Local business owners across the nation are looking for ways to boost their business as more and more consumers are turning to online stores to fill their needs. But a recent study shows that local business owners shouldn’t give up when it comes to attracting local consumers to their business. The study shows that of all the people surveyed, a full 75 percent of them prefer to shop locally. So, what’s the disconnect? After all, thousands of stores are closing in our nation. There is one key difference between those stores that are thriving—despite the growth of online retail stores—and those that are shuttering their doors.
Local Business Directories are the Difference Between Success and Failure
There is one thing successful local business owners do that others don’t: they create business listings on local business directories like FindUsLocal.com. Online local business directories make it easy for people to find US local businesses because they don’t have to wade through all of the irrelevant results that come up in the major search engines. For example, if you were looking for an Indian restaurant on a major search engine, you would likely see recipes and other similar things in the results. But if you searched for Indian restaurant on a local business directory, you would only see a listing of all the Indian restaurants in your area.
So, as a local business owner, how do you ensure that your local business listing will be seen by those people in your community who are looking for a shop or eatery like yours? Here are 2 tips that help people find your business.
Set up Your Local Business Listing Correctly to Get the Best Results
When creating your local business listing, it’s important to do it in a way that will give you the best results so it will come up in the search engine results. You see, the large search engines use spiders to scour the internet and find all of the local business listings for your business, and when you have more than one, it increases the chances of your business listing showing up in the results. For example, if you create a business listing on both Yelp! And FindUsLocal.com, it will make it more likely that when someone tries to find US local businesses in your area, yours will be seen.
But when you create multiple local business listings, you’ll need to make sure they’re exactly the same on every local business directory that you use. For example, your business name, address, phone number, and website address must match exactly—otherwise the search engine spiders won’t recognize the listings as yours and all your hard work will have been for nothing.
Make Sure you Do This Very Important Thing
After you’ve properly set up your local business listings, it’s time to make those listings work to the benefit of your business, and one of the best things you can do to ensure that is to ask your customers to leave online reviews on them. Not sure why this is so important? Here are some results from a recent study showing just how important local reviews are for your business.
- 90 percent of the people asked in one study say that they need to read about 10 reviews before making a decision about whether or not they will buy from a local shop or restaurant. That means you should constantly ask your customers to leave reviews on your local business listing to build up as many reviews as you can get.
- The reason you need to consistently ask your customers to leave reviews is because of those surveyed, 73 percent say they ignore online reviews that are 3 month old or older. Be sure to make it a habit to ask for reviews in order to overcome this obstacle.
- If you’re still not convinced that having online reviews is important, the survey shows that 74 percent of the people surveyed say that when they see that a local business has good online reviews, it makes them want to do business with it. And even more important is the fact that 58 percent of those surveyed say that when a business has good online reviews, it causes them to visit that eatery, shop, or service business.
- Are you wondering how in the world you’re going to get your customers to leave reviews on your online local business listing? According to the study, it’s not that difficult. In fact, 7 out of 10 people surveyed say that they would leave a review for a local business when asked.
- Finally, if you’re still not convinced of the importance of local business listings, 84 percent of the people surveyed say that they place just as much importance on online reviews as they do a personal recommendation from a friend or family member. Now that is a statistic that’s hard to argue with!
If you’re a retail local business owner who is struggling to figure out how to thrive in our new online economy, the above two tips are a great place to start. Begin by creating a business listing on an online business directory like FindUsLocal.com. Make sure to use the same information on all of your listings, and then ask your customers to go there and leave online reviews. Once you’ve taken these two steps, you’ll quickly reap the benefits of having a great online presence.