Tag Archives: local business directory

Local Business Directory: How to Get the Most Out of Your Local Online Business Listing

kbux_local_business_directory_quartzsite_2.pngNot so long ago, when you needed a plumber or a hairdresser or a great place for chicken cacciatore, you asked your friends for a recommendation. If that didn’t work, you picked up the phone book and checked the Yellow Pages, or you checked the classifieds and the ads in the local newspaper. If you were lucky, you might even find a coupon that you could cut out and bring in to get a discount on the “best cacciatore in the city.”

Times have changed. Many homes don’t even have a phone book – or even a home telephone. Newspaper subscriptions – especially for local newspapers – are at an all-time low, and your friends? They’re leaving their recommendations for their favorite just-about-anything on review sites, Facebook and their favorite local business directory. If your business doesn’t have a vibrant and active online presence these days, you’re missing out on the best customer referral strategies ever created.

But before you jump in and start marketing your business online – or if you’ve tried to do that with little success, there’s a few things you should know.

All Online Local Marketing Methods Are Not Created Equal

Many business owners start from the premise of creating their own website. It’s a good start, but as many learned, simply creating a website for your business isn’t enough. This was especially true in the earliest days when small local businesses were competing head-to-head with national corporations that had money to burn on advertising and gaming Google. If your customers searched for “pizza delivery,” for example, Google would point them to the ubiquitous national pizza chains. If the little brick oven pizzeria on the corner showed up at all, it would be on the second or third page of the search engine listings, where most local customers would never find them.

To be fair, Google, and by extension other major search engines, have come a long way in helping people find businesses that are geographically close to them. That’s only half the battle, though. If one of those national chains has a franchise in your area – and odds are that they do – their listings will still come up ahead of yours unless you do a bit of work to make sure your business gets found.

The Beauty of a Local Business Directory

Enter the local business directory. Local business directories are designed to highlight small businesses operating in a particular city or town. Some are little more than a database of businesses with basic information, sorted by type of business. Others, like FindUsLocal.com, are far more elaborate and offer more value for the time you invest in claiming and refining your listing, such as reviews, news and community connections. There’s more to your business listing than just the on-site benefits, though.

When you make sure your business is listed in as many local small business directories as possible, you’re really leveraging a lot more than just the power of the business directory.

Five Benefits of Using an Online Local Business Directory as Part of Your Marketing Strategy

  1. You’ll be putting your business in front of the people who are most likely to patronize your business. If you’re making pizzas, you’ll find most of your customers within 5 miles of your business location. It only makes sense to use geographical targeting to get your name out to those folks.
  2. You can use your local business listing to funnel traffic to your business website and social media pages, where folks can learn more about your services or make purchases.
  3. Every business listing in a local business directory serves as a “citation” – a signal that helps search engines like Google figure out where your store is located. That way, even people who use Google to find great local businesses will be more likely to find your business.
  4. A good local business directory can serve as a central location where folks in your neighborhood can read the reviews from many different online review sites in one place.
  5. Being listed in a business directory that allows nearby neighbors to search by service or industry is like having a dedicated niche on a community bulletin board.

A Basic Local Business Directory Strategy

The best online promotion strategy for local businesses includes making sure you claim your business profile on as many local directories as you can find – but that doesn’t mean you should put the same amount of effort into each listing. This section is about taking the simplest, most basic steps to elevate your online business profile using local business directories. In the next section, you’ll find more advanced, specialized strategies that you should use on business directories that offer you more options.

  1. Search for your business name and city on Google or another search engine. You’ll see your business listed on many websites you’ve never heard of. Most of these are online business directories that compile basic listings from public resources.
  2. Visit your listing on each business directory. There will be a link asking if this is your business or inviting you to claim your listing. It’s always to your benefit to do that.
  3. Check that the information listed is correct and complete.
  4. If there are errors or missing information, correct or supply it. The more citations Google finds with the same information, the more credibility they’ll give your business when people do searches. The more credibility Google gives you, the more likely it is that your business will come up high in the search engine listings when people search for your services.
  5. Visit the home page of the local business directory to evaluate the quality of each. Make sure that you have geolocation services turned on in your browser so you’ll see exactly what others in your area see when they visit the site. (Hint: websites that use geo-location services will usually ask if you want to share your location with the website. Clicking “yes” will show you information that’s most relevant to your city, town or neighborhood.)

Leverage Your Local Listing with the Best Local Business Directory

Once you’ve narrowed down your target business directories to one or two, you can work on a more targeted local online visibility strategy for your business. These tips and hints will help you make the most of your local directory listings.

