Category Archives: Local Business Insight

How to Make Local Business Listings Work for You: Ten More Online Review Facts

Using online reviews to grow your small business is not only smart, but a key component to a successful small business marketing campaign. In fact, if you’re not using online reviews to grow your small business, you may be missing out on a lot of new customers.

In yesterday’s post, we talked about ten eye-opening facts about online reviews, and in today’s post we want to share ten more. But these are more than just facts about online reviews—they’re also great reasons why local business directories—and the online reviews they give your business-should be the foundation of your local business marketing plan.

Here are ten more facts about online reviews for local businesses.

  1. Not all bad reviews will hurt your business. A recent study shows that when a local business has some bad reviews, it causes consumers to spend more time on the review site, and 85 percent of them convert more often into a customer. Of course, consumers read all reviews, not just the bad ones, and if you also have positive reviews, it tends to negate the bad ones.
  2. One study shows that people tend to choose a business based on the number of reviews it has rather than the quality or overall rating it has achieved. That’s because people equate a business with a lot of reviews as having an active, engage customer base. So again, bad reviews aren’t necessarily a deal buster for many of today’s consumers.
  3. In another study, 36 percent of those asked say that reviews on Google and local search engines are the most important fact to consider when deciding whether or not to visit a local shop, store, or restaurant.
  4. Many local business owners wonder if they should respond to online reviews, but a recent study answers that question. According to the participants, 78 percent of them feel like a business cares more about its customers if they respond to reviews. And that means responding to both good and bad reviews. A great way to thank customers for good reviews is to use the exclusive feature on FindUsLocal.com. It allows both consumers and business owners to leave live comments about the business that show up on the site’s live feed.
  5. In a fascinating study conducted on 30,000 small business owners, it found that when those businesses added online reviews to their sites, it increased their search engine rankings from 5,500 visitors a month to 8,000 visitors. That’s a direct correlation that no local business owner should ignore.
  6. Almost 100 percent of consumers read online reviews when research a product or service that they are planning to buy. And if your local business doesn’t have online reviews, it almost certainly knocks you out of the consideration process. Just one more great reason to create your local business listing today.
  7. Online reviews dramatically increase conversion rates. For moderately priced items, online reviews have shown to increase conversion rates by 270 percent. And for high ticket items, the conversion rate climbs to 380 percent.

As you can see, today’s local business owners simply can’t expect to run a profitable business unless consumers have access to online reviews about their shop, store, or restaurant. Luckily, local business directories like FindUsLocal.com make it easy. To set up your local business listing, just visit the local business directory, claim your business and set up the local listing, and then begin asking your customers to leave reviews. As the above facts show, this one simple act should result in increased business for your local business.

Local Retail Sales are Surging: Here are 3 Steps to Get in on the Action

Do you run a local business? Are you attempting to recover from the Retail Armageddon that hit many local US business last year? Well, there’s good news.

The Commerce Department issued a report today that says US retail sales rose in June. According to the report, those sales rose by 0.5 percent last month. And for everyone who was disappointed in May’s retail sales numbers, it has been revised. While it was first reported that May’s sales rose 0.8 percent, the new figures show that sales actually rose 1.3 percent. And that’s the highest rise in retail sales since September of 2017.

What does that mean for local business owners? Aside from the obvious that retail sales are improving, it’s also clear that if your local business sales aren’t increasing in this robust economy, it’s time to reevaluate your local business marketing efforts.

How to Take Advantage of Increased Local Sales

The number one thing you can do as a local business owner is to ensure that consumers can find your business. After all, if no one knows your business exists, they aren’t likely to visit it. But some local shop owners believe that they can do what they’ve always done—put an ad in the Yellow Pages and rely on people to see their outdoor signage.

Unfortunately, those local marketing techniques just don’t work anymore.

Today’s consumers look online when they want to find US local businesses, and if you don’t already have a local business listing, you’re missing out. In fact, recent studies show that most consumers turn to local business directories when they want to find US local businesses.

