Category Archives: Local Business Insight

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 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, 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 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 ( or the long one ( 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 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, 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, 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.

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 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.

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


How to Set Up Your Free Local Business Listing in Ten Minutes or Less

By now, you may have heard about the importance of having an online presence for local businesses. It’s crucial to the health of your business because today’s consumers don’t look to old-school advertising places like the Yellow Pages and the community newspaper any more. They look online when they want to find US local businesses.

And if they can’t find your business there, they will visit and buy from your competitors.

Can shoppers find your local business online? If not, it’s easy to remedy. In fact, you can do it in under ten minutes—but the benefits of doing it will last for years.

Here’s how to set up your free local business listing in ten minutes for less.

  1. Find a Credible Local Business Directory

Your first step in the process is determining which local business directories are credible in the eyes of the search engine bots. Some local business directories are nothing more than data bases filled with outdated and incorrect information. You should avoid these local directories because they will not help your business be seen online.

Instead, look for a local business directory that allows you to customize your local business listing and enter the correct information. For example, is one such directory that allows for updated information and also provides some pretty cool features for shoppers such as local news, online reviews, and even a live stream of local events, including links to purchase the tickets.

  1. Enter Your Small Business Information

Once you’ve found the right local business directory, it’s time to create your free local business listing. Type your business name in the local directory’s search bar and press enter. You should see your business come up in the results. Click on it and then claim it as the owner.

Next, you’ll be asked to fill in as many details as you can. Start with the basics—your business name, address, phone number, and website (This is known as NAP+W). If you’re creating more than one free local business listing—and we recommend that you do—be sure to enter the information exactly the same on each and every listing—otherwise they won’t all be attributed to your business, and that will hurt your search engine rankings in the long run.

3. Update Your Free Local Business Listing with New Content

Now that you have your free local business listing, you’ll need to keep it fresh to ensure that the search engine bots don’t forget about it. You can do this in three ways.

First, ask your customers to leave online reviews often for your business. These reviews are counted as fresh content by the search engines and will help your rankings.

Next, make use of the comments feature that is available only on When you leave a comment on your local listing, it will be not only be featured on a live stream, but will be counted as fresh content for the listing.

Finally, don’t forget to update your local business listing as things change. If you get a new phone number or move locations, it’s important that you update the listing.

Local business directories are the easiest way to get your business seen by shoppers looking for local businesses. If you haven’t set yours up yet, why not stop by and create it now?

How to Ensure Your Free Local Business Listings are Seen by Shoppers

Local business owners have had to change the way they reach new customers, and that means they’ve had to shift from local marketing tactics—like community newspaper ads and Yellow Pages ads—to online local marketing.

And multiple studies show that when someone wants to find US local businesses, they go to local business directories to find them. That’s great news for local shop and restaurant owners because they can set up a local business listing for free.

But unless these local listings are done correctly, shoppers may not see your listing. Here’s how to make sure all those shoppers looking for a business like yours can find your local business listing.

  1. Only List Your Business on Credible Local Business Directories

Not all local business directories are the same, and the search engine spiders tend to give more attention to those local listings that are on credible directories. For example, is one such directory that does everything right. It consistently adds fresh content and allows small business owners to create their own local listings, which is crucial in them being found. We’ll talk about this important aspect of local listing marketing in the next paragraph.

  1. Your Local Business Listings Need to Be Exactly the Same

One of the most common reasons for ineffective local business listings is that the information entered into them isn’t consistent. You see, it’s the search engine bots that “read” the listings, not humans, and so unless the information is consistent across all the listings, the bots won’t recognize them as the same business. And that will hurt your search engine rankings.

Here’s an example. Imagine that you’re creating a free local business listing on a credible local business directory like, and another local directory like Yelp!. The name of your shop is Flowers on Main Street, and it’s located at 123 Main Street. Now if you set up your local business listing on and enter your details this way, but when you set up your local listing on Yelp!, you input your business name as Flowers on Main St., the search engine bots will not recognize the listings as belonging to the same business. In other words, all your hard work of inputting the information will be wasted.