  • You’ll get the best results from local business directories that offer up-to-date features. FindUsLocal.com, for example, uses geo-location services to show you information that’s targeted for your immediate area. This is a huge benefit for your customers who don’t have to wade through listings of businesses that our outside their service area – and that makes it easier for them to find you.
  • Does the front page of the business directory you’re looking at offer news and other features that draw people to the site? While most local business directories keep their focus on letting people search for businesses, the most popular ones serve up features that bring visitors back to the site again and again. With community newspapers going out of business or focusing on national and international news, these local directory sites take up the slack by showing news stories that are most relevant to the town in which you’re located. The more often they visit, the more likely they are to see your local listing. If you choose to pay for a premium listing (usually at very reasonable rates), they’ll see your listing featured over and over again.
  • Any small local news site will tell you that event listings and calendars are among their most popular features. Some directories, like Find Us Local, prominently feature upcoming events on their auto-personalized front page. They include concerts, sports events, theater and other events happening soon, and even provide links to ticket-buying services for the convenience of their site users.
  • A business directory that allows people to leave reviews offers even more value for your business. People like to shop and dine at businesses that their friends like. Good reviews will bring more people to your business than any amount of advertising. While you’re at it, make sure the local directory site allows you to comment on any reviews left by customers. Those reviews offer you a chance to thank customers for patronizing your business and reach out to those whose experiences were less positive. People will actually have more faith in a business that responds publicly to a review with negative points than in those with only stellar reviews.

 

Pulling It All Together – Three Take-Away Points on Using a Local Business Directory Strategy

  1. Find and standardize your business listing on as many online local business directories as possible. They only take a few minutes each if you stick to the most important information: business name, address, hours and contact information.
  2. Wherever possible, make sure your website address – including your Facebook page or Twitter account if you use them for promoting your business – are listed and accurate.
  3. When you find a local business directory like Find Us Local, take advantage of everything they offer to boost your business profile among the people most likely to patronize you. Because Find Us Local goes out of its way to keep local readers coming back for more, they provide your business with the best opportunity to be seen by the customers that are most important to your business.

How to Get the Best Results from Your Local Business Listing

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

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

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

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

Your Local Business Name

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

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

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

Your Local Business Address

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

Your Local Phone Number

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

Your Website Address

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

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

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 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.

 

Why Your Customers Love Local Business Directories

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAgUAAAAJDExNmRhN2I4LWU2NDItNDU1YS05Yzk0LWQ1MDAxMjE0ZDg3ZgIf you run a small local shop or restaurant, you probably spend a lot of time talking with your customers about local events, the people you both know and anything else that you have in common. But there’s one subject you may not have broached with them: local business directories. In fact, you may not even understand the huge role these local directories play in the lives of your customers. But the truth is, not many people try to find US local businesses without them, and that’s why it would benefit you know all about them and how your customers use them. Let’s start with the basics and talk about what they are.

Local Business Directories Defined

If you’ve never tried to find your own local business on a major search engine, maybe you should stop what you’re doing right now and give it try. Just type in the type of business you run plus your city or town name and just see what you find. For example, if you run a flower shop in San Diego, California, type in “Flower shop + San Diego, California. I promise you’ll be shocked at the results, which will mainly consist of national flower shop chains, articles about flower arranging, and floral wholesalers. But if you through a couple of pages, maybe, just maybe, you’ll find a flower shop that’s located in San Diego.

I can sense your frustration, but realize that your customers feel it too every time they try to find US local businesses on a large engine.

But local business directories have come to the rescue.

These directories give business owners a chance to claim their free local business listing on sites like FindUsLocal.com, which means all the customers who use local business directories of the large search engines will be able to find you. Not only this easier for consumers, but being listed on a local directory will result in more business for you as more and more people find your store.

Why Customers Love Local Business Directories

In addition to being able to find US local businesses, the directories provide other perks for you customers. In fact, here are 4 of the most popular features on sites like Find US Local.

