Category Archives: USA Business Directories News

Thirteen Tips to Power Your Local Business Directory SEO Strategy

how-to-crack-neet-2017When your business relies on customers that live nearby, you may think that online advertising isn’t that important. The fact is, your customers are every bit as likely to jump online when they’re looking for delivery pizza or a handyman as they are when they’re looking for a new pair of shoes. If you’re not thinking of local SEO and local business directory listings, you’re probably missing out on a lot of customers who are calling your competition. These six tips will help you promote your local business online through a combination of local SEO, local business directory listings and social media. Before you know it, you’ll be leaving your competition in the dust.

Start with Your Own Website

Okay. Lots of very small businesses get by with just a Facebook page, but that’s short-sighted. While you can create a good online presence without creating your own website, you risk losing it all if one or more of the websites you use changes their business model. Facebook is especially notorious for changing the way it displays listings to people. Your website is the one place where you hold complete control over what people see.  Whether you create your own website or contract with someone to do it for you, pay special attention to these five items:

  • Your domain name should be your business name or include your business name, services, and/or location.
  • Make sure your page titles include your business, location and services. A family attorney, for example, might have pages titled[Business Name] [City] Child Custody Lawyer,[Business Name] [City] Divorce Attorney, [Business Name] [City] Adoption Attorney, etc.
  • Include local details in your website copy. For example, include a map and written directions on your About or Contact page that includes local landmarks, and mention that you’re proud sponsors of the [Neighborhood] Little League team. Not only will it make your website feel more personal to customers, those local details help Google and other search engines determine that you really are a local business.

Update and Build Out Your Listings on Local Business Directory Pages

Search engines get information about your business from many places besides your own website. When your business isn’t listed on major local business directory pages – or is listed with inconsistent information – it can make you less visible in the local search results.

  • Find your business on major local business directory sites and update your listing to make sure all of the information is accurate and consistent. Include Google+ and major review sites, such as Yelp and TripAdvisor to boost your visibility.
  • Include your business in local business directory sites like FindUsLocal.com, a premiere business directory that provides a unique, localized user experience for its site visitors.
  • Where you can, add photos and other information in your local directory listings to make them more attractive and engaging.
  • If you have multiple locations, list each location on a separate page in each local business directory.

Use a Good Link Strategy

Incoming links from authoritative sources are still among the most important pieces of an online promotion strategy. However, linking from “bad neighborhoods” can actually harm your online reputation.

  • Use Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts to share links to your website – but be strategic. Share links to specific pages on your website where appropriate rather than just to your main page.
  • Encourage others to share links to your website via social media.
  • Sponsor local events or teams, and ask for a link back to your website when media and other local organizations report on the events.
  • If you have the time, consider blogging about your business where you can talk about your services, your neighborhood and other businesses. Outgoing links to nearby locations and businesses also help boost your online profile.

Ask for Online Reviews and Respond to Them Often

Online reviews of local businesses provide some of the best links available to boost your business visibility. When you respond to those reviews – whether they’re positive or negative – you not only increase your credibility with customers and potential customers, you send another signal to search engines that you are an authentic local business with an engaged business owner.

  • Ask for ratings and reviews from your customers. The ask can be as simple as a sign at the checkout register or on a table card, or as personal as a quick email after you provide a service. Make it easy by providing a variety of sites where your customers can leave reviews. Local business directory FindUsLocal.com even includes a space where your customers can leave reviews of your business, which will then appear on the front page of the website when someone local visits their pages.
  • Respond to user reviews, both the good and the bad. For positive reviews, a simple thanks and “please come back soon!” goes a long way. If a review is negative, thank the customer for the feedback and ask them to contact you so you can address their concerns.

Your Local Business Directory Listing – How It Makes a Difference for Your Business

business-directoryA few months back, one of the best-known online marketing sites made a startling declaration – Google doesn’t care about local business directory listings. That would be awful news to the many business owners who’ve invested time and energy in updating their local business directory listings – if it were an accurate statement. Like so many other news stories these days, though, it’s not quite accurate.