How to Get a Free Local Business Listing

Your first step in creating a local business listing is to identify the right local business directory. When you begin your search, you’ll quickly realize that there are a lot to choose from. But not all of them will help consumers find your local business.

The key is to look for quality local business directories—and you can identify them by what they offer consumers. For example, FindUsLocal.com, an up and coming local directory that is setting trends in the industry, offers its visitors a customized home page that shows local events in their area, local news, local tweets from the area, and even allows local business owners and their customers the opportunity to broadcast comments on a live feed that shows up on the home page.

After you’ve identified the right directory, you will need to claim your business. Simply type your business name into the search bar located on the site and when your business comes up, claim it as the owner.

Next, fill in as many details as you can. Pay special attention to the areas that consumers are most likely to seek out. For example, be sure to include your store hours, any parking instructions, and if you own a local restaurant, coffee shop, or bakery, be sure to tell consumers what type of dishes you offer and mention any specials that you’re running.

You Can Create More Than One Local Business Listing

You don’t have to limit your free local business listings to just one. You can create as many local business listings as want, but keep in mind that they should all match. For example, your business name, business address, business phone number, and business website address should all match—down to the last letter. If they don’t, the search engine spiders won’t recognize them as the same business and won’t get indexed under your business.

Having free local business listings on a quality local business directory is one of the best ways that consumers can find your business in this surging economy. Why not take 10 minutes right now and head over to FindUsLocal.com? It could increase your retails as early as this week!

You Need Online Reviews to Grow Your Local Business—Here’s Why

Running a local business looks quite different than it did only 10 years ago, and that’s because of the effect the internet has had on it. But many local business owners still can’t understand the impact online marketing and advertising—along with online reviews—can have on the success of their local shop or restaurant.

After all, for years all local business owners had to do was run an ad in the Yellow Pages or take out an ad in the local newspaper. But these day, both of forms of old-school advertising are just waste of time and money.

That’s because today’s consumers look online when trying to find US local businesses. And they don’t just look anywhere—they turn to local business directories in mass. And the number one thing they look for while they’re there is online reviews.

How Important are Online Reviews for Local Business Owners?

There was a recent study that put online reviews in perspective as far as their importance to today’s consumer. It said that 85 percent of the people surveyed said that they trusted online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations from friends and family members.

That statistic alone should tell you just how important it is to have positive online reviews for your local business.

Now that you understand just how important online reviews are, let’s talk about how to get them.

Step 1: Create a Local Business Listing on a Local Business Directory

Your first step is ensuring that consumers have a place to leave a review for your business. And while it’s true that they can leave reviews on places like Yelp!, most consumers today are using boutique business directories that offer more than business listings.

For example, FindUsLocal.com is one just local business directory that provides each visitor with a customized home page for their city or town. In addition, it provides visitors with local news, information about upcoming local plays, concerts, and sporting events, and even some humorous and thoughtful features that cause consumers to visit the site time and time again.

Once you’ve identified the correct local business directory, claim your business listing and fill in all the information asked for. Be sure to include things like your store hours and any parking irregularities consumers need to know about.

Step 2: Get Some Online Reviews for Your Local Business

Once you have your free local business listing up, it’s time to work on getting some reviews for your business. The first thing you should do is change your operating procedures at checkout and begin asking every customer to leave an online review on your local business listing.

Next, you should think about soliciting prior customers who you know to be happy with your products or service. Most of the time, people are happy to leave reviews for businesses they are pleased with.

Step #:Don’t Stop Once You Have Some Reviews

Another interesting fact shown by the study is that consumers like to see recent reviews, and don’t put a lot of stock in reviews that are a few months old. That’s why it’s important for you to continually ask people who are checking out to leave a review for your business.

The study also shows that when asked to leave a review, over 70 percent of those surveyed said they would do it. That means if you put this system into practice and ask every customer who walks into your store, you will have a nice flow of online reviews in no time.

