Local Business Owners: Here’s What You Need to Know About Local Business Directories

Do you run a local business? If so, you may have realized that things aren’t like they used to be when it comes to marketing. In fact, unless you know about local business directories, you may be missing out on the most important local marketing tool you have.

Are you ready to learn how to boost your sales by creating a free local business listing? Let’s get started.

First, What Are Local Business Directories?

Maybe you’ve heard the term, local business directory, but don’t know what it is. The best way to think about these useful tools is to compare them with the Yellow Pages of the last decade. When someone wanted to find local businesses in the past, they pulled out the Yellow Pages. Then, they thumbed through the pages until they found the local business they wanted.

But these days, people don’t have the time (or patience!) to use the Yellow Pages. They live their lives online for the most part, and that means they need an online solution when they want to find local businesses.

And that’s where local business directories come in.

Consumer Behavior with Local Business Directories

Local business directories are online Yellow Pages. Consumers use them when they want to find local businesses in a fast and easy way. Here’s how most people use local business directories:

  • They go to a credible local business directory like com and log on.
  • They will instantly be presented with a homepage that shows them the news, weather, and events in their area. FindUsLocal.com does with the use of GEO location technology software, and this makes each visitor’s experience unique and personal.
  • Next, they use the directory’s search bar and input the type of business they’re looking for. For example, if they want to find a jewelry repair shop, they would type “jewelry repair” into the search engine bar on the site.
  • Now, the visitor will be presented with a list of all the jewelry repair shops in their city or town.
  • The visitor will then check out the ratings of each business on the list. For example, some local shops may have plenty of five-star ratings, while others may have less. Most consumers like to visit local shops and restaurants that have plenty of great reviews.
  • Next, the visitor will look for the information they need from the business. They may seek the business’ address, phone number, business hours, or even menu items or brands that the shop carries.
  • Finally, the consumer will select the local business they want and go there to shop or eat!

Why Should You Set Up a Free Local Business Listing

If you don’t already have a listing on a local business directory, you’re probably missing out on new customers. After all, if most shoppers follow the steps we outlined above but can’t find your listing, they will likely go to your competitor instead.

And that’s not how to survive and thrive in this digital economy.

My guess is that you’re convinced that you need to set up a free local business listing on a credible local business directory like FindUsLocal.com. Here’s how to do it.

  • Go to FindUsLocal.com and use the site’s search bar to find your business. Once you find it, look over the details and make notes about what information is correct and what’s wrong.
  • Pay special attention to your business name, business address, business phone number, and your business website.
  • Now, claim the listing as the business owner. This will allow you to make changes to the information that is currently displayed.
  • Now it’s time to carefully fill in all the details you want shoppers to know about your business. Make sure your business name, address, phone number, and website URL are correct.
  • Your free local business listing is now set up. Your next step is to make note of the URL and save it for the next part of the process.

What’s the Next Step?

Now that you have a local business listing on a credible local business directory, it’s time to ensure that all of your other local citations match it. Local citations are mentions of your business that appear online. The search engines use these citations to determine how high up in the search engine rankings your business sits.

But to take full advantage of local citations, such as local business listings, they all have to be exactly the same. If they’re not, the search engine spiders won’t recognize them as being from the same business. And in that case, it will negatively affect your search engine ranking.

Here’s how to ensure that all of your local citations are the same:

  • Check your business name on all of your local citations and ensure that it’s exactly the same. For example, if your business name is April’s Donuts on one local business directory and Aprils Donuts on another, it doesn’t match. The business name should be written exactly the same on every listing.
  • Your business address is the next thing you need to check on all your listings. This can be tricky because there are so many parts to it, but the address must be the same on every listing. For example, if your address is 123 Main Parkway on one listing and 123 Main Prkwy on another, the search engine spiders won’t recognize them as belonging to the same business. In this instance, you will have to choose between Parkway and Prkwy.
  • Your business number is another area that can mess up your search engine rankings. Some people decide to list their phone number with the area code first, but others believe that since it’s a local business, they can do without the area code. But to get the best search engine rankings, you will need to choose and list your phone number the same on all your local business listings.
  • Finally, your website URL is another area that can mess you up. That’s because some people list their URL starting with the http:/, while others use their simplified website name. But if you want the best search engine rankings, you will have to choose one way to list your website, and then use that exact URL for every free local business listing that you create.