The premise in the article was based on one small part of an answer from a Google top-tier search engine exec – and it was taken completely out of context. The statement implied that businesses shouldn’t worry about getting listed in local business directories, but he was answering a question about those shady companies that offer to get your business listed in hundreds of local business directories. Taken in context, it’s obvious that Google most certainly does care about local business directory listings – but you don’t need to be listed in hundreds of business directories. As with anything else, it’s a matter of quality over quantity.

Why Local Business Directory Listings Matter

Your listings in local business directories matter on two very different fronts. On the one hand, they help Google find you when someone in your immediate area uses the search engine to find a business near them that offers the services or products they need right now. The more links they find with your business address, the more likely it is that the algorithm will “believe” that your business is where you say it is. Listing your business on quality local business directories makes it more likely that your business will pop up when someone in your neighborhood is looking for your services.

Of course, search engines aren’t the only ones looking at local business directories, especially if those directories offer more than just business listings. Websites like FindUsLocal.com offer a great deal more than a searchable database of business listings. They offer a streamlined local user experience that’s far closer to the old-time Web portals that put links to everything important on one page so users could find exactly what they needed on one page. Listing your shop or office on a site like Find Us Local offers extra benefits – not only are you amplifying your signal to the search engines, you’re also putting your business ads in front of the people who are most likely to become your new customers – the people who live within a few miles of you.

How Your Business Gets Listed on Random Local Business Directory Sites

If you do a basic search for your business name online, chances are you’ll find links to all sorts of unexpected websites, many of which you’ve never heard. That’s because there are dozens of local business directories trying to cash in on traffic directed to them by search engines. How did your business get on them, and what should about it?

Most online business directories start with a database populated with listings of businesses pulled from publicly available sources. You don’t actually have to do a thing to get listed with them – it’s automatic. In most cases, those listings won’t help you a whole lot, and they’re not likely to hurt your search engine ranking UNLESS the information in them is inaccurate.

That’s because one of the major things that search engine algorithms look for is consistency. If the listing has an outdated phone number an inaccurate address, it shakes the reliability of the information the search engine uses to determine if you’re a business its users want to find.

So what should you do? In most cases, these directories make it easy for you to update the information about your business. More often than not, you just have to fill out a free registration form to be able to access your listing and correct any misinformation.

The Local Business Directory Listings that Make a Difference

There are a few places you absolutely should be listed, and should put a little more effort into creating an engaging business listing. These sites are ones that can have a major effect on whether or not Google, Bing and other search engines show your business when someone local is searching for your services.

Local Chamber of Commerce or Business Directory

Your local Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club or other social service/business organization probably has an online business directory specific to your city, town or region. Yes, you should make sure your business is listed with them. A listing on this type of local business directory is a strong signal to Google that your business really does exist.

Google My Business Page

As you would expect, Google gives its own local business directory a lot of credibility. It doesn’t take a lot of time to set up an engaging, accurate business listing on Google My Business, and it’s time well-spent.

Local Newspaper/Media Organization

If your local newspaper has a local business directory, your business should be listed in it. Newspapers – even online – are still one of the places that your customers look for information.

Review and/or Professional Business Listings

If you’re in the hospitality industry – a restaurant, tourist attraction, bed-and-breakfast or hotel, your business should be listed on the major review sites for your industry. Likewise, if you’re a professional – a lawyer, accountant, doctor, dentist, etc. – you should have your name and contact details listed in local business directories for your profession.

High Profile Local Business Directories

Finally, choose a few high-profile local business directories that offer engaging content and information for users, and make sure that your business listing is complete, accurate and engaging.

While it’s not necessary – or even desirable – to get your business listed in “hundreds” of online business directories, it’s still important to make sure you’re taking advantage of quality local business directory listings to promote and publicize your business.

