Tag Archives: local business directories

3 Weird Things You Didn’t Know About Local Business Directories

citation (1)Local business owners who operate a shop, restaurant, or service business in this internet centric environment have had to change their game in order to keep up with today’s consumers. That’s true because the internet has had a dramatic effect on how consumers try to find US local businesses, and how they decide whether or not to visit them.

Why Consumers Find US Local Businesses Differently Now

To understand why people look for US local businesses in a different manner than they used, we must first think back to the age before the internet came on the scene. Back then, local business owners only had to run an ad in the community newspaper or ensure their Yellow Pages ad was up to date. But then came the internet and everything changed.

But as more and more people began using the internet, it became painfully clear that local businesses were left out of the equation because it was just too difficult to find them online. For example, if someone were looking for a local plumber on one of the major search engines, they would most often see national plumbing supply stores and articles about how to do plumbing work yourself in the search engine results.

Then then came local business directories, and once again, everything changed for local business owners. Now consumers have a way to find US local businesses in an easy and efficient way.

Here are 5 Things You Need to Know about Local Business Directories

Just in case you thought you knew all you needed to about local business directories, here are 5 things that every local business owner should know about them.

  1. Some Local Business Directories can Hurt Your Rankings. While it’s true that quality local business directories can improve your search engine rankings by giving you credible citations, some of the poorer ones can actually hurt them. That’s because some local directories are nothing more than large databases that incorporate public data into their site. The problem is that this data is largely outdated and just plain wrong, and those incorrect citations will confuse the search engine spiders and lower your search engine rankings. If you find your US local business on one of these local business directories, be sure to correct the data so it doesn’t harm your business.
  2. Google relies on Local Business Directories to Determine Your Ranking. There is a lot of talk about how important it is to be listed on Googles local directory, and while that’s true, it’s also important to be found on other local business directories like FindUsLocal.com. That’s because Google’s algorithm is set up to look for those credible citations when determining search engine ranking positions. In other words, the more quality local business directories you’re listing on, the higher your search engine results will be.
  3. Not all Local Business Directories are Mobile Friendly. Studies show that when a website is mobile friendly, Google gives it about a 5 percent boost in the search engine rankings. That’s important to know because not all local business directories are mobile friendly. But if you create your local business listings on mobile friendly local business directories like FindUsLocal.com, it will automatically improve your search engine ranking results.

Isn’t it great to know that as a local business owner, you can use local business directories to positively impact your business? Whether you own a local restaurant, shop, or service business, listing it on a local business directory will positively impact your business—and bring more customers through the door. FindUsLocal.com is free to use for business owners, and it only takes a few minutes to boost your online advertising efforts by setting up your local business listing.

3 Things You Should Know about Local SEO and Local Business Directories

advantage-of-local-search-resultsIt’s become common knowledge that people who run local businesses have to change the way they get the word out about their business in a different way than they have in the past. That’s because consumer behavior has changed so much since the advent of the internet. What’s more, the methods used to get local businesses seen on the large search engines has changed and the old school methods no longer work.

For example, in the past, local business owners would stuff their websites with long term keywords that included the name of their city or town in them. For instance, a bakery in New Jersey would include keywords like “New Jersey bakery” in all the articles on the site.

But Google and other large search engines have gotten better at anticipating when someone is trying to find US local businesses and since it has changed its algorithms, local business owners need to keep up to be seen.

Here are 3 things you need to know about why local business directories are important for local SEO.

Local SEO has Changed

Local business owners no longer rely on their own keyword stuffed websites to draw in local consumers, but instead list their businesses on other sites that already have the traffic that is trying to find US local businesses. And the most important of those sites is quality local business directories.

Local business directories like FindUsLocal.com offer consumers an easier way to find local businesses. These local directories are set up to automatically read a visitor’s location, and then show them only the results from their area. For example, if someone were looking for a bakery in New Jersey and typed it into the local business directory search bar, they would see a list of the bakeries in their area. No national bakeries, and no articles on the topic. Pretty cool, huh?

