Tag Archives: online reviews

4 Practical and Easy Techniques to Make Your Local Business Directory Listing More Engaging for Customers

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAgUAAAAJDExNmRhN2I4LWU2NDItNDU1YS05Yzk0LWQ1MDAxMjE0ZDg3ZgMarketing a local business online isn’t as complicated as most business owners believe. In fact, contrary to what many so-called local SEO gurus want you to believe, most of the “rules” for bringing in customers using the Internet are pretty common sense. If that’s the case, why do so many people think it’s so complicated that businesses have to pay experts to do things like create local business directory listings and manage their online presence?

If you own a local business with a website, chances are you’ve been spammed with promises to get your business listed in “hundreds of local business directories” and help you “manage your business profiles” online. In many cases, those companies use strategies that aren’t particularly helpful – and may actually hurt your business’ online reputation. Paying someone to make sure your business is included in hundreds of business directories won’t necessarily hurt your business – but it probably won’t help much. Google tech executives have indicated that LOTS of listings on random business directories aren’t as effective as a handful of well-crafted listings on well-managed local business directories like FindUsLocal.com.

In other words, the key to good local SEO is quality over quantity. In addition, the best practices for creating a good local business directory listing look surprisingly like the best practices for good customer engagement. These six tips for creating a high quality local business directory listing – and using it effectively – are practical and easy to do.

Double Check Your Listing for Accuracy

You don’t have to be a top-notch copy writer to make your business look good in a business listing, but you do have to be accurate. Double check your listing to make sure that your contact information is correct, and that there are no misspellings or typos. No one expects you to write like an English major, but they do expect you to know how to spell the name of your own business. Spelling mistakes and typos make your business look sloppy and unprofessional – and a typo in your telephone number makes it far more difficult for your potential customers to contact you.

Add Photos If You Can

Dating website owners famously tell their registered users that “profiles with pictures get more clicks.” The same is true for businesses that add photos to their local business directory listings. A picture may not be worth a thousand words, but good pictures will definitely attract the attention of potential customers. Tailor the photos you choose to the type of business you run. Use your business logo to help cement your brand image and help your customers find your business quickly and easily among all the listings. Add photos of the outside of your building, especially if it’s a locally recognizable venue. Restaurants might feature photos of their best-selling menu items. Shops could include interior photos showing product displays. Professionals such as lawyers, accountants and real estate agents – businesses that rely on client trust – could include a head shot, or an “action shot” of the business owner doing what they do best.

Provide Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Business reviews and testimonials are marketing gold. Satisfied customers are still the very best advertising for any business, and that’s truer than ever these days. These days, potential customers typically check online reviews before they buy just about anything. Local business directory sites like FindUsLocal.com often give business owners a place in their listing pages to show off testimonials and business reviews, so take full advantage of it. It’s no different than framing that great newspaper article about your place and hanging it on your wall.

Speaking of online reviews, do claim your business listing at major review sites for your industry and encourage your customers to post reviews on them. Use those reviews to gauge what your business is doing well and where it might be missing the mark. Just as importantly, take advantage of the opportunity to engage with your customers. Thank them for positive reviews, tell them how nice it was to serve them, and if you find a negative review, ask the customer to contact you so you can address their concerns.

Write a Good Business Description

The business description you write will often appear as the snippet of information that’s included in search results, so make it a good one. Keep the length in mind – in most cases, you’ll only have a short sentence or two to convince people you’re the best choice for their needs. Think of it as your elevator pitch, or your Unique Selling Proposition – short, sweet, and to the point.

A good local business directory listing does double duty when it comes to raising your business profile online. When you take the time to craft an engaging business listing, your business will benefit both from being more visible on that particular local business directory – it will also be far more likely to show up and attract attention when people search for your business on Google or other search engines.

Thirteen Tips to Power Your Local Business Directory SEO Strategy

how-to-crack-neet-2017When your business relies on customers that live nearby, you may think that online advertising isn’t that important. The fact is, your customers are every bit as likely to jump online when they’re looking for delivery pizza or a handyman as they are when they’re looking for a new pair of shoes. If you’re not thinking of local SEO and local business directory listings, you’re probably missing out on a lot of customers who are calling your competition. These six tips will help you promote your local business online through a combination of local SEO, local business directory listings and social media. Before you know it, you’ll be leaving your competition in the dust.

