Tag Archives: local business

Hidden Minefields to Avoid with Online Business Directories

IFALKLAND ISLANDS SPECIAL-PICTURE BY MARK RICHARDSn 2012, online web directories were de-indexed and this was a major blow to online listings for small directory websites that failed to follow the strict user experience requirement of Google. Web directories that were properly managed survived and flourished. Businesses that signed up with online business directories were richly rewarded and this continues on up to today.

One fact is certain: online business directories is a passive lead albeit some industries perform better than others because they are consumer goods or cater to a wider market. The beauty of online listing is that you work on it once making sure that it is a professional job – and you won’t have to worry about it until the next revamp. It’s just like a card game of Bridge which also uses passive leads. In this game, passive leads is defined as a move with little or minimal risk while in lead generation, passive refers similarly to leads generated from a marketing strategy that you don’t have to work on daily but is capable of producing positive results for years.

Belonging to an Online Database

Truly, there is strength in numbers. If you sign up with an online business directory like finduslocal.com you become part of a huge database that will help guarantee against short memories. Science will tell you that even people from your community will forget about your business (whether you’ve been in business for a month or ten years) if your brand is no longer visible or audible somewhere. This is why many mom and pop shops close down – lack of visibility and with the busy-ness of customers, they no longer have time to meander around aimlessly and chance upon your business by accident. You have to be easy to be found.

An online business directory is also beneficial for new customers who use their mobile phone and the Internet to search for places to go, stores to shop in, and suppliers to provide them with their needs. With mobile search, the power lies in online databases.

There are other reasons to put your business in relevant online business listings such as:

  1. Links from online directories are very effective. They will be like gold to your business because you can play around with them in your listings until you find the placement with the highest lead generation – and run with it!
  2. It’s part of brand imaging and will negate negative reviews and mentions.
  3. Being visible in a major database will tell everyone including your competitors that you’re here to stay and fight for your share of the market.

Fight for your Business

There’s another very important reason you should seriously consider being listed in a find US business directory: you will be able to protect your business’ reputation. Without an online presence, customers searching for your product will settle for the next best thing – which in all probability is your closest competitor! And there’s no telling what stories will be bandied about because no one can find you on the Internet. “Oh, they’ve closed down.” Or “They’re stuck in the past and will probably close down soon.” These are common comments heard about businesses that choose to stay offline completely and majority of them eventually close down.

Online business directories is almost like free advertising because your brand is visible 24/7 and will help optimize your business with search engines to improve online and foot traffic. In fact, history will show that it is possible to run a business successfully with online marketing alone provided Internet users can find you easily online.

Why Your Choice of Online Business Directory is Critical to Success

If you choose an online business listing website that can guarantee protection of your data, you will not fall victim to scams like business identity theft. Business identity theft can happen when an unscrupulous business person steals your listings and changes the address and contact details. This has happened several times to businesses across the globe who report a sudden drop in sales and inquiries.

A dependable, security-conscious listing website will always conduct risk management processes and be on the ball about security features to protect data and privacy. Thus, when selecting the website, do make it a point to ask questions and not stop until you are satisfied with the offer.

After Being Listed

A major minefield with online listings is failure to track activities. Find out how new customers discover your business. Analyze whether your content on the listing is drawing in traffic or has become too boring to be noticed. There are different ways to track your data using feedback, software, or apps. They key is to stay updated on the latest technology related to database listings.

This move will also prevent you from making the same mistake twice or attracting the wrong kind customers.

How to Make Your Local Business Listing Stand Out from the Crowd

Local-Directory-Listings-in-NYYou probably know by now just how important it is to claim your business listings on quality local business directories so new customers can find your store. But what you may not realize is that there is an art to creating a business listing, and if you don’t do it right, you may not see the results you’d hoped for. If you’re going to take the time to create your listing, don’t you want to get all the new business that you can from it? That’s why we’ve created this guide—to help you not only create your local business listing, but to show you how to optimize it so that you get all you can from it.

