Category Archives: USA Business Directories News

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.

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

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

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

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

What is a Local Business Directory, Anyway?

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

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

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

How to Make Sure Your Free Local Business Listings are Seen

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

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

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

Why Local Business Owners Need to Been Seen Online

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can Today’s Shoppers Find Your Local Business?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step 1: Make Yourself Seen

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

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

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

Step 2: Begin Planning

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

Step 3: Schedule the Advertisements

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

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

How to Create a Free Local Business Listing

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

How Search Engine Spiders Classify Local Business Listings

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

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

But what happens when they don’t match?

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

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

Get the Business Name Right

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

Your Business Address Matters, Too

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

Don’t Forget about Your Business Phone Number

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

Your Website Address is Important, Too

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

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

 

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, FindUsLocal.com 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 FindUsLocal.com. 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 FindUsLocal.com 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, FindUsLocal.com 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 FindUsLocal.com, 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 FindUsLocal.com 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 FindUsLocal.com 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 FindUsLocal.com 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 FindUsLocal.com 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 FindUsLocal.com 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.