Local Business Directory Reviews: How to Get and Use Them to Your Benefit

customer-reviews-2By now, you’ve probably read about all the benefits of creating a local business listing on one of the popular local business directories. These directories have taken the internet by storm as more and more consumers flock to them to find US local businesses. The reason they’ve become so popular in the past few years is because people got tired of looking for local businesses on the large search engines because frankly, they’re designed to give people national results.

So local business directories were born and savvy local business owners have had to rethink they way they bring in new business by using them.

Online Reviews are an Important Aspect of Local Business Listings

After you’ve created your local business listing on a directory like FindUsLocal.com, it’s time to put it to work for your local shop, service business, or restaurant. And one of the smartest ways to do that is to ensure you have at least ten online reviews for your business.

Today’s consumers demand social proof when looking for local businesses and online reviews are important to them. In fact, one recent study shows that people trust online reviews just as much as they do a personal recommendation from a friend or family member.

But many local business owners have questions about how to get online reviews—and then how to use them to attract new business. So we’ve put together this brief guide to help you with this important aspect of your local business marketing.

How to Get Online Reviews

Many local business owners become overwhelmed when they realize just how important online reviews are because they think they’re so difficult to get. But the truth is, another recent study shows that a full 74 percent of those people surveyed say they are open to leaving online reviews if they’re asked. In other words, if you make it a practice to ask your customers to leave a review for your business on the local business directory, they will do it. It’s just a matter of incorporating the practice into your everyday business.

Respond to Online Reviews

Whether you get raving reviews or ones that are a little less enthusiastic, it’s important for your customers to know that they’ve been listened to. By leaving a simple thank you when someone leaves you a great review, or opening an honest dialogue with those who leave less than favorable ones, you can open up the lines of communication with your customers. And quality local business directories like FindUsLocal.com make it easy with their new comments section. This allows you to leave comments directed toward your customers and community.

When You Get a Bad Review

Bad reviews happen, but the way you respond them will make all the difference in how they affect your local business. Don’t become defensive or arrogant in your response, but instead, listen to what the customer is saying and think about how you can improve your business so another customer won’t have the same experience. Thank the reviewer for their honest opinion, and then tell them how their review helped you implement some changes in the business. Other people will see your response and know that you are a local business owner who cares about the experiences of your customers.

Local business directories are changing the way local businesses operate and local reviews are an important part of that. Follow the above tips and learn how to use online reviews in your local business listings. Pretty soon, you’ll have a line out the door of people who found your business and were convinced to come because of all the great online reviews.

How to Brush Up Your Local Business Directory Listing

localmarketingListing your business in an online local business directory is an important part of any promotional strategy. These days, few businesses can flourish with just traditional marketing strategies. Ads in the local newspaper or local radio stations are still useful, but they contribute less and less value to the typical business bottom line. If you’re trying to reach new customers, online business promotion is vital. A listing in a good online local business directory can help you reach more potential customers and bring them through your door.

That said, some local business directories are better than others. While it’s helpful to at least list your business on as many directories as you can, the listings that will bring you the best results are the ones on a local business directory like FindUsLocal.com, which focuses on providing an engaging, totally local experience for the customers that are most important to you – those that live close enough to walk through your door. These 10 tips can help you create an engaging, compelling online business listing. Depending on the business directory site you’re working with, some of them might not apply. The more of these tips you can put into practice, though, the better your results will be.

Find Your Business Listings

Your first step is to find free local business directories where your business might already be listed. Many of these free local directories populate their database with business information taken from publicly available information, which means there’s always a chance that the information listed is out-of-date or incomplete. They invite business owners to “claim” their listing, a way of encouraging businesses to register with them. The signup process is usually quite simple, and well worth the little time and effort it takes. Claiming your business listing gives you access to make changes and updates to what is shown on the page.

Correct and Update Your Business Information

Customers may stumble upon your business listing in many different online directories, so you want to make sure that the information they find is accurate. When they – or a search engine – find conflicting or inaccurate information – they reasonably wonder about your business’ credibility. Make sure that the address, telephone number and hours of operation are correct, and if the site allows it, add a link to your business website and/or your business Facebook page.

