The way people run small businesses these days has changed dramatically over the past decade and shop owners all over the nation are having to change the way they think when it comes to marketing their business. That’s because consumer behavior has changed so dramatically when they want to find US local businesses to shop at. For example, just a mere ten years ago, local consumers would look in the phone book when trying to find US local restaurants or shops, or they would scour the community newspaper in search of coupons or sale announcements. But today people log onto the internet with their smart phones or computers to find local businesses they want to visit.
But this ease of use for consumers has created a major headache for local shop and restaurant owners. That’s because many small, local business owners don’t have a website or any other kind of online presence because in the past, it just wasn’t necessary. But today with people from all over the world turning to the internet to find local businesses, it’s no longer an option.
Which brings us to the next problem: finances. Small shops and eateries don’t have the huge marketing budgets that national chains and online stores do so they don’t show up in the search engine results on the large search engines. So what’s a local business owner to do if they can’t get their shop in front of the local consumers who are looking for businesses to shop at?
Local Business Directories Provide the Perfect Solution
What if I told you that it was possible to have an online presence that wouldn’t cost you a dime? Luckily, that is possible when you create a local business listing on a local business directory. These local directories were created to solve the consumer complaints that every time they tried to find US local businesses online, they were stuck with irrelevant results that included things like articles about their search term or websites for large national chains and big box stores. But consumers like to shop locally, and they want to find the local businesses in their area.
And so local business directories were invented. When consumers use them, they simply type their search terms into the search bar on the local directory and then they’ll see all of the results from their immediate area. For example, if they were to type in “flower shop” and they lived in Los Angeles, California, they would see a list of all the local flower shops in the area. Compare that to the larger search engines where they would likely see articles about flower arranging and websites for national flower chains. Can you see why so many people are using local business directories to find US local businesses?
How Local Business Directories can Help Boost Your Sales
Now that you understand just how important local business directories are to your customers, let’s talk about how you can use them to boost the sales in your local business. Here are three ways a local directory can increase your sales—and you won’t have to spend any money to use them.
• Create a local business listing. Your first step is to create a local business listing on a local business directory like FindUsLocal.com. A local business listing is where you get to display all of the pertinent information about your business to potential customers. For example, you’ll want to include your business name, address, phone number, website if you have one, hours of operation, specialty products or menus, directions to your business and anything else you feel is important for people to know. Keep in mind that if you’ need to create local business listings on more than one directory, you’ll need to enter the details of your name, phone number, address, and website exactly the same or the large search engines won’t attribute the listings to your business—and that will hurt your rankings.
• Ask Customers for Reviews. One of the most important things local business owners can do is to have plenty of online reviews from the people in their community. Social proof is huge in today’s economy, and unless a business has some great reviews from people in its area, many people won’t take a chance on the business. But if your business has a local business listing on a local directory like Find US Local, your customers will have the opportunity to leave a review for your business on it. And as you build up that social proof, more and more new customers will find your business.
• Interact with the Community. Finally, today’s consumers expect to have a partnership with the businesses they shop at, and that means you’ll need to open up the lines of communication with them. That’s easy if you have your own website, but what if you don’t? Until recently, you would have spend hours and a lot of money to create several social media platforms to do it. But now, FindUsLocal.com has created a new way for business owners to communicate with their community. It’s called the Comments Section, and it works like this: consumers can leave comments about a businses that they’ve visited and give other consumers important information. For example, they can alter other to the fact that there is free parking near the business. And just as important is the fact that local business owners can also leave comments about their own business. Many are using this important feature to tell them about upcoming sales, new products that are arriving in the store, a special menu, or even just to say thanks to the community that supports them. The possibilities are endless. But keep in mind that FindUsLocal.com is the only local business directory that offers this special benefit.
How to Ensure That Your Local Business Listing is Seen
We spoke about the importance of paying attention to the details when creating your local business listing, and now we want to give you some specifics so you can ensure that yours is set up properly. Here are the key details you need to pay special attention to.
• Your business name. The business name must be exactly the same on every local business directory you submit to, but that’s more complicated that you may realize. For example, if the name of your business is ABC Flowers, Inc. you will need to decide how to list it. You could list it as ABC Flowers, or you could include to include the “ink” on the end of it, but you’ll have to do it the same on all of your local business listings.
• Your Business address. The same holds true when you list your business address—you’ll need to enter it exactly the same on every local business directory you list on. For example, if your business address is 123 Main Street, you will have to decide whether or not to include the Street at the end of the address. In other words, determine if you will list your business address as 123 Main or 123 Main Street.
• Your business phone number. How you enter your business phone number is just as important as how you list your business name and address. The main choice you’ll have to make is whether or not to include the area code in your listing. Some local business owners decide to leave it out because their customers are local and know the area code, while others include it in case an out of town visitor wants to call.
• Your business website. If you have a website, you’ll need to ensure that you include it on your local business listing. But just as with the other details about your business, you’ll have to make sure it’s the same on all of your listings. For example, will you include the http or just the basic URL? If your website was flowers.com, you could enter the URL like that or like this: http://flowers.com.
Can you see just how important it is to include your business on a local business directory? It will not only allow potential customers to find you, but it will also give them the details they need to make a buying decision. If you haven’t already created your business listings, you should definitely head on over to FindUsLocal.com and do it now.