Start with Your Own Website

Okay. Lots of very small businesses get by with just a Facebook page, but that’s short-sighted. While you can create a good online presence without creating your own website, you risk losing it all if one or more of the websites you use changes their business model. Facebook is especially notorious for changing the way it displays listings to people. Your website is the one place where you hold complete control over what people see.  Whether you create your own website or contract with someone to do it for you, pay special attention to these five items:

  • Your domain name should be your business name or include your business name, services, and/or location.
  • Make sure your page titles include your business, location and services. A family attorney, for example, might have pages titled[Business Name] [City] Child Custody Lawyer,[Business Name] [City] Divorce Attorney, [Business Name] [City] Adoption Attorney, etc.
  • Include local details in your website copy. For example, include a map and written directions on your About or Contact page that includes local landmarks, and mention that you’re proud sponsors of the [Neighborhood] Little League team. Not only will it make your website feel more personal to customers, those local details help Google and other search engines determine that you really are a local business.

Update and Build Out Your Listings on Local Business Directory Pages

Search engines get information about your business from many places besides your own website. When your business isn’t listed on major local business directory pages – or is listed with inconsistent information – it can make you less visible in the local search results.

  • Find your business on major local business directory sites and update your listing to make sure all of the information is accurate and consistent. Include Google+ and major review sites, such as Yelp and TripAdvisor to boost your visibility.
  • Include your business in local business directory sites like FindUsLocal.com, a premiere business directory that provides a unique, localized user experience for its site visitors.
  • Where you can, add photos and other information in your local directory listings to make them more attractive and engaging.
  • If you have multiple locations, list each location on a separate page in each local business directory.

Use a Good Link Strategy

Incoming links from authoritative sources are still among the most important pieces of an online promotion strategy. However, linking from “bad neighborhoods” can actually harm your online reputation.

  • Use Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts to share links to your website – but be strategic. Share links to specific pages on your website where appropriate rather than just to your main page.
  • Encourage others to share links to your website via social media.
  • Sponsor local events or teams, and ask for a link back to your website when media and other local organizations report on the events.
  • If you have the time, consider blogging about your business where you can talk about your services, your neighborhood and other businesses. Outgoing links to nearby locations and businesses also help boost your online profile.

Ask for Online Reviews and Respond to Them Often

Online reviews of local businesses provide some of the best links available to boost your business visibility. When you respond to those reviews – whether they’re positive or negative – you not only increase your credibility with customers and potential customers, you send another signal to search engines that you are an authentic local business with an engaged business owner.

  • Ask for ratings and reviews from your customers. The ask can be as simple as a sign at the checkout register or on a table card, or as personal as a quick email after you provide a service. Make it easy by providing a variety of sites where your customers can leave reviews. Local business directory FindUsLocal.com even includes a space where your customers can leave reviews of your business, which will then appear on the front page of the website when someone local visits their pages.
  • Respond to user reviews, both the good and the bad. For positive reviews, a simple thanks and “please come back soon!” goes a long way. If a review is negative, thank the customer for the feedback and ask them to contact you so you can address their concerns.

Local Business Directory Reviews: How to Get and Use Them to Your Benefit

customer-reviews-2By now, you’ve probably read about all the benefits of creating a local business listing on one of the popular local business directories. These directories have taken the internet by storm as more and more consumers flock to them to find US local businesses. The reason they’ve become so popular in the past few years is because people got tired of looking for local businesses on the large search engines because frankly, they’re designed to give people national results.

So local business directories were born and savvy local business owners have had to rethink they way they bring in new business by using them.

Online Reviews are an Important Aspect of Local Business Listings

After you’ve created your local business listing on a directory like FindUsLocal.com, it’s time to put it to work for your local shop, service business, or restaurant. And one of the smartest ways to do that is to ensure you have at least ten online reviews for your business.

Today’s consumers demand social proof when looking for local businesses and online reviews are important to them. In fact, one recent study shows that people trust online reviews just as much as they do a personal recommendation from a friend or family member.

But many local business owners have questions about how to get online reviews—and then how to use them to attract new business. So we’ve put together this brief guide to help you with this important aspect of your local business marketing.

How to Get Online Reviews

Many local business owners become overwhelmed when they realize just how important online reviews are because they think they’re so difficult to get. But the truth is, another recent study shows that a full 74 percent of those people surveyed say they are open to leaving online reviews if they’re asked. In other words, if you make it a practice to ask your customers to leave a review for your business on the local business directory, they will do it. It’s just a matter of incorporating the practice into your everyday business.