  • The Local News. Gone are the days when people would wait for that familiar “thump” to hit their porch so they could leisurely read the morning paper over a cup of coffee. These days, people get their news online, but that can be problematic when looking for local news because so many sites focus on national news. But local business directories provide the local news to people all in one handy place.
  • Local Events. When your customers want to hit the town and go to a play, local concert, or a sporting event, they have to jump through a lot of hoops to find the information about which acts or events are coming to town, and then they have scour the internet for tickets—unless they go to local business directories like FindUsLocal.com. There, they’ll not only find a custom list of events coming to their area, but even a link so they can purchase the tickets without a hassle.
  • Reviews. It’s rare these days for people to try a local restaurant or store without first reading a few online reviews to discover what other people in the community have to say about the business. But that can be an issue for many people because not every local store owner has an online presence. But customers can always find reviews for those businesses listed on a local business directory.
  • Interaction. People like to interact with the shops and eateries they do business with, and some local business directories enable that interaction by allowing both business owners and their customers to leave comments about their experiences, sales, and other important announcements.

Your customers love local business directories because they make their lives easier. What about you? Will you ensure that your store is listed where people can find it? If you haven’t created our own local business listing, don’t you think it’s about time to put your business name where local shoppers can find it? Start with creating your free listing at a quality local business directory like Find Us Local.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Local Business Directories can Increase Your Sales

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

How to Get Free Local Business Marketing

seminario-gratisIf you run a local business, you’re probably acutely aware of just how expensive it is to advertise your shop or restaurant so new customers can find you. Some small business owners put thousands of dollars into websites, phone books ads, newspapers, and other methods of reaching out to local consumers. But the truth is, most of these methods just don’t work anymore. And as a business owner, it’s up to you to find what does work and then involve your business in it. For example, while many local business owners still rely on the phone book or ads in the local newspaper, the truth is that consumers just don’t look in those places any more when they want to find local businesses. And that leaves local business with two choices: either join those who spend thousands of dollars a month to get their business in front of consumers, or do it the smart way by getting the exposure they need for free.

Here are 3 ways you can put your local shop or restaurant in front of consumers—for free!

Claim Your Local Business Listing on a Local Business Directory

In case you haven’t heard, local business directories are the newest and most effective way for consumers to find local businesses. That’s because the large search engines aren’t designed for local results, but instead largely offer information or business listings for large, nationwide businesses. Consumers who use large search engines to find local businesses are often left frustrated, and that’s led to the rise of local business directories. These directories work just like the major search engines except they only give results from the visitor’s immediate area. Consumers love them and use them whenever they want to find a local business.

But if your business isn’t listed on a quality business directory like FindUsLocal.com, they’ll never find you.  That’s why it’s so important that you ensure your business is listed on business directories like Yelp and FindUsLocal. And the best part? It’s free. And if you want increase exposure, such as your business being previewed on the site, you’ll only have to pay a small fee.

Get Your Business Phone Listed in a Free Data Base

Did you know that every time someone wants to find your business phone number they have to pay their cell phone carrier a dollar? But some local business directories, like FindUsLocal, offer free business phone numbers to consumers. And if yours is listed on the site that means more people will be able to get in touch with you. Just think of it as another service you offer to your customers. You’ll save them a buck and offer them the convenience of finding your business phone number online.

Interact with Your Customers Online Where They’re Congregating

Finally, a lot has been written lately about the importance of two way communication between local business owners and its customers and there is no better place to do that than the internet. But unless you’re one of the business owners who has invested thousands of dollars on a website, you likely don’t have a place to do it. And that’s where local business directories can help, but only one of them. FindUsLocal.com has an exclusive feature that allows consumers and business owners to publicly interact with each other. The feature is called the Comments Section and it’s not only easy to use, but it offers local shop owners a great way to publicly keep the conversation going about their business.

Local marketing is an important aspect of running a local business, but you don’t have to break the bank to do it effectively. Instead, rely on local business directories to get your business seen, provide your business phone number for free, and create an engaging online conversation with your customers. Fortunately, you can do all of this for free on local business directories like FindUsLocal.com!

How to Prevent Amazon from Stealing Your Local Business

C-a-8VDUwAAJht6The verdict is in: Amazon is taking over the world. In fact, Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon, has recently been named the richest man in the world. In fact, according to James Cakmak, a leading equity analyst, Amazon could soon become the first trillion dollar company. He predicts that Amazon stocks will rise to $2,000.

But all that success for Amazon has led to what many have dubbed the “Retail Apocalypse.”   So far this year, more retail stores have closed than even in the Great Recession. And that news has a lot of local business owners reeling as they try to figure out how to keep their doors open.

The Reason for the Retail Apocalypse

If you own a local business, it’s imperative that you understand how the landscape is changing and what steps you need to take in order to avoid becoming a victim of the current retail apocalypse. Most experts agree that the driving force behind so many local business closings is the internet. People are shopping online these days, and that’s forcing many small business to either change the way they try and draw in new business, or face a store closing. But here’s the interesting thing: recent studies have shown that consumers actually prefer to shop locally, but because the internet is designed to help people find national chains and informational articles, they give up when trying to find local businesses and instead make their purchase online.