But before we show you how to optimize your local business listings, let’s talk about why you should create them in the first place.

Why You Need a Local Business Listing

In a culture where everyone goes online to find US local businesses, it only makes sense to do all you can to ensure that they find your business when they look for one like yours. But in the past, that wasn’t easy because the large search engines like Google and Bing don’t make it easy to find local businesses. Instead, the results people find on those search engines often include national chains or even articles and blogs written about the topic.

These days, if you want to find US local businesses, you’ve got to turn to local business directories. These local directories make it easy for consumers to find businesses like yours because it’s all they do—show people the local businesses in their area.

And the foundation of these directories are the local business listings that are created by business owners. And that’s what we’re talking about in this article.

What are Local Business Listings?

A local business listing is like a modern day phone book ad—only better. These listings include the name, address, phone number, and other relevant information about the business, and consumers use them to decide whether or to visit a store or restaurant. And luckily, setting them up is easy. Simply go to a quality local business directory like FindUsLocal.com and claim your business, then fill in all the details you can. As soon as you do it, your business will be listed on the directory and local consumers will be able to find you.

But there’s one more element to the local advertising and marketing equation—in order to see success with your local business listing, you need to optimize it. And that’ what we’ll talk about next—5 ways to optimize your local business listings.

Pick the Right Directory

There are a lot of local business directories out there, but you don’t want your business listed on some of them. For example, so local directories are only a database of local businesses, and most of the information is incorrect on them. This can hurt your search engine rankings, so if you come across a local business directory like that, you should shy away from it. Instead, look for one that caters to consumers so they’ll be more likely to use it. For example, one of the best local business directories is FindUsLocal.com. This directory caters to consumers so much that many of them start their day by logging on. It offers all of the local news, announcements about upcoming sporting events, concerts, and plays in their area—along with links to make it easy for them to buy tickets-and they even offer a funny name of the day feature and inspirational thoughts to start off each day. When you’re business is listed on a quality directory like that, you’ll get a lot more eyes on your business—and that means a lot more people walking through your door.

Think About the Details

Studies show that the more details a local business listing has, the more consumers will trust it. And as you know, when a consumer trusts a business, they are more likely to buy from it. That’s why your local listing should include every detail possible. For example, aside from the obvious—your business name, address, and telephone number—be sure to include other details such as your hours of operation, which products you carry, a website URL if you have one, photos, and directions to your business.

Create Your Local Business Listings the Right Way

Some people create their business listings and wonder why they never see any real results from them. The answer is simple—they must be done correctly or the search engine spiders will pass them by and never attribute them to your business. What do I mean? Here’s how it works.

In order to determine the search engine ranking of a local business, the large search engines like Google and Bing deploy search engine spiders that crawl the web looking for citations. A citation is a mention of a business on a reputable site. The more citations they find for a business, the higher up in the search engine rankings they will list them. That’s why it’s so important to list your business on as many quality local business directories as possible. But don’t gloss over the key word: quality. If you list your business on some of the database type directories we mentioned earlier, that could actually hurt your ranking because those directories aren’t considered reputable by the search engines.

Pay Attention to the Details

When you create your local business listing, you’ll need to ensure that you list your business the exact same way every time. If you don’t those search engine spiders we talked about earlier will pass by the citations and not attribute them to your business. For example, if you list your business as Cupcakes, Inc. on some local business directories and Cupcakes on others, half of your citations won’t be credited to your business, and that will affect your search engine rankings. And that doesn’t only matter with your business name. Your street name, phone number, and website address must also match. That means if you use the area code on some listings, you must use it on all of them. And if you address is Main Street, don’t list your business as Main ST on some listings.

