Tag Archives: local search directory

3 Reasons Why Local Business Directories are the Wave of the Future

finduslocal-logo-sept2014Every decade or so, something comes along that shakes up the business world and makes it easier and more efficient to operate. In the 80s it was the fax machine, in the 90s cell phones entered the picture making the need for answering services all but obsolete. Then in the 2000s social media exploded, which gave small business owners the chance to take their marketing and branding image directly to consumers rather than having to rely on expensive marketing tactics. Now, as we approach the next decade, local business directories are once again changing the way we do business.

What are Local Business Directories?

In years past, whenever someone wanted to find a store to shop at, they would use one of the big search engines like Google to find it. But as internet marketers got more savvy, they figured out how to manipulate the search results and before long, it was only the large companies with huge advertising dollars that made it to the top of the results. The outcome was that small, local business owners were left out of the game because they simply couldn’t compete.

Next came an attempt to once again manipulate the search engine results by adding city names to keywords in hopes that those results would rise to the top when searchers looked for them. And while the tactic offers some relief for small mom and pop shops, it doesn’t do much.

Enter local search directories.

A local search directory is a search engine that is geared toward local results. Consumers use them to find local shops or restaurants in their area because it’s simply too difficult to do that on a major search engine. Some local directories, like the one found at FindUsLocal, use GEO technology to automatically match the visitor’s location with the results they see. This allows for a stress free way for consumers to search for the businesses they want.

So, what are the three reasons why local business directories are the wave of the future? Check them out below:

  • People want to shop local. There is a massive amount of people who have determined in their hearts to stop buying from big box stores and other mammoth retailers. Instead, they want to support local business owners, knowing that the money they spend in these shops will be put back into the community. The best place to find local shops is a local business directory.
  • People want more personalized results. The large search engines have become unwieldy the results are unpredictable. When people are looking for local businesses, they want it to be easy and straightforward, something they can’t get from a giant search engine. Only a local directory can give them that kind of experience.
  • People don’t want to be gamed. Most people understand that the top results they see after a search on one of the large search engines has been bought and paid for. In other words, they get that the top spots in the results are there because they have paid for them or they have used other tactics to get there. On the other hand, the results they see on a local business directory are there because…well, because that’s where they belong. There is no gaming a local directory, they’ll only see the true options for their area.

As you can see, those consumers who want to find local results are turning to local search directories for a myriad of reasons. If your business isn’t already listed, head on over to FindUsLocal.com now and make sure its seen the next time searches for a business like yours in the area.

How to Write a Review for a Local Business

leave-an-online-reviewOnline reviews are becoming more and more relevant in the minds of consumers. In fact, a recent study done by BrightLocal.com shows that at least 92 percent of people rely on online reviews to help them make buying decisions when dealing with local businesses. The study also shows that 40 percent of consumers who read reviews form an opinion about local businesses after reading only 1-3 reviews.  In other words, if you shop at a local store in your community or dine at a neighborhood restaurant, you should think about leaving an online review to give others an idea of what doing business with the store is like.

But many people have never an online review because they don’t know how to write one that will be helpful to others. That’s why we’re providing you with a simple 4-step guide that will help you write a review to leave on a local business directory that is both helpful and honest.

Step One: Get Control of Your Emotions

Before you sit down to write your review, you should do all you can to get control of your emotions. That can be difficult because most people write online reviews when they’re either very happy with their experience or angry. But there’s good reason to keep your emotions in check when composing your review.

The survey I mentioned that was conducted by Bright Local say that fake reviews are becoming a problem in the eyes of consumers and the number one telltale sign of a fake review is extreme emotion. That’s true whether the language in the review is over the top angry, or gushing with praise for the business. Consumers want to see honest, detailed and factually based reviews that they can use to determine whether or not to do business with a store or restaurant.

Your review should be a factual review of your experience when dealing with the business, and if you want it to be useful to others, try to keep the emotions out of it.

Step Two: Include the Details

Next, you should make a list of all the relevant details that pertain to your review. For example, if you’re leaving a negative review for a restaurant on a local business directory, you’ll need to include the time of day you went, what you ordered (if it’s relevant), how crowded it was, and the specific details of your complaint. If the service was slow, state that in your review, or if the staff ignored you while talking on their cellphones, be sure to include that information.

Don’t use the platform to go after a specific employee of the business because readers will assume that your review was written to target someone rather than write an honest review. It’s enough to say that “employees” treated you badly, or “employees” attended to your needs in a professional manner.  In short, include only the pertinent details of your experience so the people reading your review will be able to decide whether or not they want to visit the business.

