The calendar has changed and it’s official: it’s the start of a new year. 2017 brought with it many challenges and blessings for local business owners, but now that the page has turned, you should do everything you can do ensure that 2018 is a great year for your local business.
If you paid attention to the news about local business in the past year, you saw that at one point, the experts were predicting that local business was all but dead. It was dubbed the Retail Armageddon as we watched local store after local store shutter its doors. This happened all across the nation.
Then, at the last minute, local business sales began to skyrocket. In fact, the most recent studies show that consumers bought locally this holiday season more than they did since 2011.
How to Cash in on the Local Business Boom
If you run a local business and haven’t seen the boom in sales that your competitors have, it probably boils down to one thing: whether or not you have an online presence so today’s tech savvy consumers can find your local store or restaurant.
If you don’t already have one, here are four things you need to know before you set up your local business listing.
Having a Company Website isn’t Enough
In the past, local business owners simply created a company website and relied on it to bring in new business. That was fine a few years ago because when someone wanted to find US local businesses, especially a specific one, they looked online for the company website.
But consumer behavior has changed that tactic doesn’t work anymore.
Yes, you will get some customers that way, but most people nowadays use local business directories when they want to find US local businesses.
Local business directories are similar to the major search engines except they are designed to only give consumers local results. For example, if you search for a local store on a local business directory like FindUsLocal.com, you will only see local stores in the results. No articles about the topic, or national chains in the listings.
So, even if you already have a company website, you’ll need to create a local business listing on reputable local business directories like FindUsLocal.com. It should be a significant aspect to your local marketing and advertising plan.
Stagnant Local Business Listings Won’t Help Your Sales
Some people believe it’s enough to create a local business listing and then leave it alone. These people don’t understand how search engine rankings work, because if they did, they would know that it’s necessary to consistently add fresh content to local business listings in order to keep the attention of the search engine spiders.
How do you do that? Luckily, it’s not that difficult, and local business directories like FindUsLocal.com offer two great ways to do it.
- Get reviews for your local business. Every time a customer leave a review for your business on your local business listing, the search engine spiders view it as fresh content, and that will help your search engine rankings. The more fresh content you have, the higher you will appear in the search engine rankings so ask your customers to leave a review every time you check them out.
- Use the comments feature. Quality local business directories like FindUsLocal allow business owners to leave live comments on their local business listings. You can use this feature to announce sales, job openings, or just say hello to the community. And what’s even better is that consumers are able to leave comments on your local business listing too, making for a two-way communication tool that is interactive—and will provide fresh content to those hungry search engine spiders.
Make Your all of Your Local Business Listings Match
Finally, when you create your local business listings, it’s important that they all match, because if they don’t, it will confuse the search engine spiders and that could cause your rankings to decrease. For example, if your business name is ABC tables, Inc., you’ll need to determine if you want to include the “Inc.” in your business name, and whatever you decide will have to be done on every local business listing you create.
Local business directories play a key role in local business sales, and if you don’t already have yours set up, 2018 won’t be as good as it could be. Why not head over to FindUsLocal.com right now and create yours? It only takes a minute, and it could make the difference between a ho-hum year and a fantastic one!