Are you tired of waiting for customers to walk in the door of your local business? Have you tried all of the tried and true marketing and advertising methods that used to work, only to find that they just don’t bring in new business like they used to? Maybe you operate a local business that’s been in the family for years, and don’t understand what you’re doing wrong. Your sales are down and you fear that all the years of hard work have been for nothing.
If this sounds like you, we’ve got some great news. Yes, it’s true that the old advertising and marketing methods don’t work anymore, but it’s not because they’re bad methods, it’s because consumer behavior has changed so drastically over the past few years and they don’t turn to the local phone book or community newspaper anymore. Instead, they look online when they want to find US local businesses.
What does that mean for your local shop or restaurant? It means that if you want to succeed in today’s internet obsessed culture, you’ve got to be seen online. Knowing that, it only makes sense that most of your marketing and advertising dollars are spent online. But here’s the crazy thing, the most effective way to get your local business seen online is free.
How to Get Free Online Advertising
In a world where the best things typically cost a lot of money, isn’t it good to know that you can effective online advertising for free? Here are 3 ways that you can not only get an online presence so your business can be found, but also bring in new customers so your store or eatery will thrive.
Find a Good Local Business Directory
You’ve probably heard of the importance of claiming your local business listing on a local directory, but what you may not have heard is that it matters which one you choose. For example, some local business directories are simply data bases filled with often incorrect information about businesses across the nation. While the concept works in theory, these data bases actually can hurt your search engine rankings unless you correct them.
Instead of using one of these cookie cutter directories, look for local business directories that give consumers a reason to use them—that way your business is more likely to be seen because you’ll have that all-important online visibility. For example, FindUsLocal.com is a business directory that go to great lengths to give consumers what they want so that the business owners who create their local business listing there will benefit from it.
Drive Your Customers to Your Local Business Listing
Once you’ve created your local business listing, you’ll need to drive your customers to the directory in order to leave reviews for your business. This is important for two reasons. First, when you have online reviews, it gives your business credibility in the eyes of consumers—and that makes them more likely to visit your store. And most studies show that many people won’t even consider visiting a local shop unless they’ve read some good reviews about it. Secondly, every time someone leaves an online review for your business, that pings the large search engines, such as Google and Bing, that your local business listing is active. And active listings always get more attention from the search engines than stales one.
Use the Local Business Directory to Communicate with Local Consumers
Finally, in order to keep your business fresh and current, you can use the Comments on local business directories like FindUsLocal. The feature allows you communicate the latest news to local consumers—and the best thing about it? It’s free and easy to use. Simply log onto your local business listing and scroll down until you see the option to leave a comment, and then use it to tell your community about a current sale, a job opening, or a new product that’s just arrived.
Local business directories are one of the best ways to build a quick online presence, and amazingly, you can use them for free. Get started by visiting FindUsLocal.com and filling out your business details. Then follow the above listed steps and soon you’ll have new customers walking through your doors!