and phone number, and these citations have come to be called NAPs.

But if those NAPs aren’t the same on all USA business directories, the search engine spiders won’t recognize them as your business, which will cause you to fall in the ranks. For example, imagine that your business is called ABC, Inc. and it’s located at 123 Main Street. On some business directories, you list the name as ABC, Inc., while others simply list it as ABC. And on some local directories, your street address is listed as 123 Main Street, while others list it as 123 Main. The search engine spiders only read what’s listed, and if it doesn’t match, it won’t attribute those citations to your business. And remember, the more citations you have, the better you’ll rank.

You can remedy this by deciding which name, address, and phone number you want to use for your business, and then make sure all of the citations online are the same. That may require you to do a Google search for your business name, and then manually go in and change every business listing that doesn’t match your NAP.

Keep in mind that some of these changes could take weeks to appear, so it’s wise to create a spreadsheet, or keep track of your changes some other way, so you’ll have a record of the requested changes. If a couple of weeks have passed and a citation doesn’t change, you’ll need to resubmit it. Your goal should be to have each and every citation across the web use the exact same NAP for your business.

You Need Reviews to Rank Well

Getting online reviews accomplishes a lot for your local business. First, it lets potential customers see what others think about your business, and in today’s culture, that’s important. In fact, recent studies show that the majority of consumers look to reviews before they decide whether or not to do business with a shop. And those customers want to see good reviews—most wouldn’t consider doing business with a shop that had bad reviews.

But online reviews do more than just tell people about your business. It also helps your ranking because every time someone leaves a review, it adds fresh content to your listing, which will trigger the search engine to recognize and reward it. Search engines like fresh content, so the more reviews you can get on your USA business listings, the more attention the large search engines will pay to you.

But how do you get those reviews?

For starters, you should look to the low hanging fruit—your existing customers. You can ask current customers to leave a review in multiple ways. You can ask them while they’re checking out when making a purchase, you can offer them a discount or promotional item in exchange for a review, or if you keep an email list of your customers, you can send them an email a couple of times a year asking them for a review. If you do it this way, you can even include a link to your USA business listings to make it even easier for them.

Create Your Own Customer Base with an Email List

Finally, it’s possible to use USA business directories to build your own customer email list which will serve to continuously bring in new business. For example, when you add a new product line or have a special discount or sale, your existing customers will be the most likely to purchase from you. And an email list is an excellent way to get the word out to them about your event or sale.

But list building is not easy—just ask any local shop owner. People give away digital products in exchange for email addresses, or promise additional discounts for them. But the most difficult part of the process is steering people to your website so they have the opportunity to join your list.

Luckily, sites like FindUsLocal.com have made it easier by allowing local business owners to connect their website to their business listing. And once you do that, all you have to do is add a sign up form on your webpage where customers can add their email address to your list.

If you want to add this powerful tool to your local shop owner’s marketing arsenal, you won’t be able to use the free USA business listings offered by FindUsLocal.com, but will have to upgrade to their premium version. And luckily, it’s affordable. To get this ability, simple upgrade your account and pay a $20 fee. This will also allow your business exclusivity on the local directory. That means customers will only see your site when they visit the directory. Once you have upgraded your account, customers will be able to click on your website link and be taken directory to your email list signup page.

Only the savvy local business owners will thrive in an age when local marketing has been turned on its head. And while many old-school techniques are hanging on by a thread, the newer tactics such as using USA business directories, are having huge impacts on small business. Is your shop listed on USA business directories yet? If not, what are you waiting for?

 

Why Out of Date Listings on USA Business Directories Could Hurt Your Sales

image06-16If you run a small, local shop, you’ve probably heard about the huge impact USA business directories are having on local mom and pop shops. Those business owners that claim their listing and include their store on USA business listings have a much higher chance of being seen by shoppers because, frankly, almost all consumers look online these days when they want to find a business—even those that are in their own community.

But in the past, local shops had a difficult time being found online because the large search engines tend to favor big, national businesses that can afford to spend thousands of dollars every month on advertising.

Luckily, that problem has been solved and consumers now have a way to find US local businesses online. How do they do it? By ensuring their local shop is listed on an effective USA business listings site like FindUsLocal.com.

Don’t List Your Business Until You’ve Read This

But before you claim your local business listing, there are some things you should know. If you create your listing the wrong way, it could actually do harm to your business by lowering it in the search engine results.

Here are the steps you should take that will best allow consumers to find USA business listings for your site.

Structure Your NAP

No, we’re not talking about taking a snooze in the middle of the day! NAP stands for name, address, and phone number, and it’s one of the most important aspects of a local business directory listing.