How to Get the Word Out About Your Free Local Business Listing

You’ve created your local business listing on a credible local business directory like FindUsLocal.com. What’s next? It’ time to let the world know about it.

You see, in order for people to consider your local business listing credible, you have to have some great online reviews. And the way you get those reviews is to ask your current customers to leave them for you.

Don’t be overwhelmed by this. Studies show that people are more than willing to leave online reviews for local businesses if they are asked. That’s why you see so many businesses asking customers for reviews as they check out. Some even print the request on their receipts and offer shoppers a chance to win a prize if they leave a review.

Set up a system in your store where every shopper is asked to leave an online review for your business. You can post a sign that gives them the FindUsLocal.com URL, print flyers to hand out to shoppers as they leave your store, or even print the request on customer receipts.

Once customers begin leaving online reviews, others will see them and because your store will have the social proof it needs, you will soon begin experiencing new shoppers walking in your doors.

And what local business owner doesn’t love that?

 

Local Business Directories: Is It Time to Set Up Yours?

As you can see, creating a free local business listing is one of the best things you can do if you’re a local business owner. These listings are the way today’s consumers find local businesses. And if you want to increase business, you have to be found. Why not ensure that you can be found where today’s shoppers are looking?

Why not take a few minutes now and set up your free local business listing? All you have to gain is new customers!

Do you already have a local business listing on a credible local business directory like FindUsLocal.com? If so we would love to hear how it’s helped your business grow. Please leave us a comment below!

 

Why Should You Use Local Business Directories to Increase Business?

We live in a world full of technology and all things internet. And as a small business, that’s probably presented some challenges for you. You may have trouble bringing in new business, convincing new customers to trust you, or getting the word out about your business. But local business directories can change all of that—and more.

Local business directories are to today’s consumers what the Yellow Pages were to consumers a couple of decades ago. It’s the place where people go when they want to find local businesses. Whether they need to find a local bakery, local doctor, or local pet store, they go to local business directories to get the information they need.

Here’s a quick video to demonstrate how they work:

How Do Local Business Directories Work?

Today’s consumers have it made. Remember the days when you had to pull out a heavy Yellow Pages book and thumb through it to find local businesses? Sometimes you weren’t sure which category a local shop was listed in, and that meant it took you some time to find the information you needed.

But with local business directories, all consumers have to do is type in the kind of business they’re looking for in the search engine bar of the local directory. Then, a list of all the related businesses will appear.

For instance, if you were to go to a local business directory like FindUsLocal.com to look for a Mexican food restaurant, you would type “Mexican food restaurant” in the search bar on the local directory’s page and you would instantly see a list of all the Mexican food restaurants in your area.

How Does the Local Business Directory Know the Location of Visitors?

The next question most people ask is how the local business directory knows which local businesses to show each visitor. After all, some visitors may come to the site from California, while others may come to the site from Maine.

The secret lies in the GEO location technology that the site uses. Every time a visitor logs onto the site—from anywhere in the world—the software reads their location. Then, when they type in the keywords into the search bar, the site automatically shows them the local businesses from their area.

For example, if someone from Albuquerque, New Mexico logged onto the site and typed Mexican food restaurants in the search bar, the FindUsLocal site would display all of the Mexican food restaurants from that city.

How Can Local Business Directories Increase My Business?

By now, you probably realize just how important local business directories are to the health and prosperity of your business. People don’t use the Yellow Pages anymore, but instead, they turn to local business directories when they want to find local businesses.

And if yours isn’t there, they will go to your competitor’s business instead.

So, let’s talk about all the ways a local business directory can help steer new business to your shop or restaurant.

You’ll Get Exposure

These days, local business owners need to do everything they can to get their business in front of consumers. The days are gone when local shops and restaurants can rely on word of mouth or a large sign out front. People like to use the internet to find the local businesses they shop at, and that makes it imperative that your business can be found online.

Local business directories provide a free way for you to get your business in front of the buying public. To get yours listed, you need to go to a credible local business directory like FindUsLocal.com and create your local business listing. Once you do, all those shoppers and hungry consumers will find your business and that means you will have more consumers walking through the doors.

