Author Archives: wpadmin

Local Business Owners Should Begin Preparations Now for the Holiday Season

In case you haven’t noticed, the summer is almost gone and in some areas of the nation, fall is upon us. And for local business owners, that means one thing: holiday shopping. In fact, for most small business owners, rely on holiday sales to get through the year, and Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year.

But if you’re a small business owner who relies on local business, you can’t wait until the last moment to get your share of the holiday sales. Here is a simple 3-step program that will help you cash in on as many holiday sales as you can this year.

Step One: Make Sure Holiday Shoppers can Find You

Today’s shoppers don’t look to old school methods of advertising like community newspapers or the Yellow Pages to find US local businesses. Instead, they look online, even when they want to find local business in their own neighborhoods. And that means, if you want to get your share of this year’s holiday’s sales, you will have to make sure new customers can find your business online.

And where do these shoppers look for local shops and restaurants? On local business directories.

Local business directories are smaller search engines that serve people who want to weed out all of the national results and articles about the topic and only see local businesses in the search engine results. Sites like FindUsLocal.com are changing the way consumers use the local directories because they have added even more features like the local news, a listing of local events, and it even allows business owners and consumers to leave comments about a shop, service business, or restaurant that is streamed live on the home page.

If you don’t already have a free local business listing, it’s easy to set up and only takes about ten minutes. Just go to FindUsLocal.com, search for your business using the custom search bar, then when you find it, claim it as the business owner and fill in the details.

Step Two: Plan Ahead for Your Local Advertising

You can’t wait until the last moment to plan for your Facebook and Instagram ads, because if you do, you’ll pay higher rates. Instead, make plans now for your holiday ads and reserve the ad space while prices are lower. In addition, if you plan to do any local marketing in print mediums, be sure to reserve that space now, too. You may decide to run an ad in your local newspaper, although be advised that most experts agree that online marketing efforts will reap a higher return.

Step Three: Design Your Ads

Once you’ve reserved the ad space, it’s time to start designing your ads. Whether you plan to design them yourself or hire someone to do it for you, time is of the essence. The sooner you get everything designed, the more you can concentrate of readying your store for the holidays by putting up Christmas decorations and new signage outdoors.

As you can see, even though it’s still September, you need to begin preparing for the holiday season. Don’t wait too long, because the earlier you begin to plan, the better holiday sales results you’ll see.

How to Ensure Your Free Local Business Listings are Detected by the Search Engine Bots

You’ve probably heard by now just how important it is for local shops, service businesses and restaurants to have an online presence, but you may not understand how to get one. After all, if you’re like most small business owners, you concentrate your marketing efforts on local advertising.

But today’s shoppers look online when they want to find US local businesses, and that means your business has to be there or it will miss out on a lot of new business.

And what’s the best way to get an online presence? By being listed on local business directories.

What is a Local Business Directory, Anyway?

Local business directories are the new Yellow Pages for today’s tech savvy shoppers. Because consumers almost always look online these days when they want to find local businesses, local business directories were created to give them a place to look.

In the recent past, shoppers had to rely on the major search engines to find local businesses that many times, that only led to frustration. Mixed in with the search results were articles about the topic, and websites for national chains. Not exactly consumers friendly, huh?

So some genius created local business directories, which give consumers only the local results they want. For example, if a shopper were looking for a plus sized clothing store in San Francisco, California, a local business directory like FindUsLocal.com would first show the visitor a customized home page that displayed events, recent social media posts, the weather, and local news for the city. And when the visitor type “plus size clothing store” into the site’s search engine bar, he or she would only see plus sized clothing stores in San Francisco. No articles about it, and definitely no online stores.

How to Make Sure Your Free Local Business Listings are Seen

Now to our topic; making sure your local business listings are seen by the search engine bots so they will be indexed, which will improve your chances of being seen by shoppers. Here’s a 3-step guide to doing it the right way.