If your NAP’s aren’t the same across the internet, it will cause the search engine spiders to ignore some of them, which can cause your rankings to plummet. For example, if your business was named ABC Rentals, Inc., and it was located at 123 Main Street, you would have to make sure that name and address were listed exactly the same across the web. If your business name was listed as ABC Rentals on some USA business listings or if you’re address was listed as 123 Main on others, the search engine spiders wouldn’t know whether or not the listings all belonged to the same shop. In other words, one difference in your listings can mean the difference between the search engine ranking you well or putting you at the bottom of the list.

As important as this is, a full 43 percent of business owners have inconsistent NAPs and they probably don’t even realize how this is hurting their rankings. But now that you have the knowledge, you can put it to use and be ahead of the pack in terms of your rankings.

How to Check Old USA Business Listings

In addition to ensuring that your NAPs are consistent on every new listing you claim, you’ll also need to go back and correct the old ones. And just because you haven’t claimed your business on any USA business listings, that doesn’t mean they’re not there.

Approach this by doing a Google search on your business name, along with the city and state that you’re located in. In the results, you’ll find all sorts of local business listings that you didn’t even know were there, and many of them probably have incomplete or flat out wrong NAPs. Now, carefully look at each listing, and if the name, address, or phone number isn’t in line with your NAP, change it.

It’s helpful to create a spreadsheet as you do this because the changes you make to your NAPs across several USA business listings may not appear for a couple of weeks. A spreadsheet will allow you to keep track of your requests, and if you don’t see the changes soon, either contact the local directory or submit your changes again.

Don’t Get Left Behind—Use USA Business Directories to Be Found Online

In a world where almost all consumers use the internet to look for the local shops they want to do business with, you’ll have to keep up with the times if you want your shop to succeed. And one of the smartest things you can do as a local business owner is to not only claim your listing on USA business directories like FindUsLocal.com, but also to make sure than any old listings are updated and consistent with your NAP so your business search engine ranking is as good as it can be.

Need a Reason to List Your Shop on a Local Business Directory? Here are 9 Great Ones.

downloadIf you own a local shop and haven’t yet listed your store on one of the USA business directories, you’re missing out. In fact, those businesses that aren’t listed on local directories are at a serious disadvantage to those that are. That’s because the simple act of listing your shop on one of these useful directories has a multitude of benefits. If you’re not aware of how USA business directories can have a major impact on your local business, here are 9 reasons why you should stop what you’re doing and claim your listing now.

#1: Local Marketing has its Challenges

In the past, people relied on word of mouth or the Yellow Pages to find the local businesses they wanted to do business with, but today’s consumers find local businesses in an entirely new way. These days, when a consumer wants to find US local businesses, they simply open their computer or turn on their mobile phone and look for a local directory to search in. That means if your shop doesn’t have a listing on one of the many USA business directories, its chances of being found are greatly reduced.

Now don’t get us wrong—word of mouth is still a powerful way to attract new customers, but online searches are the number one way people look for local businesses. And because the larger search engines aren’t exactly known for showing local results, many savvy business owners are using US business directories to showcase their local shops.

#2: Great Benefits for Little to no Money

Let’s face it, most small businesses struggle to find ways to stretch their marketing budgets, and that’s one of the greatest benefits of listing your shop on USA business directories. You see, you can claim your business listing for free on quality business directories like FindUsLocal.com. That’s right, simply log onto the site and claim your listing, it’s as easy as that. But you’re not limited to a simple business listing. For only $20, you can get even more exposure by getting cool features such as exclusivity and website linking.

#3: GEO Technology Fits Today’s Convenience Demand

People want their online experiences to be easy, and that’s why sites like FindUsLocal.com are proving to be leaders in the USA business listings field. The sites uses GEO technology, which means that every time a visitor logs onto the site, the technology will automatically match the page results they see to the area they’re logging on from. For example, if a visitor was to log on from San Antonio, Texas, they would see the local businesses, events, and other specific results from that area. Not all local directories do that, and in a world of convenience, it’s smart to make sure the directory your business is listed on does.

#4: The Yellow Pages are Now Used as Door Stops

You remember the Yellow Pages, don’t you? They were bulky and cumbersome books that people used to rely on to find the local businesses in their area. And while the books are still produced and given out to consumers every year, the truth is that most of them end up in the garbage can or thrown on the floor to be used as doorstops. The usefulness of the Yellow Pages have been replaced by a new way to find USA local businesses: local directories. Not having your local business in a business directory today would be like not having a listing in the Yellow Pages 15 years ago.