List Yourself in Multiple Applicable Categories

Make it easier for your potential customers to find you by making sure your business is listed in every category that applies to what you do. The dentist office we mentioned above would obviously list their business under “Dentists,” but they should also list themselves under any specialty service – Pediatric Dentist, Family Dentist, Cosmetic Dentist, and so on. Whatever your business is, chances are that it fits under multiple categories.

 Make Sure You’re Listed in All Areas You Cover

If you do business with surrounding towns or cities, be sure that you add those areas to your local business profile. It will help customers who are only searching within their own town to find you.

Use Your Profile on the Best Online Local Business Directory Sites to Boost Your Business

Toot your own horn! If the directory allows you to write a small business blurb as a heading for your listing, use it to shamelessly promote your services. Did a local newspaper award you a Best Of prize? Make sure you mention it. At the very least, include your business tag line so that potential customers know what sets you apart from the others.

Upload a Business Picture

If it’s an option, add a picture – or more than one – to your business listing. It can be a photo of your location, or a professional head shot of yourself, or an attractive photo of some of your best-selling products.

Add Positive Reviews in the Comments

If there’s a space for testimonials or positive reviews from past customers, get them up there. Most potential customers will read reviews and recommendations from friends and neighbors before they make a decision on using a particular business. Make it easier for them by posting any testimonials and reviews you have. The easiest way to get those recommendations is to ask satisfied customers if they’d be willing to write a quick note about their experience working with you.

 Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews

If the local business directory allows customers to leave reviews for business, it’s even easier to get those recommendations. Send happy customers to your local directory listing to rate and review your services. You can add a link to your listing on your Facebook business page or website to make it even easier.

Go Through Any Reviews and Respond to Them

Make this a regular part of your business promotion routine. Check your profile regularly – or sign up for notifications if the option is available – so that you can thank customers for positive reviews or address any problems in a timely manner.

A Note About Bad Reviews

A bad review is not the end of the world! While some advisers recommend removing bad reviews from your local business listings, that wisdom is changing. In fact, a few not-so-great reviews make your business profile look more honest. Interestingly, what one customer finds “bad” could be exactly what another customer is looking for. Even more importantly, when potential customers see you responding to unhappy customers and offering to make things right, their impressions of the business and owner tend to get better. So – unless a review is a total hit piece – resist the temptation to remove it, and instead, address it publicly, even if all you say is, “Please call us so that we can resolve that issue.”

While it may seem like a chore to update and spruce up your local business directory listings, it really takes much less time than you’d expect – and the benefits are worth every minute you spend on them.

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.

5 Unorthodox Ways Local Business Owners can Help Hurricane Victims

US-WEATHER-STORM-HARVEYThe devastating results we saw from hurricane Harvey made us all sit up and take notice, and now that hurricane Irma is pounding Florida and 2 other storms are forming in the Atlanta, local business owners are wondering what they can do to help their local communities. And that’s a good thing because oftentimes, local shops and restaurants can provide much needed services to people in need. For example, in after hurricane Harvey hit Port Aransas, Texas, a local eatery named “Eats” stepped up and offered free meals to all the local residents and volunteers in the area 3 times a day. People, who were weary with the clean up, came to the local restaurant to eat and mingle with other locals in the same predicament. And according to those locals, they will frequent the restaurant in good times because of the service it offered them in bad times.

If you own a local business, now is a great time to show your community that you care. Here are 5 ways you can do just that.

Make Donations to Your Local Community

When disaster strikes, people have needs that typically can’t be met in a timely fashion by local authorities. For example, after a hurricane, moms need diapers, people need hot food when there is no power, and families need financial donations to rebuild their houses. And as a local business owner, you can take part in these essential services. Whether you donate goods, money, or set up hot food lines like the restaurant did in Port Aransas, you will not only help your local community in its time of need, but you’ll show your business as a part of the community that truly cares about its residents.

Make Sure People can Find You

Even in the aftermath of hurricanes like Harvey, there was limited cell phone service and people relied on it to find US local businesses they could buy supplies from or eat at. That’s why it’s so important that your business is easily found on a local business directory like FindUsLocal.com. By creating your local business listing, people in need will be able to find your local business with the click of a button.