Today’s consumers demand positive online reviews before buying from a business—even a local one. If you haven’t put your review system into place, simply follow the 3 steps listed above and you’ll soon reap all the online business you’ve been out on.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Free Small Business Listing

Small business owners all over the country are reorganizing their marketing efforts to bring in that much needed foot traffic. And now that summer is here, it’s more important than ever to make sure consumers can find your local business.

For example, if people decide to go to a furniture store to buy a new sofa they aren’t going to look in the Yellow Pages or pull out a print newspaper to get the job done. Instead, they’ll whip out their smartphone and begin the search that way. And according to recent studies, most of the will use a local business directory to do it.

What is a Local Business Directory?

A local business directory, also known as local listings, is a search engine for people who want to find US local businesses. These directories allow consumers to skip all of the national results and articles about a topic and get only the local results they want. If that same group of people used a local business directory to find a furniture store in their area, they would be able to quickly find what they were looking for.

How to Set up and Optimize Your Free Local Business Listing

Your first step is to identify the right local business directory to list your business on. We recommend FindUsLocal.com because it provides a one-stop place for consumers to get local business listings, local news, the weather, local tweets, local reviews, and even live comments about the businesses in their area.

Once you’re on the site, enter your business name in the site’s search engine and once it comes up, claim it as the business owner. Next, you’ll need to create your listing and this is where you can take a few extra steps to optimize it. Here are the best ways to do that.

How to Optimize Your Local Business Listing

Take the following steps to ensure that you get all you can out of your local business directory listing.

  • Fill in as many details as you can. When creating your local listing on a quality site like FindUsLocal.com, you’ll want to do all you can to ensure that it brings in traffic. And to do that, you’ll need to give consumers all the information they need about your business so they can make a decision about whether or not to visit it. For example, if you own a restaurant, be sure to include your serving times, what type of food you offer, and even a preview of your specialties. If you own a clothing store, be sure to identify the style and target customer. In short, it should be your goal to give so much information that people decide to visit your store after reading it.
  • Use the same information on every local listing you create. It’s smart to create more than 1 local business listing, but be advised that if you do so, it’s important to enter the exact information on every listing you create. For instance, if the name of your store is Marco’s Custom Design Furniture, Inc., you will need to decide whether or not to include the “Inc.” on your local business listings. If you include It on one and not another, the search engine spiders won’t identify them both as the same business, and that means all your hard work in creating the listings would have been for nothing. Remember, the more credible citations—or local business listings—your business has, the higher it will appear in the search engine results.
  • Be interactive. Finally, it’s important to keep those local business listings fresh and there are 2 ways to do that. First, you should ask all of your customers to leave local reviews on your listing. This will not only cause potential customers to have confidence in your business, but it will also ping the search engines every time someone leaves a review—and that will help your rankings. Next, you should make use of the free and unique feature on FindUsLocal.com that allows business owners to leave live comments associated with their business. You could announce sales, new product offerings, or let your community know when you’re hiring.

Creating a free local business listing is one of the best things you can do for your local business, but in order to ensure that you get the most out of it, you’ll need to follow the above steps. And once you have your local listing set up, prepare for the additional new customers that are sure to walk in your door!

How to Ensure Your Small Business Listing is Seen by Shoppers

When you take the steps to create a local business listing, you want to make sure that you get as much benefit from it as you can. After all, your local marketing efforts should be impactful enough to cause new customers to walk in your doors in a daily basis.

But not everyone understands how to set up a local listing in a way that will reap the most benefits. Here is what you need to know in order for yours to pull in the most customers.

You Need to Be Listed in a Credible Small Business Directory

It’s a little known fact, but not all local business directories are the same—and not all of them will help you bring in new business. In fact, if you list your small business on one of the local directories that are nothing more than a database, it may hurt your search engine rankings, exactly the opposite effect of what you want.

That’s because the large search engines reward local businesses that have credible local citations on quality small business directories. But if your business is listed on a database that is filled with incorrect or outdated information, it will actually hurt your rankings because not all of them will be attributed to your business. We’ll address this issue in the 4 remaining sections of this article.