#5: You Can Link to Your Website

Remember we told you about how little you have to spend to get your business listed on one of the US local business directories? You can start with a free listing, but if you want to experience even more benefits, you pay a small fee of only $20 and get the ability to show a link to your website on the listing as well as enjoy some exclusivity for your business. For instance, if you’ve upgraded to this premium feature, when consumers from your area look for local businesses in your area, yours will be the only listing they see on the page.

#6: You’ll Enjoy the Business Boosting Benefits of Customer Reviews

Ask any local business owner and they’ll tell you that the number one thing you can do for your small shop is to have a good amount of quality customer reviews. In fact, recent studies have shown that online reviews are quickly becoming the number one factor for consumers when deciding whether or not to do business with a shop. But many local business owners are in a bind because they don’t have a place for their customers to leave reviews.

Enter USA business directories.

When you claim your listing on a local directory, you’ll create a space for your customers to leave their reviews. And as soon as you begin encouraging them to leave them and see the difference a few good reviews can have for a local business, you’ll wonder why you waited to so long to put this part of your business plan into motion.

#7: You’ll Get Search Engine Boosts

Speaking of reviews, do you know that every time a customer leaves a review on a site it indicates to the search engines that new information has been added to the site and that improves its search engine rankings? Now, imagine that your business is listed on a local directory. When consumers leave US local business reviews on it for any business, it helps improve those search engine rankings—every time. So when your business is listed on a site like FindUsLocal.com, the more reviews customers leave, the better chance your business has of being seen.

#8: You’ll Receive Indirect Marketing for Free

You spend enough of the marketing of your business, don’t you? After all, you’re faced with the serious challenge of competing with online businesses that don’t have all the day to day expenses that you do. But what if I told you that by listing your business in a local directory, more people will see you as they try to find US local businesses?

That’s because local business directories have to constantly market their site in order to keep it relevant and in the top results on the search engines. And because your site will be listed on the directory, you’ll indirectly benefit from all those advertising efforts. Just think, by simply listing your site on a US business directory, you’ll benefit from the site’s advertising efforts.

#9: It Makes Your Business Part of the Community

The shop local movement started something in this country that currently sees no sign of slowing down. Today’s consumers want local businesses to not only be a place where they can buy quality goods or services, but they also want them to be a part of the local scene. For instance, many consumers say that they would be more likely to do business with a shop that supports local causes or embraces the local community in some other way. And one of the best ways to be seen as community friendly is to make sure your business is listed when they go to find USA business listings.

As you can see, a local business directory can be one of the greatest allies your business has. The secret is to find the right local directory that has all the benefits listed above. FindUsLocal is one of those directories and if you haven’t already claimed your listing there, you can do it right now—and not have to pay a dime. Simply head over there now and see what a difference it can make to have your business listed on it.

Why You Should Work Like a Dog to Make Your Content Go Viral

Go viral keyIn the past, if business owners wanted to draw attention to their website they would slowly and purposefully build a bog and do everything they could to get people to follow them. They would post useful content that gave readers the information they wanted, whether it was facts, feel good stories, hot topics or content that made them laugh.

But today, online visitors have a much shorter attention span, and if you want to get their attention, you’ll have to up your game. So what’s the answer? Viral stories.

What are Viral Stories?

When a story goes viral, multitudes of people share it on their social media outlets, causing the originating website of the story to experience a massive increase in their online traffic. Viral content has been every business owners dream for a couple of years now because it’s widely understood that if you can call attention to your website using hot topics content that turns into viral content, you may be able to develop a following. Here are some of the most widely recognized viral stories and viral content that has gone viral in recent years.

  • The Dollar Shave Club Video. This video launched a seemingly simple business concept into the stratosphere. The company sells razors, just like many other businesses, but their approach to the business along with the irreverent video pushed them to the top of the heap. To date, the video has been seen over 24 million times and counting.
  • The Bald Men are Sexier post. This post racked up over 2 million shares on Facebook. The reason? It’s backed by a scientific study, and it addresses an issue that many men deal with.
  • The Why Good Employees Quit LinkedIn Story. Just because content isn’t meant for a massive general audience, that doesn’t mean it can’t go viral. Take for instance the LinkedIn story, “Why Good Employees Quit.” It was shared over 300,000 times on the network.

As you can see, viral stories don’t have to fit into a box. There is a potential audience for every type of content, but you’ll have to find the medium best suited for it. Here are a few ways you can share your hot topics in order to help them to viral.

