Category Archives: Online Advertising

How to Improve Your Local Listing’s Search Engine Rankings

You probably already know that local business owners need to have an online presence in order to be found by today’s tech-savvy consumers. In fact, recent studies show that almost 100 percent of shoppers go to local business directories when they want to find US local businesses.

But just having a local listing isn’t enough. You also have to do all you can ensure that they’re easily found by all those shoppers.

Here are three ways you can help ensure that shoppers can find your local shop, service business, or restaurant.

List with the Right Local Directory

Not all local business directories are the same, and if you want to get the most from your listing, you need to list your business on one that’s considered credible by the search engine bots. What should you look for? A local directory that promotes itself, allows business owners to claim their businesses and fill in the necessary details to ensure that it’s correct, and one that allows business owners to communicate with local customers via the local directory. FindUsLocal.com is one such directory.

Get Online Customer Reviews

Your next step in achieving high search engine rankings for your local listing is to ask your customers to leave local reviews on it. When the search engine bots rank websites, they like to see a lot of fresh content added to the site—that’s how they understand that it’s relevant and popular. And each time a customer leaves an online review for your business, the bots view it as fresh content. So if you have a new review left for your business every day, the bots will take notice and reward your free local listing with higher visibility in the search engine rankings.

Communicate with Live Comments

Not all local business directories offer this feature, in fact, FindUsLocal.com is the only one that we of. It works like this: both business owners and consumers can leave comments on a local business listing that are then streamed live on the home page of that city or town. Everyone who visits the search engine to find local businesses will see the comments, and guess what? So will the search engine bots. And they will recognize even these bite-sized comments as fresh content.

As you can see, there are a few practical steps you can take to make sure the search engine bots see your free local business listing. Are you doing all you can to ensure that shoppers find your local listing when they are ready to buy?

How Today’s Shoppers Find US Local Businesses

When a shopper wants to find local businesses, they no longer turn to old school methods like the community newspaper, coupons they get in the mail, the Yellow Pages, or weekly ad flyers. Those methods had their day, but have been replaced by technology. When today’s tech-savvy consumers wants to find a local business, they turn online. But they no longer use the large search engines to do it.

Where Do Shoppers Look Online for Local Businesses?

People became frustrated trying to find local businesses on the large search engines because the search results were often filled with articles, online retailers and all sort of things that didn’t fit their search parameters. So local business directories were invented to help consumers find local businesses faster and easier.

What are Local Business Directories?

These local directories operate just like the larger search engines, but only give shoppers the results from their local area. For example, if someone were looking for a dress shop in San Diego, California, innovative local business directories like FindUsLocal.com would “read” the visitor’s location, and after they’d typed “dress shops” into the site’s search bar, it would show all of the dress shops in their area. No article, online shops or anything else to get in the way of the true local results.

How Can I Get My Business Listed in a Local Directory?

The good news is that it’s not difficult to create a local business listing. In fact, all you need to do is log onto FindUsLocal.com and use the search bar to look for your business. Once you find it, claim it as the owner and then fill in as many details about your business as you can. Don’t forget to add the details that customers want such as your business hours, the methods of payment that you accept and directions to your store, service business, or restaurant.

How Much Does it Cost to Create a Local Business Listing?

This is perhaps the best news of all—it’s free. That’s right, you can create a local business listing for free! We admit that it doesn’t make sense that one of the most powerful local marketing tactics is free, but it is.

Have You Created Your Free Local Business Listing Yet?

If you don’t already have a local listing for your business, what are you waiting for? Local directories are what today’s shoppers use to find local businesses, and if yours isn’t on one, they might not even know you exist. So take the ten minutes now and create your free local listing at FindUsLocal.com.

Consistency is Key for Local Business Listings

Many small business owners now understand the importance of having an online presence as most of today’s consumers use the internet to find US local businesses. But what many of them don’t know is that unless those local listings are consistent, they may not produce the results they want.

But in order to understand why consistency is so important when creating local business listings, you have to understand how search engines work.

How Search Engine Bots Find and Display Local Business Listings

Every page that’s put online has the potential to be found and indexed by local search engines. And when you create a local business listing on a credible local directory that has its pages indexed, your page is included in that.

