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Increase Your Online Visibility with Your Local Business Directory Listing

sales-growthIf you’re a small business that relies on a local customer base, you already know that online visibility is vital to bringing those customers through your doors. In just a few short years, the entire world of small business marketing has turned topsy-turvy. Tried and true methods of promoting your business no longer deliver the results they did just 15 to 20 years ago. Local newspapers, which used to be the mainstay for local business advertising, have largely gone out of business or been gobbled up by enormous national media companies. The few local papers that remain have ever-decreasing circulation numbers – and advertising in the bigger newspapers is cost-prohibitive for most smaller businesses. Even the most basic of all local business advertising venues, the local phone directory, is little help. More and more households are opting out of land line phone service, and fewer and fewer even have a phone book in the house.

Today’s small business owners know that if they’re going to be competitive, they need to have an online footprint that makes it easy for potential customers to find them. It’s not enough to just create a website when you’re looking for local customers. The Internet is huge, and your business is competing with dozens, hundreds, thousands of other people offering the same products and services, and many of them have very deep pockets when it comes for paying for advertising. When you’re operating with a limited online advertising budget, you have to get strategic. One very effective strategy is to use local online business directories to increase your online visibility and your chances of being found by customers in your immediate geographic area. Here are five strategies that will help you attract more customers using an online business directory like FindUsLocal.com.

Inbound Links Increase the Visibility and Credibility of Your Website

First things first. It’s not absolutely necessary to have a website, but local businesses with websites are easier to find.  It’s most effective to have a Web address that matches your business name, and a .com extension is still the easiest for most people to remember. On the other hand, ICANN – the authority that assigns domain names – has recently released a slew of new top level domains (TLDs), making it easier than ever to customize a business domain name that’s easy to remember. Whatever domain name you choose, though, your website should display, at the very least, your business contact information, including your address, telephone number and hours of operation. A professional website is the linchpin of your online marketing strategy, and the only piece of online real estate where you control every piece of content.

However, even the perfect website is just a pretty page if your customers can’t find it. That’s where online business directory listings come in. When people in your area search for someone to trim their trees, deliver Chinese food or take photos at their wedding, they’ll usually start their search on Google or another search engine. One of the major factors the search engine algorithm considers is how many other reliable, well-known websites link to your business website. Listing your business in a local business directory serving your city – or in several – increases the chances that your customers will see your website when they do a search for a business nearby to fulfill their needs.

List Your Business in the Right Categories

An online business directory doesn’t just provide an alphabetical list of businesses in your city. That would be pretty useless, right? Get listed in business directories that allow you to choose the categories in which your business is listed. Think about the various services your business provides, and list yourself under as many categories as apply. If you’re a photographer, for example, you’d obviously list yourself under Photographers, but don’t stop there. Do you do event shoots? Weddings? Graduation photos? Family portraits? List yourself under Wedding Services and Event Services. If you’ve done photos for real estate listings or catalogs, list yourself under Advertising and Real Estate. Each of those categories will generate another inbound link to your business website – and make sure that you’re not overlooked when customers are looking for a service you provide.

While you’re at it, make sure you list your business in all the towns and surrounding areas that your business serves. It only makes sense to let customers in outlying areas know that you want their business, too.

Use Multiple Directories

There are dozens of local business directory websites around. Most are pretty basic – even those that routinely come up at the top of the search engine listings. It’s still to your benefit to “claim” your business listing on those. Claiming your listing is nearly always free, and it allows you to make sure all the information about your business is accurate. That’s important, because even small inaccuracies – an outdated telephone number, for example – can damage your business’ online credibility. If you can add a link to your website or social media profiles, all the better. You’ll gain a citation and an inbound link.

Get the Perks of Geo-Location Services

Save your real effort for a local business directory that offers you extra benefits. Some directories are more than just directories – they also serve as online portals where people can get local news, learn about upcoming events in their area, and follow interesting local people and businesses. FindUsLocal.com excels at this type of personalized landing page, encouraging people to drop by their site frequently to check in on local happenings. The people who are most likely to walk through your door are more likely to see your business listing on a site they visit frequently.

Capitalize on Reviews

More than ever, people rely on reviews from former customers to help them decide which business to call when they’re ready to buy. Listing your business on a local business directory that allows customers to leave reviews gives you one more boost in the online marketplace. Encourage your customers to drop by your business listing and leave a review, and if you can, add links to other positive reviews in comments on your own listing. Good reviews will help convince potential customers to visit your website or call your business instead of your competitors.

4 Ways Local Business Directories can Rock Your Local Marketing

0107_improve-800x480Local business owners across the nation are rethinking about the way they market their local business because it’s become clear that the old school ways of marketing simply don’t work anymore. Not so long ago, all local business owners had to do was run an ad in their community newspaper, ask for referrals from their existing customers, or take out a display ad in the local phone book. But today’s consumers don’t use any of those things to find US local businesses. Instead, they use their laptops and smartphones to look online when they want to find local businesses.