Use Your Local Business Listing to Get Reviews

Finally, once you have created your perfect local business listing, you’ll need to drive your customers there to leave online reviews for your business. These reviews are so important to today’s consumers that many won’t even consider visiting a local shop, restaurant, or service business without first reading a few of them. And the good news is that it’s not difficult to convince your customers to leave reviews for your business. In one recent study, those asked said that they would happily leave a review for a local business if they were asked. That’s why you see so many local shops asking customers to leave a review for their business at the checkout line. Should you implement this policy in your store?

Have You Created Your Local Business Listings?

If you haven’t yet taken this important step, you should drop everything and visit FindUsLocal.com today to begin the process. Remember, you only want to list your business on quality local directories, and then follow the steps listed above to optimize them so you’ll get the best results.

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.

Are You Doing All You can to Ensure Your Local Businesses Success?

African American woman in restaurant open for businessLocal business owners are a unique kind of entrepreneur—especially in today’s internet driven world. When it seems that everyone is doing everything online, it takes someone with guts, drive, and sense of community and purpose to forge ahead in a local retail business. And if you’re one of the brave entrepreneurs who do just that, you may be feeling a bit battle weary right now. After all, the news about local retail business isn’t good. Recent statistics show that more local businesses have closed so far this year than all the store closings combined during the Great Recession.

But not all local business owners are feeling the pain. In fact, some local shops, service businesses, restaurants, and coffee shops are doing quite well, thank you. So what separates those who are shuttering their doors from those who are booming in this tech savvy world? One word: local business directories.

What is a Local Business Directory?

If you haven’t heard of local business directories, you’re missing out on the one thing that can separate your business from those that are failing. In fact, creating your local business listing is the most important thing you can do if you’re looking for ways to help your business thrive.

Here’s how local business directories work. When a customer wants to find a local business to visit, they go to a local directory like Find Us Local, and are automatically presented with a custom home page based on their location. For example, if they logged on from Virginia Beach, they would find a home page that included the news from that area, a listing of theatre, musical, and sporting events coming to town, reviews for all the local stores and eateries in their area, and of course a custom search engine where they can find the type of business they want in their city or town that they live in. These local business directories are easy to use, and that’s why so many consumers are using them instead of the large search engines.

Why You Need a Local Business Listing

It’s no secret that almost everyone uses their smartphone, tablet, or laptop to find local US businesses these days, and what do you think happens to those local businesses that don’t have an online presence? If you said they would suffer from low sales, and possibly even have to shutter their doors, you’re right. It’s simply not possible for local business owners to rely on the old school marketing tactics that worked so well for them in years past.

Today, people look online to find US local businesses. And the first place they look is on local business directories.

How to Create Your Local Business Listings

If you’re going to join the ranks of successful local business owners, your first step is to create a local business listing on local business directories like FindUsLocal.com. In order to do it the right way, you should take the steps outlined below.

  • Choose your directory wisely. You shouldn’t create your listing on just any local business directory, but instead choose one that works to stay high in the search engine rankings so your business will be seen. For example, Find Us Local constantly writes articles like this one to get their directory in front of the public, and that only helps those local business owners who are listed on it.
  • Pay attention to the details. When creating your local business listing, be sure to input your business name, address, phone number, and website exactly the same on every local directory. For example, if you have an “inc.” in your name, you’ll need to decide whether to include it in our business listings. You can’t include it in some of them and not others, because that could hurt your visibility in the rankings.
  • Get as many reviews as you can. When you create a business listing, customers will be able to leave reviews on the local business directory for your shop or restaurant. This is important because most consumers wouldn’t dream of trying a new business without first reading a handful of reviews from other people in the community. In order to get them, be sure to ask your customers and then thank them once they’ve left one.

Including your local business on a quality local business directory like FindUsLocal.com is one of the smartest business moves you can make if you want your business to be found by today’s consumers. What about your local shop or restaurant? Can it be found online, or will it sit in obscurity while the other businesses around you get all the local customers?