Your Business Name Needs to Be Consistent in Your Local Listings

It seems elementary, but unless you list your small business name exactly the same on each and every small business listing you create, it will cause problems. For example, if you run a donut shop named Frank’s Delicious Donuts, Inc. and you include the “Inc” on some of your local listings and not on others, not all of them will be attributed to your business.

Your Business Address Needs to Appear the Same in Your Small Business Listings

Just as your business name needs to match, so does your business address. Here is where a lot of small business owners get in trouble because they don’t understand just how important the details are. For example, if Frank’s Donuts were located on 124 Main Avenue and it was listed that way on some small business directories but listed as 124 Main Ave on others, it would create the same problems. The search engine spiders simply cannot distinguish between listings that aren’t exactly the same, down to the punctuation.

Your Business Phone Number Should Also Match

It seems odd that entering a business phone number could go wrong, but again, unless it matches on every small business listing, it will throw off the search engine spiders and cause confusion. So, if you plan to use the area code in some local listings, you must use it in every business listing you create.

Finally, Don’t Forget the Details on Your Website Address

If you have a company website, you’ll want to include that on your small business listing in case shoppers want to visit it and get even more information about your shop or restaurant. But just like with the other information you include in your local listing, you’ll need to ensure that you enter it the same way on every listing.

For example, some people include the www.https:// when listing their website and others simply use the name.com portion of the website. Choose which style you’ll use and then enter it the same on all your small business listings.

Having an online presence is a great way to use local marketing to your advantage, and there is simply no better way to do it than by creating a local listing on a free small business directory like FindUsLocal.com. If you haven’t already created yours, you should take 5 minutes and do it now. Maybe someone in your community is looking for a local business like yours right now.

 

Small Business Directories Help Bring New Customers to Your Local Business. Here’s How to Use Them

For small, local business owners, bringing new customers into their store is their number one priority. After all, if you run a local business, you’ll need to continuously add new customers to keep the sales flowing in. Those local business owners who only rely on existing customers soon find themselves in a lot of trouble.

But in the age of the internet, how do you reach out to new customers and persuade them to visit your store? One word: free small business directories.

What is a Free Small Business Directory?

When people want to find US local businesses, they basically have 3 ways they can go about the task—and not all of them are efficient or realistic. Here are the 3 ways people typically try to find local businesses.

  • Use the Yellow Pages. The Yellow Pages have been around a long time, and until the past decade, it was the preferred way to find a local business. But with the advent of the internet, his old school method has fallen out of favor with consumers. It’s bulky, takes up too much space, can only be used inside the home, and just isn’t considered convenient anymore. Today’s consumers consider local business directories in place of the Yellow pages.
  • Use a large search engine. The larger search engines have been trying for years to implement a system to help people find USA local businesses, and while they have rolled out some efforts, the truth is that people just don’t like to use them. That’s because the search engine results are often filled with national chains, articles about the topic, or online stores.
  • Use a free small business directory. These handy online small business listing sites are the new and improved way to find local businesses and consumers are using them in droves. In fact, a recent survey shows that 1 out of every 2 shoppers use local listings when trying to find a local business.

How to Use Free Small Business Directories

In order to create a small business listing, there are some steps you’ll need to take in order to get the most out of the local marketing technique. Here are 3 that you should pay special attention to:

  • Choose the right small business directory. When searching online, you’ll find a lot of local business directories to choose form but be careful because not all of them will get the results you want. Some of the business directories are nothing more than databases filled with incorrect and outdated information and the search engine spiders don’t look kindly on those local directories. Instead, choose a quality business directory like FindUsLocal.com that offers its visitors an array of features such as links to local events, the local news, and the ability to leave live comments about a business.
  • Set up your small business listing the right way. When you log onto a local business directory, you should use the search bar to find your local business. Once you do, claim it and then you’ll be asked to fill in the details. Here’s where it’s important to be very careful. In order for all of your local listings to be attributed to your business, they must match—down to the tiniest of details. For example, if you have an “inc,” at the end of your business name, you’ll need to either include it on all of your local listings or not. You can’t include it in some and leave it out in others.
  • Keep your small business listing fresh. The search engine spiders reward those local listings that continuously add new content. The best way to do that is to ask your customers to leave reviews for your business. Those reviews are considered new content by the major search engines and if you have enough reviews, it will push up your business listing in the results.