Check out this video for more:

You’ll Get Social Proof

Quick, when is the last time you visited a business or bought a product without first checking the online reviews? If you’re like most people, it’s been years. These days, people want to see social proof before visiting a local shop or restaurant. They want to read reviews from other shoppers and diners to make sure they are making the right decision before visiting a local business.

In other words, if you don’t have some good online reviews, you will miss out on a lot of business A lot.

But local business directories are the answer to this problem. There, your customers can leave online reviews for your business that others will see. You can encourage your customers to leave a review on your local business listing so you can get as many as possible. Remember, the more positive reviews online shoppers see, the more likely they will be to visit your store or restaurant.

You’ll Get Community

Another benefit of using local business directories like FindUsLocal.com is the unique feature it offers to both business owners and consumers. On this directory, you have the ability to leave live comments associated with your local business listing. That means you can announce when you’re having a sale, hiring new employees, or receive a big shipment of new products. And because the comments are live, every person who visits the local business directory from your city or town will see the comment posted on the home page of the directory.

But the comments aren’t only for the business owners. Visitors can also leave live comments on your local listing. For example, if a diner loved your soup of the day, they can leave a comment about it so other diners can see it. And if a shopper is excited about your new fall line of clothing, they can tell everyone else in your city about it by using the live comment feature.

In other words, local businesses can still establish themselves as part of the community. But in today’s culture, they need to do it online where everyone gathers.

How to Set Up Your Free Local Business Listing

Are you convinced that you need to set up a free local business listing so you can begin to take advantage of the free advertising it offers? If so, you will be happy to know that you can do it in just a few minutes.

Here are the steps you need to take:

  • Go to FindUsLocal.com and click on the “Add My Business” button on the top right corner. Once there, fill in all of the required information to create your free account.
  • Next, fill in the details of your business. List as much information as you can because shoppers will look for the details they need to determine whether or not they want to visit your store or restaurants. Don’t forget to include crucial details like your address, phone number, business hours, and anything things they need to know.
  • Finally, tell all your customers about your new business listing and ask them to leave online reviews for your business. Some shop owners offer a one-time discount for customers who leave the reviews.

What Are You Waiting For? Set Up Your Free Local Business Listing Now!

Setting up a local business listing on a local business directory isn’t difficult. But not having one will make getting new customers in your door very hard. Today, shoppers look online, even when they want to find local businesses. And if yours can’t be found there, you will lose out on a lot of business.

So, why not take a few minutes now and set up your local business listing? It’s free, easy, and may start steering new business your way as early as tomorrow!

What Are Local Citations and Why Do You Need Them?

Ask any business owner what their number one concern is, and most of them will tell you that it’s increasing their business. After all, no matter how much you love what you do, we all work to earn an income so we can support ourselves and our family. And what’s the number one way local shops can increase their income? Local business directories.

Why Retail Shops Need to Increase Sales

It’s expensive to run a business today, isn’t it? In addition to your rent or building mortgage, you have to pay taxes, insurance, employee wages, and advertising costs. And let’s not forget about the fact that you have to buy all that product so you can sell it to your customers. All those expenses add up. And the more expenses you have, the more you will have to sell just to break even.

What if I told you that local business directories could help you reduce your monthly expenses and increase your business at the same time? Does that sound too good to be true? I assure you it’s not.

What Are Local Business Directories?

Local business directories are the places people go to find local businesses. They are websites that act like search engines. But they only find local businesses. You won’t find national chains, online businesses, or other digital businesses on a local business directory.

For instance, if someone wanted to find a local plant shop, they would type “plant shop” or “plants” into the search bar at a local business directory like FindUsLocal.com. And the list they see would only include the names of local plant shops—or those businesses that sell plants.

How does the local directory know which local businesses to show each visitor?

Let’s talk about that now.

But first, here’s a quick overview of how local business directories work:

GEO Location Technology

Some of the more advanced local business directories use a piece of technology called GEO location technology. It’s the same technology that your GPS system uses to find local businesses when you’re driving. But used in this context, it helps people find local business they want to visit.

Here’s how it works: when a visitor logs onto a site such as FindUsLocal.com, the site automatically reads their location. Then, in a split second, it shows them a home page that includes results from where they live.