Respond to Online Reviews

Whether you get raving reviews or ones that are a little less enthusiastic, it’s important for your customers to know that they’ve been listened to. By leaving a simple thank you when someone leaves you a great review, or opening an honest dialogue with those who leave less than favorable ones, you can open up the lines of communication with your customers. And quality local business directories like FindUsLocal.com make it easy with their new comments section. This allows you to leave comments directed toward your customers and community.

When You Get a Bad Review

Bad reviews happen, but the way you respond them will make all the difference in how they affect your local business. Don’t become defensive or arrogant in your response, but instead, listen to what the customer is saying and think about how you can improve your business so another customer won’t have the same experience. Thank the reviewer for their honest opinion, and then tell them how their review helped you implement some changes in the business. Other people will see your response and know that you are a local business owner who cares about the experiences of your customers.

Local business directories are changing the way local businesses operate and local reviews are an important part of that. Follow the above tips and learn how to use online reviews in your local business listings. Pretty soon, you’ll have a line out the door of people who found your business and were convinced to come because of all the great online reviews.

How to Brush Up Your Local Business Directory Listing

localmarketingListing your business in an online local business directory is an important part of any promotional strategy. These days, few businesses can flourish with just traditional marketing strategies. Ads in the local newspaper or local radio stations are still useful, but they contribute less and less value to the typical business bottom line. If you’re trying to reach new customers, online business promotion is vital. A listing in a good online local business directory can help you reach more potential customers and bring them through your door.

That said, some local business directories are better than others. While it’s helpful to at least list your business on as many directories as you can, the listings that will bring you the best results are the ones on a local business directory like FindUsLocal.com, which focuses on providing an engaging, totally local experience for the customers that are most important to you – those that live close enough to walk through your door. These 10 tips can help you create an engaging, compelling online business listing. Depending on the business directory site you’re working with, some of them might not apply. The more of these tips you can put into practice, though, the better your results will be.

Find Your Business Listings

Your first step is to find free local business directories where your business might already be listed. Many of these free local directories populate their database with business information taken from publicly available information, which means there’s always a chance that the information listed is out-of-date or incomplete. They invite business owners to “claim” their listing, a way of encouraging businesses to register with them. The signup process is usually quite simple, and well worth the little time and effort it takes. Claiming your business listing gives you access to make changes and updates to what is shown on the page.

Correct and Update Your Business Information

Customers may stumble upon your business listing in many different online directories, so you want to make sure that the information they find is accurate. When they – or a search engine – find conflicting or inaccurate information – they reasonably wonder about your business’ credibility. Make sure that the address, telephone number and hours of operation are correct, and if the site allows it, add a link to your business website and/or your business Facebook page.

List Yourself in Multiple Applicable Categories

Make it easier for your potential customers to find you by making sure your business is listed in every category that applies to what you do. The dentist office we mentioned above would obviously list their business under “Dentists,” but they should also list themselves under any specialty service – Pediatric Dentist, Family Dentist, Cosmetic Dentist, and so on. Whatever your business is, chances are that it fits under multiple categories.

 Make Sure You’re Listed in All Areas You Cover

If you do business with surrounding towns or cities, be sure that you add those areas to your local business profile. It will help customers who are only searching within their own town to find you.

Use Your Profile on the Best Online Local Business Directory Sites to Boost Your Business

Toot your own horn! If the directory allows you to write a small business blurb as a heading for your listing, use it to shamelessly promote your services. Did a local newspaper award you a Best Of prize? Make sure you mention it. At the very least, include your business tag line so that potential customers know what sets you apart from the others.

Upload a Business Picture

If it’s an option, add a picture – or more than one – to your business listing. It can be a photo of your location, or a professional head shot of yourself, or an attractive photo of some of your best-selling products.

Add Positive Reviews in the Comments

If there’s a space for testimonials or positive reviews from past customers, get them up there. Most potential customers will read reviews and recommendations from friends and neighbors before they make a decision on using a particular business. Make it easier for them by posting any testimonials and reviews you have. The easiest way to get those recommendations is to ask satisfied customers if they’d be willing to write a quick note about their experience working with you.

 Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews

If the local business directory allows customers to leave reviews for business, it’s even easier to get those recommendations. Send happy customers to your local directory listing to rate and review your services. You can add a link to your listing on your Facebook business page or website to make it even easier.

Go Through Any Reviews and Respond to Them

Make this a regular part of your business promotion routine. Check your profile regularly – or sign up for notifications if the option is available – so that you can thank customers for positive reviews or address any problems in a timely manner.