7 Reasons Why Local Business Directories are Better Than the Yellow Pages

find-local-businessIn case you haven’t heard, local business directories are taking over the world. And to most local business owners, it’s a welcomed change from times past. That’s because the business directories have changed the way local business owners reach out to you, the consumer.

How Do Local Business Directories Work?

In case you haven’t yet discovered the joy of using local business listings when you want to find a business in your community, here’s how they work. Instead of trying to find local businesses in a large search engine, which can be frustrating because the local results are typically only found at the bottom of the page—or even on subsequent pages—you can find them quickly and easily. A local business directory is structured just like the major search engines, but instead of giving you a hodgepodge of results, you’ll only see the local businesses in your area.

Does that sound like something you want to know more about? Let’s talk about the 7 ways local business directories are better than the Yellow Pages.

Local Business Directories are Personal

Although the internet is one of the most useful things to come around in our history, it does have its flaws. Perhaps the biggest one is that it so impersonal. For example, people who use it to find information, products or services have to spend a lot of time looking for it because they’re dealing with algorithms that can’t interact with them. But some local business directories, like FindUsLocal.com, use state of the art technology called GEO location technology that automatically reads the visitor’s location so they will have a more personal experience on the site. For instance, if you log onto this local business directory, you will be presented with a customized home page that only shows you the information from your area. And when you use the search bar on the site, you’ll only be presented with local shops and restaurants. In other words, the site acts interactively with you to personalize your experience.

Local Business Directories Focus on Local News

You know how hard it is to find the local news in your community? In the past, people waited on the community newspaper to be thrown on their front porch, but those days are long gone. These day, people turn online to find their daily dose of news, but it can take a lot of time to find it online because you’ll likely have to check multiple sites. But when you look for local business listings on sites like FindUsLocal.com, your customized home page will show you a stream that includes the local news from your area. And that’s important because it can be difficult to find local news when searching the web.

Local Business Directories Highlight the Events Coming to Your Area

When is the last time you tried to find out about the local events coming to your town or city? If you’re like most people, you either spent half the day on the phone calling all of the various venues in your community, or youne spent hours online at multiple ticket sites looking for them. But local directories like FindUsLocal.com solve that problem, because on your customized home page, you’ll find all of the sporting events, plays, and concerts coming to your area. And just to make things easier, the site even offers a link where you can purchase the event tickets without a hassle.

Local Business Directories Show You Comments from Local Businesses

One of the most popular features of FindUsLocal.com is the comments section. As of this writing, it is the only local directory that allows both consumers and local business owners to leave a comment about the business. This is different from reviews because the comments don’t have to be about the service or products, but can be about anything. For example, if you visit the business and find out that there is free parking a block away, you can leave that in the comment section so other people will have an easier time parking while visiting the store. And the business owner can also leave comments telling you about sales, special product releases, or anything else they think will be useful. Remember, you’ll only find this handy feature on FindUsLocal.com.

Local Business Directories Feature Meetups and Other Community Activities

It can be hard to find out what’s going on in your local area, but business directories can help with that too. On sites like FindUsLocal.com, you’ll see the local meetups and club meetings right there on your customized home page. Just look to the left and you’ll see all of the events and meeting being organized by the people in your community. And if you want to join in, just contact the person hosting the meetup. This is a great feature for those who are new to the area and don’t know anyone yet, or those who are just looking for something fun to do.

Local Business Directories Give You a Chance to Laugh or Take an Insightful Moment

You probably think all business listing sites are all business, but maybe you should think again. FindUsLocal.com has taken a different approach to business listings and added in some features that make people want to bookmark the page and visit it time and time again. For example, if you’re in the mood for humor, check out their Name of Day feature. It highlights an usual name everyday, and most of them will bring a smile to your face. Bill Board anyone?

You’ll also find an inspirational quote and a special feature that talks about the specific traits of people who were born on that day. Whether you want to laugh, meditate on deep thoughts, or gain insight into someone born on that day, you’ll find it on this innovative site.