  • Decide how your name will appear. And then input it that way on every free local business listing you create. For instance, if your business name is Mary’s Clothing on Main Street, you will either enter it that way, or as Mary’s Clothing on Main. It’s up to you, but it should be the same in every local listing you crate.
  • Determine how your address will appear. In the same way that your business name needs to be consistent across all free local business listings, so does your address. That means you’ll need to decide which street names you want to abbreviate and whether or not to include your zip code.
  • Your phone number matters too. You may think your phone number can’t vary, but it does. For example, some local business owners decide to use the area code on theirs, while others don’t. Decide before you create your business listings and then enter it the same way on every one.
  • Your business website URL needs to be consistent, too. For your website, decide whether you will enter the simplified version (yourwebsite.com) or the long one (http://yourwebsite.com) Be sure to input it the same way every time.

Local business directories are not only the best form of free local marketing, but they are also the place where shoppers look for local businesses. Don’t have your local listing set up yet? Go to FindUsLocal.com and do it now!

Why Local Business Owners Need to Been Seen Online

Running a local shop, service business or restaurant looks a lot different than it did just 10 years ago. A decade ago, all small business owners needed to do in order to be seen was put up eye-catching signeage, run an ad in the Yellow Pages, make sure they had coupons or sales announcements in the community newspaper, and occasionally run an ad in one of the local coupon mail out programs. Boy have things changed.

Today’s consumers don’t look to any of these places when they want to find US local business. Instead, today’s shoppers look online when they want to find local businesses.

And until recently, that meant small business owners had to invest thousands of dollars for a website so people could find their business. But that was cost prohibitive for many shop owners, and quite frankly, the local business marketing effort just didn’t bring in a lot of new business.

That’s because most consumers aren’t looking for local businesses on their websites these day, but instead are turning to local business directories.

What are Local Business Directories—and Why Should I Be on One?

In the past, when someone wanted to find US local businesses online, they had to use one of the major search engines and enter in the keyword, plus the local area they are searching for. For example, if someone was looking for a Greek restaurant in San Diego, California, they would type in “Greek restaurant San Diego” and look in the search results for a restaurant in that area.

The problem is that many of those search results were local Greek restaurants, but instead consumers faced a mixed bag. They may see some local Greek restaurants, but they would also find national Greek restaurant chains, recipes for Greek food, items for sale related to Greek food, and articles written about the topic, That was frustrating for many searchers.

Local business directories came along to solve the problem, and solve the problem they did. Now, people can use them to find US local businesses simply and easily. Here’s how they work.

A shopper logs onto the local business directory and uses its search bar to enter the type of business they’re looking for. For instance, if someone were looking for a flower shop, they would enter “flower shop” into the search bar. If the shopper is using a quality local business directory like FindUsLocal.com, there is no need to enter the city because the local directory automatically reads visitors locations and only shows them the results from their area.

Once the search results pop up, visitors see the local results. In this instance, they would see a listing of all the local flower shops in their own city or town.

Can you see why today’s consumers prefer to use local business directories to find US local businesses?

Can Today’s Shoppers Find Your Local Business?

As you can see, it pays for local businesses to have an online presence so today’s tech-savvy consumers can find them. These shoppers use their smartphones, tablets, and laptops to find local business when they need on. And if you’re can’t be found online, chances are you won’t get the business.

If you haven’t already set up your free online local business listing, why not take ten minutes now and do it? Simply log onto FindUsLocal.com, search for your business using the search bar, and then claim the business listing as your own.

Next, fill in as many details as you can about your business, remembering that potential customers will use it to determine whether or not to visit your business. Be sure to include important details such as the right address, your store or shop hours, the methods of payments you take, and any unusual parking regulations they need to be aware of.

5 More Shocking Statistics About the Importance of Online Reviews for Local Businesses

Yesterday we talked about five statistics every local business owner should know about how online reviews affect small and local businesses. We discussed the fact that people tend to trust online reviews as much as they do recommendations from friends and family, how 4 and 5 star reviews make people click through to websites more often, why it’s important to get 4 and 5 star reviews if you want people to visit your local store or restaurant, and how people tend to value online reviews even more than they do deals or discounts.