Is your business struggling because it’s losing sales to the internet? If so, here are some steps you can take right now to prevent any further damage to your local business.

Be Seen Online

One of the biggest reasons local business owners are having to shutter their doors is that they don’t have an online presence. That’s a deadly mistake these days because most consumers go online when they want to find a local business. But the good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to build your own website. Local business directories like FindUsLocal.com offer a free local business listing that gives you that all-important online presence. The key is to ensure your business is listed correctly. When you list on multiple directories like Yelp and FindUsLocal, you’ll need to list your business name, address, phone number, and website if you have it, exactly the same on each business listing. If you don’t, the search engine spiders won’t attribute the local business listings to your store, and that may actually hurt your ability to be seen online.

Get the Conversation Going About Your Shop

The new world of online marketing is based on a simple concept: the interaction between a local business and consumers. In other words, it’s not enough to simply list your business on a local directory and then sit back and wait for people to walk in your door. The key is to get people talking about your business, and the best way to do that is to engage with them. You can do that with your social media accounts as well as the latest tool in the local business owners took belt.

When you log onto FindUsLocal.com, you’ll see a comment section on each of the business listings there. That section is one of the best ways to boost your online rankings so you can be seen. Here’s how it works: consumers have the ability to leave real time comments about your business, which will be seen by everyone from your community who visits the local business directory. And as a business owner, you have the opportunity to respond to those comments, which will spur on the conversation. For example, if someone leaves a comment complaining that you didn’t have the right selection of products, you can respond by apologizing and asking for suggestions. Or is someone leaves a complimentary comment, you can thank them publicly. Either way, the comments left by you and your customers will create an online conversation that will not only get the attention of other people from your city or town, but also the search engine spiders, which will boost your online visibility.

As you can see, the new local marketplace is full of opportunity, but it requires local business owners to think differently when it comes to attracting new business. You can no longer rely on old school methods like the phone book or local advertising. These days, your number one goal should be to put your business in front of people who look online to find local shops, restaurants, and service businesses. And listing your business on a local business directory is the best way to accomplish that. Have you listed your business yet? If not, head on over to FindUsLocal.com and take the first important step in being found online.

3 Ways Local Business Owners are Changing the Game

localmarketingLocal business marketing has changed a lot over the past few years. A lot. With the advent of the internet, then SEO marketing, and now local marketing, local business owners have had to completely revamp the way they seek new customers. For example, only a decade ago, when someone wanted to find a local business, they either pulled out the old Yellow Pages and thumbed through the listings until they found an ad that struck them, or they looked for local shops in local newspapers or coupons that arrived in the mail. In order to be noticed in the phone book, local business owners would have to spend thousands of dollars for a display ad. Those that couldn’t afford a Yellow Pages ad typically turned to local mail outs that arrived in customer’s mailboxes in an envelope stuffed with other coupons.

But these days, consumers look one place when they want to find local businesses: the internet.

Local Business Directories are the New Yellow Pages

Since consumers no longer rely on old school methods, local business have had to look for other ways to put their local shops, service businesses, and restaurants in front of local consumers. And most experts agree that local business directories are the most important tool in the local business owner’s arsenal.

These local directories are configured to help people find the local businesses they’re looking for without all of the hassle. For example, when someone uses a local business directory instead of one of the major search engines, they won’t have to wade through all of the useless and irrelevant results. Instead, they’ll find a clean interface that only shows them the local business in their area. And local business directories like FindUsLocal.com are easy to use because they offer a customized search bar where people can type in keywords just like they do in a large search engine.

But with all these changes, business owners have had to come to terms with the fact that they have to manage their marketing efforts differently. Instead of relying on others to help get the word out about their business, they’re having to take control of the process and do a lot of it themselves. Which brings us to our point—here are 3 ways local business owners are changing the game in the world of local business marketing.

Local Businesses are Managing Their Own Social Media

Remember when social media was new? Businesses across the nation paid social media experts thousands of dollars to manage their accounts every month. But now, many local business owners are managing their own social media accounts—and doing a great job.

For example, business owners tweet, and comment on Facebook regularly now, and that helps build their brand in the eyes of consumers. And one of the newest ways you can connect with consumers online is to use the comments section on local business directories like FindUsLocal.com. This section can be used by consumers or business owners, and as a local shop owner, you can use it to announce sales, special events, or new products. Simply log onto your local business listing on the site and look for the “Add a Comment” button. You should encourage your customers to add comments too in order to keep the conversation going!