But that’s a problem for many local business owners because they either don’t have a website, or they haven’t invested the thousands of dollars it takes to get their website listing high in the search engine rankings. And that’s why so many successful shop and restaurant owners are turning to local business directories for help.

Local Business Directories are the Number One Choice of Consumers

In the early days of the internet, people had to try and find US local businesses on the large search engines, but those results were often hidden on the later pages so they were never really seen. That’s because Google and Bing often give preference to national chains and online stores with big marketing budgets. But that doesn’t help those consumers trying to find US local businesses and that’s why they’ve turned to local business directories.

If you are still on the fence about whether or not you should create a local business listing on a quality local business directory like FindUsLocal.com, here are 4 things that just may change your mind.

Use it as a Spring Board

Even if you already have a website, you can use a local business directory listing to bring traffic in to your own website. That’s because on your local business listing, you’ll have the opportunity to list your website and consumers can click on the link to visit it. There, you can give them additional details about your business, or even steer them toward your online booking page or other actions you want them to take.

Appeal to Those in Your Community

One of the best reasons to claim your listing on a local business directory is that it will be seen by the people in your community. Think about it: only the people who want to find US local businesses in your area will use the local directory, and that makes it even more probable that they will find your business.

Get Those All Important Citations

The large search engines use search engine spiders to seek out information on local businesses, and when they find a citation, such as local business listing, they attribute them to that business. And when a local shop or restaurant accumulates enough of these citations, it boosts their ranking in the search engine rankings. And one of the most effective citations out there are local business directories.

Local Customers can Tell Others About Your Business

Finally, when your customers are happy with your business, they can go to your local business listing and leave an online review for others in your community to read. Recent studies have shown that today’s consumers like to read a few reviews before they decide whether or not to buy from it. And that’s just another reason to be found on local business directories—so the people in your community can tell others about their great experience with your shop or restaurant.

Local business directories are an important part of today’s marketing for local shops, and if you’re not already listing, it’s a great time to get started. Just head on over to FindUsLocal.com and see how easy it is to ensure that your local business is found.

How to Get the Best Results from Your Local Business Listing

advantage-of-local-search-resultsBy now, you’ve heard about the importance of creating a local business listing on local business directories like FindUsLocal.com. Today’s consumers don’t want to have to wade through all of the unhelpful results they see on the large search engines. For example, if they were looking for a local bakery, and typed those words into the search engine bar, they may see online bakeries, recipes for baked goods, and even schools where someone can take baking classes. Not exactly helpful is it?

But when they conduct their search on a local business directory, they will only see a list of the local bakeries in their area. Then they are free to check out the hours of operation, reviews, and comments left by the business owner and all the other details that would help them decide whether or not to visit it.

But if you’re serious about attracting new business by listing your shop or restaurant on a local business directory, there are some things you know, because if you don’t set up your local business the right way, it could actually hurt your search engine results. That’s because the search engine spider travel the web looking for all references to your business, and if there are conflicting signals, your results won’t be attributed to your business, and in the long run, that will hurt your search engine rankings.

So, how do you best set up your local business listing on local business directories like FindUsLocal.com? By paying attention to the following important details.

Your Local Business Name

Unless you know how the search engine spiders work, you might be tempted to think your local business is just your name. After all, how complicated does it have to be, right? But let’s take a look at it from the search engine spider’s point of view. These spiders crawl the web looking for any and all references to your business, and the amount of references you have determines how high up in the rankings the search engine will show your store or restaurant. So, imagine that your local business was named ABC Flowers on Main, Inc. On some local business directories, you listed your business as ABC Flowers, on others you input it as ABC Flowers on Main, and still on others you listed it as ABC Flowers on Main, Inc.

If you were a search engine spider, how would you know which of these local business listings to attribute to a business? Would you think they were all the same local business or different shops with slightly different names?

As you can see, it’s your job to make things easier for the search engine spiders to every single local business listing you create is attributed to your shop or restaurant.

Your Local Business Address

Take that same philosophy and apply it to your local business address. For example, if you were listing ABC Flowers on Main and your street address was 123 Main Street, you could list it as 123 Main, 123 Main Street, or 123 Main St. Just as you do with your business name, be sure your address is exactly the same on every single local business listing you create.

Your Local Phone Number

When you enter your business phone number into your local business listing, you’ll need to decide whether or not to include your area code. For instance, if your phone number is (123) 123-1234, you can either enter it that way or as 123-1234. Because not all of your potential customers will be from your local area (Out of town visitors may look up your store to visit when they’re in the area), we recommend including your area code on the local business directory listing.