In addition to the above mentioned tactics, you should also take advantage of the unique feature offered only by FindUsLocal. This free small business directory not only makes shoppers want to visit the site time and time again, but if offers a way for local shop owners to add fresh content to their small business listing daily. As a local business owner, you can add comments to your local listing, and those comments are considered content by the major search engines.

For example, if you want to announce a sale, a new product offering, a job opening, or just tell the community how much you appreciate their business, you can leave a live comment on your local listing. And the best part of this exclusive feature is that the community can also leave comments. They can respond to yours, or add comments all of their own.

Free small business directories are the new Yellow Pages—with major new benefits. Have you created your local listing yet? If not, why not take 5 minutes and head over to FindUsLocal.com, the best free business directory now? You may reap new business from the effort as early as this afternoon.

How to Carve Out Your Niche in Local Advertising

Vector digital marketing concept in flat style – hand holding megaphone – online advertising campaign development

Local marketing and advertising is one of the most important things small, local business owners can do. In fact, if you neglect this all important task, chances are your small business won’t be around in the years to come.

But there’s a major problem: many local shop owners still believe that they can use the same old local marketing techniques that have worked for them in years past. The problem is, today’s consumers don’t rely on those methods to find US local businesses anymore. Instead, they look to the internet.

Here’s a brief sample of the old school local marketing techniques that don’t work anymore:

  • Yellow Pages ads. Not that long ago, a local business didn’t have a chance of success unless they took out an ad in the local Yellow Pages. But these day, shoppers almost never turn to the Yellow Pages to find local business. Don’t spend your advertising dollars on these relics.
  • Newspaper ads. Remember when clipping coupons from the community newspaper was the best way to find local deals and sales? If you’re still relying on running ads in local newspapers, your new customer base probably isn’t what you want it to be. That’s because today’s consumers look online for both their local news and for all those local coupons and sales.
  • Mail outs. In the past, some local business owners used mass mail outs to get the attention of local buyers, and these worked well for a few years. The concept was simple: local businesses would band together and send out an envelope loaded with coupons. Homeowners would go through the coupons, select the ones they wanted to use, and then visit those local stores. Unfortunately, this local marketing method doesn’t offer good results any more.

The New Local Marketing

Smart small business owners have figured out those methods no longer work to bring in new business and have moved on to use the local marketing methods that do. But before we talk about the best local marketing technique, let’s talk about why the old school methods no longer work.

  • Consumers are rushed for time. Think about your own life—when is the last time you have an extra 15 minutes to go through an envelope stuffed with coupons or to track down the bulky Yellow Pages and then thumb through it to find local businesses? It’s been awhile, huh? Guess what? Other people are just as busy and that’s one reason why they don’t find local businesses using these outdated marketing methods anymore.
  • Shoppers look on the internet to find local businesses. These days, almost everyone carries a smartphone, tablet, or uses a laptop computer, and according to the latest studies, 97 percent of them look online to find US local businesses. If you’re business can’t be found there, you’re missing out on a whole lot of new business.
  • People like to find all the information in one convenient place. It’s no longer necessary to find a business phone number in one place, their store hours in another, and driving directions in yet another. With inventions like free small business directories, it’s now possible for shoppers to find all the information they need with the click of a mouse.

How to Take Advantage of the New Local Marketing

If you’re still relying on old school local marketing techniques, today is the day you can do something about it. By simply creating a free local listing on a quality small business directory like FindUsLocal.com, you’ll talk the most important step.

