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.
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.
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.
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.