It wasn’t that long ago that local business owners only had to concentrate on local marketing tactics in their immediate area. For example, if they ran a newspaper ad, the ad only appeared to people living who lived within a certain number of miles from their shop or restaurant. And the local phone book ad they ran only reached people who lived in the area and received the book once a year. If they did a marketing mail out, they targeted the people in certain zip codes who were close enough to shop in their store.
But since the advent of the internet, local business owners have had to shift their thinking in terms of local marketing and advertising. In fact, the shift has been so dramatic that many small business owners have been left behind and are struggling to draw in new business.
Local Search is the New Local Marketing Technique
When search engines first came on the scene, they were designed to help consumers find online stores and national chain websites, but it quickly became apparent that consumers also wanted to find US local businesses using the internet. But that was a problem because the large search engines simply weren’t set up to show local results.
And that’s when things changed. Local business directories, otherwise known as free small business directories, were invented and consumers flocked to them to find local businesses USA. In fact, recent studies show that 1 out of every 2 people use local search directories to find local businesses.
Choose Your Free Small Business Directory Carefully
It’s important to remember than not all local business directories are the same. In fact, most experts agree that you’ll need to create your local business listing on a free business directory that is considered reputable in the industry. What makes a reputable local business directory? Here are 3 things the local directory you list your business on should have:
- SEO location software. In the past, consumers would have to enter their zip codes or city information in order to see local search results for their area. But these days, the best small business directories use SEO location technology that automatically shows them the local search results in their area. For example, when people log onto FindUsLocal.com, they only see the results from their own city or town.
- Consumer friendly features. Another draw for consumers is a small business directory that includes special features for them in addition to being able to find US local businesses near me. For instance, FindUsLocal offers the local news of the day, a listing of current events coming to that area, and a place for both consumers and local business owners to leave a comment about the business. This special feature is only available on this innovative local business directory.
- Local Reviews. These days, it’s almost impossible for a local business to succeed unless it has a good number of local reviews for people to read. In fact, recent studies show that people trust online reviews as much as they trust a personal recommendation from a friend. That makes it important to have as many local online reviews as you can get. Luckily, those same studies show that 7 out of 10 people will leave a reviews for your local business if you ask them.
Rocking Local Search: It’s all in the Details
Finally, when claiming your local business listing on a site like FindUsLocal, you’ll need to pay attention to the details in order to make the most of your business listing. First, consumers want to find all the information they need in order to make a decision about whether or not to visit your store. That means you should include details like your store hours, which types of payment you accept, where to find parking, which products you sell, or if you run a restaurant, what type of food you serve, and any other details that people need to know about your local business.
In addition to giving consumers all the information they need, you also need to ensure that the search engine spiders have the right, consistent information about your business so they will properly display it in the search engine results. If the data varies from one small business listing to the next, it will confuse them and they will either show incorrect information or worse, not rank your business at all. To fix this, make sure you enter the data exactly the same in every local business listing you create. Want an example? If your business name is Frank’s Donuts, you’ll need to either include the apostrophe in Frank’s in every listing or leave it out. That one inconsistency could result in your local search results being sidelined.
Local business directories are the best way for local businesses to be found online, but in order to make the best use of this local marketing technique, you’ll got to do it right. Follow the above tips and soon, you’ll have new customers walking through the door!