  • Blog posts. When a blog post strikes a chord, it can be shared many times as people want to spread the word about your message.
  • People love video, but there are so many of them it’s important that you make yours stand out in the sea of them. For instance, the Dollar Shave Club video we talked about earlier was completely original at the time. It was shared over and over again because people had never seen anything like it—not because of the business idea. That originality became the brand for the business, which is still doing great today. All because of a video.
  • Social media. It possible to post something on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other social media site and have it become a viral story. The key is to be original and include an eye-catching photo.
  • Another way to use hot topics as a way of spreading viral stories is to create an infographic about it and post it on a blog or social media platform. Infographics are one of the most commonly shared types of posts.

Now that you understand what viral stories are, let’s talk about all the ways they can benefit your business.

Viral Stories Will Allow for Increase Exposure

The number one goal for any business owner is get their business in front of more people in hopes of selling more of their product or services. But advertising can be expensive, and for smaller businesses, cost-prohibitive. Enter viral marketing. If you produce a video, blog post, infographic or social media post that goes viral, your business will be seen by a great many more people. In short, one viral story could outperform years of traditional marketing efforts.

Reduce Marketing Budgets with Hot Topics

When a topic is hot on the internet, millions of people search for it. And if you have a story or video online about that topic, chances are you’ll see an increase in traffic—without spending a lot of advertising. In fact, one good viral story can save you thousands in advertising costs because the story will take the place of any marketing or advertising efforts you had planned.

Solidify Your Brand

Every business should constantly be working to solidify their brand in the minds of consumers, and there is simply no better way to do that than to have your content go viral. Viral stories that are done right will burn your brand’s message into the minds of readers, and that will typically result in a higher conversion rate. After all, The Dollar Shave Club did that in just one video—what will it take for you to produce a hot topic or viral story that will forever brand your business in the minds of consumers?

Connect with Influencers

These days, you really need online influencers in order to get your brand out there in front of the public. Influencers are the people who have built huge following, whether on social media or a blog, and those followers listen to them when they recommend a product or service. And what’s the best way to catch the attention of an influencer? With a viral story that they can then use to “influence” their followers. If you can get your business in front of an influencer, your business will benefit from more traffic and business. Which leads us to our next point.

Experience a Better Conversion Rate

Sure, you can drive a lot of traffic to your site via SEO techniques and other forms of advertising, but the real test comes in your conversion rate. Do those visitors turn into customers or do they simply look over your site and leave without taking any action? Getting your conversion rate to an acceptable level is one of the most important things you can do as a business owner, and not surprisingly, one of the best ways to do that is to produce viral stories that cause people to engage with your company, which helps establish credibility and trust.

Set it and Go

One of the worst things about marketing a business is the need to constantly tweak ads or create new ones. Not only is that expensive, but it’s takes a lot of time, something busy business owners don’t typically have a lot of. But if your content goes viral, you won’t have to worry about it because the online tweeters and posters will do all the hard work for you. Seriously, it’s that easy. Create great content, watch it go viral and then sit back and wait for the new customers to come in.

What Turns Content into Viral Stories?

Now that you understand the many benefits of viral stories, let’s take a quick look at some of the factors that make content go viral. Recent studies have shown that there are certain characteristics that most viral stories share. Here are some of the most takeaways from these studies.

  • Content or videos with awe-inspiring themes are the most likely to go viral. People like to be awed, and when they are, they’ll pass along the content to others.
  • People prefer happy content over sad content. The studies show that people are much more likely to retweet, like, or repost content that makes them feel happy.
  • Taboo content is likely to be shared. In this PC world, people are rebelling by sharing content that contain taboo material or themes.
  • If your content is unusual, it will be more likely to be shared. So much of today’s online content is the same, and when people see something different, they get excited and share it.
  • The more outrageous it is, the more likely it is that it will be shared. This happens for the same reason—people want something different and outrageous content definitely fills that need.
  • People love to laugh and that’s probably why funny content gets shared so often. If you can make people laugh, your chances of having a viral story increases.
  • If your content is remarkable in some way, you’ll also have a better shot of it going viral for many of the same reasons listed above. For instance, a story about a Penguin swimming 5,000 miles every year to visit the man who saved it gained over 900,000 shares.
  • Finally, if you promise to share or expose a secret, people will often share it. For example, last year a story went viral that promised to teach people how to defeat Alzheimer’s. The post was shared more than 5 million times.

Are you convinced that viral stories and hot topics are the way to go in marketing your business? Why not take some time and try to create a story or video that you think has a chance to go viral? You never know when it will make it to a site like topviralhot.com. And once it does, chances are you won’t have to spend money on marketing your business for a very long time.