How to Ensure Your Small Business Listing is Seen by Shoppers

When you take the steps to create a local business listing, you want to make sure that you get as much benefit from it as you can. After all, your local marketing efforts should be impactful enough to cause new customers to walk in your doors in a daily basis.

But not everyone understands how to set up a local listing in a way that will reap the most benefits. Here is what you need to know in order for yours to pull in the most customers.

You Need to Be Listed in a Credible Small Business Directory

It’s a little known fact, but not all local business directories are the same—and not all of them will help you bring in new business. In fact, if you list your small business on one of the local directories that are nothing more than a database, it may hurt your search engine rankings, exactly the opposite effect of what you want.

That’s because the large search engines reward local businesses that have credible local citations on quality small business directories. But if your business is listed on a database that is filled with incorrect or outdated information, it will actually hurt your rankings because not all of them will be attributed to your business. We’ll address this issue in the 4 remaining sections of this article.

Your Business Name Needs to Be Consistent in Your Local Listings

It seems elementary, but unless you list your small business name exactly the same on each and every small business listing you create, it will cause problems. For example, if you run a donut shop named Frank’s Delicious Donuts, Inc. and you include the “Inc” on some of your local listings and not on others, not all of them will be attributed to your business.

Your Business Address Needs to Appear the Same in Your Small Business Listings

Just as your business name needs to match, so does your business address. Here is where a lot of small business owners get in trouble because they don’t understand just how important the details are. For example, if Frank’s Donuts were located on 124 Main Avenue and it was listed that way on some small business directories but listed as 124 Main Ave on others, it would create the same problems. The search engine spiders simply cannot distinguish between listings that aren’t exactly the same, down to the punctuation.

Your Business Phone Number Should Also Match

It seems odd that entering a business phone number could go wrong, but again, unless it matches on every small business listing, it will throw off the search engine spiders and cause confusion. So, if you plan to use the area code in some local listings, you must use it in every business listing you create.

Finally, Don’t Forget the Details on Your Website Address

If you have a company website, you’ll want to include that on your small business listing in case shoppers want to visit it and get even more information about your shop or restaurant. But just like with the other information you include in your local listing, you’ll need to ensure that you enter it the same way on every listing.

For example, some people include the www.https:// when listing their website and others simply use the name.com portion of the website. Choose which style you’ll use and then enter it the same on all your small business listings.

Having an online presence is a great way to use local marketing to your advantage, and there is simply no better way to do it than by creating a local listing on a free small business directory like FindUsLocal.com. If you haven’t already created yours, you should take 5 minutes and do it now. Maybe someone in your community is looking for a local business like yours right now.

 

Small Business Directories Help Bring New Customers to Your Local Business. Here’s How to Use Them

For small, local business owners, bringing new customers into their store is their number one priority. After all, if you run a local business, you’ll need to continuously add new customers to keep the sales flowing in. Those local business owners who only rely on existing customers soon find themselves in a lot of trouble.

But in the age of the internet, how do you reach out to new customers and persuade them to visit your store? One word: free small business directories.

What is a Free Small Business Directory?

When people want to find US local businesses, they basically have 3 ways they can go about the task—and not all of them are efficient or realistic. Here are the 3 ways people typically try to find local businesses.

  • Use the Yellow Pages. The Yellow Pages have been around a long time, and until the past decade, it was the preferred way to find a local business. But with the advent of the internet, his old school method has fallen out of favor with consumers. It’s bulky, takes up too much space, can only be used inside the home, and just isn’t considered convenient anymore. Today’s consumers consider local business directories in place of the Yellow pages.
  • Use a large search engine. The larger search engines have been trying for years to implement a system to help people find USA local businesses, and while they have rolled out some efforts, the truth is that people just don’t like to use them. That’s because the search engine results are often filled with national chains, articles about the topic, or online stores.
  • Use a free small business directory. These handy online small business listing sites are the new and improved way to find local businesses and consumers are using them in droves. In fact, a recent survey shows that 1 out of every 2 shoppers use local listings when trying to find a local business.