Your Website Address

If you’re one of the few local business owners to have a website address, you’ll need to take the same approach when creating your local business listing. Some business owners give the entire URL including the http:// at the beginning of the website address, while others prefer to leave it off. The choice is yours, but be sure that you do it the same way every time you create a local business listing.

Local business directories are one of the most important ways to get the word out about your local business, but only if you follow the above suggestions closely. If you don’t and your local business listings don’t match, you won’t see the spectacular results that so many local business owners enjoy after creating their own local listings.

Are Your Local Business Listings Up to Date?

LKd3Qpzd_400x400If you run a small, local business, you’ve undoubtedly been affected by the recent change in consumer behavior when it comes to shopping. People are no longer restricted to making their purchases from their local shops, but now have online stores from the entire world to choose from. This has been impactful to a lot of local business owners, and as a result, more and more of them have created local business listings on smart local business directories like FindUsLocal.com.

But even if you’ve already created yours, it may no longer be effective unless you’ve taken the steps to update it and keep it active. If you created your local business listing more than 3 months ago, here are some steps you should take today to ensure that your local business listing is working hard to bring you new customers.

Check Your Details

When local business directories first came on the scene, people didn’t understand the subtle rules that you must follow in order to get the best results from them. For example, people entered their business’s details willy nilly, not following any specific order. But since then, internet experts have determine that how you list the details on your local business listing is key to how effective it is.

For example, when you created your business listing, did you enter your business name the exact same every time? Or did you include the word “Inc.” on some listings and leave it out on others? In addition to your business name, you’ll also need to make sure your business address, phone number, and website are listed in the same way on every local business directory.

Don’t forget that just because you didn’t claim your listing on a local business directory, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Many of these directories automatically include local businesses in their directories and if you find yours, you’ll need to go in and make sure all of the details are listed properly.

Check Your Reviews

One of the largest benefits from having a business listing on a quality local business directory like FindUsLocal is that you have a place for your customers to leave online reviews. Many recent studies have shown the importance of these reviews, and in fact, many of today’s consumers say they wouldn’t shop at a local store, restaurants, or service business unless they’ve read at least ten positive reviews. And another question on the survey shows the importance of keeping those reviews fresh—the majority of participants in the study say they ignore reviews that are older than three month.

That means if you haven’t consistently asked your customers to leave a review for your shop on your local business listings, it’s time to change tactics. That same study shows that 7 out of 10 people would be happy to leave an online review for your business if you would only ask them to. That’s why you see so many business owners asking for reviews as customers pay for their purchases. Shouldn’t you put that into practice now?

Get Active Online

Finally, today’s consumers expect local business owners to be a part of the conversation, and the best way to do that is to go online. But until recently, business owners had to spend a lot of time cultivating social media followers and then spend hours on each platform communicating with them. There has to be an easier and more time efficient way, doesn’t there?

Luckily, there is. FindUsLocal.com is currently the only local business directory that offers an interactive platform for local business owners. It’s called the comments section, and on it both business owners and consumes can interact with each other by leaving comments. For example, customers can leave comments to business owners thanking them for great service, or giving hints to other customers about how to best deal with the business. And business owners can personally thank customers, speak out about events in the local community, announce sales or new product offerings, or even let the community know when they’re hiring. It’s a great way for local business to open the lines of communication with the people in their community.

Just because you have a business listing on a local business directory, that doesn’t mean it’s doing all it can for your local business. Take the time to check that your local business listings are correct, ask your customers to leave online reviews on them, and then interact with your local community on the only local business directory that offers the feature: FindUsLocal.com.

 

How to Get Local Business Exposure in 2017

2016-2017The retail landscape has changed drastically over the past few years, and only those local business owners who keep up with the times and use today’s marketing tactics will survive. In fact, this year has seen so many retail store closings that it’s been dubbed the Retail Apocalypse.” That’s sounds ominous, but the truth is many of those local store owners were still relying on the old school methods of drawing customers into a local store, service business, or restaurant. But today’s consumers act differently than those in the past, and only local shop owners who reach out to them in new and innovative ways will reap the benefits of new business.

But not every local business owner understands the shift in the retail landscape, so we’ve put together this article that includes 2 things you can do right now to begin bringing in new business. Are you ready? Let’s talk about how to get more customers through the door today.

Use a Local Business Directory to Be Seen

The first rule of running a successful local business is to be seen by all the people in your community who spend most of their time online. That’s changed from years past when people gathered at malls, community centers and parks and talked about the stores they visited and the places they ate at. That word of mouth was huge for local business owners—and still is for some part. But the majority of people go online when they want to find USA businesses in their community.

And unless you have a large marketing budget where you can afford to build your own website, you’ll need to find another way to get that online presence. That’s where local business directories come in. These local directories are designed to give consumers local results when they look for a shop, eatery, or service business in their area. For example, if they were to look for a furniture store in their town or city and went to a local business directory like Find US Local, they would only see local furniture stores in the results. No articles about furniture and no nationwide online stores for consumers to wade through. Can you see why so many people are using local business directories to find businesses in the USA?