Local Business Directories Provide Business Phone Numbers

If you’re like most people, the last time you needed a business phone number, you probably paid a dollar for it on your smartphone. Most people do, but that’s only because they don’t realize you can head over to FindUsLocal.com and get it for free. The site offers the business phone numbers for free as part of its effort to make life easier for consumers.

Local Business Directories Offer Local Business Listings

Now let’s talk about the thing local directories are most known for—local business listings. The site is set up just like the major search engines, but only better. You’ll have the option of searching in one of the major categories and seeing a complete listing of the businesses you’re looking for, or using the search bar and finding local businesses that way. If you use the categories and are looking for a restaurant, you’ll find a long list of restaurants located in your area. But if you want to find a local Chinese restaurant, you’ll type that keyword in the search bar and be shown all of the Chinese restaurants in your area.

And remember, once you find the local business you want, you’ll have the opportunity to read reviews left by other people, leave you own, read the comments left by the business owner, leave a comment yourself, find directions and view a map, learn the store or restaurant’s hours, get the phone number, and read a brief about section for the business.

Local business directories have replaced the old Yellow Pages, and consumers are better off for it. If you’re still struggling to find local businesses these days, isn’t it time you approached the task with the modern tools available to you? Head on over to FindUsLocal.com and find out how you can not only find local businesses easier, but check out all the other features the site offers. Chances are, you’ll find yourself making it the first stop every day!

How Great Customer Service can Grow Your Local Business

CustomerService.jpgrs_Local business owners are having to reinvent themselves when it comes to attracting and keeping local customers. After all, many people do most of their shopping online and never set foot in a local store. But there is a huge segment of the population that understands how important it is to shop locally. These people understand that when they spend their dollars in a local shop, it keeps that money circulating in the local economy. They also understand that when they know who their dealing with, they will get products and services they can trust.

So how can a local business owner tap into those customers—and then keep them coming back time and time again?

Some recent studies show that customer service may be the key.

The Studies about Customer Service

There have been two important studies recently that show just how important it is for local business owners to maintain the highest quality of customer service that they can. The first, which was conducted by W.J. Powell Co and written about in the book, “Striving for Excellence in Customer Service,” proves that 68 percent of customers who stop patronizing a business do so because they had a poor experience with the business. In other words, if your employees don’t treat a customer well, you may lose all future business with them. That’s serious enough, but let’s take a look at another related study.

The Research Institute of America conducted a study that has a major impact on local business owners. It shows that of those customers who are unhappy with a business, 96 percent of them will never tell the business owner or manager what went wrong. That’s bad enough, but the news gets worse. Even though those customers won’t tell you what happened, they will tell at least nine other people.

What can We Learn from the Studies?

Perhaps the most important takeaway is that local business need to do everything they can to ensure their customers are happy. And most agree that the best way to do that is to ask them about their experiences.

For instance, a small local grocery store in the Midwest did what many local shops do—he put up a small suggestion box in hopes that customers would tell him what he was doing right and what could be improved. As is the case with most small suggestion boxes, it was largely ignored by his customers. But this business owner truly wanted to understand what he could do better, so he replaced the small box with a larger one and included a sign asking customers to tell him how he was doing. He only had one to two suggestions when he used the smaller box, but once he replaced it with the larger one, those suggestions increased to about 50 a day.

Follow Up is Important

In addition to asking customers what they need from you in order to make their experience better, you’ll also need to seriously listen to those suggestions and if possible, implement them. For example, the local grocer mentioned above listened to all the suggestions he received and when possible, implemented them. As a result, his business is thriving.

Forge the Gap

Exactly what will all this asking and listening do to benefit your business? The obvious answer is that wit will cause your customers to be happy and help you retain them. That will be good for your bottom line because you’ll have to spend less money to bring new customers in the door.