How to Use Free Small Business Directories

In order to create a small business listing, there are some steps you’ll need to take in order to get the most out of the local marketing technique. Here are 3 that you should pay special attention to:

  • Choose the right small business directory. When searching online, you’ll find a lot of local business directories to choose form but be careful because not all of them will get the results you want. Some of the business directories are nothing more than databases filled with incorrect and outdated information and the search engine spiders don’t look kindly on those local directories. Instead, choose a quality business directory like FindUsLocal.com that offers its visitors an array of features such as links to local events, the local news, and the ability to leave live comments about a business.
  • Set up your small business listing the right way. When you log onto a local business directory, you should use the search bar to find your local business. Once you do, claim it and then you’ll be asked to fill in the details. Here’s where it’s important to be very careful. In order for all of your local listings to be attributed to your business, they must match—down to the tiniest of details. For example, if you have an “inc,” at the end of your business name, you’ll need to either include it on all of your local listings or not. You can’t include it in some and leave it out in others.
  • Keep your small business listing fresh. The search engine spiders reward those local listings that continuously add new content. The best way to do that is to ask your customers to leave reviews for your business. Those reviews are considered new content by the major search engines and if you have enough reviews, it will push up your business listing in the results.

In addition to the above mentioned tactics, you should also take advantage of the unique feature offered only by FindUsLocal. This free small business directory not only makes shoppers want to visit the site time and time again, but if offers a way for local shop owners to add fresh content to their small business listing daily. As a local business owner, you can add comments to your local listing, and those comments are considered content by the major search engines.

For example, if you want to announce a sale, a new product offering, a job opening, or just tell the community how much you appreciate their business, you can leave a live comment on your local listing. And the best part of this exclusive feature is that the community can also leave comments. They can respond to yours, or add comments all of their own.

Free small business directories are the new Yellow Pages—with major new benefits. Have you created your local listing yet? If not, why not take 5 minutes and head over to FindUsLocal.com, the best free business directory now? You may reap new business from the effort as early as this afternoon.

Almost 100 Percent of Shoppers Look Online for Local Businesses. Will They Find Yours?

Some new startling reports have come out recently that show just how much consumer behavior has changed in the past few years when it comes to finding US local businesses. In the past, people mostly relied on off-line methods such as looking in the Yellow Pages or local newspapers. But these days, people look on the internet when they want to find local businesses.

Here are just some of the takeaways from the studies:

  • 97 percent of people look to the internet when trying to find US local businesses. That means if your small business can’t be found online, you’re missing out on a whole lot of potential new customers.
  • Half of people look for local businesses online every single day. Can you imagine how many people look for a local business like yours every day?
  • 1 out of every 2 people use small business directories when trying to find local businesses online. Is your business listed in a quality local business directory yet? If not, why?

How to Create a Free Small Business Listing—the Right Way

There are a lot of small business directories on the internet, but not all of them will get you the results you want. In fact, if you create your local listing on the wrong directory, it could actually hurt your search engine rankings. Here’s why.

The major search engines deploy search engine spiders to crawl the web and look for local citations, and the more citations a small business has, the higher it will appear in the search engine rankings.

But in order for the spiders to attribute a local citation to your business, it must match the other citations exactly. For example, if the name of your business is ABC Rugs of Main Street, but on some free business listings it appears as ABC Rugs of Main St., that citation won’t be attributed to your business. What’s worse, it will confuse the spiders and that may cause your search engine rankings to fall.

Ensure Your Free Business Listings Stay Fresh

Another thing the search engine spiders do is to continuously look for new content added by web pages. And the more new content that’s added, the more they take notice and reward it by moving up that site in the search engine rankings. This is one of the best local marketing ideas you can use to get eyes on your local listing.

It’s easy to add new content to your local business listing. You can either add new products as they become available, add comments to the local listing, or encourage your customers to leave online reviews for your business. All of these things are viewed as new content in the eyes of the spiders, and they will all help you achieve higher search engine rankings.

What are You Waiting for?