Keep in mind that when you claim your local business listing on directories like FindUsLocal and Bing, you should always use the exact same business name, address, phone number, and website UTL if you have one.  If the business listings are on even one word, the search engine spiders won’t recognize them as your business and that could actually hurt your rankings on the search engine.

Interact with Your Customers

Another drastic change in the way people do business with local businesses is by interacting with them online. Some owners have work tirelessly to build huge social media platforms and they interact with their customers that way. But doing this takes a lot of time and patience. It’s just not possible to build effective social media platforms overnight, and once you do have one, you have to know how to use it to get more customers—and sales.

But Find US Local has created an online interactive feature that gives local business owners a way to interact with their customers for free, and it only takes a few minutes a day. It’s called the Comments Section on the local business directory and it’s one of the most forward thinking ideas to come around in a long time.

Using it, consumers can leave comments about any shop or eatery that has a local business listing on the directory. For example, they can comment on the parking situation, the dinner they ate there, or leave a comment for the owner about a product they purchased at the store. And here’s the great thing: local shop owners can also leave comments. This can be of huge benefit to your business because you can leave comments when you’re having a sale or special promotion, or when new products arrive and you want to tell the community about them. You can also use the comments section to answer questions or respond to comments made by your customers. No social media platforms needed, and you won’t have to build up a huge following because the people you do business with are already visiting the local business directory and they will find your business listing and leave comments on it.

In order to thrive in today’s local business environment, you’ll need to make some changes to the way you’ve always done business. But those forward thinking business owners who keep up with consumer needs and habits won’t have any problem bringing in new business and running a successful store. What about you? Have you updated your marketing methods for 2017?

 

7 Ways to Boost Your Local Business Sales Before the Busy Fall Season

retail-construction-2015-839Fall is upon us, and most local business owners are gearing up for the busy season. But this year will be different for many local business owners because they’re sales are down due to online shopping. For instance, it was recently reported that Amazon owner Jeff Bezos was the richest man in the world—for at least one day. But all that wealth comes at the expense of local business owners. Let’s face it, as more and more people shop online, it’s taking a huge toll on the fiscal health of local business owners everywhere. But the good news is that your store doesn’t have to fall victim to the Retail Apocalypse—but you do have to think and act differently in order to attract local customers in new marketplace.

Don’t fall victim to online retail giants like Amazon. Instead, it’s time to boost your efforts and reach out to the people in your community so that when they’re ready to buy, they walk into your shop instead of going online. If you’re ready to take back control of your business’ fiscal health, here are 7 ways you can get your name in front of local consumers in preparation for the busy fall season—and boost your current sales.

Make Sure Your Shop or Restaurant is Listed in a Local Business Directory

Times have changed and it’s not enough anymore for a local business to be listed in the phone book or run an ad in the community newspaper. These days, consumers look online when they want to find a business—even if that business is located right around the corner. But that’s a problem for many local business owners because it’s never been necessary for local business owners to have a website, or even an online presence. But times have changed.

These days, consumers look to their computers, tablets, or smartphones to find local businesses, and if your shop or restaurant can’t be found online, you’re missing out on a lot of business. Luckily, local business directories make it easy to be found online.

How Local Business Directories can Increase Your Sales

Because consumers look online to find local businesses, it’s become mandatory for local business owners to have an online presence. But luckily, you won’t need to spend thousands of dollars to build your own website. Instead, local business directories are filling that role for thousands of local business owners. Here’s how they work.

When someone logs onto a large search engine to try and find local US businesses, they often become frustrated because the major search aren’t designed to give people those kinds of results. Instead, they often serve up informational articles about a topic, or links to websites that are owned by big box stores and national chains. That’s why so many people give up for local businesses and end up buying online.

But local businesses changed everything. Now, people can log onto local directories like FindUsLocal.com and specifically search for the shops and restaurants in their area. For example, if someone was searching for a local plumber on a major search engine, they would see articles about plumbing, and online stores that sell plumbing parts in the results. Not very helpful, is it? But if they conducted their search on a local business directory, they would only find a list of local plumbers in their area in the results. It’s no wonder why more and more people are using local business directories when trying to find US local businesses.

Now that you understand the importance of creating your local business listing on directories, let’s take a look at some ways you can use local marketing to prepare for the busy fall season.