A Note About Bad Reviews

A bad review is not the end of the world! While some advisers recommend removing bad reviews from your local business listings, that wisdom is changing. In fact, a few not-so-great reviews make your business profile look more honest. Interestingly, what one customer finds “bad” could be exactly what another customer is looking for. Even more importantly, when potential customers see you responding to unhappy customers and offering to make things right, their impressions of the business and owner tend to get better. So – unless a review is a total hit piece – resist the temptation to remove it, and instead, address it publicly, even if all you say is, “Please call us so that we can resolve that issue.”

While it may seem like a chore to update and spruce up your local business directory listings, it really takes much less time than you’d expect – and the benefits are worth every minute you spend on them.

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.

4 Ways Local Business Directories can Rock Your Local Marketing

0107_improve-800x480Local business owners across the nation are rethinking about the way they market their local business because it’s become clear that the old school ways of marketing simply don’t work anymore. Not so long ago, all local business owners had to do was run an ad in their community newspaper, ask for referrals from their existing customers, or take out a display ad in the local phone book. But today’s consumers don’t use any of those things to find US local businesses. Instead, they use their laptops and smartphones to look online when they want to find local businesses.

But that’s a problem for many local business owners because they either don’t have a website, or they haven’t invested the thousands of dollars it takes to get their website listing high in the search engine rankings. And that’s why so many successful shop and restaurant owners are turning to local business directories for help.

Local Business Directories are the Number One Choice of Consumers

In the early days of the internet, people had to try and find US local businesses on the large search engines, but those results were often hidden on the later pages so they were never really seen. That’s because Google and Bing often give preference to national chains and online stores with big marketing budgets. But that doesn’t help those consumers trying to find US local businesses and that’s why they’ve turned to local business directories.

If you are still on the fence about whether or not you should create a local business listing on a quality local business directory like FindUsLocal.com, here are 4 things that just may change your mind.

Use it as a Spring Board

Even if you already have a website, you can use a local business directory listing to bring traffic in to your own website. That’s because on your local business listing, you’ll have the opportunity to list your website and consumers can click on the link to visit it. There, you can give them additional details about your business, or even steer them toward your online booking page or other actions you want them to take.

Appeal to Those in Your Community

One of the best reasons to claim your listing on a local business directory is that it will be seen by the people in your community. Think about it: only the people who want to find US local businesses in your area will use the local directory, and that makes it even more probable that they will find your business.

Get Those All Important Citations

The large search engines use search engine spiders to seek out information on local businesses, and when they find a citation, such as local business listing, they attribute them to that business. And when a local shop or restaurant accumulates enough of these citations, it boosts their ranking in the search engine rankings. And one of the most effective citations out there are local business directories.

Local Customers can Tell Others About Your Business

Finally, when your customers are happy with your business, they can go to your local business listing and leave an online review for others in your community to read. Recent studies have shown that today’s consumers like to read a few reviews before they decide whether or not to buy from it. And that’s just another reason to be found on local business directories—so the people in your community can tell others about their great experience with your shop or restaurant.

Local business directories are an important part of today’s marketing for local shops, and if you’re not already listing, it’s a great time to get started. Just head on over to FindUsLocal.com and see how easy it is to ensure that your local business is found.

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.

 

How to Make Local Business Listings Work for Your Business

action-blackIf you run a local business, are you doing all you can to ensure its success for the future? After all, the reports of the death of retail are every place, but smart local business owners know that if they only make a few changes, they will be able to serve their local community for years to come. What are these small changes? Making sure your business can be found online for starters.

Local Business Directories Allow People to Find Local Businesses

In an age where people look for everything—and I mean everything—online, it’s imperative that local business owners make sure their shops, restaurants, or service businesses can be found by the internet savvy consumers of today. And while many local businesses have websites where consumers can find the information, many others don’t have the time or budget to create one. And that lack of an internet presence is one of the reasons why so many local shop owners are being forced to close their doors this year.

Before local business directories came along, people had to use the large search engines to find US local business in their area. But that’s a problem because the large search engines aren’t exactly designed to give local results to people who just want to find a local business in their town or city. That’s because the results people see in major search engine results are often riddled with things like articles, and websites that aren’t relevant. For example, if someone were looking for a local wine shop, they may see articles about how to select a good wine, or online wine shop websites. But that won’t help them if they want to drive to a local shop and buy a bottle of wine.