For instance, anyone logging onto FindUsLocal.com will see:

  • The news from the city or town they live in
  • The weather from their local area
  • A listing of concerts, sporting events, and plays from their area—with the ability to purchase tickets then and there
  • Local comments posted by others in their community
  • Reviews for all of the local businesses and restaurants in their area
  • Funny sayings of the day
  • A feature that provides an unusual name each day
  • A complete listing of all the local shops, restaurants, and service businesses in the area

In other words, this technology is so advanced that a visitor doesn’t need tell the site where to look for local businesses. Instead, it already knows. That means the visitor can concentrate on doing what they came for: looking for local businesses to visit.

Can Shoppers Find Your Local Business?

If a visitor went to FindUsLocal.com right now and searched for a business that sells what you do, would they find your business? For example, if you run an Italian restaurant, and a visitor typed “Italian restaurant” into FindUsLocal in your area, would the name of your business come up?

If not, you just lost a customer.

Or maybe your business does come up, but because you haven’t claimed your business and made the appropriate changes, the information that comes up is wrong. For instance, what if they conducted that search for an Italian restaurant and found yours? But because you hadn’t updated the listing, the address was wrong. That means the visitor would drive to the wrong location and find their time had been wasted.

How’s that for customer service?

You can avoid this happening to you by claiming your listing and correcting any bad information you find on it.

Here’s how to do just that.

How to Claim Your Local Business Listing

To claim your free local business listing—oh, yes did I not mention that this service is free? —all you have to do is go to FindUsLocal.com and look for your business using the search bar on the website.

Next, when you see it pop up in the list, click on it to claim it as the owner. Once you claim it, you will have the right to change the information in the local business listing. Now you can ensure that customers will always have the right information.

Once you have access to change the listing, look over the information that is already listed. Next, change any information that is wrong. For instance, if your address is incomplete, complete it. Or if your phone number has changed, make sure the listing contains the new one.

After you’ve verified and changed the basic information, it’s time to start adding the information that customers are looking for. For example, if you run a restaurant, you should include highlights of your menu and the times of your services.

If you run a dress shop, list the brands you carry and any unusual sizes or colors. A hardware store could list the brands of tools it carries or anything else consumers might be looking for from that type of store.

Here’s a brief video that shows you how easy it is:

It’s important to know that you have to list your business details the exact same way on every local business directory you use. For instance, if you have an Inc. at the end of your business name and decide to include it on one local business listing, you will have to include it on every one you list after that.

Why?

Let’s talk about that now.

How the Search Engine Spiders Crawl

When most people think of crawling spiders, they don’t consider it a good thing. But when the search engine spiders crawl for your business, you should rejoice. That’s because those spiders are crawling for information. And they use the information they find to determine where you will be in the search engine rankings.

But if you don’t set up your local business listings uniformly, it messes up the spider’s ability to crawl. Here’s what I mean. If you list your business as Alfredo’s Italian Cuisine, Inc. on one business listing and Alfredo’s Italian Cuisine on another, the spiders won’t know it’s the same business.

So, they will count it as two separate businesses. That’s important because the way you climb higher in the search engine rankings is by having enough credible citations. A citation is a mention of your business—such as a local business listing on a credible local business directory.

But if the search engine spiders don’t recognize all of your business listings, you won’t be credited with the citations. And that means lower search engine results for your business.

Here’s a short video that explains why local citations are so important:

How Do I Get Credited for All My Local Business Citations?

The best way to get credited for all of your local business citations is to make sure each local business listing matches exactly.

Here is a list of some of the things you should search for.

  • Your business name: make sure the business name is written exactly the same. Capitalize the same letters, and don’t abbreviate a word in one listing without doing it in another.
  • Your business address: Use the exact same address in every local business listing you create. For instance, don’t write 120 Main Street in one local listing and 120 Main St. in another. The search engine spiders won’t be able to tell that they both belong to your business. The same is true for the city and state names. Don’t use abbreviations on some listing and spell them out on others.
  • Your business phone number: When adding your business phone number to the local business listing, you need to make sure that it’s the same, too. For example, you may use the area code in one listing and leave it out in another one. That will result in your not getting the local citations because the search engine spiders won’t recognize them both as yours.

Is It Time to Create Your Free Local Business Listing?