Your Local Business Directories Need to Match

When you set up your local business listings on quality local business directories it’s important to ensure that every one of them match exactly. It may seem insignificant, but the way the major search engines decide which local businesses to list in a search depends on how these local listings are set up.

Here’s how it works. The more local business listings on credible sites that your business has, the higher chance you’ll have of being seen in the rankings. These listings are called citations, and they are the key to higher search rankings. But if all of your citations don’t match, the search engine spiders won’t know to attribute them to your business. For example, if your business is called New Jersey Bakery, Inc. and is located on 123 Main Street, you must decide if you will include the “Inc.” and the word “Street” in your local business listings and then do it the same way on every local business listing you create. If you don’t, the listings that are different will not be attributed to your business and that could hurt your search engine ranking.

Social Proof is Important for Listings on Local Business Directories

Once your local business listing is set up, you need to ensure that it has the social proof that today’s consumers demand. For example, online reviews are a must have for most of today’s shoppers and studies show that most of them won’t consider doing business with a local restaurant, store, or service business without first reading a few of them. And they don’t all have to be good. In fact, studies show that when a local business has mostly good reviews and a few lukewarm ones, people trust them even more.

In addition to having enough online reviews, one local business directory—FindUsLocal.com—offers a way for both consumers and business owners to interact with one another. It’s via the comments section on each local business listing on the site. This handy feature allows business owners to leave comments about flash sales, upcoming product additions, job openings, or holiday sales. In other words, it’s the perfect way to keep your community informed about the goings on in your business. And the reason this is so beneficial is because consumers can also leave comments about the business, which opens a two way communication between you and the people in your community.

Local SEO is still just as important as ever, but people with local business insight understand that the way to do it right has changed. Your first step in getting your business up to date is to ensure that it’s listed on quality local business directories like FindUsLocal.com. Then, ensure that your listings are correct and updated, and you have the social proof today’s consumers demand.

Why Local Business Directory Citations Will Help Boost Your Sales

seo-local-citationsWhen creating a marketing campaign for your local business, it’s important to remember that along with the offline things you do, you’ll also need to make sure potential customers can find your local business online—and that means you’ll have to do some online advertising for your local business. That’s because most of today’s consumers take to their smartphones, tablets, or laptops when trying to find US local businesses. But that has taken a lot of local business owners by surprise because in the not so recent past, online searches were always conducted for national chain businesses or information about a topic, but for local businesses? Not so much.

But all that changed when local business directories came on the scene. These useful business directories are designed to help consumers find US local restaurants, shops, and service businesses—and consumers are using them more and more every day.

Why Local Business Directories Replaced Large Search Engines for Local Search

It’s been a problem for years: when people try to find US local businesses or restaurants on a major search engine, they often become frustrated because the results they see are filled with website URLs for national chains, and a bunch of articles about the topic. For example, if they’re looking for local US flower shops, they may see some online flower shops and a  lot of articles about flower growing or arranging. Not so helpful when trying to find US local flower shops.

But local business directories are different. They cater to the people trying to find US local businesses, and only show the results from the visitor’s area. In other words, local business directories are such a powerful marketing and advertising tool that they’re considered even better than social media for local business owners.

But What About Those Local Citations?

You may be wondering what in the world local business directories have to do with local citations, and here’s where it gets exciting. But before we tell you how local business listings can help with that, let’s define local citations.

  • Local Citations: When a major search engine decides how to rank a local business, it sends out its search engine spiders to look for all mentions of that business. But just any mention won’t do, in fact a mention on a less than credible website may actually hurt your rankings. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your business is mentioned on credible websites and local business directories, like FindUsLocal.com. All of these mentions are called “citations” in the online advertising world.

How Local Business Directories Give You Effective Local Citations

Luckily, getting those local citations isn’t hard. The best way to do it is to find quality local business directories and create your local business listings on them. For example, FindUsLocal is a quality directory that will ensure a credible and effective citation for your local business.

