But if you haven’t already created your local listing, you may be confused about the process. After all, many people talk about how to do it, but the truth is, not that many people have the inside information that will help you do it right.
And when you create a local business listing the right way, the benefits are immeasurable.
Here’s a short video that highlights the benefits:
So, let’s dig in and learn how to create these helpful listings the right way. But first, let’s get a little background into the topic.
What is a Local Business Directory?
If you lived a couple of decades ago, you looked for the Yellow Pages when you wanted to find a local business. The books were big and bulky, but they contained the phone numbers and addresses of local business in a city or town.
But when the internet came along, things changed. Soon after its invention, people no longer looked to the Yellow Pages. Instead, they now look for local businesses online.
And that’s true even if the business is located just around the corner from them.
Why do consumers behave this way? Here are a few things they gleam from local business listings
Your exact business name
Sometimes business names can be confusing. For instance, a city may have a Main Street Shop, a Main St. Shop, and a Main Street Shop, Inc. all located in the same city. And that can cause a lot of confusion with customers.
But local business listings give those business owners the opportunity to clear things and state their exact business name.
Your business phone number
Sure, the Yellow Pages gave business phone numbers to consumers, but they had to pull out a heavy book and thumb through it to find that phone number. And sometimes they had to guess what category the business was listed in. For example, if they were looking for someone to hang sheetrock, would they look under contractors, builders, handyman, or sheetrock? It was up to the consumer to guess and hope they got it right.
But when using local business directories, consumers only have to type in the business name or keywords related to the business to find it. For instance, when looking for a person to hang sheetrock on a local business directory, they would simply type in the keyword “sheetrock.”
Your business address
People can’t come to your store unless they know where you are. And that’s another benefit of creating a free local business listing. Consumers use them to find local businesses so they can shop and eat at them.
Your store hours
Another thing that consumers love about local business directories is that the business owners have the option of putting their store or restaurant hours in the listing. This is a great way to show consumers that you are a trustworthy business that cares about their comfort. After all, it’s not fun to drive across town to eat at a restaurant only to discover that it closed an hour ago. But when they use local business listings, they’ll have to worry about making an unnecessary trip.
Your business offerings
Consumers can also find a store’s product offerings on local business listings. For instance, business owners can list the brands they carry and details about the sizes and colors of their clothing or other products.
And restaurants can get in on the action, too. A coffee shop could post their fresh pastry offerings, and restaurants can post highlights from their lunch or dinner menus.
Directions to your store
Most people use their phone GPS when looking for a local store, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to understand the general location when deciding whether or not to visit it. For instance, if someone wanted to find local Italian restaurants on their side of town, they would type “Italian Restaurant” into the local business directory’s search bar. Then all the Italian restaurants would appear in a list. The consumer could then look at the addresses of each of them to determine the Italian restaurant closest to them.
The local news
Some local business directories do more than provide the names, addresses, and phone numbers of local businesses. They also show each visitor a customized page for their area that features the local news. Visitors can not only find local businesses but also learn what’s happening in their town or city.
When is the last time you visited a local business without first reading the reviews? If you’re like most people, it’s been a while. That’s because online reviews have taken the place of personal recommendations from friends and family.
When you create a free local business listing on a local business directory, you have the ability to ask your customers to leave online reviews for your business. And the more reviews you get, the more new business you will earn.
It’s one of the best reasons to set up your local business listing as soon as you can!
One of the newest offerings of local business directories is the ability for business owners and consumers to interact with each other on the local directory. But this is so new, and most local directories don’t offer it.
FindUsLocal.com was the first (and we think only) local business directory to offer live comments. Here’s how it works:
Consumers can leave a comment on the local business listing of any business they want. They can thank the local business owner for a job well done, or inform other local consumers about a special deal they found at the store. Business owners can reply to these consumers, which opens up a live-two-way conversation.
Business owners can also use this feature to announce job openings, sales, flash sales, new product lines, or updated desert menus directly to consumers.
It’s like social media, only ten times better!
These live comments appear on the home page of everyone from that city or town that visits the local business directory.
How to Make Your Local Business Listing Shine
Now that you understand just how useful local business listings are to your local marketing campaign, you’re probably dying to know how to set up yours. But before you do, there are a couple more things you need to know. It’s a little thing called NAPs.
What Are NAPs?
NAP stands for name, address, and phone number. And this seemingly simple formula can easily make the difference between a successful local business listing and one that brings you no results.
Here’s how it works. Google and the other major search engines put a lot of meaning into NAPs. They use them to differentiate between local businesses. If they see one business with an Inc. after it another with the exact same name without the Inc., it will index them as different businesses.
And that can hurt your search engine rankings. Why? Because the more credible citations you have, the higher up in the search engine rankings you will appear. But if Google doesn’t recognize your business name as yours in every citation, it won’t be credited to your business.
How to Get NAPs Right
The easy way to solve this problem is to enter the exact same information for your business name, business address, and business phone number every time you enter it on the internet.
That means for every free local business listing you set up, you have to make sure the name, address, and phone number for your business is the same. If you enter Street on one listing, and St. on another, you won’t get credit for both local listings.
Let’s Get Your Free Local Business Listing Set Up Now
Are you ready to take your local business to the next level? If so, it’s time to get started on setting up your free local business listing. It will only take a couple of minutes, but once you do it, consumers will be able to find your business when they look online. And you know what that means.
More customers walking in the door.
To set up your free local business listing, simply go to FindUsLocal.com and search for your business. Then, once you find it, claim it as the owner. Then fill in as many details as you can about your business. Do you remember the list above that shows all the benefits consumers get when using local business directories? Make sure your local business offers all of those and more!
Make sure consumers come to your business instead of going to the competition. Set up your free local business listing at FindUsLocal.com now!