Take Care of Your Employees

It’s important to remember that your employees are a part of the local community, and they have needs, too. If it’s possible to keep them on the payroll until you are able to open your doors again, then do it. If it’s not financially possible, help them through the process of applying for state disaster unemployment assistance so they don’t suffer more than is necessary. And be sure to allow them plenty of time to clean up their houses or tend to the many tasks involved in rebuilding.

Offer What You Have

People will be so desperate for even the most basic things in life that whatever you can offer will be appreciated by your local community. For example, if you are one of the lucky ones who still have power after the hurricane, you can offer a safe place for residents to charge their cell phones or plug in their laptops to check emails or disaster assistance communications. If you have foam plates or cups, hand them out to people who need them. No matter what kind of local business you operate, you surely have something people need or can offer services to the people in your area.

Get Out and Help

One of the biggest needs people have after a disaster like Hurricane Harvey or Irma is a need for physical help. If you strong—or have employees who are—you can get out into the community and look for ways to help. People will need help moving trees out of their yards, moving ruined appliances and furniture out of the house, and many other things that the elderly or single women can’t handle on their own. And even if you’re not strong, you can help mop up the muck or go through people belongings looking for salvageable items.

Local business owners can play an important part in the aftermath of a disaster like Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. Just be sure you can be found on local business directories like FindUsLocal.com so people can get what they need, donate basic necessity items to the community, get out and physically help where you can, and be sure that your employees are taken care of.

If you haven’t already created your local business listing on a local business directory, why not head over to FindUsLocal.com now and do it? Who knows, the victims of a hurricane could be desperate to find US local businesses like yours this very minute.

How to Help Your Community Recover from Hurricane Harvey

ab536046b6444014a633e280a994b0cf_t1070_h833d6d541269956fdc46a71c214be7b274e69d1fIf you’re a local business owner, you are probably a big part of the community. Chances are, you participate in local charity events, fundraisers and provide products or services at county fair auctions and more. But when a natural disaster like Hurricane Harvey hits, most local business owners step up and do all they can to make things easier on the local community.

Is your shop, restaurant, or service business located in the areas of Texas that have been hit by Hurricane Harvey? If so, there are some things you can do as a local business owner that will help ease the frustration and fears of your local community. Here are some things you can do today.

Make Yourself Known to the Locals

The people in your community are probably aware of the local businesses they typically use, but may not know about your business. And because most communications will be down for several days, you’ll  need to make it easy for them to find you. Most cell phones still work in the disaster areas, so ensure that they can find you by creating a local business listing on local business directories like FindUsLocal.com. It only takes a minute and your business may be able to provide someone with exactly what they need to go forward in their life.

Let Them Know How You can Help

Times like this aren’t for advertising to bring in more sales, but you’ll still need to get your name in front of the locals to make it easier on them. For example, if you own a local convenience store, make sure your customers know that you have plenty of bottled water in stock. On the other hand, if you own a restaurant, be sure to announce when you’re open for business because people will not be able to cook in their own homes until the power comes back on. And if you run the local hardware shop, be sure to let them know that you have the supplies they’ll need to secure their homes. Whatever type of local business you run, be sure to pinpoint the services or products you can provide to the community in a way that doesn’t make you sound like you’re trying to sell them something.

One way to do this is to use your social media platforms. You can tweet out your announcements and the people who follow you will read them and may pass them along. Another great tool is Find Us Local’s comment’s section. This handy feature on the local business directory allows business owners to announce sales and product information in an easy to use format. For instance, you could announce the arrival of bottled water, or let the community know that you’re handing out free breakfast tacos the day after the hurricane hit. And even better is that consumers can use the comments section to make announcements of their own. They may talk about things related to Hurricane Harvey, or they may let other people know the good things about your business.