In order to reap the benefits of this local directory, you simply have to log onto the site, and then claim your business listing. Then fill in the necessary details about your business, and you’ll have your first local citation.

Be sure to fill in the details exactly the same on every local business directory that you list your business on. That ensures that the search engine spiders will attribute each of them to your local business. Remember, the more credible local citations you have, the higher you will rank in the search engine listings.

Local business directories like FindUsLocal.com are a great way to get the local citations that you need to rank high in the search engine results. If you haven’t yet begun this important aspect of your online advertising campaign, what are you waiting for?

Why Reviews are Important for Your Local Business—and How to Get Them

online-reviews-for-local-businessesIf you’re a local business owner, you understand all too well how important word of mouth is for business. These days, people don’t like to do business with shops, restaurants, or service businesses without first checking out the social proof from other people who have spent time in the business. For example, before someone finds US local restaurants to visit, they will first read the reviews that others in the community have left for it. The same is true for service businesses of all types, including hair salons, plumbers, accountants, doctors, and every other type of business where the owners perform a service for customers. And retail stores are no exception—most people want to make sure the shop carries great products and has good customer service before stepping foot in the door.

And where do people get all of this information? By reading local reviews left by other people who have visited the business on local business directories.

What’s the Big Deal About Local Reviews?

At first glance, it’s easy to overlook the benefits of online reviews because many retail business owners don’t yet understand the huge role they play in consumer decisions. Just to emphasize the role online reviews play in a customer’s decision to visit a store, here are some startling statistics you should know.

  • The majority of people—84 percent to be exact—place more trust in online reviews than they do a recommendation from a friend or family member. Just think about that. It’s a huge revelation, and that fact alone should make you want to get as many positive online reviews as you can.
  • Two-thirds of those people surveyed say that when they read positive reviews about a local business, it makes them trust that business. This means people take what others have to say about a local business seriously.
  • When your local business listing includes enough positive reviews, Google will sit up and take notice. The search engine spiders like to showcase local businesses with positive reviews, and they reward them by giving them higher search engine rankings. On the other hand, if your local business listing has a lot of negative reviews, the large search engines may not rank your local listing at all—or put you on pages so far back that no one will see it.
  • Almost all of the people surveyed, 90 percent, say that they want to read at least 10 local reviews before making a decision about whether or not to visit a shop or restaurant. That means you’ll need to be proactive in asking customers to leave them on your local business directory listing.
  • A shocking 87 percent of the people asked say that they would not consider doing business with a shop or restaurant that has negative reviews on their local business listings. If you have some negative reviews, you’ll need to do some juggling to ensure that the good reviews outweigh the bad. Better yet, strive to have the business insight to be so good and customer oriented that no one ever leaves a bad review for your business.
  • At this point, you may be panicking because you can’t figure out how you will ever get enough online reviews to make a difference, but the good news is that it’s easier than you think. In fact, in the same study we talked about earlier, 7 out of 10 customers say that if a local business owner asked them to leave an online review, they would do it. That means if you make it a habit to consistently ask your customers to go to your local business listing and leave an online review, they will. So if you ask every customer at the checkout counter to leave a review for your business, you’ll soon have enough good reviews to drive new business to your store.

As you can see, online reviews are an integral part of your local business, but you will have to work hard to get them. Luckily, there are steps you can take to add them quickly to your local business listing on your local business directory. If you don’t already have one in place, head on over to FindUsLocal.com, one of the best local business directories on the web.

How Your Customers Find US Local Businesses

LKd3Qpzd_400x400The art of running a retail store has changed dramatically over the past few years. Not that long ago, all you needed to do was carry good products, employ a staff of friendly and knowledgeable people, buy an advertisement in the Yellow Pages, and run a couple of ads in the local community paper every week. The people in your community would learn about your business this way, and then tell their friends and family about it, which brought in more people to your store.

Boy have times changed.