But because it’s no humans, but bots, that search for online pages, you have to create your local listing with that in mind. That means that unless your local listing is created the exact same way on every local business listing that you have, the bots won’t recognize it as belong to the same business—and you won’t get credit for all of your listings.

And that can have negative implications for your search engine rankings. In other words, unless you’re consistent with the information in your local business listings, your store, service business or restaurant may not appear high enough in the search engine results for shoppers to find it.

The information that you need to be consistent with is called the NAP+W. That stands for name, address, phone number, and website—let’s take a few moments to talk about why each of these areas are so important.

Your Business Name in Local Business Listings

It seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? After all, you know the name of your business better than anyone. Or do you? Let’s imagine that the name of your business is Nancy’s Deli on Main Street. Simple enough, right? But can you image how that business name can sometimes be written as Nancy’s Deli on Main St. Nancys Deli on Main Street? Each time there is a variance in how the business name is written, it causes the search engine bots to categorize it as a different business. After all, they’re not human and they can’t recognize name variations.

Your Business Address in Local Business Listings

The same is true for your business address—it must be listed in exactly the same way every time you create a free local business listing. Let’s use the example above. If you list your business address as 123 Main Street in one local listing and as 123 Main St. in another, guess what happens? That’s right—the search engine bots won’t recognize it as the same business, and you won’t get credit for all the local listings.

Your Business Phone Number in Local Business Listings

A phone number is just a phone number, right? Yes, when you’re dealing with humans that’s true. But a bot doesn’t understand that sometimes a phone number includes an area code. That’s why it’s important to decide in advance whether or not you will include the area code in your business phone number.

Your Business Website Address in Local Business Listings

Finally, you’ll need to decide how to list your business website URL in your local business listings. Some people like to include the entire address such as http://nancysdelionmainstreet. On the other hand, some people like to enter a simpler website address like nancysdelionmainstreet.com. However you do it is fine, just be sure to do it the same way every time.

As you can see, creating a free local business listing on a credible local business is important, but it’s the way you do it that will increase your business and sales. If you haven’t already created yours, go to FindUsLocal.com and take ten minutes to do this important local business marketing step.

Local Business Directories Help Consumers Find US Local Businesses

Local shoppers can no longer rely on traditional ways of finding local businesses. In the past, all they had to do was open the big bulky Yellow Page phone book or look in the local newspaper for coupons or ads put out by local shop owners. But most small business owners realize that those marketing tactics simply don’t work anymore.

So what’s the solution? Local business directories.

If you run a local business and you want to make it easier for consumers and shoppers to find your business, you need to know about local business directories.

What are Local Business Directories?

In a word, these local directories are the best marketing tool in the hands of local shop and restaurant owners. That’s because when today’s shoppers want to find Us local businesses, the first place they look in on local directories. They use them to find stores near them, shop hours, methods of payment, directions to the store, product offerings, menus, and all sorts of other information that shoppers use to make buying and shopping decisions.

Is your business listed on a local business directory?

How to Get a Free Local Business Listing

Not only are local business listing free, but they are easy to set up. And did we mention what a great marketing tool they are? In a world where shoppers go online to find local businesses, it’s imperative that they can find your shop, service business, or restaurant there.

To create your free local business listing, you need to first stop in at one the credible local business directories like FindUsLocal.com. Once there, use the custom search bar to find your business, and then when it comes up in the search results, click on it. You’ll now have the opportunity to claim it as the business owner.

By doing this, you’re enabling the system to allow you to input the details about your business. For example, you should check to see that the business name shown is the proper one, and that the address, phone number, and website address are correct.

Once you have the basics down, it time to start adding the details that shoppers look for when deciding which local business to visit. For instance, you can add your store hours, the types of payment you accept, the brands or products that you carry, directions to your store, any parking restrictions, and anything else that new customers need to know about your store.

How to Promote Your Free Business Listing

Now that you have your free business listing set up, it’s time to let your customers know about it so that they can begin leaving online reviews for your business. Recent studies show that today’s shoppers don’t like to buy from businesses unless they can first read some positive reviews about it. That means you’ll have to ask your existing customers to leave those reviews.

