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.