Today, while it’s still important to carry great products and hire the right people, using those marketing and advertisement methods to attract new customers won’t reap the same results. In fact, local business owners who still rely on those methods are likely doing very poorly.

So what’s the answer? Being seen online in places like local business directories.

Why the Old School Marketing and Advertising Methods Don’t Work Anymore

With the advent of the internet, everything changed. At first, people used it to find information and online businesses, but as things evolved, people now use the internet to find US local t and restaurants. That’s because people now rely on their mobile devices to find local businesses. For example, if a couple were looking for a local restaurant to eat at, they wouldn’t buy a newspaper to look for ads, but instead, they would pull out their smartphone and look online for an eatery.

That’s why it’s so important for local business owners to ensure that their service business, restaurant or retail shop can be found online.

What’s the Best Way to Be Found Online?

Local business directories are changing the way people try and find US local businesses. Before they came along, a person would search a major search engine to find the business, but the results would always be mixed with national chain businesses and articles about the topic. People became frustrated with it, and the large search engines looks for ways to better display local results. But they failed miserably, and that’s why local business directories came on the scene.

How Local Business Directories Help Customers Find You

A local business directory like FindUsLocal.com is designed to help consumers find US local businesses. These sites are set up to easily allow people to input a search term, and only see local businesses in their area in the results. For example, if someone were to type in Mexican Food Restaurant into the FindUsLocal local business directory, they would see all of the Mexican restaurants in their city or town.

How to Get Your Business Listed on a Local Business Directory

Can you see why you should use local business listings? If you want to reap the benefits of having your business listed on a local directory, you’ll need to create a local business listing on it. To do so, simply go to a quality local business directory like FindUsLocal.com and claim your listing. Enter all the details, such as your business name, phone number, address, and website if you have one. Be sure to list the details exactly the same on every local business directory you use—otherwise the search engine spiders won’t know the listings belong to your business and they won’t do you any good.

Taking a proactive approach to ensure consumers can find your local business online is one the smartest things you can do to ensure its future success. If you haven’t already created your local business listing, head on over to FindUsLocal.com and do it now. Who knows? Potential customers may be looking for a local business like yours right now.

 

3 Ways to Make Your Local Business Listings Shine

let_your_light_shine_by_kevron2001-d6z3r1tIf you run a local shop, service business or restaurant, you understand just how times have changed in terms of marketing your business and attracting the attention of new customers. After all, unlike online businesses, most of your sales come from the people who live in your community.

But even those people use the internet to find US local businesses, something too many local business owners just don’t understand. That’s why having your business listed on a local business directory is key to success in this internet consumed world.

But just creating a local business listing isn’t enough anymore. These days, you’ll need to pay strict attention to how you create it, and then take a few steps to ensure that it works to draw new people to your store. Here are four ways you can make your local business listings shine.

Choose the Right Local Business Directory

There are a lot of local business directories online, but not all of them will help you bring new customers through the door. In fact, if you choose the wrong one, it could actually hurt your chances of being seen by the search engines. The key here is to choose a quality local business directory like FindUsLocal.com. These types of directories spend a lot of advertising money to ensure that the local businesses listed on it are seen in the search engines. What’s more, the local directory makes it fun for visitors to use it by including a lot of additional features that keep them coming back again and again. For example, they list all of the upcoming concerts, plays, and sporting events, and then include links so visitors can buy tickets with the click of a mouse. Details like these not only keep people coming back to the site, but ensure that your local business has a much better chance of being seen every time they do.

Create Your Local Business Listing the Right Way

Many people think they can simply type in a few details to create a local business listing and they will have a powerful way to attract new business, but unfortunately, that’s just not true. In order to be successful with your listing, you need to pay attention to the details about how you set it up. And one of the most important details is how you list your business name, telephone number, address, and website address.

You see, the search engine spiders that classify all the citations of your local business and use them to determine how far up in the rankings you’ll be seen are looking for citations that match. (A citation is a mention of your local business on a reputable website.) Good quality local citations can boost your business because it will cause your local business listing to be seen higher up in the search engine results.