These online small business directories are where 1 out of every 2 people look when trying to find US local businesses. And studies show that when shoppers find the local shops and restaurants this way, the majority of them end up visiting the establishment.

To create your free small business listing, just head on over to FindUsLocal and claim your business. Then fill in all the details about your shop. Remember, customers want to find all the information about your store in one place, so be sure to fill in as many details about it as you can.

Keep in mind that in order to make the most of your small business directory listings, you’ll need to enter the exact same information when it comes to your business name, address, phone number, and website address. In other words, don’t enter our business address as 123 Main Street on some local listings and Main St. on others. If you do, all the local business listings you create won’t be recognized by the search engine spiders as belonging to your local business, and that means a lot of time and effort would be wasted.

Free small business directory listings should be an integral part of your local marketing efforts. Remember, yesterday’s tactics no longer work and if you want to attract the most new customers, you’ll have to ensure that they can find you when they try to find US local businesses just like yours. And according to all the latest research, they’re looking online, specifically in local business directories.

 

New Statistics Show the Difficulty—and Importance of Local Marketing

Running a local business is a constantly changing endeavor, and a new study shows just how confusing it’s become for local shop, restaurant, and service businesses across the nation. The study was conducted by Capital One, and it surveyed local business owners across the nation.

We’ve decided to take apart the study and show just how free small business directories can address most of these perceived challenges.

Local Business Owners Can’t Find New Customers

41 percent of those local shop owners surveyed show that they have a hard time with local marketing because they can’t seem to find enough new customers to keep their stores running. But the solution is easy: local businesses need an online presence because 97 percent of today’s consumers look online when they want to find US local businesses.

But you don’t have to build an expensive website in order to find new customers. Instead, simply create a free small business listing and they’ll be able to find your store.

Local Business Owners Need More Cash for Local Marketing

32 percent of those surveyed say that they have a difficult time finding enough money to conduct local marketing for their business. But again, local business directories can help with that.

It costs exactly nothing to create a free local business listing, but the benefits are powerful. It will give you that all important online presence for free.

Local Business Owners Need More Local Marketing Advice

18 percent of the local business owners surveyed say they feel that they need more advice about how to conduct local marketing for their shop, restaurant, or service business. Luckily, one small business directory has addressed that issue as well. It has created 3 free local marketing videos to show local shop owners how to conduct effective local marketing. You can view the first one on the link above and the others here and here.

Overall 76 percent of those surveyed say that they face some pretty intense local marketing challenges. They perceive the growth of online marketing to be a major factor in their difficulties, but in reality, if they understood the role of free small business directories more, they would realize that online marketing is the best thing to come along for local businesses in a very long time.

Correcting Your Local Business Listings: Should You Do It Using Automation or Manually?

It seems that everyone is talking about the importance of free small business listings these day—and for good reason. A recent survey shows that 97 percent of people use them to find US local businesses when they want to visit a store or restaurant.

But one important key is creating and maintaining the free small business listings is getting them right the first time, and correcting them if they’re wrong. And thanks to technology, local business owners now have the choice about whether they use automation to correct small business listings or do it manually.

But First, Why is it Important to Correct Free Local Business Listings?

A local listing does more than tell shoppers where to find local businesses. It also helps the search engine spiders identify and then rank your local business in the search engine results. In short, the more local business directories you’re listed on, the higher in the search engine rankings you’ll appear.

But that’s true only if all of your small business listings match. For example, if the name of your local business is Main Street Clothing Company, and it’s listed on one local business directory as Main St. Clothing Company and another online small business directory as Main Street Clothing Co., those local citations will not be attributed to your business because the names aren’t exactly the same. The same is true for the business address, phone number, and website that appear in the local listing.

That’s why it’s so important to continuously search for new small business listings for your business and correct them as soon as you can.

Now, let’s get back to our topic. Should you correct free small business listings manually or use the automation that is available on the web?