Step Three: Check Your Grammar

If you want your review to be taken seriously, be sure to check for grammar and spelling issues before you post it. Many readers will be put off by a review filled with spelling errors or poorly constructed sentences. If you aren’t a natural writer, you can run your review through one of the free grammar tools found online.

Step Four: Don’t Forget the Other Side of the Story

Every story has two sides and you should at least attempt to shed some light on the other side. For example, if you’re leaving a negative review for that restaurant because the staff ignored you, you should mention that the manager was out sick that day if it’s true. Readers will be more likely to consider your review helpful if you at least attempt to tell both sides of the story.

Where Should You Leave the Review?

Finally, if you’re going to leave a review for a local business, it makes sense to leave it where people will find it. That means the larger local business directories probably aren’t the best place to leave them. Instead look for specialty local directories such as FindUsLocal.com. These local directories are where most local consumers go to look for businesses because they use GEO technology to match every visitor’s experience with their location.

When you’re leaving a review for a business on a local directory, remember it will help other people decide whether or not to do business with the store or restaurant. And because your review can easily affect the business, be sure to be fair, honest, and helpful in every word you write.

How to Use Local Business Directories to Boost Your SEO Ranking

121856-1OpP0Q1395155684If you own a local business and have read our previous articles about the importance of being seen online, you may be wondering what steps you should take to make sure potential customers can find you on their cell phones and other connected devices. After all, most people look online these days to find the businesses they want to shop at, and that includes local businesses in their own communities.

But no matter how many steps you take to attract those customers, if your business doesn’t show up in the first couple of pages of the search results, it will never be found by potential customers.

So, how do you make sure that your business is seen when people search for a company like yours online? The most important thing you can do is list your business on local search directories like FindUsLocal.com. But did you know that the way you list your business will determine whether or not it helps in your rankings? It’s true.

And recent studies show that most small business owners don’t understand the important of this. In fact, one survey says that 43 percent of businesses have listings that are incomplete—or worse, incorrect. These businesses show addresses that are not the correct location for their store. That means customers trying to find that business will show up at the wrong address, and that will only produce bad feelings toward those businesses.

In addition, having multiple addresses, names, or phone numbers for your business online confuses the search engine spiders, and that will cause your business to show up lower in the rankings.

Now that you understand the importance of making sure your business is properly represented on local directories, let’s talk about how to claim and list your shop on local business directories the right way.

Step One: Search for Your Business Online

Before you can make any corrections to your business directory listings, you’ll need to understand exactly where your business shows up. The easiest way to get this information is to google your business. Then look through the first few pages and make note of every local directory your business is listed on. Enter this information on a spreadsheet because you’ll come back to it later.

Step Two: Look for Quality Business Directories

If your business doesn’t show up on high profile directories like FindUsLocal, claim your listing there and add it to your spreadsheet.

Step Three: Adjust Your Listings so They Conform

Now it’s time to take the steps necessary to make those listings work for you. The first thing you should do is determine what your NAP will be on all listings. NAP stands for name, address, and phone number, and it’s vital that this information is the exact same everywhere on the internet that your business appears. If it’s not, the search engine spiders won’t attribute them all to your business, and that will tank your rankings.

For example, if the name of your business is Main Street Flowers and More, but it’s listed as Main Street Flowers and More, Inc. on some business directories, it will hurt your rankings.

That means your next job is to use the spreadsheet you made earlier and revisit every website where your business is listed. If the information doesn’t match your NAP, change it and then mark the date on the spreadsheet. It can take a few weeks for the changes to take place on some sites, so be sure to check back to ensure that they’re made. If not, go through the same steps until the changes show up.

Step Four: Be Choosy about Where You List Your Business

Just because there are a lot of local search directories online, that doesn’t mean your business should be in every one of them. Instead, look for quality business directories like FindUsLocal that use GEO technology to match visitor’s locations with the results they see. For instance, if you live in California and visit FindUsLocal, you will be automatically shown local restaurants, shops, events and more for your city. Other directories force visitors to manually input the information which drastically reduces their effectiveness.

Now that you have a plan to expertly take control of your local business directory listings, you’ll be able to watch as your business climbs in the rankings. And in the end, that will mean more people who find your shop—and do business with you.

 

 

Local Business Owners: Why You Should Claim Your Local Directory Listing Today

finduslocal-logo-sept2014If you’re running a small local business and still trying to attract new customers the old school way by asking for referrals and relying on word of mouth, or advertising in your local paper, you’re probably experiencing a sales slump like never before.