If you thought was enough to begin asking your customers for online reviews, we have even more statistics to talk to you about today. Here are five more shocking statistic about online reviews that you probably didn’t know.

1. Shoppers Want Recent Reviews

It’s one thing to have a lot of online reviews that are a few months old, but according to studies, shoppers don’t really rely on them. The studies show that 44 percent of people say that if an online review is more than one month old, they won’t give them as much credibility as the newer reviews. Instead, shoppers want recent reviews so they can judge the state of the business in present time, not the past. This statistic shows just how important it is to continuously ask your customers to leave online reviews so that your local business listing will always be recent and updated.

2. People Check Online Reviews Before Buying

Another study shows that most shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase—and that’s true along all age groups. The younger shoppers—those from 18-29—almost always check online reviews before making a purchase 53 percent of the time. And even the more seasoned shoppers—those who are over the age of 50—almost always check online reviews 50 percent of the time before making a purchase. In other words, if you don’t have a free local business listing where customers can go to leave online reviews, you may be missing out on a lot of new business.

3. Negative Online Reviews Can Hurt Your Business

Just as positive online reviews can help your local shop or restaurant, studies show that negative reviews can hurt it. Forty percent of shoppers say they won’t consider doing business with a local store or eatery if they read negative reviews about it. But if a business has plenty of positive readers and only a few negative ones, a higher percentage of people will consider doing business with them.

4. More Online Review Will Bring in More Shoppers

Another study shows that people view businesses that have a lot of online as having an active and engaged customer base, and that makes them trust that business more. The takeaway from this is that the more online reviews you have, the more credibility you will have in the eyes of potential customers.

5. Shoppers Want to Be Heard with Their Online Reviews

Some people wonder if they should respond to online reviews, but a recent study says that you should. According to the results of the study, 78 percent of the participants believe that a business cares more about its customers if they respond to reviews. And that means you should respond to both positive and negative reviews.

If you don’t already have a free local business listing, you’re missing out on a lot of business because that’s how today’s consumers find US local business. To create yours, simply go to FindUsLocal.com and take 10 minutes to set it up now.

5 Online Review Statistics for Local Business Owners

With the shift from local marketing techniques to online advertising, many local business owners are still in the learning stages. After all, they’ve been using the Yellow Pages and community newspaper advertising for years and it can be difficult to change directions and begin using an entirely new method of local marketing.

But times have changed and successful local shop and restaurant owners have made the switch.

Successful Local Business Marketing in 2018 and Beyond

The biggest change in local marketing is the need for local shops, service businesses, and restaurants is that shoppers no longer look for local business in the old-school places, but now go online when they want to find US local business.

And one of the biggest things they look for is online reviews. There have been a lot of studies on the subject, but they all boil down to this: today’s shoppers don’t want to do business with a shop or restaurant unless they have first read some positive online reviews about it.

Here are five facts about online reviews that should have you asking every customer to leave one on your free

  1. Online Reviews Matter to Shoppers

It may not seem like such a big thing to get a stranger’s opinion of a local business before you buy from them, but consumers think otherwise. In fact, one study shows that 6 percent of the people surveyed say that online reviews make a big enough difference that they influence the decision about whether or not to visit the business. This is just one reason why it’s so important to ask your customers to go to your local business listing and leave online reviews.

  1. Online Reviews with Stars Lead to Increased Click Through Rates

When you create your local listing, make sure the local  business directory you use incorporates star reviews in it’s review section. This is important because studies have shown that when a review uses the star system, it increases the click through rate by 25 percent. In other words, one in four people will click on your website address to learn more about your local business. Want another reason to use local business listing that contain star reviews? Another study shows that those stars also help increase search engine rankings with the major search engines.

  1. Shoppers Trust Online Reviews

One of the most significant studies about online reviews to come out in a long time shows that people trust the reviews more than they do the people closest to them. In the study, they said that they would trust  an online review as much as they would trust a personal recommendation about a local business from a friend or family member. It’s just another great reason to ask your customers to leave those precious online reviews at the local business directory you’re listed on!

