You probably know by now just how important it is to claim your business listings on quality local business directories so new customers can find your store. But what you may not realize is that there is an art to creating a business listing, and if you don’t do it right, you may not see the results you’d hoped for. If you’re going to take the time to create your listing, don’t you want to get all the new business that you can from it? That’s why we’ve created this guide—to help you not only create your local business listing, but to show you how to optimize it so that you get all you can from it.
But before we show you how to optimize your local business listings, let’s talk about why you should create them in the first place.
Why You Need a Local Business Listing
In a culture where everyone goes online to find US local businesses, it only makes sense to do all you can to ensure that they find your business when they look for one like yours. But in the past, that wasn’t easy because the large search engines like Google and Bing don’t make it easy to find local businesses. Instead, the results people find on those search engines often include national chains or even articles and blogs written about the topic.
These days, if you want to find US local businesses, you’ve got to turn to local business directories. These local directories make it easy for consumers to find businesses like yours because it’s all they do—show people the local businesses in their area.
And the foundation of these directories are the local business listings that are created by business owners. And that’s what we’re talking about in this article.
What are Local Business Listings?
A local business listing is like a modern day phone book ad—only better. These listings include the name, address, phone number, and other relevant information about the business, and consumers use them to decide whether or to visit a store or restaurant. And luckily, setting them up is easy. Simply go to a quality local business directory like FindUsLocal.com and claim your business, then fill in all the details you can. As soon as you do it, your business will be listed on the directory and local consumers will be able to find you.
But there’s one more element to the local advertising and marketing equation—in order to see success with your local business listing, you need to optimize it. And that’ what we’ll talk about next—5 ways to optimize your local business listings.
Pick the Right Directory
There are a lot of local business directories out there, but you don’t want your business listed on some of them. For example, so local directories are only a database of local businesses, and most of the information is incorrect on them. This can hurt your search engine rankings, so if you come across a local business directory like that, you should shy away from it. Instead, look for one that caters to consumers so they’ll be more likely to use it. For example, one of the best local business directories is FindUsLocal.com. This directory caters to consumers so much that many of them start their day by logging on. It offers all of the local news, announcements about upcoming sporting events, concerts, and plays in their area—along with links to make it easy for them to buy tickets-and they even offer a funny name of the day feature and inspirational thoughts to start off each day. When you’re business is listed on a quality directory like that, you’ll get a lot more eyes on your business—and that means a lot more people walking through your door.
Think About the Details
Studies show that the more details a local business listing has, the more consumers will trust it. And as you know, when a consumer trusts a business, they are more likely to buy from it. That’s why your local listing should include every detail possible. For example, aside from the obvious—your business name, address, and telephone number—be sure to include other details such as your hours of operation, which products you carry, a website URL if you have one, photos, and directions to your business.
Create Your Local Business Listings the Right Way
Some people create their business listings and wonder why they never see any real results from them. The answer is simple—they must be done correctly or the search engine spiders will pass them by and never attribute them to your business. What do I mean? Here’s how it works.
In order to determine the search engine ranking of a local business, the large search engines like Google and Bing deploy search engine spiders that crawl the web looking for citations. A citation is a mention of a business on a reputable site. The more citations they find for a business, the higher up in the search engine rankings they will list them. That’s why it’s so important to list your business on as many quality local business directories as possible. But don’t gloss over the key word: quality. If you list your business on some of the database type directories we mentioned earlier, that could actually hurt your ranking because those directories aren’t considered reputable by the search engines.
Pay Attention to the Details
When you create your local business listing, you’ll need to ensure that you list your business the exact same way every time. If you don’t those search engine spiders we talked about earlier will pass by the citations and not attribute them to your business. For example, if you list your business as Cupcakes, Inc. on some local business directories and Cupcakes on others, half of your citations won’t be credited to your business, and that will affect your search engine rankings. And that doesn’t only matter with your business name. Your street name, phone number, and website address must also match. That means if you use the area code on some listings, you must use it on all of them. And if you address is Main Street, don’t list your business as Main ST on some listings.
Use Your Local Business Listing to Get Reviews
Finally, once you have created your perfect local business listing, you’ll need to drive your customers there to leave online reviews for your business. These reviews are so important to today’s consumers that many won’t even consider visiting a local shop, restaurant, or service business without first reading a few of them. And the good news is that it’s not difficult to convince your customers to leave reviews for your business. In one recent study, those asked said that they would happily leave a review for a local business if they were asked. That’s why you see so many local shops asking customers to leave a review for their business at the checkout line. Should you implement this policy in your store?
Have You Created Your Local Business Listings?
If you haven’t yet taken this important step, you should drop everything and visit FindUsLocal.com today to begin the process. Remember, you only want to list your business on quality local directories, and then follow the steps listed above to optimize them so you’ll get the best results.