If you haven’t already created your local listing, what are you waiting for? The small business listing is free and it only takes a few minutes to set up. And what’s more is that the potential for new business is astronomical.

Head on over to FindUsLocal.com now and claim your business listing. It’s one of the most popular small business directories around, and the search engine spiders love it.

How to Carve Out Your Niche in Local Advertising

Vector digital marketing concept in flat style – hand holding megaphone – online advertising campaign development

Local marketing and advertising is one of the most important things small, local business owners can do. In fact, if you neglect this all important task, chances are your small business won’t be around in the years to come.

But there’s a major problem: many local shop owners still believe that they can use the same old local marketing techniques that have worked for them in years past. The problem is, today’s consumers don’t rely on those methods to find US local businesses anymore. Instead, they look to the internet.

Here’s a brief sample of the old school local marketing techniques that don’t work anymore:

  • Yellow Pages ads. Not that long ago, a local business didn’t have a chance of success unless they took out an ad in the local Yellow Pages. But these day, shoppers almost never turn to the Yellow Pages to find local business. Don’t spend your advertising dollars on these relics.
  • Newspaper ads. Remember when clipping coupons from the community newspaper was the best way to find local deals and sales? If you’re still relying on running ads in local newspapers, your new customer base probably isn’t what you want it to be. That’s because today’s consumers look online for both their local news and for all those local coupons and sales.
  • Mail outs. In the past, some local business owners used mass mail outs to get the attention of local buyers, and these worked well for a few years. The concept was simple: local businesses would band together and send out an envelope loaded with coupons. Homeowners would go through the coupons, select the ones they wanted to use, and then visit those local stores. Unfortunately, this local marketing method doesn’t offer good results any more.

The New Local Marketing

Smart small business owners have figured out those methods no longer work to bring in new business and have moved on to use the local marketing methods that do. But before we talk about the best local marketing technique, let’s talk about why the old school methods no longer work.

  • Consumers are rushed for time. Think about your own life—when is the last time you have an extra 15 minutes to go through an envelope stuffed with coupons or to track down the bulky Yellow Pages and then thumb through it to find local businesses? It’s been awhile, huh? Guess what? Other people are just as busy and that’s one reason why they don’t find local businesses using these outdated marketing methods anymore.
  • Shoppers look on the internet to find local businesses. These days, almost everyone carries a smartphone, tablet, or uses a laptop computer, and according to the latest studies, 97 percent of them look online to find US local businesses. If you’re business can’t be found there, you’re missing out on a whole lot of new business.
  • People like to find all the information in one convenient place. It’s no longer necessary to find a business phone number in one place, their store hours in another, and driving directions in yet another. With inventions like free small business directories, it’s now possible for shoppers to find all the information they need with the click of a mouse.

How to Take Advantage of the New Local Marketing

If you’re still relying on old school local marketing techniques, today is the day you can do something about it. By simply creating a free local listing on a quality small business directory like FindUsLocal.com, you’ll talk the most important step.

These online small business directories are where 1 out of every 2 people look when trying to find US local businesses. And studies show that when shoppers find the local shops and restaurants this way, the majority of them end up visiting the establishment.

To create your free small business listing, just head on over to FindUsLocal and claim your business. Then fill in all the details about your shop. Remember, customers want to find all the information about your store in one place, so be sure to fill in as many details about it as you can.

Keep in mind that in order to make the most of your small business directory listings, you’ll need to enter the exact same information when it comes to your business name, address, phone number, and website address. In other words, don’t enter our business address as 123 Main Street on some local listings and Main St. on others. If you do, all the local business listings you create won’t be recognized by the search engine spiders as belonging to your local business, and that means a lot of time and effort would be wasted.

Free small business directory listings should be an integral part of your local marketing efforts. Remember, yesterday’s tactics no longer work and if you want to attract the most new customers, you’ll have to ensure that they can find you when they try to find US local businesses just like yours. And according to all the latest research, they’re looking online, specifically in local business directories.