That’s why so many people are turning to local business directories. These directories are designed to give people the local results they want in an easy to use format. For example, if someone were to log onto FindUsLocal.com, one of the most innovative local business directories around, they would automatically see a customized home page that is built around their local area. This happens because some local business directories use GEO location technology that reads a visitor’s location as soon as they log onto the site.

Once there, visitors only have to enter their search term in the local business directories search bar and they will instantly see a listing of the local businesses that fit the criteria in the results. In other words, if you were to look for that wine shop in your own town or city, you would enter “wine shop” in the search bar on a local business directory and you would only see the local wine shops in your area.

How to Ensure Your Business is Seen on Local Business Directories

Now that you understand the importance of local business directories for your local shop, let’s talk about the best way to list your business there. It’s not that difficult, but you will need to follow a few steps to ensure that your local business listing is correct so you’ll reap the most benefits from it. Here are 3 things you should always do when listing your business on a local business directory.

  • Create your local business listing. First, you’ll need to create your very own local business listing so people can find your shop or restaurant when they’re looking for one like yours. To do this, simply claim your business on local business directories like FindUsLocal.com and then fill in the details. Be sure to fill in your name, address, phone number, and website URL exactly the same on every local business directory because if you don’t, all your hard work will be for nothing.
  • Ask Customers to Leave Reviews. Most consumers want to read some honest local reviews about a business before they decide whether or not to visit their shop or restaurant, and if your business doesn’t have some, it could hurt your business. To overcome this, simply point your current customers to your local business listing on the local business directory. There, they can leave a review for your business, which will help other people decide whether or not to visit your shop.
  • Open a two-way conversation. Today’s consumers expect local business owners to have a professional relationship with them, and most of the interaction is done online. This has been a major problem for a lot of business owners because they don’t have the time needed to build a large social media following. But now they don’t have to with the innovation genius of local business directories like FindUsLocal.com. There, you’ll find something called the comments section and you can use it to interact with your customers in real time. It makes the process of communicating with your customers and others in your community easy and efficient. Plus it can be done in only a few minutes a day compared to the hours it takes to use social media to do the same.

Local business directories are an important tool in the tool belt of local business directories. Have you taken the important step of claiming your local business listing on FindUsLocal.com? If not, what are you waiting for? A new customer could be looking for a business just like yours right this minute!

How to Spot a Fake Review

downloadAre you one of the millions of consumers who rely on other’s online reviews about a product or service before making a decision? A new study out shows that a full 90 percent of people read online reviews about something before they make a decision about whether or not to buy it.

But did you know that some of those reviews were written by someone who was compensated for it, or employees or friends of the owner?

It’s true. In fact, one study shows that 20 percent of all reviews left on Yelp are fake, and another shows that 47 percent of contractors use fake reviews. And everyone’s heard of the lawsuit Amazon filed against people last year for posting fake reviews on its site.

So, if you’re a consumer who relies on online reviews to make your buying decisions, what can you do?

Here’s a simple guide that will help you learn to spot fake reviews so you can begin buying in confidence again.

Reviews That are Extreme

One of the key giveaways when looking for fake reviews is that most of them are either super positive or negative. Fake reviewers seem to go to the extreme and write reviews that make the business sound like the best in the industry, or negative ones so bad that they’re over the top. Look for moderate reviews that don’t sound as if they’re trying sell you on something good or bad.

Restaurant Reviews

Studies show that restaurants that have very few reviews or some bad ones are more likely to engage in asking for fake reviews. The takeaway for this tidbit is if a restaurant has a few bad reviews and also some that are great, the good ones may or may not be real.

Retail Chains are Typically Safe

Studies show that stores that are part of a chain are less likely to engage in review fraud. That’s because these types of stores and restaurants don’t heavily rely on reviews to attract new customers.

Watch the Language

In addition to over the top language, you should also look for descriptions that include very formal words and are more technical in nature. Real reviewers tend to relate experiences. For example, a reviewer that says she loved a book because it make her feel as if she were 20 again is probably real. But a reviewer of the same book who says she loved the book because the grammar was good and the prose was well thought out could be a fake.

Check Out the Reviewer

Finally, local business directories make it easy to check out the person who is leaving the review. If you find that it’s the only review they’ve left, and the review was extreme in emotions, it could be a fake. But if the reviewer has a long list of reviews with some being good and some being bad, chances are, that review is legitimate.

It’s nice to be able to rely on real reviews when shopping online, but you’ve got to learn to spot the fake ones if you’re going to use them to make smart decisions. Use the tips above to increase your chances of spotting the reviews you can trust—and the ones you can’t.