Other studies show that more than 70 percent of people are willing to leave an online review if they’re asked, so make it a habit to ask every person to leave a review at the checkout station.

Now, Wait for Those New Customers to Walk Through the Door

Now that you have a place where all those online shoppers can find you, you should have more new customers walking through your doors. Remember, setting up a free business listing is easy—and the rewards and benefits that you’ll reap from it will last for years.

How Local Business Directories Drive New Customers to Your Local Store

Running a local store has changed a lot in the past decade, hasn’t it? If you run a store, service business, or restaurant and you’re wondering how you can pull shoppers away from the interest and instead focus their attention on your business, you’re thinking about it wrong. Today’s successful local business owners that instead of fighting with the internet, the best way to increase business is to partner with it.

How Can Local Business Owners Partner with the Internet?

Too many small business owners believe the internet has ruined their chances for a successful business because they believe that today’s consumers want to buy all of their goods online. But the studies simply don’t back up those sentiments.

In fact, there is a trend toward local shopping because people miss the experience that only small, local shops can provide. For example, when you make a purchase online, there is no one who smiles at you and tells you to have a nice day, or you don’t get to feel the fabrics, smell the perfumes, bounce the ball, pedal the bike, or experience the product you are considering in any way. Instead, you rely on the words the website uses to describe and hope that the writer they paid to write them ever actually saw the product.

But we can’t ignore the fact that most shoppers do use the internet to find the shops they want to visit. And that’s why local shop owners should befriend the internet and use it to help bring all those tech-savvy consumers into their stores.

How to Use the Internet to Boost Local Sales

Since consumers use the internet to find local shops and restaurants, it makes sense that your business is listed there so they will find it. Nowadays, the best way to ensure that local shoppers can find your business is to create a free local business listing.

Local business listings are the modern version of the Yellow Page listings that local business owners relied on in years past.  They are a succinct listing that includes all of the important information shoppers need about your business when deciding whether or not to visit. For example, you should include the basics such as your business name, address, phone number, and website address, as well as other information such as your store hours, brands and products that you sell, what types of payment you accept, and any information related to directions or parking that will make their visit easier.

How to Create a Free Local Business Listing

If your local business can’t yet be found online, it’s important that you change that right away. To create your free business listing, you’ll need to go to a reputable local business directory like FindUsLocal.com. Once there, use the custom search bar you’ll find at the top right of the home page. Enter your business name and your business should come up in the results.

Now, click on your business name and then claim it as the business owner. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to edit your local listing and include the information that should be there, but isn’t. For example, does the listing contain the correct phone number and store hours?

Once you’ve filled in as many details as you can, hit enter and your local listing will go live.

What Now?

After you’ve set up your local listing, put it to good use by getting as many online reviews on it as possible. Remember, not many people will shop at a store or restaurant unless they’ve first read some reviews, so it’s important for you to send your customers to your local listing to leave those reviews.

You can also use your free local business listing to interact with the community. By leaving comments on your listing, local shoppers will read them and keep up with your sales, promotions, job openings, or product changes.

Local business directories are one of the best free resources available to local business owners, and if you’re not using them, you’re likely missing out on new business. Why not go to FindUsLocal.com right now and create yours? There’s nothing to lose—only new customers to gain!

Small Business Owners Want to Know: Where Can I List My Business for Free?

Local marketing has changed over the past decade—a lot. In fact, those small business owners who still use old school methods of attracting new customers like the Yellow Pages or local newspapers don’t typically get a lot of new business. But there’s good news on the horizon: free local business listing.

Where Can I List My Business for Free?

Instead of using offline marketing tactics to list your small business, you should consider listing your local business online. That’s because all trends point to the fact that today’s shoppers look online when they want to find US local businesses. They pull out their smartphones, laptops, or tablets and look for the local shops, service businesses, or restaurants that they want to visit. And if they can’t find your business online, they’ll likely visit one of your competitors.

And according to even more studies, almost 100 percent of local shoppers look for local shops and eateries on local business directories.

What is a Local Directory?