 

New Statistics Show the Difficulty—and Importance of Local Marketing

Running a local business is a constantly changing endeavor, and a new study shows just how confusing it’s become for local shop, restaurant, and service businesses across the nation. The study was conducted by Capital One, and it surveyed local business owners across the nation.

We’ve decided to take apart the study and show just how free small business directories can address most of these perceived challenges.

Local Business Owners Can’t Find New Customers

41 percent of those local shop owners surveyed show that they have a hard time with local marketing because they can’t seem to find enough new customers to keep their stores running. But the solution is easy: local businesses need an online presence because 97 percent of today’s consumers look online when they want to find US local businesses.

But you don’t have to build an expensive website in order to find new customers. Instead, simply create a free small business listing and they’ll be able to find your store.

Local Business Owners Need More Cash for Local Marketing

32 percent of those surveyed say that they have a difficult time finding enough money to conduct local marketing for their business. But again, local business directories can help with that.

It costs exactly nothing to create a free local business listing, but the benefits are powerful. It will give you that all important online presence for free.

Local Business Owners Need More Local Marketing Advice

18 percent of the local business owners surveyed say they feel that they need more advice about how to conduct local marketing for their shop, restaurant, or service business. Luckily, one small business directory has addressed that issue as well. It has created 3 free local marketing videos to show local shop owners how to conduct effective local marketing. You can view the first one on the link above and the others here and here.

Overall 76 percent of those surveyed say that they face some pretty intense local marketing challenges. They perceive the growth of online marketing to be a major factor in their difficulties, but in reality, if they understood the role of free small business directories more, they would realize that online marketing is the best thing to come along for local businesses in a very long time.

4 Reasons to Get a Free Small Business Listing Today

Local marketing and advertising tactics have changed a lot in the past couple of years. Local business owners have drastically changed the way they think about attracting new business to their local store, restaurant, or service business.

That’s because shoppers don’t act like it they used to when it comes to trying to find US local businesses. Instead of using the old school ways of finding local businesses like using the yellow pages or looking for advertisements in the local newspapers, people who want to find local businesses are now looking for them on the internet in digital form.

Where to Find Local Businesses Online

Most people assume you need to have a company website in order to be seen online, but the truth is, recent studies show that shoppers don’t look for individual websites when looking for local businesses. Instead, they turn to business directories.

Local directories are a new form of local marketing that is taking the local business owner world by storm. That’s because they allow shoppers to bypass the large search engines with all of their irrelevant results and get the local listings they’re looking for.

For example, if someone were looking a kitchen store in Los Angeles, California, they could go to one of the free business directories online and find the local business they were looking for without the hassle.

If you haven’t yet created your free small business listing, here are 4 great reasons why you might want to do so today.

You Need an Online Presence

Gone are the days when you can rely on the Yellow pages or other offline local marketing techniques to bring in new business. These days, shoppers—even local shoppers—look to the internet when they want to find US local businesses. But those business owners who can’t be found online are missing out on all this because if a business isn’t listed online, today’s shoppers aren’t even going to know they exist.

You Need Higher Search Engine Rankings

In addition to having an online presence, your business needs to show up high enough in the search engine rankings that online shoppers have a chance to find your local business. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to contribute fresh content to your small business listings on a regular basis. One local business directory, FindUsLocal.com, allows you to do this by giving you the option of leaving live comments about your store. For example, you can announce—in real time—when you’re having a flash sale, need to hire an employee, or receive new product in the store. Each time you leave a live comment, the search engine spiders will view it as new content, and that will improve your search engine rankings.

You Need to Interact with Your Community

Part of successfully running a local business is becoming a part of the community so you will gain their trust. And luckily, local business directories like FindUsLocal make that possible. Remember the ability to leave live comments that we talked about in the previous section? You can also use that feature to interact with the community. For instance, you can use it to let your customers know how much you appreciate your business, be the voice for a worthy local cause, or anything else that you want to see to let your community know you support them.

You Need Credibility

Finally, as a local business owner, you need credibility in order to gain consumers trust and business. And one of the best ways to gain it is to create a free small business listing on a quality local directory like FindUsLocal.