But the benefits don’t stop there. By opening an honest line of communication with local customers, you’ll help build a bridge that will form true relationships with them. And happy, loyal customers are more likely to help spread the word about your business.

So, if you haven’t been asking your customers what you can do better, isn’t it time to start?

3 Steps to Getting Stellar Reviews for Your Local Business

review-rating-tablet-ss-1920-800x450Online reviews for local businesses are becoming more and more necessary as consumers rely on them to make decisions about which businesses they shop at. In fact, a recent study conducted by BrightLocal shows that 93 percent of consumers read local reviews and 68 percent of those people trust local businesses more when they have good online reviews. Interestingly enough, that same group of respondents say that when a local business has 1 and 2 star reviews, only 13 percent of them will consider doing business with them.

Obviously, online reviews are important, but many local business owners struggle with how to get them. After all, local shop owners do most of their business inside their store, so how can they get reviews from the online community, especially if they don’t have a website?

Luckily, there are ways to get great reviews for your local business—here are three.

Set up Your Business Page on Local Business Directories

The first thing you’ll have to do is to ensure that your customers have a place to leave a review for your local business. And since you run a local business, it makes sense that you set up a listing on a site that specializes in local business. Our site, FindUsLocal, does just that. When visitors come to our site, we use GEO technology to track their location, and then we show them the events and local business listings for their area. It’s a great way to get your business in front of local consumers because we offer local business owners a page where customers can leave reviews for their business.

Use Your Marketing Materials to Solicit Online Local Reviews

Your next step is to get the word out about your review site, and one of the easiest ways to do that is to print the site’s URL on your business cards, email signature, flyers, brochures, and all the other marketing materials you hand out to local customers. Include a tagline that asks customers to leave a review and then include the link to your FindUsLocal business page.

Talk to Your Customers about the Importance of Online Business Reviews

As a business owner, you realize the importance of online reviews, but chances are your customers don’t. And if they did, most of them would probably have no problem leaving a review on your review page. That’s why it’s important for you to educate your customers about the importance of online reviews, and then instruct them how to leave one for your business. Chances are, once you tell them how important it is, they will go home and immediately leave you a great review!

Online reviews are becoming an essential tool in the local business owner’s toolkit. Don’t be left behind in this important marketing area. Log onto to FindUsLocal right now and claim your business page. Then simply get the word out to your customers and soon, you’ll have the reviews you need to attract new business.

6 Ways to Draw Out of Town Visitors to Your Local Business

newyorkcity_tourist_001p-300x236If you’re a local business owner and have been concentrating your marketing efforts on the residents in your area, you’ve been missing out. We all know that local search is hot and it’s how most local residents find the businesses they want to do business with. And recent studies have shown that the trend is only increasing: 95 percent of mobile users use their phones to search for local businesses.

But wait—things are about to get complicated.

A new case study shows that a full 33 percent of all local searches are made by people who are only visiting a city. That’s a lot of tourists on their smartphones looking for businesses just like yours. That same study shows that out of town visitors tend to spend about double what local residents do.

Do you want to put your business name in front of all those visitors? Here are six tips to help you do just that.

List Your Business in a Local Business Directory

If you haven’t already, it’s time to get your business listed in a local business directory. Sure, local residents use them to find the businesses they want, but out of town visitors also rely on them because they’re unfamiliar with the area and a good local search directory is just like a recommendation from a local resident.

Mix and Match Your Keywords

When you’re marketing to local residents, you want to use long tail keywords because they’re familiar with their options and are much more specific in their local searches. But an out of town visitor who doesn’t know the city will likely use a more general keyword in their search. For instance, if you own a bakery that specializes in cream puffs, you might use “cream puff bakery” to attract local residents, but “bakery” for out of town visitors. Mix them up to attract customers from both pools.