Hurricane Harvey brought a lot of misery and uncertainty into a lot of people’s lives, and as a local business owner, you should do all you can to alleviate as many of their hurdles as you can. That may mean giving them a free breakfast taco, having enough bottled water to get them through the day, or having just the right roof nails in stock. But in order to help, the people in your community need to know about your store, service business, or restaurant. Go right now to FindUsLocal.com and take a few minutes to create your local business listing so the people in your community can find you.

Local Business Directories: A Primer for Local Business Owners

imagesOwning a local business these days is a lot different than it was a mere ten years ago. Back then, as long as you had a good ad in the local phone book, ran a few ads in the community newspaper, and sent out mailings to attract new business with coupons you were golden. It’s been that way for decades, but then the internet came along and changed everything. And those local business owners who haven’t kept up with the times are feeling the pain when it comes to sales.

In fact, the number of local store closings this year alone is more than they were in the Great Recession. And analysts aren’t optimistic about the future of local businesses because online retailers like Amazon continue to expand, leaving local business owners in the dark.

But there is a group of local business owners who have changed with the times and their stores are thriving. Let’s talk about what they’ve done to gain that momentum and keep the customers coming to their shops.

Successful Local Shops Can Be Seen Online

When is the last time you heard of someone opening the phone book to find US local businesses? Or how long has it been since you’ve received a little blue envelope full of coupons to the local shops and restaurants in your area? These advertising methods of yesterday are all but nonexistent and have been replaced with online advertising. But that can be a problem for local businesses that have no online presence.

You see, when today’s consumers want to find US local restaurants or shops, they look online for the information, and if your shop can’t be found there, you’ll miss out on all that business. Until recently, people used the major search engines to find US local businesses, but it quickly became too much of a hassle to sift through all the irrelevant results like articles and websites of national chains or online stores. And that’s why local business directories were invented.

Local business directories act just like the large search engines except they only give consumers the exact results they’re looking for. For example, if someone were looking for a computer shop in San Francisco, California on a major search engine, they would see all kinds of articles about computers and the link to big box stores or online computer shops, but it would be difficult for them to find US local computer shops. On the other hand, if they were to conduct the same search on a local business directory, they would only see computer shops located in the San Francisco area in the results.

Do you see why consumers are using local business directories more and more?

Can Your Business be Found on a Local Business Directory?

And here is where the rubber meets the road. Since consumers across the nation are turning to local business directories to find US local businesses, it’s imperative that your business be found there. If it’s not, those potential customers will find your competitors and buy from them instead. Luckily, it’s easy to claim our local business listing—just log onto FindUsLocal.com, search for your business, and then claim the listing. But there are some tricks you should know before doing so to ensure that your local listing stands out and gets the attention of the people who are looking for a local business just like yours. Here are the best ways to ensure that happens.

Don’t Just Choose Any Local Business Directory

Not all local business directories are the same, and in you should take the time to find the one that will give you the best results. After all, if you’re going to take the time to create your local business listing, doesn’t it make sense to put it on a local directory that has enough traffic? FindUsLocal.com is one of the best directories out there, and here are a few reasons why.

  • It’s Convenient. Some local business directories make it difficult for consumers to find US local businesses because they have to jump through so many hoops to see the results. But FindUsLocal.com uses cutting edge technology to automatically match the results visitors see with their location. In other words, when they log onto the local business directory, they will see a customized home page that is built around their immediate location. And when they search, they will only see the local results from that area.
  • Local News. Local news can be hard to come by these days because so much attention is focused on national and global news, but local business directories like FindUsLocal.com make it easy. On visitor’s home page, they will see all the local news from their area in a running steam.
  • Local Events. Instead of having to call the local civic centers, auditoriums and sports stadiums, visitors can simply browse through all of the upcoming local events on the FindUsLocal home page. It showcases all of the upcoming concerts, plays and sporting events, and just to make things easier for visitors, it also includes links so they can purchase tickets to the events easier.
  • Online Reviews. Most experts agree that local businesses can’t thrive unless they have some good online reviews from the locals in their city or town. But that can be a problem for many local shops because they don’t have an online place for customers to leave those reviews. But when you claim your local business listing on FindUsLocal.com, you’ll have one. There, customers can leave reviews for your business so that others from your community can read them before making a purchasing decision.
  • A Daily Dose of Inspiration or Humor. As an added benefit, FindUsLocal.com offers an inspirational quote and a humorous feature called the Name of the Day for people who like to have a little something extra to start off their day. These features will make them think, laugh, or just tuck away a little piece of knowledge to use another day.
  • Interaction. Finally, today’s consumers demand interaction from the local businesses they buy from, but that can be a challenge for local shop owners who don’t have thriving social media accounts. But FindUsLocal.com offers a way around that in its comments section. It allows both business owners and consumers to leave comments and that can easily turn into a two-way conversation about your business. For example, you can use the feature to announce a sale or a new products and consumers can ask questions about or tell others about the great deal they got. Keep in that FindUsLocal is the only local business directory to offer this amazing feature.