When you’re ready to create your local business listing, you must first determine which business name, address, phone number, and website you’ll use in them. For example, if your business name is GC Roofing, Inc., you will need to determine whether or not to use the “Inc.” in your local business listings, or simply list your business as GC Roofing. This small detail can make the difference in whether your local business listings help boost your sales or not.

And it’s not only your business name that you need to pay attention to. You’ll also have to ensure that your business address, phone number, and website—if you have one—are all listing in the exact same way.

Local Business Listings Must be Kept Current

Finally, in order for your business to benefit from you local business listings, you must work to keep them fresh and current. One of the key points to a successful online advertising campaign is that it must be consistently updated in order for the search engine spiders to recognize and reward it, and that’s no different with a local business listing.

But how can you keep your local listing current when you’re not in charge of the site? By using comments and reviews. You see, every time someone leave a review for your business on the local business directory, the search engine spiders view it as fresh content, and that will up your rankings. The same is true every time you or a customer leaves a comment associated with your local business listing. (It’s important to note that FindUsLocal.com is the only local business directory that allows business owners and visitors to leave comments about a business.)

In other words, you can’t just set it up and forget about it. In order to maximize the benefits of your local business listing, you need to treat it like any other marketing effort and work to keep it fresh and updated.

Local business listings are one of the best ways to get your local business in front of in consumers, but in order to be successful, you have to go about it the right way. Just follow the 3 steps above, and be sure to list on a quality local business directory such as FindUsLocal.com.

Why You Should Use Local Business Directories

Online-Free-AdvertisingTRANSLong gone are the days of customers flipping through the yellow pages looking for a local business listing. While phone books do still exist, people are much less likely to use them. Most people have opted out of receiving deliveries of the iconic book either because they simply don’t want it cluttering up their house or they are environmentally conscious and want to preserve the earth’s resources. Whatever the case may be, society has moved away from printed forms of communication. Nowadays, everyone is on the go and doesn’t necessarily have access to a massive phone book. This is why local business directories are so helpful. The following are just some of the reasons why you should use local business directories to promote your company.

The Convenience of Local Business Directories for Your Customer

Everyone is so busy nowadays. Even if they did still get the yellow pages in print form, people would never be able to access the information they need as it would always be tucked away in some corner of their house while they are busy out and about. People who are doing their normal everyday activities are most likely going to be using their phones to access local business listings. And, even if they have access to an old-fashioned phone book when they are at home, they will probably still be more likely to use the internet just because it is so much more convenient. Instead of flipping through an entire book to find the information they need, they can easily just go online and type in a search term and up pops several listings. Also, the internet is much more likely to be up to date as opposed to a phone book that may have been printed several months ago. But that brings us to the next point.

Directories Drive People to Your Website

Because people are spending more time on the internet, it is essential that you have an online presence in order to direct potential local customers direct to your door. As people are using local business listings online more and more, these sites are helping people find US local businesses that they can really connect with.

In today’s day and age, some customers will still call the store to find out about current sales or products listings, but most people would much rather look up information at their own pace online. Listing your business in one of these directories will help you keep your customers up to date on what is happening in your business because you can use it to direct them to your website.

Part of the convenience lifestyle that is so prevalent right now is that people want to be able to find information easily and quickly.

Another benefit of using an online directory is that all of your contact information will be listed where customers can easily access it. What more could your customer ask for? Phone number, address, and website are all listed in one convenient place. Not only that, but your customer will immediately have access to information about your business. For example, if you run a nail shop, they’ll know that you recently started offering pedicures along with your manicures—simply by looking at your local business listing. Or maybe you have a sale on organic vegetables this week. Whatever the case may be, local business listings can help you connect with your customers and let them know what is going on in your business.