Make Sure Your Listings are Consistent

It would be a shame to put a lot of money and manpower into getting your local business ranked in the searches only to find that it doesn’t even show up in the listings. One of the biggest reasons that happens is that business owners aren’t careful to ensure that all of their business listings use the exact same name and address. Even something as simple as leaving out your suite number on your Facebook page can cause problems. For every local business directory you’re listed in, as well as your social media platforms and My Google Business, make sure your name, address, and phone number are exactly the same.

Optimize Your Site for Mobile

When out of town visitors look online for a local business, they do so with their mobile phones. That’s why it so important that your website is optimized for mobile phone use. Otherwise, those visitors may pass up your listing and go to a competitor because the information is easier to read.

You Need Reviews

When people visit a city, they want to have the best experience they can so they’re more selective about the bed and breakfasts they stay in or the restaurants they eat in. And one way they ensure to pick the right business is to check the reviews of the businesses they’re thinking about going to. But what if you don’t have reviews? Ninety percent of people say that if they were asked to leave a review they would, but only about seven percent of them have been asked. If you don’t have plenty of good reviews for your business, begin asking your customers now so that when an out of town visitor is deciding between you and your competition, you’ll get the business.

Use GEO Targeting

GEO targeting is the latest way to target those customers looking for businesses in your area and point them to yours. It’s a system that “reads” where a searcher is located, and then builds a custom page for them that shows all the latest news and happenings in that area. It also includes a search directory where visitors can search for the specific restaurants they’re looking for. Our directory, FindUSLocal, uses this technology, so if you’re not already listed on it, do it right away to attract those out of town visitors.

Don’t miss out on all that business from out of town visitors in your area. Instead, make use of the tips listed above and get your business on the map so visitors can find you.

Announcing Our New Educational Innitiative About the Benefits of Local Business Directories

announcementThe internet has been a great sales boost for business owners all over the world. In fact, a small ecommerce business located in an obscure part of the country—or the world for that matter—now has the tools and abilities to reach the same amount of customers as any large business.

But what about local business owners who only want to reach the local customers in their area? In the past, it was easy. All business owners had to do was list their business in the yellow pages, and when customers wanted a service or product like theirs, they could easily find what they were looking for by picking up the yellow pages and looking through the ads.

But those days are gone. These days, the yellow pages more often serve as door stops, compost matter, or are simply thrown into the trash as soon as it shows up at someone’s door.

What are local business owners to do? How can they be found by the very customers who need their products and services?

Our New Educational Campaign

Here at FindUsLocal, we are on a mission to educate local business owners about their options. Because the truth is, if you do nothing and hope that somehow local customers will find their way to your business, you’ll probably find yourself in serious trouble. In fact, many local businesses have closed down for that very reason. Times have changed, and the things that used to work for local business owners simply don’t work anymore.

That’s why we’ve begun a new campaign. We want to put the right tools into the hands of local business owners across the nation so they’ll have what they need to attract local customers. This is the first in a series of articles that will describe today’s premier marketing methods that will get potential customers in the doors to local businesses.

The New Yellow Pages

Since you can’t count on the Yellow Pages any more to bring in customers, where you do turn? After all, the internet is for those businesses that sell across state lines or to the world, right?

Not necessarily.

You see, more and more people are turning online to look for businesses these days, even if they want to find a business in their local area. But the traditional digital tactics that nationwide stores use to attract those customers won’t work for local businesses. That’s because those larger companies have a lot more advertising dollars to spend and can purchase the keywords they need to get attention. So for some time, the traditional wisdom was that local business owners simply need to add their city name to the keyword, and that would allow customers to find them. But a recent study shows that simply using your city plus a keyword isn’t effective like it used to be—in fact, it can do harm than good in your search engine rankings.

So what can you do?

List your business in a local business directory, that’s what.

What is a Local Business Directory?

Local business directories are to local businesses what Google is to nationwide businesses. It’s a one-stop place where people can go to view the news, upcoming events, weather, and even tweets and Facebook postings in their local area. And in addition to getting the latest on all things local, visitors will be able to see the local businesses that advertise their products or services to local customers.