If you haven’t already updated your local business listing, it’s time to step up and get in the game. Studies show that almost 100 percent of consumers use local business directories when trying to find local businesses. And if your business isn’t there—or if it has the wrong information in the listing—those consumers will go to your competitors.

Why not take ten minutes right now and hop on over to FindUsLocal.com? Then, find your business, claim it as the owner, and set it up right. Who knows? The spiders might find it tonight and boost your search engine ranking!

Design Your Local Business Listing for Success

By now, you’ve heard of the importance of using local business directories to create a free local listing. These local listing play an important part in the health of your local business.

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.

Online reviews

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!

Live comments

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!

Online Reviews: Everything You Need to Know

Do you run a retail business? If so, chances are that you have had to make a lot of changes to your local marketing efforts in the past decade. What caused this shift in retail marketing? One word: the internet.

Before the internet came along, local shop owners brought new customers in the door in a variety of offline marketing ways. For instance, some of them held local contests or got involved with their local community in a way that put their business in front of potential customers. Some set up booths in fairs, while others sponsored little league teams or girl’s gymnastics teams.

Other forms of local marketing were sending coupons in the mail, putting physical flyers on the doors in the entire neighborhood, and running ads in the local Yellow Pages.

But local business owners who make use of these methods today aren’t likely getting many new customers. That’s because today’s shoppers use the internet to find local businesses, even when that business is right around the corner from them.

So, what’s the answer? Local business directories and reviews.

Here’s a quick 30-second video showing you how important they are:

What Are Local Business Directories?

Local business directories are a lot like the old school Yellow Pages. It’s a place where consumers can find local businesses in the town or city they live in. But unlike the Yellow Pages, people don’t have to lug around a heavy book or give up in frustration because the business they wanted to find didn’t think to run an ad in the book that year.

Oh, wait, that still happens.

Local Business Directories: What Not to Do

When a potential customer logs onto a local business directory like FindUsLocal.com, can they find your business? And if they do, will they find your correct business name, address, phone number, or website?

You would be surprised at how many outdated local business listings there are. And what do you think happens when a potential customer finds incorrect information about your business?

Maybe they drive to the wrong location. Or perhaps they try to call you to find out what time you close and get a disconnected number. Or maybe they go to the website listed on your free business listing and it’s no longer there.

All of that adds up to one thing: lost customers.

Local Business Directories: What to Do

Now that you know what not to do, let’s take a look at how to effectively use local business directories to drive customers to your store, shop, or restaurant.

First, it’s important that all of the information on your free local business listing is updated and accurate. And don’t think that no information exists if you didn’t add it.

Local business directories index all of the available information about local businesses in an area and publish that online. And if the information is outdated, that’s what customers see.

So, your first step in the process is to go to a credible local business directory like FindUsLocal.com and look for your business. Start by typing in your business’ name in the search bar on the directory. Then, once it comes up, look at the information provided. Does it list your proper business name? The correct address? Can customers reach you on the phone number that’s listed? What about your website address? Is it correct?

If the information is out of date or incorrect, claim the listing as the owner of the business. Then, change the information in the listing until it’s correct. And if you can add anything that will entice potential customers to visit your business, do so. For instance, if you own a local restaurant, write about some of your best selling dishes. Or if you run a bookshop, highlight an author signing or a sale you plan to run.

Once you’ve updated the information in your free local business listing, you won’t lose any more business because of bad information.

But you’re not finished.

That’s because setting up your free local business listing and making sure the information is correct is only the first step in using local business directories to market your business.

Next Step: Get Those Reviews

If you’ve bought anything in the past few years, you probably held off on your buying decision until you read a few online reviews. That’s what most people do. And consumers trust online reviews.

In fact, studies show that people trust online reviews more than they trust a personal recommendation from a close friend or family member. In other words, you need some online reviews to complete your local business listing. If you don’t have any, you won’t have that social proof that is so important in today’s local marketing strategies.

How to Get Online Reviews

You know you need online reviews to grow your business, but getting them can seem overwhelming. After all, don’t customers hate it when you ask them to leave a review for your business?

It turns out, they don’t. In fact, more studies show that people are more than willing to leave online reviews for local businesses if they’re asked. What does that mean for you? It means you have to start asking your customers to leave online reviews for your local business.