Remember, it’s important to only list your business on credible business directories so that credibility will be passed on to your business. Steer clear of those local listing directories that are mere databases filled with outdated and wrong information.

Do you see how free small business directories can benefit your local business by exposing it to online shoppers? If you haven’t created your local listing, don’t you think it’s time? Why not head over to FindUsLocal right now and create a free business listing. Who knows? New customers could walk in your door as a result of it by this afternoon!

What is a Free Business Directory—and How Can It Get Your Local Business Ranked?

Running a small, local business is nothing like it used to be. If you think back to just 10 years ago, you could still rely on offline marketing techniques like taking out a page in the Yellow Pages, running ads n the local newspaper, or making sure local customers had your printed coupons to tempt them to visit your store.

But these days, consumers bypass all those old school marketing techniques and instead look online when they want find US local businesses.

But what if you don’t have an online presence? Chances are, most of your competitors do and when consumers want to “find local businesses near me,” they’ll end up visiting their store.

Luckily, being found on the internet, isn’t all that difficult, and you don’t have to build an expensive website to do it. That’s because small business directories are the new online Yellow Pages, and their information is listed in digital format.

In other words, when people want information about local, small businesses they go to free business directories.

What is an Online Business Directory Website?

A free business directory USA is a special search engine that is designed to help consumers find local businesses near them. It operates just like a large search engine on the internet, but instead of including a lot of national chains, articles about the topic and other irrelevant websites in the listings, a free business directory only shows you the local stores in your area related to your search.

For example, if you search for a seafood restaurant in Los Angeles, California, you would only see the business names, addresses and phone numbers for local sea food restaurants. The same holds true when you search for local stores and services businesses. Want to find a plumber in San Antonio, Texas? Use free online business listings to find them. Need a dress shop for that perfect dress? Free business directories are you answer.

How to Create Free Online Business Listings for Your Local Business

If you want to be found online by all those local shoppers looking for a business just like yours, don’t worry. You won’t have to spend hours on the project, or a lot of money. In fact, quality business directories like FindUsLocal.com are free and you can create your local business listing in under 10 minutes.

Here’s how you do it:

  • Learn the difference between online databases and true local business directories. Not all business directories are the same, and in order to be the most benefits from listing on one, you need to make sure you choose the right ones. Look for a small business directory that offers more to consumers than just a database of outdated local listings. For example, FindUsLocal offers local news, a live stream of upcoming events, and the opportunity for both consumers and business owners to leave live comments on a local business listings. Sites like these keep shoppers come back time and time to the site to find local businesses.
  • Pay attention to the details in your free local listing. When you create your free small business listing, pay attention to the details and ensure that you enter them exactly the same on each and every business listing. If you don’t, it will confuse the search engine spiders and some of the local citations you create won’t be attributed to your business. In short, enter your business name, address, phone number, and website URL exactly the same on all the free small business listings you create.
  • Drive people to your local listing by adding new content. When you drive people to your local business listing, it makes the search engine spiders sit up and take notice—and that results in a higher search engine ranking. You can drive people to your local listing by asking them to leave reviews, or communicating with your community directly by leaving live comments on your business listing. The more you interact with your community, the higher your search engine rankings will be.

Free business directories are not only the best way to increase your search engine rankings, but they’re also a great way to digitally interact with the shoppers in your community. If you haven’t already created yours, why not head over to FindUsLocal.com now, and spend 10 minutes designing your free business listing?

Correcting Your Local Business Listings: Should You Do It Using Automation or Manually?

It seems that everyone is talking about the importance of free small business listings these day—and for good reason. A recent survey shows that 97 percent of people use them to find US local businesses when they want to visit a store or restaurant.

But one important key is creating and maintaining the free small business listings is getting them right the first time, and correcting them if they’re wrong. And thanks to technology, local business owners now have the choice about whether they use automation to correct small business listings or do it manually.

But First, Why is it Important to Correct Free Local Business Listings?