Local Business Owners are Asking for Reviews

Most local shop owners now understand the importance of having some good online reviews for their business, and they’re asking their customers to leave them in record numbers. For example, a recent study shows that more than 70 percent of people think of a review as equally important as a personal recommendation from a friend or family member. Luckily, that same study shows that the majority of consumers would happily leave a review for a local business if only they were asked.

Local shop and restaurant owners are taking advantage of what reviews can do for their business and they are pursuing them. Some ask customers to leave a review as they’re checking out, while others send weekly emails with sales information—and a review request tucked at the bottom of the email.

Local Business Owners are Relying on Customers for Marketing

Social media allows local business owners to spend less on marketing because they’re using their customers as evangelists for the business. For example, if you own a local restaurant and have a happy customer with a large social media following, one tweet or Instagram post from them could send dozens of new customers to your restaurant. Just make sure if you ask customers to evangelize for your business, you give them an online address to send out with their postings. For example, if you have a business listing on a local business directory like FindUsLocal.com, be sure your customers know about it so they can spread the word. The people they tell about your business will be able to find your business listing, which includes your address, phone number, store hours, and even a map to help them get to your shop.

Local business owners are changing the way they find new customers, and new methods like local business directories play a huge role in that. If you aren’t yet listed on a local business directory, why not head over to FindUsLocal.com and see how easy it is to be found by the new breed of consumers?

How Fake News and Other Scandals Can Be a Huge Boost for Local Business Owners

download (5)These days, scandals are an everyday part of our world. We live in a world where people can’t tell real news from fake news, real social media followers from bots, data breaches that steal people information, and shocking revelations from sources like WikiLeaks. And most people have had enough of it. Consumers are weary from having to distinguish between truth and fakeness, and that can be seen in tanking ratings, and store boycotts.

But smart local business owners can take advantage of this consumer weariness and use it to bring in more business.

Why Authenticity Should be at the Core of Your Local Business Brand

In a world where consumers don’t know who to trust, authenticity is key in gaining that trust. And local business owners can brand themselves with it much easier than national brands. That’s because it’s easier to trust a shop that you find on a local business directory more than one you find on a large search engine. Why? Because the local business is a part of the community, and the national store is just some business “out there,” and people don’t really know whether or not they’re trustworthy. After all, national businesses don’t contribute to the community, or help local people when they’re sick or in need, but smart local business owners make themselves a part of local issues, and that helps them appear authentic.

So, how can you make your local business appear authentic to the people in your community? Here are 4 ways to accomplish this important branding.

Get Others to Talk About Your Local Business on Social Media

These days, local shops and restaurants must have social proof if they’re going to draw in new customers. That’s because people turn to social media to determine which businesses they want to visit. For example, most people want to read at least 10 reviews of a local business before they decide to visit them, but that can be a problem for businesses that don’t have an online presence. If you fall into that category, you should know that you can get a free local business listing on local business directories like Yelp! And FindUsLocal.com. Once you’re there, people can leave reviews for your business that potential customers will read to determine whether or not to visit your store.

Another way to give your business social proof is to use the comments section on local business directories like FindUsLocal.com. It allows local business owners to input comments about their business, and it’s a great way to give shout outs to special customers, announce flash sales, or tell people when you get a new product or service.

Always Do What You Say

This may seem obvious to some people, but we’ve all dealt with local business owners who advertise one thing and do something completely different. For example, a local service business may say that they give free estimates, but charge customers other kinds of trip or service fees. Consumers aren’t dumb, and if they feel like a business owner is being dishonest with them, word will get around quickly.

Instead, as you’re building your authentic brand, be sure to stay true to your word. Give you customers exactly what you say you will, and soon word will get around town that they’re a business that people can trust.

Become Involved in the Community

Local business owners that get involved in their community go a long way in building trust. For example, if there is a fundraiser for someone in your town or city, you can offer to make your store or restaurant a location for donations. You can also volunteer at events, donate food or products for charitable events, or do a million other things that will get your business’ name in front of customers.

Creating an authentic brand is one of the best ways you can create trust and goodwill with your customers. But before you begin making plans, you need to ask yourself if you’ve done all you can to help them find you. For example, if you haven’t already listing your business on a local business directory like FindUslLocal.com, you’re missing out. That’s because most consumers turn to the internet to find local businesses these days, and local business directories are the way they look for local stores and restaurants.