Times have changed and so has the way people look for stores to do business with, and that includes local businesses in their own community. These days, people take to the internet to find the businesses they want to do business with, and if your store is not listed there, you’re going to miss out on an awful lot of business.

So what’ the best way to be seen on the internet? Local business directories.

Why the General Internet isn’t Great for Local Business

Have you ever noticed that no matter how well you use SEO to try and make your local business seen, you can’t seem to reach a good place in the search engine listings? That’s because the major search engines aren’t designed to highlight local businesses, but worldwide or global companies. Small, local businesses need another way to be found by those searching for the products and services they offer.

Enter Local Business Directories

When you claim your listing in a local search directory, you’ll make it possible for the public to find your store. For example, we offer a free listing on our site, FindUsLocal,that will put your store in the top results of all the important search engines. In addition, more than 600,000 people use our local directory every month and that gives you a better chance to be seen.

If you want to increase your chances of attracting new customers, you can sign up for our premium service which will feature your business on a page of its own when people in your area search our site. In addition, we’ll provide you with the ability to link your business website to your listing, which will give you that all important back link, increasing your chances of being seen even more online.

Don’t rely on old-school techniques when it comes to marketing your business. Instead, claim your free listing now at FindUsLocal.com, or better yet, sign up for our premium service and watch your new business rates soar.

3 Ways to Up Your Local SEO Game Before the Holiday Shopping Begins

w345759_2_lgThanksgiving is less than two weeks away, and anyone who runs a local business knows what that means: holiday shoppers are about to begin buying en masse. In fact, the shopping has already begun, but the peak season will begin on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.

But what does that mean for local business owners? After all, most of today’s consumers shop online for their gifts, done’ they?

Yes and no.

The truth is that many people still shop at local businesses, but they go about finding them in different ways. For example, even when looking for a local business, today’s consumers still look to the internet and if those businesses haven’t employed local SEO, they’re likely to miss out on a lot of holiday sales.

So, how can you best revamp your local SEO to draw in those holiday shoppers? Here are three tips from the experts.

List Your Business on a Local Search Directory

This is perhaps the most important step in getting your local business seen, but in order for it to produce results, you’ll need to combine it with the other two tips listed in this article. Begin by going to FindUsLocal.com and claiming your business profile. Next, submit every piece of information you can about your business. Remember, the more information you list, the better chance you’ll have of attracting those holiday shoppers.

Mind Your NAP’s

If your business is listed on multiple local search directories, and the information doesn’t match on all of them, it can hurt your local SEO search rankings. Why? Because the search engine spiders will associate the mismatches as wrong information, and that will cause them to lower your ranking.

Most experts agree that in order for your local business directory listings to help your SEO rankings, the NAP’s (name, address, and phone number) have to match exactly. For instance, if your business is located at 102 Main, and one of your directory listings states it as 102 Main Street, it will be marked as a false business location, and that will cause your rankings to slip.

If you have multiple listings, be sure to log into each one of them and make sure your NAPs all say the exact same thing.

Create a Strong Social Media Presence

Finally, it’s important that you have a social media presence so the search engine spiders can identify your business and determine its credibility. The more activity you have from your followers, the better your business directory rankings will be. And in addition to an active social media presence, you should also ask your followers to leave reviews because they will also help you in the rankings as well as give social proof to new customers checking out your profile.

Don’t miss out on sales this holiday season because your local SEO isn’t in order. Instead, do all of the above three steps, and watch as local residents find you and then shop in your store.

The Best Way to Find Local Jobs

jobmarket-homeEvery month we hear dire news about the weakening economy and how many people are out of work. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that the government has stopped including people in the unemployed statistics that have been out of work for a long time and have given up trying to find a job.

But don’t despair because there is a nugget of hope in the equation: local jobs.

How Local Jobs can Save the Economy

With all the talk of globalization, you’d think that the economy would be robust, but the truth is, small, local businesses account for most of the jobs in the United States. That’s right—that local mom and pop store around the corner, or that marketing agency up the street are the best places to look for work when you need a job.

But if you want to succeed at a local job search, you’ll have to change the way you search. Here are three ideas to help you find the local job you need.

Use the Correct Search Tactics

Many people make the mistake of using a nationwide job search site to look for local jobs, but they quickly find out that it’s nothing more than a time waster. That’s because almost everyone who is looking for a job visits those same sites, and the competition is stiff. Just imagine if you were an employer who posted a job on one of those sites and were inundated with thousands of resumes. As you can imagine, your resume could easily be overlooked or rejected.