A local directory is a place where consumers can find stores, service businesses, or restaurants in their own town or city. When they use the custom search bar on the site, it provides a list of the type of business they are looking for in their area. For example, if they were looking for a bakery in Los Angeles, they would type “Los Angeles bakery” into the search bar, and the local directory would show them a list of all the bakeries in Los Angeles.

But in order to be seen on local directories, you have to have a directory listing.

What is a Business Directory Listing?

A business directory listing is a modern take on the old Yellow Page listings. It is an online listing of a local businesses that includes the name of the business, its address, phone number, and website address. Some local listings, like those at FindUsLocal.com also allow business owners to include other important information like its store hours, methods of payment they accept, directions to the store, and even brands they carry or menu items.

How to Get a Free Listing on a Local Business Directory

If you want shoppers to be able to find your store or restaurant, go to FindUsLocal.com and use its search bar to find your business. Then, claim that business listing as the owner, and begin filling in as many details as you can. Don’t forget to include the things shoppers will look for when deciding whether or not to visit your business.

Going Online is a No-Brainer for Local Business Owners

Running a local business in today’s tech-savvy environment requires a change in thinking if you want to be a success. And since today’s shoppers look online for local businesses, doesn’t it make sense to take the steps necessary to ensure yours can be found?

If you haven’t already set up your free local business listing, go to FindUsLocal.com and do it now. Who knows? Shoppers could on there right now looking for a shop or restaurant just like yours!

How Local Business Directories can Help Promote Your Small Business

Running a small business is a great lifestyle. After all, you are in charge of your own financial destiny, are building something to leave to your kids, and you serve the community you live in. But along with all those benefits comes the responsibility of managing your business in way that brings in the most sales.

And while most local business owners have been in charge of marketing their small business for years, there has been a change in the past few years that requires a new way of thinking.

You see, today’s shoppers use local business directories when they want to find US local businesses and that means if a local business can’t be found online, it’s missing out on a lot of new customers.

Here are some results from studies conducted on local business directories and how they can help you promote your small business:

  • Almost 100 percent of consumers use local directories to find local businesses.
  • Half of the people who use a mobile device to find local businesses visit the store or restaurant within a day and 34 percent of people who use a laptop to find local businesses do the same.
  • When someone uses the internet to find US local businesses, 18 percent of those searches lead to a sale.
  • When someone uses Google to find a local store, they enter the local city or town in the search keywords.

As you can see, having your business or restaurant listing on a local business directory is one of the best things you can do to market your business. Here’s how to use local business directories to help find new business.

Use Free Local Business Listings to Reduce Your Marketing Budget Needs

Just because local business listings are free on sites like FindUsLocal.com, that doesn’t mean they’re not effective. And when you create local listings for your small business, it will not only help shoppers find your store or eatery, but it will reduce the amount of local marketing expenses you’ll have to pay out of pocket.

Make Sure Your Local Business Listing is Correct

There is nothing than shoppers hate more than using a local business directory to find a store, rely on the information listed to get there, and then find out that the address or phone number was incorrect. That only creates bad feelings for your business.

It’s important that when you set up your free local business directory, you enter all the information correctly. Check and double check that you’ve entered your business name, address, phone number, and website correctly. If you make a mistake, it could cost you a new customers.

Don’t Forget to Give Shoppers the Information They Want

In addition to the basics, you should provide shoppers with your store hours, the types of payments you accept and anything else that will help them decide whether or not to visit your shop or restaurant. For example, if you run a restaurant, you can provide details on the type of food you serve, and if you run a boutique, list some brand names that you sell.

Local business directories are the future in local marketing, but in order to reap the benefits, you need to set up your free local listing. Do this by going to FindUsLocal.com and creating yours now.

Why Every Small Business Owner Should Have a Local Listing

Local business directories are the most exciting thing to happen to small and local business owners in a long time, but not all small shop and restaurant owners are seeing the incredible benefits offered by the local directories because they haven’t yet set up their free local business listing.

If you’re one of the holdouts and don’t yet have your local shop or restaurant listed on a local business directory, here are some great reasons to take ten minutes now and create yours.

Today’s Shoppers Use Local Business Directories to Find Local Businesses

When someone wants to find a local business, they reach for their smartphones, tablets, or laptops and log onto a local business directory. They don’t drive around looking for a business or place to eat, and they definitely don’t look in the Yellow Pages or community newspaper.