  • Be a visible member of the community. One thing local consumers demand from the businesses in their city or town is that they become an active member of the community. Some local business owners do this brilliantly by heading up fundraisers for community needs, sponsoring the local sports team, or by volunteering at community events. Do what you can to put your business name in front of the community in a positive and helpful way.
  • Interact online with the local community. Because local consumers are looking for you online, it’s important that you also interact with them there. Some business owners use social media to interact with consumers, but others avoid it because it takes so much time. An alternative is to use the comments section on local business directories like FindUsLocal.com. This section allows you to announce sales, promotions, new products, or just say hello to the people in your town or city. And the best part? The local directory allows a two way communication system because consumers can also leave comments directed at other people about your business. Just imagine how useful a feature like this could be to help you interact with the people in your community.
  • Share your knowledge. Another way to gear up for the busy fall season is to hold some classes and share you knowledge with the community. For example, if you own a gift store, you could hold a class on innovative ways to wrap presents. This would provide a fun night out for the people in your area, and give them exposure to your shop. You could even use products from your store for wrapping, which would give the attendants an idea of the great products you sell.
  • Give them a gift for referrals. Another way to not only boost your sales, but also increase your reputation in the community is to offer your customers a referral fee for telling their friends and family about your store, restaurant, or service business. This works by first communicating with your customers about the program, and this can be done in person, by sending them an email, or by printing the announcement on customer receipts. Tell them that for every person they send to your business who turns into a customer, you will give them something in return. That may be a gift certificate to your store, a lunch at a nearby restaurant, or a cash referral fee. Be sure to create a system to keep track of the fees so customers will know they can trust that they will receive the gift in exchange for their efforts.
  • Ask for reviews. Online reviews are the new currency in the world of local marketing, and if you don’t already have at least 10, you’re behind. Several recent studies have shown that not only do people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from a friend or family, but they won’t even consider doing business with a local shop unless they can read some reviews about it first. Luckily, that same study shows that people are more than willing to leave reviews if only they’re asked. That means you should ask every customer to leave a review for your business as they’re checking out in order to build up to at least ten. And the perfect place to have them leave the reviews is on a local business directory like FindUsLocal.com.
  • Start talking and writing. Another great way to get exposure for your local business is begin writing and talking about what you know best. You can write a blog, a column in your local newspaper, act as a guest on a local radio or television talk show. In order to write a blog, you will need to create one, which can be done for free on WordPress. And you can approach your local newspapers and offer to write a weekly or occasional post about your area of expertise. You would be surprised at how open they will be to your request because they are always looking for new and helpful content to fill their spaces. The same is true for local television or radio shows—they’re always looking for guests to bring light to a new topic or offer helpful advice to their listeners.

The fall season is approaching quickly, and savvy local business owners should be doing all they can now in order to ensure local consumers know about their business and will be able to easily find it when they’re ready to begin buying. Start by listing your business on a local business directory, and then make your business known to local residents by getting active in the community, sharing your knowledge, and collecting as many reviews as you can. If you are proactive now, you’ll be more likely to have the best fall season that you’ve in years.

 

How to Maximize Your Local Business Listings

business-directoryTimes have really changed for local business owners as they have to find new ways to reach consumers who look online when they want to find a local business. In the past, these people would ask a friend for a referral, look in the Yellow Pages, or flip through the pages of their community newspaper to look for coupons and deals. But that was yesterday, and only those local business owners who are changing with the times will continue to thrive.

But not all local business owners have an online presence, which explains why so many are shuttering their doors. The problem is that they are relying on old school methods to reach today’s consumers, but that doesn’t work. Consumers have moved on, and unless local business owners do the same and begin using the new marketing techniques, they will sadly get left behind.

Why Some Online Local Marketing Methods Don’t Work Anymore

Once people realized that the phone book and newspapers were considered irrelevant in today’s marketplace, many local business owners moved to create a website in an attempt to reach internet savvy consumers. But this was typically viewed as an epic failure because it’s almost impossible for a local website to reach the first page in the search engine rankings. That’s because the major search engines are set up to give preference to the businesses that pay a lot of money for marketing—and most local businesses don’t fall into that category.

Local business directories were created to give local business owners a chance to be seen by the consumers who are looking for them. The directories are easy to use and produce the exact results consumers want to see. For example, if you own a local hotel, you’re probably frustrated because the larger chains take the choice spots in the search engine results on a major search engine. But if you create a local business listing on directories like FindUsLocal.com, anyone looking for a hotel in your area will see your business listing.

So how can you be sure your local business listings are set up in a way that maximizes their impact? By following the suggestions we’ve outlined below.

Choose the Best Local Business Directory

Let’s face it, there are a lot of local business directories out there, and unless you choose the right ones, your business listing won’t be seen by anyone. But how do you choose the right local business directory when there are so many to choose from? By following the hints listed below.