  1. You Need to Keep Your Local Business Listings Fresh and Updated

Finally, if you want to ensure that shoppers can find your local business listings, you will need to continually add new content to it in order to get the attention of the search engine bots. High quality local business directories like continually publish content with links to the site in order to rank it better in the search engine listings. But as a business listed on the site, you can take some steps to increase the visibility of your listing.

Your first step should be to get as many online reviews as you can for your small business. Each time a new review is added, it will ping the search engine bots that you’ve added new content to your listing. And luckily it’s not that difficult. Studies show that more than 70 percent of consumers will leave a review for local businesses if they’re ask to. Knowing this, you can make it a habit to ask every customer to leave an online review at checkout.

Next, you should make use of the exclusive feature at that allows you to leave live comments that are attached to your local business listing. You can leave a comment about an upcoming sale, a job opening, or a shipment of new products. And the best thing about it is that local consumers can also leave live comments on your local business listing, which only increases the amount of fresh content on your listing.

Clearly, creating free local business listing the correct way has major benefits. If you haven’t yet created yours, be sure to go to right now and do it. It only takes a few minutes, but the benefits are long lasting.

3 Ways to Ask Customers to Leave Reviews on Your Local Business Listings

By now you probably understand just how important online reviews are for your local business. The studies show that not only do consumers trust them more than personal recommendations from friends and family, but also, most people won’t even consider doing business with a local shop, restaurant, or service business unless they’ve read a few good reviews.

But many local business owners don’t know how to ask customers to leave reviews on their local business listings. Luckily, it’s not as difficult as you might imagine. Here are 3 things you can do to quickly gather the all-important reviews on your local business listings.

Ask Them

It may seem simplistic, but many local shop owners don’t ask customers to leave online reviews because they think it will be an inconvenience to them. But studies show that shoppers are open to it, and in fact, are more than willing to leave reviews for businesses if only they’re asked.

You can ask them to leave a review at the point of sale, which is a natural place to do it. Just remember, customers probably don’t understand just how important the reviews are for the health of your business, and unless you ask them, they may ot think about it.

Offer an Incentive

If you want to increase the number of reviews shoppers leave for your business, think about adding an incentive to the “ask.” For example, you can hold a monthly drawing where you give a prize to the lucky winner. Everyone who leaves a review will be included in the drawing. The prize can be a product or service from your business, or a monetary prize.

While the studies show that most people are willing to leave online reviews for small businesses, adding an incentive like this only increases the chances that your local business listing will have plenty of great reviews.

Include the Ask in Your Communications

Finally, if you send out email newsletters, printed materials, or any other type of customer communications, be sure to include a request in them for online reviews. It will serve as an addition reminder for your busy customers who may have meant to leave an online review, but got busy with life and forgot about it.

Having a local business listing on a credible local business directory is the smartest way to draw new business to your shop or restaurant. But in order for that local listing to be effective, it must have positive online reviews for people to read.

Your existing customers are the best source for those reviews, but it will be up to you to communicate to them just how important they are. By following the above listed steps, your free local business listing should be peppered with positive reviews soon!

3 Reasons Your Local Business Listings Need to Be Accurate

When creating local business listings, it’s important to enter accurate information if you want to get the most out of your listing. And that’s important because studies show that today’s shoppers are using their smartphones, tablets, and laptops to find US local businesses online.

But before we talk about why your business listing has to be accurate in order to attract new customers, let’s first look at local business directories and why they’re so popular with shoppers.

What is a Local Business Directory—and Why Do Shoppers Use Them?

A local business directory is a niche search engine that helps consumers find local business in their area. They can search by city or town or by the type of business they’re looking for. For example, if they want to find a local donut shop in Los Angeles, they would enter the keywords into the local directory search bar on the directory and see a list of all the donut shops in the area.