Pay Attention to the Details

Now that you know why FindUsLocal.com is the best local business directory for you, let’s talk about how to create your local listing. It’s important that you enter your NAP+W’s the same on every local directory that you list on because if you don’t, it could hurt you in the search engine results.

NAP+W’s stand for name, address, phone number, and website address, and while this may sound simple, there are some things you need to know.

For example, if the name of your store is Cups, Inc., you must decide whether or not to include the “Ink” in your business name, and then do it the same way on every local business directory you list on. The same is true for your business address. If it ends in Street, Drive, Parkway or any other clarifying word, you’ll need to determine whether or not to include it in the local business listings.

Have You Created Your Local Business Listing Yet?

If you haven’t already created your listing on a quality local business directory like FindUsLocal.com, what are you waiting for? There are thousands of local consumers looking for businesses like yours every day, and until they can find you online, you’re missing out on all of that business!

How Local Business Directories can Help People Find You in a Natural Disaster like Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane-Harvey-NOAA-Satellite-534x462Hurricane Harvey is all over the news as many Texas people have been evacuated from their homes because of the super storm. The hurricane made landfall as a category 4, which is the strongest storm to hit Texas in 57 years. Luckily, despite all the damage the storm did, the loss of life appears to be minimal as of this writing. But our thoughts are with those who lost loved ones, or have to face the daunting task of rebuilding.

But how will Hurricane Harvey affect local business owners and the people who seek out supplies, food, and products to rebuild their houses? After all, in some towns, the local businesses they’ve dealt with for years are gone and they’ll need to seek out new ones.

Local Business Directory Listings Will Help People Find You

For the past few years, more and more people have turned to local business directories to find US local businesses, and after a storm like Hurricane Harvey, things won’t be any different. Imagine that if someone needed to board up a busted out window caused by the storm and they drove to their local lumber yard only to find it had been demolished by the storm.  Unless they knew of another one, they would likely turn to a local business directory to find one. But in order to be found on local business directories, you need to be listed on them. And although the process of doing that is simple, it does require some specific knowledge to do it right. Here’s a rundown of how to get your business listed so those affected by Hurricane Harvey can find you.

Choose the Right Directory

There are hundreds of online business directories, but not all of them are as equally effective. In fact, there was a recently published list of the top 70 online local business directories and you should definitely select one from there. Local directories like FindUsLocal.com made the list for very specific reasons such as the fact that it uses GEO location technology to show visitors customized home pages that only display results from their immediate area.

Create Your Local Business Listing the Right Way

You can just slap up any local business listing and expect it to produce great results for your business. In fact, when you list your business, you’ll need to do it in a specific way to get the benefits they offer. For example, you’ll need to list your business name, address, phone number, and website address, known as NAP +W, exactly the same on every local directory you use. That means if you list your business name as ABC Lumber, Inc. on Bing, you’ll also need to use that exact name when you create your local business listing on FindUsLocal.com.