Using Automation to Correct Local Business Listings

At first glance, it may appear that using automation is the right choice because it will save you tons of time. After all, if you have correct each of your local listings by hand, it could take hours. But there are definite drawbacks to using automation for this important job. Here are a few:

  • Software can’t spot the nuances. Any time you’re allowing a machine to preform a task, you run the risk of it not being able to spot the nuances, and in this case, that could lead to big trouble. For example, some businesses have more than one phone number and need to list them both so that consumers can call the right number. But automated software, such as Yext, doesn’t allow for that. It will look for only 1 phone number, and if you happen to be a local business owner who has more than that, it will flag your local listings as incorrect.
  • Your fixes are temporary. If you sign up to have an automated system fix all of the inconsistencies in your local businesses and then come to the end of the contract and decide not to renew it, guess what happens? All those fixes it made to your small business listings will revert back to the pre-corrected condition. That’s right, when you use an automated system, you sign up for life, otherwise the fixes are only temporary.

Correcting Your Free Local Listings Manually

Your other option is to correct each of your local business listings manually. While this may seem like a lot of work, the benefits you’ll reap are well worth it. For example, once each and every local listing is corrected, the search engine spiders will attribute them all to your local business—and that will increase your search engine rankings.

What’s more, as you look at your business listings, you’ll be able to spot any information gaps, outdated information, or other areas that need immediate attention. Only you, or one of your employees, know your business well enough to optimize your local business listings the right way.

Free small business listings are the face of the future for local business marketing. But in order to make the most of these free and effective marketing tools, you’ll need to make sure they are updated, corrected, and optimized on a routine basis.

3 Astonishing Facts You Need to Know About Small Business Listings

Do you run a small local business? If so, how are things going for you? Do you have new customers constantly walking through the doors, or are your sales lagging and you’re wondering how long you’ll be able to keep the doors open?

Here’s the thing: every local business owner falls into one of these 2 categories. Either they have plenty of new customers to keep the business running, or they rely on existing customers and eventually have to close their doors. Which category do you fall into?

If your new customer base isn’t what it should be, it could be cured with something as simple as creating a free business listing online. Local business directories are the way today’s consumers look for US local businesses, and if yours can’t be found there, chances are you don’t have many new customers walking through your doors.

Luckily, free business listings are easy to create. Just go to an online local business directory like FindUsLocal.com and list your business there. Then, local shoppers who look online for US local businesses can find yours.

Here are 5 facts you need to know about free small business listings that will help you create the most effective one.

People Use Online Business Directories to Find US Local Businesses

A recent study shows that 97 percent of Americans use free small business directories when they want to find local businesses. Think about it,that means that almost every single person looking for local businesses turns to the handy local directories to find the shops and restaurants they want to visit. Can you see why more customers aren’t visiting your shop if you haven’t already created your free local listing?

Shoppers Require Online Reviews for Credibility

Online reviews have become so popular in the minds of today’s consumers that most of them won’t even consider visiting a local business unless they’ve first read some good reviews about it. In fact, 85 percent of people say they trust online reviews just as much as they trust a personal recommendation from a friend. And good reviews are important. Seventy-three percent of people say that in order to visit a local business, it must have at least a 4 star rating. The number of reviews you have is important as well. Most shoppers like to read about 7 reviews before making a decision, which is up from 6 reviews from last year’s survey.

Consumers Prefer Local Listings to Company Websites

A surprising fact discovered in the survey is what people do after reading positive reviews about a local business. In the past, the next step would be to go the business’ website, but most people aren’t doing that anymore. The next step for the online shoppers who read positive reviews about a business is to either contact the business by phone or visit it in person. Last year, 54 percent of people would go to the company website after reading positive reviews, but this year, only 37 percent say they would do the same. In addition, the percentage of people who will visit the shop after reading the good reviews has risen by 10 percent.

As you can see, having a free small business listing is one the most important local marketing actions you can take in order to bring in new business. If you haven’t already created yours, visit FindUsLocal.com and get started. It will only take a few minutes and may result in new customers walking into your store today.