A local listing does more than tell shoppers where to find local businesses. It also helps the search engine spiders identify and then rank your local business in the search engine results. In short, the more local business directories you’re listed on, the higher in the search engine rankings you’ll appear.

But that’s true only if all of your small business listings match. For example, if the name of your local business is Main Street Clothing Company, and it’s listed on one local business directory as Main St. Clothing Company and another online small business directory as Main Street Clothing Co., those local citations will not be attributed to your business because the names aren’t exactly the same. The same is true for the business address, phone number, and website that appear in the local listing.

That’s why it’s so important to continuously search for new small business listings for your business and correct them as soon as you can.

Now, let’s get back to our topic. Should you correct free small business listings manually or use the automation that is available on the web?

Using Automation to Correct Local Business Listings

At first glance, it may appear that using automation is the right choice because it will save you tons of time. After all, if you have correct each of your local listings by hand, it could take hours. But there are definite drawbacks to using automation for this important job. Here are a few:

  • Software can’t spot the nuances. Any time you’re allowing a machine to preform a task, you run the risk of it not being able to spot the nuances, and in this case, that could lead to big trouble. For example, some businesses have more than one phone number and need to list them both so that consumers can call the right number. But automated software, such as Yext, doesn’t allow for that. It will look for only 1 phone number, and if you happen to be a local business owner who has more than that, it will flag your local listings as incorrect.
  • Your fixes are temporary. If you sign up to have an automated system fix all of the inconsistencies in your local businesses and then come to the end of the contract and decide not to renew it, guess what happens? All those fixes it made to your small business listings will revert back to the pre-corrected condition. That’s right, when you use an automated system, you sign up for life, otherwise the fixes are only temporary.

Correcting Your Free Local Listings Manually

Your other option is to correct each of your local business listings manually. While this may seem like a lot of work, the benefits you’ll reap are well worth it. For example, once each and every local listing is corrected, the search engine spiders will attribute them all to your local business—and that will increase your search engine rankings.

What’s more, as you look at your business listings, you’ll be able to spot any information gaps, outdated information, or other areas that need immediate attention. Only you, or one of your employees, know your business well enough to optimize your local business listings the right way.

Free small business listings are the face of the future for local business marketing. But in order to make the most of these free and effective marketing tools, you’ll need to make sure they are updated, corrected, and optimized on a routine basis.

3 Astonishing Facts You Need to Know About Small Business Listings

Do you run a small local business? If so, how are things going for you? Do you have new customers constantly walking through the doors, or are your sales lagging and you’re wondering how long you’ll be able to keep the doors open?

Here’s the thing: every local business owner falls into one of these 2 categories. Either they have plenty of new customers to keep the business running, or they rely on existing customers and eventually have to close their doors. Which category do you fall into?

If your new customer base isn’t what it should be, it could be cured with something as simple as creating a free business listing online. Local business directories are the way today’s consumers look for US local businesses, and if yours can’t be found there, chances are you don’t have many new customers walking through your doors.

Luckily, free business listings are easy to create. Just go to an online local business directory like FindUsLocal.com and list your business there. Then, local shoppers who look online for US local businesses can find yours.

Here are 5 facts you need to know about free small business listings that will help you create the most effective one.

People Use Online Business Directories to Find US Local Businesses

A recent study shows that 97 percent of Americans use free small business directories when they want to find local businesses. Think about it,that means that almost every single person looking for local businesses turns to the handy local directories to find the shops and restaurants they want to visit. Can you see why more customers aren’t visiting your shop if you haven’t already created your free local listing?

Shoppers Require Online Reviews for Credibility

Online reviews have become so popular in the minds of today’s consumers that most of them won’t even consider visiting a local business unless they’ve first read some good reviews about it. In fact, 85 percent of people say they trust online reviews just as much as they trust a personal recommendation from a friend. And good reviews are important. Seventy-three percent of people say that in order to visit a local business, it must have at least a 4 star rating. The number of reviews you have is important as well. Most shoppers like to read about 7 reviews before making a decision, which is up from 6 reviews from last year’s survey.