But what happens if you don’t want to advertise on a local business directory? That’s no problem because our local business directory also allows visitors to search the directory. For example, if they are looking for a local Italian restaurant, they would simply type the search terms into the search bar, and all the restaurants who have listed their business on our site will appear.

Obviously, this can play a huge role in a local businesses success or failure. If people can find your business, they’ll be more likely to shop there.

Is it Really That Easy?

Yes, and that’s exactly what the purpose of our new initiative is. We want local business owners to understand that they do have options. And listing your business in our local directory doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. In fact, we have an option that allows you to list your business for free.

Stay tuned, because in the next few weeks, we’ll continue this series and talk about all the reasons why it’s so important that you list your local business on a directory as soon as you can.

How to Help Local Businesses That are Struggling

bbIf you’ve walked the streets of your city lately, you’ve likely been hit with images of small businesses that have been boarded up or replaced by larger corporate stores. These scenes are being played out all over America as the new employment and insurance laws are taking effect, and the small mom and pop stores just can’t keep up. Imagine being able to buy only what some executive in Arkansas thinks the public should have. That’s what is happening to Americans all over the country as the small retailers they are used to dealing with are being forced to shut down. Choice, freedom, and quality suffer greatly when people’s choices are limited, and they only have the large corporations to depend on for the products they need. Unfortunately, this is exactly what is happening in towns and cities all over America.

Why are Small Businesses Having Such a Hard Time?

New laws that have recently been passed, like the new minimum wage laws and the employer mandate to provide insurance to employees, may seem like a good idea to employees, but it’s causing many small business owners to call it quits. Combine that with the fact that many of today’s consumers don’t think twice about shopping at their neighborhood corporate store instead of giving their business to their local neighbors. Because of all these reasons, many small businesses are struggling to make a profit, and many of them are simply closing their doors. These very businesses positively impact a huge amount of people in local economies, and their customers are sad to see their favorite businesses dying a slow and uncalled for death.

What You Can Do to Help

Grassroots campaigns are springing up all over the country to try and save the small businesses from closure. These campaigns encourage people to think local first are being initiated by the Small Business Association in order to educate the public about how important it is to shop locally. The campaigns ask consumers to support their local vendors whenever possible. At FindUsLocal, we realize that its is difficult for consumers to see the impact small businesses have on their community until they close, and then it’s too late. But the truth is that the materials or goods that the small businesses offer in their stores were likely bought from another local manufacturer, who has local employees working there. So when a business closes its doors, it exponentially impacts several layers of the community. In addition, when people purchase their products locally, more money stays in their community as opposed to funding a large corporation, which is probably located in another city or state. Organizers of the campaigns also want consumers to realize that when they buy local, it will help keep their communities unique. After all, if you only have corporate stores to buy from, everyone will end up buying the same thing because their choices have suddenly become so limited.

Use Local Directories

By turning to local business directories such as ours, consumers can do their part in the campaign by finding local businesses to do business with, rather than simply going to the corporate big box store in their neighborhood. And that, says organizers, is the thrust of their campaign. “We want to preserve the uniqueness of cities and towns all over the nation, and help local businesses stay open. It will be good for the community, for the people who work in these businesses, and for the local economy.

FindUsLocal is a local directory that uses GEO tracking to make it easy for you find the stores in your community that are run by local people. Shopping this way will not only give your more options and a wider variety of products to choose from, but you will also be helping local businesses compete with the big guys. Whether you are a native to the area or just moving to the area, use FindUsLocal.com to locate and patronize local businesses in your community.  Anyone who cares about their community and wants to preserve it should definitely take advantage of this service.  Just type in what you are looking for, and our search engine will direct you to all the stores offering that product.  Find the ones that are locally owned and do your part to save small business in your own community.