  1. Shoppers Value Online Reviews More than Deals or Discounts

Yes, you read that correctly. One study shows that 50 percent of consumers actively seek out online reviews when they are deciding whether or not to buy from a local store or eat at a local restaurant. Contrast that to the number of people looking for coupons or deals. That same study shows that only 34 percent of those people actively seek out deals or coupons when thinking about visiting a local shop or restaurant.

  1. Consumers Expect Businesses to Have Positive Online Reviews

Finally, if you’re going to ask your customers to leave an online review on your local business listing, it better be a good one. Another study shows the differences in how shoppers react to star reviews. In it, only 56 percent of shoppers will visit a store if the online reviews show a 3 star rating. Contrast that with the 94 percent of people who will visit a local shop if they have 4 start or higher reviews.

Online reviews are an important aspect of local business marketing, but you’ll also need to provide a place for customers to leave those reviews. FindUsLocal.com is a credible local business directory that allows small and local business owners to create free local business listings. It only takes ten minutes to set up, and once it’s finished, you can ask your customers to go there and leave reviews. Who knows, it may result in a great sales increase in the near future!

Local Business Owners: It’s Time to Start Thinking about Black Friday

It’s only September and in most parts of the country, the sun is still keeping things warm outside. In fact, consumers are still buying summer items, including clothing and outdoor furniture.

But, Christmas is just a little more than three months away, and if you run a local shop, service business, or restaurant, it’s time to start planning your local Black Friday marketing campaign.

Here’s a 3-step program to ensure that you get all the Christmas cash you can!

Step 1: Make Yourself Seen

Do you know how you will market your local business this year? If you’re thinking about using some of the old school techniques, you should rethink it. Studies show that when people try to find US local businesses to shop at, they turn online to find those stores.

In fact, one recent study shows that almost 100 percent of shoppers use local business directories to find local business. If you don’t have yours set up yet, here are a few simple steps to follow:

  • Go to com and look for your business in the search bar. When it appears in the search engine results, claim it as your own.
  • Fill in the details about your business. Include the things local shoppers look for like your correct business name, business address, phone number, store hours, brands and products sole, directions, and anything else shoppers will need to make a decision about visiting your store.
  • Get some online reviews. Today’s shoppers don’t like to do business with a store unless they first read some online reviews about it. Send your customers to FindUsLocal.com to leave reviews for your business so that new customers will take a chance on your business.

Step 2: Begin Planning

Now that you have an online presence, you’ll need to find a way to drive shoppers to your free local business listing so they can find it and then visit your store. You can use some online marketing techniques such as using Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram ads, or use your own social media platforms to inform customers of your sales. And finally, don’t forget about your email list. Studies show that email lists are far superior when it comes to conversion.

Step 3: Schedule the Advertisements

You have an online presence, you have a good idea of how you will call attention to your business and the sales you offer, now it’s time to schedule your ads and cement your plans. Schedule any ads you plan to run, write your emails and schedule them to be sent out in November, and start designing your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram ads—and then buy the space. If you do this now, you’ll pay September prices instead of December ones.

Yes, Black Friday is months away, but in order to make the most of it, you’ll need to start planning now.

How to Create a Free Local Business Listing

Creating free local business listings is an exact science, and unless you get it right, all your marketing plans may not become a reality. But many small business owners don’t realize that and they list their business on a local business directory the wrong way. Not only will that cause your search engine results to suffer, but it may actually hurt them. Here’s why.

How Search Engine Spiders Classify Local Business Listings

The search engine bots are literally that: bots that are designed to look for certain information without the guidance of humans. When you keep this in mind, it makes it easier to understand why being precise when creating your free local business listing is so important.

The bots search the internet for information and when they find matching information about a particular business, they automatically assign it to that business. In other words, if there are 14 matching local business directories, the bots will assign all 14 of them to that business, and the number of credible listings will increase the search engine rankings of that business.

But what happens when they don’t match?

