Small business owners all over the country are reorganizing their marketing efforts to bring in that much needed foot traffic. And now that summer is here, it’s more important than ever to make sure consumers can find your local business.
For example, if people decide to go to a furniture store to buy a new sofa they aren’t going to look in the Yellow Pages or pull out a print newspaper to get the job done. Instead, they’ll whip out their smartphone and begin the search that way. And according to recent studies, most of the will use a local business directory to do it.
What is a Local Business Directory?
A local business directory, also known as local listings, is a search engine for people who want to find US local businesses. These directories allow consumers to skip all of the national results and articles about a topic and get only the local results they want. If that same group of people used a local business directory to find a furniture store in their area, they would be able to quickly find what they were looking for.
How to Set up and Optimize Your Free Local Business Listing
Your first step is to identify the right local business directory to list your business on. We recommend FindUsLocal.com because it provides a one-stop place for consumers to get local business listings, local news, the weather, local tweets, local reviews, and even live comments about the businesses in their area.
Once you’re on the site, enter your business name in the site’s search engine and once it comes up, claim it as the business owner. Next, you’ll need to create your listing and this is where you can take a few extra steps to optimize it. Here are the best ways to do that.
How to Optimize Your Local Business Listing
Take the following steps to ensure that you get all you can out of your local business directory listing.
- Fill in as many details as you can. When creating your local listing on a quality site like FindUsLocal.com, you’ll want to do all you can to ensure that it brings in traffic. And to do that, you’ll need to give consumers all the information they need about your business so they can make a decision about whether or not to visit it. For example, if you own a restaurant, be sure to include your serving times, what type of food you offer, and even a preview of your specialties. If you own a clothing store, be sure to identify the style and target customer. In short, it should be your goal to give so much information that people decide to visit your store after reading it.
- Use the same information on every local listing you create. It’s smart to create more than 1 local business listing, but be advised that if you do so, it’s important to enter the exact information on every listing you create. For instance, if the name of your store is Marco’s Custom Design Furniture, Inc., you will need to decide whether or not to include the “Inc.” on your local business listings. If you include It on one and not another, the search engine spiders won’t identify them both as the same business, and that means all your hard work in creating the listings would have been for nothing. Remember, the more credible citations—or local business listings—your business has, the higher it will appear in the search engine results.
- Be interactive. Finally, it’s important to keep those local business listings fresh and there are 2 ways to do that. First, you should ask all of your customers to leave local reviews on your listing. This will not only cause potential customers to have confidence in your business, but it will also ping the search engines every time someone leaves a review—and that will help your rankings. Next, you should make use of the free and unique feature on FindUsLocal.com that allows business owners to leave live comments associated with their business. You could announce sales, new product offerings, or let your community know when you’re hiring.
Creating a free local business listing is one of the best things you can do for your local business, but in order to ensure that you get the most out of it, you’ll need to follow the above steps. And once you have your local listing set up, prepare for the additional new customers that are sure to walk in your door!