Positive Customer Reviews Are Advertisements

Local business directories also offer options for your customer to review your business which is an excellent way for you to do local business advertising to future customers. Word of mouth has always been an important component in helping businesses gather customers. In previous years, this sometimes caused a problem as people would not go to local businesses they had never heard about from their friends and family. With the advent of the internet, that has all changed. Now, customers can go online and learn all about what previous customers—people they’ve probably never met—are saying about local businesses. This is beneficial for obvious reasons. Local business directories offer an easy-to-use platform for customers to share their experience about your organization, which will most likely help drive more clients to your business.

The most important thing in business is connecting with those you serve. What better way to do that than to offer a local listing that gives them all the information they need about your company—including what other people have said about you—and it’s all right there whenever and wherever they need it? FindUsLocal.com offers you this service and so much more. Why not take a moment and check them out right now?

 

Local SEO Tips for Local Business Directories for 2018

121856-1OpP0Q1395155684Today, with over 80 percent of consumers using online search engines to find local businesses, laser-sharp Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical even if your business is already on local business directories. It’s a marketing advantage because eventually you can rely almost completely on local SEO and taper your advertising. Studies show that advertising tends to turn off consumers, while SEO attracts because it isn’t a hard sell.

Local SEO is not an instant marketing miracle. It will take time and a lot of hard work, study and intuition to make it work. But when the results start showing, it won’t be a promise of better sales – it will be better sales, brand awareness and global recognition.

Local business directories and listings, partnered with local SEO, is actually the almost perfect combination in marketing a business. SEO is tough. The competition is fierce. Being on local directories and listings will boost your online presence and aid in helping your business rank higher on search engines.

Here are local SEO tips that will help you now and in 2018 to complement your business so consumers or corporate buyers will be able to find your business more easily.

Be Aggressive in Getting Local Reviews

People will organically trust the locals. Want to go to the best restaurants, hotels, resorts, malls and shops where you can get the best deals? You and millions of others know that the best information (even over and above review websites) is the kind you can get from locals.

Use this treasure trove to help others find US local businesses – specifically, your business – with reviews. In fact, one of the top queries today in search engines is, “Who has the most stars in [industry/business]?” Just imagine if the answer to this query is your business! Search engine algorithms will only list those with at least 4-star reviews, which should whittle down the list to a few dozen. You see, consumers don’t just want the best – they want the best in the most convenient way possible. They’re not interested in interviewing employees about their products. Often, this takes too much time and effort. Last year, over 84% of thousands of online users said they trust reviews just as much as personal recommendations.

If your business is in local business listings like finduslocal.com, you have just about all bases covered!

Check for Negative Ranking Factors

You’ve done the work and nothing’s happening. Possible reasons are negative ranking factors like inaccurate details, malware or negative reviews. According to SEO experts, there are over 25 negative ranking factors that can seem like your business is invisible in local business directories.

A few of the more critical ones include:

  • Using generic information to describe your business. If a ton of competitors are doing the same, you will all blend into one big blob. To stand out, you need to emphasize your competitive edge.
  • Lack of accreditation or recognition from a reputable organization like the BBB.
  • Broken links in description content.
  • Negative reviews outnumbering positive reviews.
  • Poorly performing local business directories in which you are listed.

Picking the Right Pros to Help You with Your SEO

SEO has become so mainstream among business owners and Internet users that it’s easy to fall for the hype of the SEO pretenders. These are the so-called experts who merely mouth promises and guarantees, but have no clue how to customize an SEO strategy, let alone a localized version.

According to the real SEO experts, there are clues that will give away the imposters. Here are a few of them:

  • They have problems customizing their SEO planning and have a plan that applies to all businesses.
  • Overconfidence and unwillingness to explore all possibilities.
  • They promise the moon, stars and the sun, but can’t show proof of previous work attributed to them.
  • Simply repeating what you can read and learn online.
  • They cannot explain SEO terms in a way that you can understand. If an SEO expert can’t communicate, there’s a problem!

Use Local Link Building as a Power Tool

Local link building is unique because the common factor is not whether you are linked to your local competitors, but rather, to other local businesses – regardless of whether they are related to your industry or not.