The reason these local business directories have become so popular is because today’s shoppers use their mobile devices to find local businesses, and that means they look online when they’re out and about. And while it is possible to find US local businesses on the large search engines, people end up wasting time shifting through all of the irrelevant results. With a local business directory, all they have to do is enter the search term and instantly see the local results for their area.

Why It’s Important to Be Accurate When Creating Your Free Local Business Listing

Now that you understand just how popular local business directories are with consumers, let’s talk about the three most important reasons why you need to accurate when creating your free local business listing.

  • You Could Lose Business if the Information isn’t Correct. One survey shows that 73 percent of consumers says that if they get wrong information from a local business listing, they lose confidence in the business. Imagine looking up information for a restaurant, getting the address from its local business listing, only to drive there and discover that the restaurant has moved. Or if a business lists its business hours as 9-5, and you arrive at 9 only to discover that it doesn’t open until 10. It’s those kinds of inaccuracies that could do your small business harm in the eyes of consumers.
  • Today’s Shoppers Expect More. In another survey, consumers were asked what they wanted to see when looking at local business listings, and they cited—in order of importance—the hours of operation, the business address, business phone number, business website address, a map of the business, sufficient online reviews for the business, driving directions to the business, any promotions or discounts offered, the distance between their location and the business, and which types of payment are accepted. If any of these details are inaccurate, it could cost the business that new customer.
  • It Will Result in Increased Sales. Shoppers do more than rely on local business listing to find local businesses, they also use them to make purchases. Another study shows that 75 of local searches end with a purchase being made. Those are huge odds, but you’ll only be able to take advantage of them if shoppers can find your business online.

If you don’t have a free local business listing, you’re missing out on a huge source of business. Why not head over to right now and set your up? It only takes a few minutes and will allow those local consumers who are searching for a business like yours to find you.


The Best Way to Increase Sales in Your Local Business Today

Do you run a local shop, restaurant, or service business? If so, how are you doing? Are you seeing an increase in sales in this growing economy, or are your sales stagnant? Do new customers consistently walk through your doors, or are you relying on your existing customers to help grow your business?

The answers you give are a harbinger of the future success of your local business.

Why Local Business Owners Need New Customers to Thrive

Ask any local business owner and they will tell you that new customers are the heart and soul of growth. New customers increase sales, tell their friends and family about your business, which brings in even more new customers, and offer fresh feedback. Without them, your business could become stale.

But many local business owners are so entrenched in old-school marketing tactics that they aren’t drawing in new business.

How Can I Get New Customers to Visit My Local Business?

Today’s consumers look online when they want to find US local businesses, even if they’re looking for a shop or restaurant in their own hometown. Unfortunately, many local business owners haven’t taken the simple steps to create an online business presence.

But here’s the secret: you can set up a free local business listing in ten minutes or less.

What is a Free Local Business Listing?

Online local business directories are the go-to place for consumers when they want to find local businesses. These local directories feature search bars that allow consumers to look for specific local businesses. For example, if someone wants to find a Mexican food restaurant in Los Angeles, California, they would go to a credible local business directory like and enter “Mexican restaurant” in the search bar. Because this local business directory automatically “reads” the visitor’s location, when they enter the search term, all of the Mexican restaurants in that area will appear in the search results.

How Can I Get a Free Local Business Listing?

If this sounds like a dream come true for your local business, you should immediately go to and create your own free local business listing. To do so, enter the name of your business in the search bar of the local business directory, and when you see it in the results, claim it as your business.

Then, fill in all of the details about your business, keeping in mind that this is the place where new customers will find it. Don’t leave out important details such as your hours of operation, product lines, pricing information, and anything else new customers need to know.

Start Enjoying Increased Sales Today in Your Small Business

Remember, the more new customers that walk through your doors, the more sales your local business will have. Today’s shoppers look online when they want to find local business, and unless your business can be found there, they won’t even know your shop or restaurant exists.

Start making a difference in your local sales today by going to and creating your free local business listing right now. Who know? You may get your first new customer from the online local marketing tactic this afternoon!