Cyber Monday is Over—What’s Next for Local Business Owners?

W_N1511P26005CSo many small and local business owners geared up for yesterday, which is the biggest shopping day of the year. In fact, we ran an article telling local business owners how to cash in on Cyber Monday sales instead of sitting back and watching all of their online competition rake in all of the sales. But now that the big shopping day is over, what’s your next move?

For far too many local shop owners, the next move is sit back and continue to wait for shoppers to come through the door. But in today’s shopping culture, that’s not a wise move. You see, today’s consumers like convenience, and it takes a lot to get them through your door. After all, they can sit back on their sofa with a cup of home brewed coffee in their hand and do all of their Christmas shopping in under an hour. No traffic, no fighting other people for that discount product, and no having to drive across town to buy Christmas gifts.

So, how to you compete with that?

Here is a 3 step plan that will help you boost your holiday sales and get the most that you can before the Christmas season rush is over.

Create a Local Business Listing

If you’re trying to run a local shop, restaurant, or service business without executing an online advertising plan, your chances of success are very, very slim. People look to the internet to find US businesses these days, and unless your shop can be found there, they won’t even know you exist.

That’s why your first step in racking up holiday sales is to ensure shoppers can find you, and they’re looking for local businesses on local business directories.

Local business directories are just like the major search engines, except they only show results from the seekers local area. For example, if someone were looking for a clothing store in San Francisco, California, they would go to a local business directory like FindUsLocal.com and enter the search term “clothing store.” Then the local directories GEO location technology would “read” the visitor’s location and show them a listing of all the clothing stores in San Francisco. Can you see why consumers are using local business directories to find US local businesses instead of the major search engines?

To create your listing, simply log onto FindUsLocal and claim your business, and then fill in all the details you can. Be sure to include your address, phone number, directions to your store or eatery, hours of operation, and make sure the map provides the proper direction to your store. After you’re finished, it’s time to move on to the next step in the process.

Optimize Your Local Business Listings

As you can image, the more local business listings you have, the better chance you’ll have of being seen by all those Christmas shoppers. But before you go and create a listing on every local business directory you find, there are some important things you should know. For instance, if all of your local listings don’t match exactly, it could hurt your ability to be seen on the major search engines. Why? Because those search engines catalog every local business citation associated with your business, and the more you have the higher in the rankings you appear. But if the citations don’t match, they won’t all be attributed to your business. For example, if your business name is even slightly different in some listings than it is in others, you won’t get credit for all of them. So if you have 20 local business listings, and only 8 of them include the word “Inc.” in your business name, you will only be credited for 12 local listings. But if they all matched, all 20 would be attributed to your business, which would put you much higher in the search engine results.

Keep Your Local Business Listings Fresh

Finally, if you keep your local business listing fresh and interactive, the search engines will take notice of them, and that will also help you be seen by holiday shoppers. You can do this 2 ways. First, encourage your customers to leave online reviews for your business because every time they do, the search engine sees that review as fresh content. And the algorithms they use reward fresh content by giving you a higher search engine ranking position.

Next, when you list your business on a local business directory like FindUsLocal.com, you’ll have the ability to lave comments for the people in your community. For example, when you’re having a flash sale, a special holiday discount, or are hiring Christmas help, you can leave a live comment for everyone in your community to see. This will not only be viewed as fresh content by the search engines, but it will open a two way communication with your community that is the core of any good online advertising campaign in today’s business culture.

Just because Cyber Monday is over, that doesn’t mean you should sit back and wait for more holiday shoppers to come through your door. Instead, continue to be proactive in your efforts to ring up more sales. By following the above 3 tips, your business will indeed have a very merry Christmas!

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