Consumers Prefer Local Listings to Company Websites

A surprising fact discovered in the survey is what people do after reading positive reviews about a local business. In the past, the next step would be to go the business’ website, but most people aren’t doing that anymore. The next step for the online shoppers who read positive reviews about a business is to either contact the business by phone or visit it in person. Last year, 54 percent of people would go to the company website after reading positive reviews, but this year, only 37 percent say they would do the same. In addition, the percentage of people who will visit the shop after reading the good reviews has risen by 10 percent.

As you can see, having a free small business listing is one the most important local marketing actions you can take in order to bring in new business. If you haven’t already created yours, visit FindUsLocal.com and get started. It will only take a few minutes and may result in new customers walking into your store today.

Answered: How Can I Promote My Business for Free?

It’s an exciting time for local business owners because never before in our nation’s history has it been so easy to get your business name in front of local consumers. But if you’re still relying on the old-school methods of the past, you should know that you’re missing out on a lot of potential new business. A lot.

In fact, a recent survey shows just how much. The survey was conducted by BrightLocal and here are some of the key takeaways that, as a small, local business owner, you need to know.

If You Don’t Have a Free Small Business Listing, Today’s Consumers Can’t Find You

One of the most shocking statistics from the survey has a lot of people rushing to create local business listings on free small business directories. That’s because the survey found that 97 percent of consumers look for local businesses online. That’s a 6 percent increase over 2016, the year before. In other words, almost everyone who tries to find US local businesses turns to the internet to do so. What’s more, of that 97 percent, 12 percent of them say that find local businesses online every single day of the year. What does that mean for your business if you don’t have a free business listing?

You Need Online Reviews for Your Local Business

Another takeaway from the survey highlights the importance of online reviews. It turns out that 85 percent of shoppers trust online reviews as much as they do a personal recommendation from a friend or family member. And when a local business owner has positive reviews, it makes 73 percent of consumers trust that business even more. And when online reviews are left using the star rating system, 49 percent of shoppers need at least a 4 star rating before they will visit a business.

And if you’ve ever thought about not responding to your online reviews, the survey results just may change your mind. It turns out that 30 percent of consumers consider whether or not a local business owner responds to reviews as a key factor in how they will judge the worthiness of a business.

How to do you get online reviews for a local business? The survey gives us some insight into that, too. It seems that 69 percent of people have left reviews for a local business, but 74 percent of them were asked to do so. That means you should ask every customer who makes a purchase from your local business to leave a review on your free business listing.

And finally, today’s consumers read an average of 7 reviews before deciding whether or not to visit a local business, which is up from an average of 6 reviews the year before.

Here’s How to Get Free Business Listings and Bring in New Customers

Reading the above statistics ought to get your attention and make you think if you haven’t yet set up free business listing on a small local business directory. If you fall into this category, here are the steps you need to take to create your own free local business listing.

  • Choose Your online business directory carefully. You have a lot of choices when it comes to free business directories, but you’ll need to list your local business with one that is credible in the eyes of search engines like Google and Bing. For example, FindUsLocal.com is a local directory that works hard to give consumers a lot of features that makes them want to visit the site time and time_ again.
  • Pay attention to details when creating your free business listing. How you enter the details about your business makes a huge difference to your search engine rankings. For example, when you enter your NAP+W’s, which stands for name, address, phone number and website, you need to enter the information exactly the same on every free business listing you create. If you don’t, the search engine spiders won’t recognize it as yours and that will be one less local citation you have.
  • Ask customers to leave reviews. As you can see from the above survey results, it’s important to get as many positive online reviews as you can. And remember, a large majority of consumers leave online reviews after they’re asked to. Be sure to ask everyone who visits your local store to leave a review on your local business listing to help build up those all-important reviews.

Having free local listings is one of the most important aspects to your local marketing campaign. When asking yourself, where can I promote my business for free, think about online small business directories. And if you haven’t yet taken this important local advertising step, be sure to head over to FindUsLocal.com and get your free local listing right now.