Unfortunately, bots are only bots and even if a local listing is off by a letter, the bots won’t understand that it belongs to the same business. That’s why it’s so important to carefully construct your local listing in a way that makes it easier for the bots to identify.

Here are some helpful hints that will allow you to expertly create your free local business listing so that the bots will find it and attribute it to your local business.

Get the Business Name Right

It might seem simple, but when you create more than one local business listing, you need to ensure that your business name is exactly the same on each and every listing. For example, if your business name is John’s Cars and Trailers, Inc., you’ll need to decide whether to include the “Inc.” on your local business listings or leave it off. It doesn’t matter which one you decide on—as long as you enter the name exactly the same on every listing.

Your Business Address Matters, Too

Things can also go wrong when entering your business address. If you abbreviate words like Street, Avenue, or Parkway on some of your local listings and spell them out on others, the listings won’t match and the bots won’t attribute them all to your business. Decide in advance how you will spell your business address and do it the same on every listing.

Don’t Forget about Your Business Phone Number

When you’re asked to enter your business phone, you’ll have to decide whether or not to include the area code. Something as simple as including it on one local business listing and leaving it out on others could confuse the bots and result in lowered search engine rankings for you.

Your Website Address is Important, Too

Finally, when you enter your website address, be sure to either include the http at the beginning of the URL or leave it off. It will make it possible for the bots to attribute all of your local business listings to your shop or restaurant.

Local business directories are the most important aspect of your local marketing campaign, but in order to utilize them to the fullest, you must first make sure your local business listings are created properly. Visit FindUsLocal.com to find your local listing and if it’s not correct, make the necessary changes to ensure that the bots—and future customers—can find it.

 

Local Business Owners: Update Your Marketing Efforts to Increase Sales!

There has been a lot written about running a local business over the past few years and the marketing shifts from old-school techniques to new ones. But the bottom line is this: Every business owner, even those who only serve their local communities, need to have an online presence if they want to bring new customers through the doors.

Why Shoppers Have Moved Online

In the past, it wasn’t considered inconvenient to pull out a bulky Yellow Pages book because, quite frankly, it was the only option. And most people started the day by thumbing through the newspaper over the morning coffee. But these days, the Yellow Pages are located online in the form of local business directories, and most people get their daily news by visiting a website.

With all that change, it only makes sense that local business owners turn their attention to online avenues of putting their small business in front of visitors.

But how do you do that when the customers you want are right around the corner? That’s where local business directories. These local directories have not only changed the way people find US local businesses, but also how local business owners get their store or restaurant name in front of potential customers.

What are Local Business Directories?

In the past, when someone wanted to find local businesses, they went to one of the major search engines and entered their keywords. For example, if they wanted to find a Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles, California, they might enter “Mexican restaurant, Los Angeles.” But instead of seeing a list of Mexican food restaurants in Los Angeles, they would probably be faced with national Mexican food restaurants, a list of Mexican food recipes, and articles about Mexican food.

But local business directories worked differently. When you search for a local business in a specific city or town, you will only see the local businesses you want in the search results. For instance, if you search for a Mexican food restaurant in Los Angeles, you will only see those local restaurants in the search results.

How to Reach New Customers on Local Business Directories

Now that you understand the benefits of being where local customers look for businesses like yours, you’re probably wondering how to get your business listed there. The good news is that it’s not difficult, and in fact, you can have your free local business listing up and running ten minutes from now. Here are the steps to set it up:

  • Go to com and enter your business’ name in the search bar on the local business directory.
  • Claim the business as the owner.
  • Fill in as much information as you can. Don’t forget to add the details that shoppers look for on local business directories like your business name, address, phone number, website address, store or restaurant hours, and anything else you think shoppers will look for.
  • Ask your customers to leave online reviews on your free local business listing. Today’s shoppers demand that a business has some positive reviews before they will consider doing business with them.

Isn’t it good to know that you can change your local marketing tactics so easily? Why not take that ten minutes right now and create your free local business listing at FindUsLocal.com?