  • Look for a modern local directory. While you can spend your time listing your business on every local directory you find, you will only get results from those that have kept up with the times. For example, FindUsLocal.com uses cutting edge technology that only shows visitors the results from their immediate area. The site can do this because it employs GEO location technology that reads the location of the visitor. People love this local business directory because it’s easy to use and provides all the information they could want about their own community.
  • Chose a local directory that offers news. Local news is difficult to find these days, but local business directories like Find Us Local offers it to its visitors. People can read the local news from their community without having to go from website to website looking for it. That means they’ll visit the local directory more often, which means they’ll see your local listing time and time again.
  • Choose a local business directory that gives visitors what they want. Another innovative twist that some local directories offer is a view of all the current and upcoming events in a local area. For instance, Find Us Local shows its visitors the concerts, plays, and sporting events that are in their area, and the ones comes soon. And to make things even easier, the site includes links so visitors can purchase tickets to those events with one click.
  • Choose local directories that let people leave reviews. Consumers don’t like to shop at local businesses unless they’ve first read good reviews left by other people in their community, and that’s why it’s important to create your local business listing on a site that allows reviews. And remember, most people like to read at least 10 reviews before making a purchasing decision, so encourage your customers to visit your local listing and leave a review.
  • Choose a local business directory that makes them laugh. Finally, some local business directories go a step beyond and offer features designed to lighten up the day. For example, Find Us Local offers a Name of the Day features that previews a funny name every day. Some people visit the site daily just to read the latest name!

While it’s true that creating business listings on local business directories is important, it pays to do your research to discover which ones will give you the most bang for your buck. FindUsLocal.com is one local directory that does all it can to make listing your business simple, and keeps consumer coming back often. In short, the directory aims to make it a win-win for both local business directories and consumers alike.

4 Things You Didn’t Know about Local Business Directories

citationIf you’re a local business owner who is looking for alternative ways to market you restaurant, shop, or service business, you’ve likely heard about local business directories and the amazing results when your business is listed on one. But there may be a few things you don’t know about these local directories. That’s why we decided to put together this guide—so you’ll understand why consumers all over the nation are turning to local business directories when they want to find us local businesses.

But before we tell you about these 5 benefits, let’s first talk about what local business directories are and how they can boost your local sales.

What are Local Business Directories?

The major search engines are a great tool for consumers who want to find information about products or services, or who want to shop online. But for those people who want to shop locally and are looking for local shops and restaurants? Not so much.

That’s because the major search engines are designed to give people results that favor online stores. And a lot of those online stops publish articles that point people to their websites, so those articles also appear in the results. For example, if you were to type “find us local restaurants” in a major search engine, in the results you would see a lot of national chains with pages that show all of its locations, but what if you wanted to find a local mom and pop restaurant in your city or town? That’s where local business directories come in.

Along with all those national chain results, you’ll also see some of the better local business directories. These directories allow consumers to search for local businesses in their area, and consumers are using them with more and more frequency.

Now that you understand how local business directories work and why being on one is key for your business’ success, let’s talk about 5 things you may or may not know about them.

People Use Local Business Directories to Find All Kinds of Things

Many people assume that the only use for local business directories is to find US local businesses, but that’s not the case. In fact, people are using the directories to find all kinds of things. For example,  what did you do the last time you wanted to find a nearby post office in your city or town? If you’re like most people, you either pulled out and dusted off the phone book and looked through the white pages, or you laboriously clicked through hundreds of results from a major search engine.

But with the advent of local business directories, the process has been made easier. For instance, instead of looking for the hidden information on major search engines, you can find local US post office results on local business directories. How does that affect you as a local business owner? Imagine this scenario.

A person is trying to find local US post office results and is led to a local business directory. He is relieved because he has finally found a place to get local results in one easy site. But while he’s there, he notices that he can also find us local restaurants, find us local banks, and find us local businesses. And if your business is located on the site, he will see your listing and possibly become your newest customer.

People Use Local Business Directories to Get Free Business Phone Numbers

When someone wants to find your local phone number, they typically have 3 choices. They can either once again pull out that dusty phone book, look for your number on a search engine, or pay a dollar to their cell phone carrier to get the number. But did you know they have another choice—and it’s free?

Local business directories like FindUsLocal.com have a huge database of local business phone numbers and they offer them for free. All they have to do is log onto the site and look for the free local business number they want.

That helps you as a local business owner in a number of ways. First, it allows consumers to get your business number for free, but it also helps them find the information about your business on the same site. For example, if a consumer looks for your business phone number on a local business directory, and then notices that you have a business listing on the site. They can click on that local business listing and find your address, read the reviews left by other community members, and even interact with you on the comments section.

Local Business Directories Allow You to Become a Part of the Community

These days, if a local business isn’t interacting with the people in its community, chances are the people will take their business to the store that does. But finding the time to interact with them can be overwhelming. Many people join in on local causes, start fundraisers for people in the community who are in need, and help with local fairs and high school sporting events, but all of that takes precious time away from running a business.