That means if your business isn’t listed in a local directory, all those shoppers have no way of finding your business.

Online Reviews Drive Consumers Buying Behavior

Another great reason to create your own local listing is that it gives your customers a place to leave online reviews for your business. Most current studies show that consumers expect to read a few positive online reviews before they decide whether or not to visit a local business. And unless you have a place to send your customers to leave those reviews, new customers won’t have a place to read them.

And getting those reviews isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Another study shows that more than 70 percent of people say that if a business asks them to leave an online review, they will do it.

Customer Interaction is Key to Good Community Relationships

Finally, today’s consumers expect more from local business owners than simply providing them with a great place to shop, receive service, or eat a good meal. They want to feel as if they are a part of the business, and successful shop owners do that by opening the lines of communication.

One of the most innovative and successful ways of doing that is by exchanging live comments on local business directories like FindUsLocal.com.

This unique feature allows both business owners and consumers to leave live comments about a local business listing, which is then displayed on the home page of every visitor from that area. For example, if you own a bookstore in Los Angeles, California, you can leave a live comment about an author book signing you have scheduled, and consumers can leave live comments about their experience in meeting the author at the event.

Local business directories are a huge boon for local business owners, but in order to reap the benefits, you have to create your free local business listing. Luckily, it’s easy to do. Just log onto FindUsLocal.com, look for your business in the custom search bar, and then claim it as the business owner. Next, you’ll be asked to fill in a few details, and before you know it, your local listing will be live and available for new customers to find.

Why Local Business Directories are the New Yellow Pages

Most everyone knows the term Yellow Pages, but not everyone understands what it means. After all, a large portion of our society wasn’t around when the popular book was so commonly used. And that’s why most shoppers use local business directories when they want to find US local businesses. They have no idea how lucky they are and that’s why we wanted to write this post—to show everyone why local business directories are so helpful, and what the shoppers of the past had to do in order to find local businesses.

The History of the Yellow Pages

Ever since the invention of the telephone, people have used phone directories to list people’s names and phone numbers so there was a public record of how to reach them. But in 1886, one printer was printing the local phone directory when he ran out of paper. He had some yellow page on hand and decided to use it instead, and that’s how the Yellow Pages came into being.

Before long, the new tool become the go-to form a local business advertising. These business owners would purchase an ad in the Yellow Pages—typically a single line entry, a quarter of a page, a half page, or even a full page—and customers would find the local business through it. These ads were very expensive, ranging from a hundreds to thousands of dollars, but most local business owners considered it the cost of doing business. After all, in those days, if a business didn’t have a Yellow Page ad, it was credible in the eyes of consumers.

Local Business Directories—The New Yellow Pages

Fast forwards a few decades and the world has changes since the advent of the internet. Now, shoppers almost never pull out the old clunky Yellow Pages, but instead look online when they want to find US local businesses. And where do they look? In local business directories.

Local business directories are designed just like the Yellow Pages, but with a modern twist. They also list businesses and their phone numbers and addresses, but these ads don’t cost business owners a lot of money to be seen there. In fact they’re free.

And studies show that today, most people who are trying to find local businesses turn to local business directories to do so. So just like decades ago when small business owners had to be seen in the Yellow Pages, these days, they must be seen on local business directories in order to attract new customers.

How to Create a Free Local Business Listing

If you don’t yet have a local listing on a local business directory, there is no time to waste. Every day, millions of people search for businesses just like yours, and if they can’t find them on a local directory, they will visit your competitor instead.

To set up your free local business listing, go to FindUsLocal.com and use the custom search bar to look for your business. Once you find it, claim it as the business owner, and then fill in all of the details that make your business unique. In addition to the basics like your business name, address, phone number, and website, be sure to give customers the information they need like your store hours, the methods of payment you accept, and what lines and brands you carry. Remember, people who see your local business listing will use it to decide whether or not to visit your store or restaurant.

The days of the Yellow pages are gone, but local business directories have taken place of it and play a huge role in helping shoppers find local businesses. If you don’t have your free local business listing created yet, hop on over to FindUsLocal.com and do it now!

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.