How to Ask for Online Reviews

Asking for online reviews can seem scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some great tips that will help you get plenty of online reviews. And once you have them, potential customers will feel more at ease when making the decision to shop at your store or eat at your restaurant.

End things with an ask

Every customer that comes to your store and buys something has to go through the checkout process. And this is the point in their shopping experience when they are happiest with your business. They’ve found the perfect product or ate a wonderful meal. And chances are, they’re feeling pretty charitable about it.

That’s why you see so many local business owners instructing their staff to ask every customer who goes through the checkout process to leave an online review. And if you make the process rewarding, they’ll be even more likely to leave a review.

For instance, you can hold a drawing for a prize once a month for everyone who leaves online reviews. Or you can offer anyone who leaves an online review a discount after it’s published.

Make it easy

Another great way to rack up a lot of online reviews is to make it easy for your customers to leave them. When you create your free local business listing, that listing will have a permanent address of the local business directory. Capture that URL and print it on all of your business promotional materials.

For instance, you can print the address on your business cards, the back of staff t-shirts or uniforms, on your stationery, invoices, and anything else you give to customers. You can also ask for an online review with a large sign hanging in your store or restaurant, and then be sure to include the URL. You’d be surprised at how many people will copy down the address and leave you a review.

Don’t be silent

Finally, when trying to build the number of online reviews of your local business, it’s important that you interact with the people who leave them. When someone leaves you a positive review, be sure to comment on it and thank them for their kind words. And when someone leaves a not so kind review, interact with them, too.

But don’t get defensive or be ugly to the bad reviewer.

Instead, acknowledge their point and pledge to fix whatever problem they would with your business. If it was a rude employee, promise to increase training and deal with that particular employee. If it was a bad meal, ask for specific feedback so you can improve your offerings.

The reason you should reply to bad reviewers is to accomplish two things. First, you should learn from the mistakes and work to improve them. If you don’t’ know about something that causes distress for customers, you can’t fix it.

Secondly, you should respond to bad reviews because potential customers are watching. And they want to know that you are a business owner who takes complaints seriously and works to improve the experience of your customers.

Do You Have a Free Local Business Listing?

If you haven’t already claimed your free local business listing at FindUsLocal.com, what are you waiting for? Millions of customers go to local business directories every day and search for local businesses. In fact, people are probably searching FindUsLocal.com for a business just like yours right now. What will they do when they can’t find your business? They’ll go to your competitor instead.

Don’t let that happen to you.

Head on over to FindUsLocal.com right now and claim your free local business listing. Then, update the information and start asking your customers for reviews. It’s the best thing you can do to grow your local business in 2019 and beyond.

How to Set up a Free Local Business Listing: A Comprehensive Guide

If you run a local business, chances are that you’ve undergone a huge change in the past few years. While it was once easy to get customers in your door, that’s no longer true. In fact, without local business directories, local stores and shops wouldn’t have a chance to survive—much less thrive.

But there is a lot of confusion surround local business directories. What are they, exactly and how does a local shop owner use them to their advantage? Those are all great questions. We’re going to answer everything you ever wanted to know about local business directories in this comprehensive guide.

Are you ready? Follow along as we show you how to use free local business listings to transform the way you market your local business to consumers. We’re not talking about a run of the mill explanation article that regurgitates common knowledge. In this guide, we’re going to expose the secrets only known to industry insiders and those who run professional marketing campaigns.

Are you ready to take a deep dive into how to advertise a local business online?

Let’s get started.

But First, Why Are Local Business Directories Necessary?

To understand why local business directories are necessary, you need to go back a couple of decades. In the past, when someone wanted to find a business phone number, they opened the Yellow Pages. This large book contained all of the local phone numbers for both residential houses and businesses. And it was the place to look when trying to find local businesses.

But those businesses had to pay top dollar if they wanted an ad in the Yellow Pages that would catch consumer’s attention. Some of those ads ran thousands of dollars. But if a business wanted to attract new customers, they had no choice but to pay the expensive prices and run ads.

Here’s an old Yellow Pages ad to add some humor to your day:

But then came the internet. Instead of opening the Yellow Pages, people began to look online when they wanted to find a business. The problem was, many local businesses didn’t have a website. And that caused a lot of consumers to begin shopping at online stores.

And the local business owners felt it.