Luckily, there is a way to interact with local consumers and it only takes a few minutes a day. The comments section on FindUsLocal.com, the premier local business directory, is open to both consumers and local business owners. You can use it to announce a sale, publically thank a customer, let people know when new products come in, reveal the day’s menu, or anything else you want the people in your community to know about your business. And it’s easy to use. Simply log onto the site, find your local business listing—or if you don’t have one, take five minutes to set it up—and scroll down until you see “Leave a Comment.” Follow the simple directions, and soon, everyone from your area who logs onto the local business directory will see it!

Local Business Directories Increase Your Search Engine Rankings

Finally, when you create a local business listing, your chances of showing up in the major search engine results increase dramatically. That’s because the large search engines index local business listings in a way that causes them to show up in the results when someone is searching for a local business like yours.

The reason the large search engines pay attention to local business listings is because local business directories like FindUsLocal.com spend a lot of time and money to ensure their site is seen by the large search engines. And when the local directory is seen, you is your business as long as it’s listed there.

For example, if you own a local dress shop and list it on a business directory, you’re now visible to the search engine spiders. So when someone types in a city name and “dress shop,” your listing has a better chance of showing up in the listings. It’s a simple way to get seen by the local consumers in your area.

Local Business directories are no longer an option for business owners who are serious about bringing in new business. Consumers look online when they want to find US local businesses, and if yours isn’t there, they’ll never find you. Are your local business listings set up yet? If not, you may be missing out on new customers right now!

How the Comment Section on Local Business Directories Can Put a Business in the Spotlight

Please-Leave-a-CommentThese days, local business owners need to do all they can to get their local shop, restaurant, or service business in front of the people in their community. That’s because more and more people are turning online when they want to purchase products or services, and as a result, many local business owners are seeing a sharp downturn in sales. But one recent study shows that there is hope on the horizon. It says that the majority of people still want to shop at local businesses, and in fact prefer it to shopping online. So what’s stopping them? The act of finding local businesses has become more difficult in this internet driven world.

How People Find Local Businesses

It wasn’t that long ago that people pulled out the bulky phone book or look through the latest addition of their local community newspaper whenever they wanted to find a local business, but these days, people would rather use their mouse to get the information they need. And while the major search engines are a great resource for people who want to find a national business—or information about a particular brand or product—using it to find a local business can be challenging.

For example, if someone were looking for a local bed and breakfast, and type those words into a large search engine, they will see business listings from national hotel chains, and even articles about how to run a bed breakfast. But the local results? They’ll be tucked way down the page, or even on subsequent pages that no one will take the time to scroll to.

So what can people do? After all, if local businesses are going to survive in this internet world, there has to be an answer, right?

Local Business Directories are Giving People a Choice

The answer to the above dilemma lies in local business directories. These smart directories are designed to give people what they want: a straightforward way to find local businesses that is simple and efficient. Here’s how it works: someone goes to a local business directory like FindUsLocal.com and their location is automatically read by the GEO location technology that the site utilizes. This allows the visitor to see only the results from their own area, which prevents them from having to scroll through a lot of irrelevant business listings. Now keep in mind that not all local business directories make use of this cutting edge technology, so if you’re going to use a local business directory, you’ll need to find one that does. FindUsLocal.com is one of the most up to date local directories on the internet.

Once the visitor sees their custom home page, they can either click on one of the major categories on top of the home page or use the custom search bar to find what they need. For our example, we’ll assume they click on the “food and dining” category. They will see a complete listing of all the restaurants and eateries in their area. But what if they only want to find the local Mexican food restaurants in their area? It’s simple, they only have to use the custom search bar at the top of the page, type in Mexican food, and they’ll see all of the local Mexican food restaurants in their town or city.

It’s no wonder why people all over the nation are turning to local business directories instead of wading through all the irrelevant results they find on the major search engines.

How Does the Comment Section Make Things Better for Local Business Owners and Consumers?

Both local business owners and the people in the community have one thing in common: they want quality local businesses to be easily found by those looking for them. And the comments section at local business directories like FindUsLocal.com can play a huge role in that. Here’s how it works: The major search engines use something called search engine spiders to constantly search the internet for new content. When they find this new content, they pay more attention to the site that it’s posted on and give it more attention in the search engine rankings. That’s why smart local business directories like FindUsLocal.com offer a way for visitors to leave comments on all the local business directories listed on its site.

Once these local businesses begin receiving comments from people in the community, it will not only bring its local business listing up higher in the local directory’s website, but the major search engines will also take not of it and offer up the local listing in its results, too. That helps local business owners because the more their local business listing is seen, the more people will decide to visit it and make purchases, and it helps local consumers because it allows them to more easily find the local businesses that people are talking about. It’s a win-win for everyone.

How to Leave a Comment on a Local Business Directory

Now comes the fun part. Whether you’re a local business owner who wants to encourage your customers to leave comments on your local business listing, or a member of the local community, leaving a comment for a business is not only rewarding, but it’s also fun. Here ae the steps you’ll need to take to leave your own comments.