 

Why Customer Reviews are Important for Your Free Local Business Listing

Most small business owners understand the importance of creating free local business listings so that new customers can find your local business. That’s because today’s shoppers don’t look in traditional places anymore—like the Yellow Pages or the local newspaper—but instead today’s savvy consumers look online when trying to find a local US business.

And that’s why small business owners across the US are going to credible local business directories like FindUsLocal.com and creating their own business listing. These listings provide shoppers with all the information they need to find the business such as the address, directions to the shop or restaurant, a business phone number, store hours, and anything else they need to make a decision about whether or not to visit it.

But the number one thing shoppers want to see on a local business listing is plenty of positive online reviews.

What are Online Reviews?

Many people think online reviews are only for businesses that operate online, like online stores or even nationwide chains that are spread across the country. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Today’s shoppers use online reviews for even local businesses that are located around the block. Online reviews allow shoppers to read the details they want to know about a local business from people who have already visited it.

And online reviews are important. One study shows that more than 70 percent of people trust them more than they trust a personal recommendations from a friend or family member.

So, if online reviews are so important for your local business listing, how do you convince your customers to leave them? Follow the 3 tips below for success:

  • Just ask them. Many small business owners think customers will be inconvenienced or unhappy when asked to leave an online review, but studies show just the opposite. More than half of them say that if they are asked to leave a review, they will be happy to do it.
  • Set up a system. Don’t approach the task in a scattered way, but instead incorporate a system so that every customer is asked to leave an online review. You can train your employees to ask shoppers to leave a review as they’re checking out to ensure that everyone who makes a purchase is asked the important question.
  • Put it in writing. Finally, people have short memories, so to increase the odds of a customer remembering to leave a review, back up the request in writing. For example, after you ask them at the cashier station, print it again on the receipt and have the cashier point it out to them.

Online reviews are an important aspect of the success of your free local business listing. But your first step is setting up your local listing so people have a place to leave those online reviews. Go to FindUsLocal.com, set up your free local business listing, and then start driving your customers there to leave those online reviews.

How to Find the Right Local Business Directory

Have you heard about the many ways creating a free local business listing on a credible local business directory can increase your sales? Today’s consumers don’t look in the local phone book or newspapers any more when they want to find US local businesses, but instead look online in places like FindUsLocal.com.

Local business directories are the new Yellow Pages, and shoppers flock to them when looking for a local business.

But how do you know which local business directory is right for your local business? Here are three things to look for when deciding which directory is right for you.

Look for a Local Directory that’s More Than a Database

Some local business directories are nothing more than databases filled with outdated and incorrect information. These databases—marketed as local business directories—can actually hurt your search engine listings if you appear on them. That’s because the search engine spiders scour the web looking for matching listings and when they find listings that contain different information, they don’t group them together. For example, if the name of your business is Mark’s Tables, Inc., and it’s listed that way on some directories and as Mark’s Tables on others, all the directory listings won’t be recognized by the bots as belonging to the same business—and that will hurt the search engine rankings.

Look for a Local Business Directory that Offers More to Consumers

Another helpful identifying feature of a credible local business directory is in what it offers to consumers. Some local business directories—such as FindUsLocal.com—go out of the way to offer great benefits to consumers, and that keeps them coming back time and time again to look for local businesses.

For example, FindUsLocal offers local news, links to upcoming local theatric, musical, and sporting events, and even sections with humorous and thought-provoking sayings. In other words, consumers find the site useful, and that’s why they continually use it to find US local businesses.

Look for a Local Business Directory that Markets Itself

Finally, you should create your free local business listing on a local directory that makes an effort to get to the top of the search engine rankings. Remember, the more consumers can find the local directory, the better chance they’ll have of finding your business.

Credible local directories like FindUsLocal.com spend a lot of time and money to get their directory in front of consumes so the businesses that list on them will be seen.

If you haven’t yet created your free local business listing, isn’t it time? Who knows, by taking the ten minutes necessary to do it right now, you could have new customers walking through your door this afternoon!