Be Active With Your Local Business Listing

Now that you’ve created your listing, it’s time to get active so that you reap the most benefits from it. To do that, you’ll first need to ask your existing customers to leave an online review for your business. Studies show the importance of this. In one study, consumers said that they trust online reviews as much as they would trust a recommendation from a friend or family member. And others from that same study said they wouldn’t even consider doing business with a local shop without first reading at least 10 online reviews written from other members of the community. In other words, without online reviews, it will be difficult to convince today’s consumers to take a chance on your business. Luckily, another study shows that over 70 percent of people asked say that if asked, they would leave a review for a local business.

In addition to online reviews, today’s consumers expect the shops and eateries they visit to open up the lines of communication with them. And local business directories like FindUsLocal make that easy by allowing both consumers and business owners to leave comments about a business on the local business directory. Consumers can leave comments for other visitors, while business owners can use the feature to make sales announcements or let the people of the community know when new products arrive.

Local business directories will play an important role in the recovery and rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey. Make sure your business can be found by creating your local business listing at FindUsLocal.com right now.

How to Choose the Best Online Business Directory

The bestMaybe you’ve already heard about how important it is to create a local business listing on one of the top local business directories in the country. After all, today’s consumers look online when they want to find US local businesses, and they don’t like to use the large search engines for the task because the results are just…well, not exactly relevant. Don’t believe me? Just trying to find US local post office will give you results from all over the country. And trying to find US local businesses in your town or city will likely drive you crazy because you’ll get national chains and articles about the topic in the search engine results.

So what’s the answer? Local business directories.

What are Local Business Directories?

Local business directories are an effective alternative to the large search engines because they were designed for a different purpose. While the larger search engines were created to give people global results, local business directories were designed to give people only the results from their immediate area. For example, if someone were to look for a local coffee shop in San Diego, California on a large search engine, they would likely see online coffee suppliers, articles about coffee brewing, and websites that sell coffee supplies in the results. That can be frustrating for people who only want to find US local coffee shops.

But online local business directories are different. If that same person were to type coffee shop into a local business directory, they would only see the local coffee shops in their city or town.

Now that you understand why consumers are flocking to local business directories when they want to find US local businesses, let’s talk about how to choose the right one to list your business on. Remember, not all local directories are the same and you’ll need to look for one that offers consumers everything they want in a business directory. Our recommendation is FindUsLocal.com. This local business directory offers a slew of benefits you just can’t find on other local directories. Here are 4 reasons why you should consider creating your local business listing on it.

  • GEO Location Technology. While some local business directories require their visitors to input their personal information before they show them local results, FindUsLocal makes things much easier. They use GEO location technology, which means that every time a visitor logs onto the site, their location is read and a customized home page is created for them. For instance, if someone were to log onto the site from Santa Barbara, California, they would only see the results from that city.
  • Local Online Reviews. Recent studies show that consumers want to read online reviews before deciding whether or not to visit the shop or restaurant. But unless a local business has an online presence, consumers won’t have anyplace to leave those reviews—unless they have a local business listing on a local business directory like FindUsLocal.com.
  • Local News and Other Benefits. Not all local business directories offer consumers other features like access to local news, links to tickets for local sporting events, plays, and concerts, inspirational quotes and funny name of the day snippets to inspire people or make them laugh first thing in the morning. And the list goes on and on. In other words, local business directories like FindUsLocal.com gives consumers a lot reasons to log onto the site time and time again—and that’s where they’ll find your local business listing.
  • Customer Interaction. Finally, FindUsLocal.com is the only local business directory that allows both consumers and local business owners to leave comments about a business. This feature is not only unique, but it is a great way to open up the lines of communication between business owners and their customers. Customers can leave compliments or suggestions for the business, and business owners can give out information on sales, new product arrivals, or even job postings. In other words, the ability for consumers and business owners to leave comments on local business listings opens a while new world for customer interaction.

Local business directories are one of the most important aspects of a successful local marketing plan, but choosing the right directory is key. Pay attention to the above tips and if they sound logical to you, be sure to stop by FindUsLocal.com and find out why we think it’s the best local directory out there.