However, focus on charitable organizations, local community events and local portals, and consider sponsoring local businesses. When selecting these groups, consider their current ranking in search engines. Ideally, they should be at the top of a local search; otherwise, they may be harder to work with based on the lack of traffic. Also factor in the kind of local business listings they are on because they may already be promoting your competitor’s products.

Another option to use when link building is the use of guest bloggers with a tremendous following. Choose a blogger whose content is relevant to your business and either get the blogger to allow you to post a link on his site or post an article from him on your site.

Local SEO in 2018 is going to be a lot of fun – tougher, yes, but challenging as more businesses are turning to SEO to build their online presence.

What’s Better: 411 Directory Assistance or Online Business Directories?

finduslocal.comAs a US resident, you have probably used 4-1-1 at least once. The service is directory assistance for the people across the nation who are trying to find US local businesses.  As a business owner, you may have benefited from this number but the numbers show that fewer Americans are opting for this service compared to an online search for several reasons. Some of them are:

  • Limited information available
  • If you make the call using your mobile phone, you incur charges
  • Inaccurate information is oftentimes given to callers
  • There is no master list for all 411 numbers
  • Sometimes technical failures prevent people from getting the information

There are also a number of reports posted on the Better Business Bureau about 411 operators calling business owners trying to sell them a new plan. The subscribers later find out just how expensive the new plan is or the business owners can’t get accurate statistics on the number of calls received or the number of times their ads were viewed.

Local business listings, on the other hand, can be web-based or print-based. The web-based versions are more effective for many reasons but mainly because they give people access to well, the world. Anyone from anywhere can find out about your business through these online local business directories. And your chances of being discovered on sites such as FindUsLocal.com is only limited to the rankings of the website and its SEO strategy.

In addition, online business directories aid in your business’ ranking with search engines and navigation systems which means it becomes easier for customers to find you using GPS or online maps. But keep in mind that this is only true when the local business directory that you’re listing on ranks well.

Other advantages of using online local business directories for local marketing include:

  • You don’t need a website when you already have a profile in one of these local business directories. Not everyone expects a full-blown website especially for small to medium enterprises. Often, consumers are fine with a listing and a social media account like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram which will allow you to interact online with your market
  • Online local business listings are more affordable local marketing strategies especially for average marketing returns for business listings – online, 411, or hard copy
  • It’s easier and quicker to update
  • You are not as restricted with content compared to 411
  • There’s no operator so no waiting, no selling, and minimal chance for wrong information since you have to approve copy as the business owner before it is posted and you have a chance to check the information any time of the day or night for accuracy

Interestingly, over 76% of local searches are done using the Internet which means other sources such as the 411 have to share the remaining 24 percent of the population that don’t use the Internet for directory information.

By creating local business listings, out-of-town and international customers will be able to find US local businesses like yours, which will bring in additional customers and inquiries for your business. But listing your business on a quality local business directory alone will not do the trick. You should also consider the following tips:

  • Start a social media account so inquiries can be posted on this business account and you can answer them quickly – preferably within the hour. Research shows that 67 percent of worldwide consumers prefer contacting a business through their social media account because it’s usually the platform that’s up and running on their gadgets and it’s more casual. In fact, Twitter reports that interaction has jumped 250 percent in the last two years
  • Optimize your brand logo by putting your business name in your logo and a little snippet about what your business is all about
  • Know how you’re doing in the rankings by searching for your business online. Check your listing and keep the content updated and accurate

Expand your Citations

If you sign up with more relevant business directories and have several social media accounts, you’ll increase the number of citations for your business. Citations are used to spread awareness of your business with mentions of your business name and address in sites other than your business website. The more citations you have, the easier it is for Google to index your website because it proves to them that you are a legitimate business with a reputation to protect.

However, it is important to be very particular about your citations. They should always be consistent, accurate, and listed on websites that have no issues or history of penalties. You also have to monitor that no on listing of your business is used without your permission and you can do this by searching for your business online regularly.