The alternative is simple: use a local search directory to look for those local jobs. These directories are geared toward local people, and the employers who advertise on them are specifically looking for people in the community. In other words, they’ll only get applications from locals and will make their selection from that smaller pool. By applying for local jobs this way, you’ll drastically increase your chances of getting hired.

Dress the Part

Every locality has a different “dress code,” and in order to make the best first impression, you’ll need to dress the part. For example, if you’re searching for a local job in a big city, you’ll want to dress professionally by wearing a business suit. But if you live in a beach resort, you’ll need to tone down your attire and dress more appropriately for the region.

Hone up on Your Interview Skills

Once your resume has caught the attention of an employer and you’ve put together the perfect attire for your first meeting, you’ll need to go through the interview process. This meeting is crucial because oftentimes, it’s the only chance you’ll have to make a good impression. If you haven’t already, be sure to hone up on your interview skills so you’ll present yourself in the best light possible.

A Note for Employers

If you’re an employer who is sick and tired of wading through thousands of applications from nationwide sites, why not post your job listing on a local directory site? By doing so, you’ll only receive applications from local, qualified applicants, which will make the hiring process easier and likely give you better results.

Remember, searching for a local job doesn’t have to be difficult. And if you stick to local business directories to conduct your search, you’ll likely be able to land a job much more quickly.

Thank You Google! The Search Engine’s Latest Algorithm Update Makes Our Local Search Directory More Relevant Than Ever

ful 1If you know anything about Google, you know that they change their algorithms.  A lot. And while they do it improve people’s search results, sometimes those changes have other effects, as well. For instance, we believe that Google’s most recent algorithm update is a clear sign that local businesses should get listed in local business directories as soon as possible. The Pigeon update, released in late July and tweaked several times over the past six months, appeared to give more preference to listings in local business directories while essentially wiping out hometown businesses in favor of national corporations with a local presence. That’s not good for local businesses, or for those consumers who are looking for local results.

Local Searches are Key in Today’s Mobile World

That’s because these days more and more people are using their smart phones, tablets and other devices to search for restaurants, retail stores and other local businesses. According to the latest figures released by Google, more than 70 percent of the time, when someone searches on a mobile device, they are looking for a local business. What’s more, four out of five searches on mobile platforms result in a purchase, often within a few hours of the search. Authors John Quelch and Katherine Jocz recently summed it up by saying, “Place matters more than ever in a global, virtual world.”

The change in Google’s algorithm is opening up new space for the resurgence of local business directories. Once a staple of web searches, the importance of local directories took a hit as the search engine giant improved its algorithms to offer more relevant results. Now, however, it appears that the tide is turning back in favor of those local business directories.

Local Business Directories are Once Again Front and Center

The move back to local search is aided and abetted by improved browser and Internet technology. For example, Geolocation services allow us to present our site visitors with a plethora of local search results, and we do it all in one page. Visitors to our site will find local concert and event results, offers and ads from the local businesses in their area, local weather reports, local news results, and even Twitter feeds that feature tweets from local users. Businesses that want to take advantage of the local audience can opt for featured listings that put their business details in front of the people that matter most – their potential local customers. Imagine, your local community seeing your business listed on the front page of their local directory.

Who We Are

As the large search engines become less and less relevant to customers looking for local mom-and-pop stores and restaurants, local business directories such as ours are taking advantage of new technology to step in and provide what the people want – true local search relevance. At FindUsLocal, we pride ourselves in being a unique USA local business directory. Our interface with browser technology allows us to deliver completely customized local content to site visitors, and provides a competitive advantage to businesses that use our premium local promotion services. In fact, our company’s blend of local news, events and business search results make it one of the fastest growing local business directories online.

If you are a business who relies on local customers to fuel your business, then you should pay attention to the trend of local business directories. By listing your business on one, you’ll make your business instantly visible to the consumers who are ready to buy your products. Why not check us out today and find out how we can make your business be seen by the people who are anxious to find you?

And if you’re a consumer who is looking for an easier way to find local businesses when you’re ready to do business, we can help you, too. Simply make us your go-to page whenever you’re looking for Churches, restaurants, theatres, local events, and sporting events. And if you simply want to catch up the latest news from your area, find out what the weather is doing, or read the latest tweets from your area, you’ll find that, too.

Get ready for a shift in local searches, and bookmark our page as we are one of the forerunners in the equation. Remember, if you want to be seen locally, or need to find a local business, FindUsLocal is the place you should look.