Soon, most local businesses set up websites so consumers could find their business. But unfortunately, not many of them understood how to create a website that wouldn’t’ get lost in the maze of all the others.

And so local businesses began to fail because they didn’t understand online marketing.

But then came along local business directories.

How Local Business Directories Saved the Day

Local business owners quickly realized that the Yellow Pages had become a huge waste of money. So, instead of running ads in it, they began handing over thousands of dollars to online marketers. Unfortunately, those online marketers didn’t have a good solution for local businesses. At that point, the internet only drove business to online stores.

But then some smart marketing person realized that consumers still wanted to find local businesses. So, they created the first local business directory.

And retail stores haven’t looked back since.

An online local business directory operates just like the Yellow Pages, with a few important distinctions. They are:

  • Local business directories are free — it’s no longer necessary to pay thousands of dollars to get your business seen.
  • Local business directories are easy to use — anyone can set up a free local business listing.
  • Local business directories don’t carry any listings for online businesses — all consumers see are the local businesses in their area.

How Do Local Business Directories Help Drive Consumers to Local Shops?

By now, you’re probably thinking that a local business can’t thrive in the marketplace unless they have a free local business listing on a local business directory. And you’re right. You see, while it was common for those in the past to use the Yellow Pages, today’s consumers almost always use local business directories when they want to find local businesses. In fact, studies show that almost 100 percent of them do.

And local business directories use something called GEO location technology to make it even easier for consumers to find the local businesses they want. Here’s how it works: When a consumer logs onto a local business directory, the software on the site automatically pinpoints their location. Then, instead of making the visitor tell the site where they are, it automatically shows them a home page that is based on their local area.

Keep in mind that not all local business directories use this cutting edge technology. Only credible sites like FindUsLocal.com offer this convenience to its visitors.

Once the consumer is the on the site, they enter the type of business they’re looking for in the search bar. Then, almost like magic, a list appears that shows them all of the related businesses in their area.

For instance, if they were looking for local banks in San Antonio, Texas, the local business directory search engine would pull up a list of all the banks located in that city. The consumers would have at their fingertips all they needed to go to the local bank. The listing would show them the address and phone number of the bank, along with any other information they might need. And it works this way for all type of local businesses.

Can you see how local business directories are a game-changer for local business owners?

Quick! How Do I Set Up My Free Local Business Listing?

After reading this guide about local marketing and local business directories, it’s only natural that you would want to learn how to set up your free local business listing. And while you may think that it’s complicated, the truth is that anyone can do it.

Simply follow the steps outlined below, and soon, consumers will be finding your free local business listing. And once they find it, they’ll use it to drive to your shop or restaurant and do business with you. Isn’t that better than spending thousands of dollars to pay someone to reach out to consumers?

We thought so, too.

Watch this quick video to learn why local business directories are so important to local businesses:

Start By Finding Yourself

Your first step in the process is to go to a credible local business directory like FindUsLocal.com and find your business name. You may be surprised that it already exists on local business directories, but it does. These directories index every business in the country. But if you don’t find them and update your information, consumers could get the wrong phone number or address and that will hurt your brand.

Now, Update the Details

So, after you find your company, claim it as the business owner. This will allow you to make any necessary changes to the information on your business listing. Once you’ve claimed your listing look over it and delete any incorrect information. Now, fill in all the details about your business. You should include—at a minimum—your business name, address, phone number, fax number, website address, store hours, and anything else people need to know to successfully find your business. For instance, if you have an unusual parking circumstance, let them know in the details of your local business listing.

The more information you upload, the more consumers will have to decide whether or not to visit your business. For instance, if you run a local restaurant, try including some of your most well-loved dishes so visitors can see what kind of food you offer. And if you run a local dress shop, include the brands you carry.

Local Business Directories Are the Key to Your Success

As you can see, local marketing is based on local business directories. The Yellow Pages are obsolete, and that’s why savvy business owners ensure that consumers can find them in local business directories. If you haven’t already set up your free local business listing, what are you waiting for? Consumers are out there looking for local businesses, and if they can’t find yours, they will visit your competitors.

Why not go to FindUsLocal.com now and set up your free local business listing? It will only take about ten minutes and the rewards you reap from this simple action will continue to roll in for years. Go there now!