  • Find the local business you want by either using the custom search bar at the top of the page, or by scrolling through the results you see in one of the 5 major categories at the top of the home page. Click on the business of your choice.
  • One you’re on the business’s page, check out the details and make sure it’s the right one. For example, you’ll find the business’ address and phone number, along with any reviews that other community members have left for it. At this point, you can either leave your own review or continue looking for the comment section.
  • Scroll down the page and look at the map of the business. Make sure it’s the business you’re looking for by verifying its location on the map.
  • Next, you’ll come to the comments section. Decide what you want to write about the business. You can either use this section as another place to leave a review, or you can simply write a quick note about the business you think would help other people understand it more. For example, you could write about the business owner’s efforts to help members of the local community, or you could give important information that makes finding the local business easier for new customers.
  • Click on “Submit a comment” and the site will ask for your name and email address. Your name will show up next to the review, but your email address will remain private. FindUsLocal.com will never use your email address for marketing purposes, or sell it to other businesses.
  • After you’ve entered your personal information, input your comment about the local business and press submit.

After you’ve submitted your comment, go back to the home page and look at the section titled “Recent Local Business Comments.” This is the section that highlights the local comments left by both business owners and consumers, and your comment should be listed at the top. If you want to, you can enter more comments for other businesses.

If you’re a local business owner, this can be a great way to get the word out about sales or other events you’re having in your store, and if you’re a member of the local community, it can be a great way to call attention to the quality local businesses in your area.

Just remember, at this time, FindUsLocal.com is the only local business directory that offers this cutting edge tool, so if you want to leave a comment for a local business, head on over to the site now and find out just how fun it can be!

How to Get Reviews for Your Local Business (And Why You Should Make This a Priority)

online-reviews-for-local-businessesDid you know that getting reviews for your local business is one of the smartest things you can do? In today’s marketplace, it’s considered mandatory for local businesses to have reviews in order to attract new customers. That’s because today’s buyers rely on those reviews to decide whether or not to do business with a local shop or restaurant. In fact, here are just some of the benefits you’ll reap by having good local reviews:

  • It will make your local business stand out. Imagine that you were looking for local business to visit and you came across a few options on the local business directory. One of the local shops had a 5 star rating, while the other 2 didn’t have any reviews. Which one would you do business with? If you’re like most people, you would visit the one with the good rating. That’s true for most people, and it’s one of the most important reasons why you need good reviews on all of your local business listings.
  • Good reviews will increase your sales. Recent studies have shown that 90 percent of people feel more comfortable making a purchase from a store that has some good online reviews. That’s a pretty simple way to increase your conversion rate in your store.
  • Some people will only shop at highly rated stores. There are a lot of people who wouldn’t dream of doing business with a shop or restaurant that wasn’t highly rated. And if your business is, they will bypass your competitors who don’t have any reviews, or have some that aren’t great, and shop in your store.
  • Good reviews give your local business credibility. Today’s consumers are wiser and more knowledgeable than those of the past, and they want the shops they do business with to have credibility—and today’s credibility is based on social proof. Online reviews are an easy and effective way to build that credibility fast and affordably.

Now that you understand the important of online reviews, let’s talk about some of the ways you can persuade your customers to leave them for your business. Here are 5 ways to begin building online reviews on the local business directory today:

  • Ask for them. Many local business owners avoid this method, but studies show that people are more than willing to leave online reviews for local businesses—if only they’re asked. Make it a habit to ask every customer as they’re checking out if they will leave a review on your local business listing.
  • Use email signatures. As a local business owner, you likely send out emails to your existing customers on a regular basis. You can create a custom email signature that asks them to leave a review for your business on a local business director like FindUsLocal.com. Be sure to include a link to the local business listing because the easier you make it for your customers, the more likely they will be to leave that all-important review.
  • Make a flyer. If you make special flyers asking for a review and leave them by the cash register, many customers will take them and use it to remember to leave a review for your business. Just be sure to include all the pertinent information they’ll need to leave it.
  • Put the request on your business cards. As a local business owner, you still use business cards to communicate with the people in your community. If you include the URL of the local business directory where your business listing is, and then add a simple line that requests a review, you’ll increase the number of reviews people find on your local business listings.
  • Add a request to other emails. As you send out email announcement for new products or sales to your customers, be sure to add a special request for reviews at the end of the text. Again, be sure to include the link to your local business listing to make it easier for your customers to leave a review.

Remember, you don’t want your customers to all leave reviews on the same day because people who read them will view them as fake. Instead, try to spread out your requests so that the dates on your online reviews look organic and natural.

Having your local business listed on a local business is one of the smartest things you can do, and if you have at least 10 reviews on that local business listing, it’s even better. If you haven’t already listed your business, why not head over to FindUsLocal.com and create your local business now? It can only help bring in new business, and who doesn’t want that?