Keep in mind that quality is better than quantity and your gauge should be the number of citations your closest competitor has. Check them out! It pays to know how they are doing because you can bet they are checking up on you as well.

3 Ways to Prevent Scammers from Using Your Business Listings

No-Scam-1-800x300Last October 2017, a news blast was posted over the Internet about how a woman from Miami used a local directory to find a repairman. The repairman came to her house with equipment in hand to fix her washing machine. After an hour, he charged her $420 and left. The woman tried to use her washing machine but it wasn’t even loading water so she tried to call back the repairman only to find that he wouldn’t answer the phone. She then decided to call another number for the repair shop that was listed on another local business directory and discovered she had been scammed. Unfortunately, by that time, the check had been cashed.

According to the Better Business Bureau, this new kind of scam is happening more often in the past two years. Other similar scams involve pet adoption agencies, jobs, apartment rentals, and other consumer services that require victims to present proof of identity, address, and other personal details aside from a “security deposit” or some form of non-cash payment like iTune cards. There are also the kind of scammers that target small business owners by sending in an email or calling to inform them that their subscription is about to expire, that you should upgrade your plan, verify your contact/payment details, or pay for additional features. Usually, scammers of this sort use robocallers to make the calls. Recent surveys show that around 2.4 billion robocalls are made every month and are made by overseas scammers. The majority of these calls are illegal and fraudulent.

How to Legitimately Find US Local Business

Whether you are a local resident or planning to visit a new town or city and need to find businesses or services, there are legitimate ways to find local business that will not put you at risk of scamming.

Once you find a business you’re interested in patronizing, check its online profile – website or social media account. You want to focus on contact details: do they connect you to the office? Are the details verifiable? Keep in mind there are fake numbers, fake area codes, and fake addresses. Does the online site have broken links? These are links that when you click on them, you either get an error message or it takes you to a strange site that is not related to the business. Look for other red flags such as wrong grammar, misspelled words, or stolen images. Try clicking on icons like BBB, PayPay, Visa, or official-sounding accrediting agencies. If the icons do not lead you to the official website of that company, it’s a red flag.

Finally, check the business website registration data and business feedback and reviews. A business that claims to be operating for years yet just created its website and has an expiring date that is fast approaching is a red flag.

Instead of browsing through pages of a search engine, use a reliable local source like local business listings. Not all small to medium businesses have a huge budget to finance a website and the lack of an online presence is significant, but if legitimate SMBs will do some amount of marketing on the local level, it will increase their odds of being successful.

Never List Your Business Without Approving Hard Copy

Convenient though it may be, some business owners opt to call in their business listings. Telesales is very risky because you never get to see the final copy before it is published. And if the phone call was not recorded by you, you have no proof that you didn’t or did approve of the copy since it was a verbal negotiation.

In addition, reputable local business directories will insist that you sign off on the written agreement before payment and posting. This protects both parties and sufficient time should be spent reading the fine print.

Never Trust Official Looking Document Inquiries Until Verified

One in every 10 American adults are scammed according to a survey of online activities in 2016. For phone scams, an average of $430 were lost by the victims while official-looking document scams were able to dupe consumers out of thousands of dollars through fake scholarships, holiday trips, charities and fund-raising events, trademark applications, inheritance fees, tax demands, and tech support, among others.

Local business directories will not ask for personal and private business details without submitting information that you can verify personally. They will not hide behind marketing hype and flashy promises but show you facts, data, and research. On your own, you should be able to verify the data you are given, check online for the directory’s authenticity, and do simple things such as get the names of the people behind the website – and some basic information about their background.

Local business directories need to build trust and loyalty and the best way for them to do this is to be sincere, upfront, and transparent. Anyone who pretends but fails to give real information has a hidden agenda.

In summary, if you want to find US local business, look up finduslocal.com – an up-and-coming online powerhouse that you can rely on completely.