Most everyone understands the importance of having local business listings for a local store or restaurant that’s trying to bring in new customers, but not everyone understands the art of setting them up.
For instance, a business owner can set up dozens of listings on local business directories and not get any traction from it. How? By going about it the wrong way. And that’s just a waste of time.
We’ve outlined the proper way to set up free local business listings below. Do it this way, and you’ll soon find that your local listings are driving new business to your store.
Step #1: Be Choosy About the Local Directories You List In
There are hundreds of local business directories to choose from, but not all of them will give you the results you’re looking for. In fact, some of them may actually hurt your search engine rankings.
You’ll need to create local business listings on business directories that are more than just a database of old and outdated information. Look for local directories that are updated, offer more than just listings to consumers, and use modern software such as GEO location technology to who customized home pages to every visitor. Quality local business directories like FindUsLocal.com do all of this and more.
Step #2: Create a Thorough Local Listing
Consumers use local directories for a reason, and it’s more than just seeing a listing of all the local businesses in their area. They use these directories to find store hours, contact information for the business, menus, and brands that stores carry. If you’re not including all of this information in your free local listing, you’re not getting all you can from it.
Step #3: Be Consistent in Your Local Business Listings
One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is entering different information for every local business listing they create. For example, they may use the word “Street” at the end of their business address on some listings while using “St.” on others. The same is true for abbreviations in their business name, phone numbers, and website address. Unless the search engine spiders “see” the exact same wording on every local business listing you create, they won’t attribute it to your business, and that means all your hard work will have been for nothing.
Step #4: Keep Your Local Business Listings Fresh
Finally, in order to continually ping the search engines and alert them about your local listing, you’ll need to keep them fresh. There are two great ways to do this. First, ask all of your customers to go to your listing and leave reviews for your business. This helps you in two ways. First, the more online reviews you have, the more credibility your business will have in the eyes of potential customers. Secondly, every time new content is added—in this case an online review—it boosts your visibility to the search engines.
In addition to asking customers for online reviews, you can leave live comments on your local listings, which is also considered fresh content by the search engines. Keep in mind that the only local business directory that has this helpful and unique feature is FindUsLocal.com. Both business owners and consumers can leave comments about a business, which is shown as a live feed on each visitor’s home page.
Don’t create a free local business listing the wrong way. Follow the simple 4-step plan listed above in your online marketing campaign and get as much as you can out of your local business listings.