Local Business Marketing in the Online Age

If you own a local shop, chances are you’ve noticed a big change in how customers find your business. In the past, you could run a Yellow Pages ad, send out mailings to draw in new business, or run coupons in the local newspaper. None of those techniques have worked since the dawn of the internet. Luckily, local business directories have filled in the gap.

Why Is It So Difficult to Get Consumer’s Attention?

Things used to be easier, didn’t they? But these days, we’re constantly surrounded by 24 hour news, nonstop activities for us and our kids, and most of us work full time jobs in addition to all of that. It can be exhausting.

That’s why so many people turn to the internet. They can simply find a website they like, order products with a click of the mouse, and then sit back and wait for those products to appear at their door. It’s fast, easy, and online stores are booming because of the convenience.

And if you listen to the doomsayers, you’ll hear that the internet has killed the retail business.

But that’s not necessarily true.

People Like to Shop

As easy as buying things online is, studies show that people still enjoy stopping in their local shops and buying things. Why? There are many reasons.

Here are a few.

Touchy, feely

If you’re going to buy a new shirt, don’t you want to touch it and feel the fabric? The same goes for a pair of earrings, that new wheelbarrow, or the new pillow for your bed. So many people buy things online and then have to return them because what they received isn’t what they expected.

And that goes for color options, too. When is the last time you tried to buy something from an online shop and had to select a color? You probably quickly learned that the way a color looks online is not how it looks in person. In fact, that red you see online may turn up maroon once the product reaches you.

And those are just a few of the many reasons why people like to buy from their local shops.

Money talks

Another reason people like to go to their local shops to make purchases is that frequently, they can save money. Because here’s the deal: just because something is sold online, that doesn’t’ mean it’s less expensive.

In fact, by the time you add in shipping, consumers often pay more for something than they would have if they’d gone to a local store. Many online retailers now offer free shipping to overcome this barrier to sales. But let’s be honest — consumers are smart. Most of them understand that if they’re getting free shipping on an online good, that shipping charge is built into the sales price.

So, get the idea out of your head that shopping online is less expensive. That’s just something the online retailers have attempted to drill into people’s minds.

Return this

One of the biggest reasons why people prefer to shop locally has to do with returns. We all make mistakes when shopping, and if we have to return something to an online store, the process can be overwhelming. For instance, you will have to get in touch with the online store’s customer service department and ask for return instructions.  This can take some time, depending on the store. Next, you will probably have to repackage the item, address it to the online store and take it to the post office. Some online stores offer to pay for returns, while many of them don’t. So, you may have to spend extra money to return the item.

Next, you will have to wait for the online store to receive the product and credit you for the sale. Again, this can take some time.

But when you need to return an item to a local shop, things are easier. Many stores only require that you save your receipt and bring back the item.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule:

People need people

Finally, another reason why people like to shop locally is that they get to interact with people. Consumers spend so much of their day online at work, when reading the news, or doing other fun activities. And all that online time results in a lack of human interaction.

But when they shop locally, they talk to people, get other’s opinions about their purchases, and even form relationships with the sales staff. None of this is possible when shopping online.

As you can see, there are many reasons why consumers like to shop at local stores. And local business directories can help these consumers find the right store for them. But before we talk about that, let’s take a look at the elephant in the room: the retail Armageddon.

What About the Retail Armageddon?

The death of retail stores has been all over the news lately. Experts are speculating that local shopping is dead, and soon, people will buy everything they need from online stores. Amazon and other large retailers are surely doing all they can to ensure that comes true.

But not all consumers are okay with that plan.

The truth is that yes, many local stores are closing across the nation. But let’s take a closer look at what’s going on.

Many of the stores that are closing also have online shops associated with them. In those instances, their customers may have decided that buying from them online was preferable to driving to the store. After all, many of these big box businesses don’t hire employees that can match the customer service skills and friendliness that family run local businesses do.

And we can’t ignore the fact that some of the stores that are closing simply don’t offer the goods or selection that today’s consumers want.

But perhaps the biggest thing we should look at is local marketing. In other words, did the closing stores employ local business directories in their local marketing efforts?

What Are Local Directories?

We’ve established that the Yellow Pages is dead. And people no longer look for coupons in their newspapers or check their mail for announcements about store openings. But one thing they do is look online when they want to make a purchase.

And almost 100 percent of them go to local business directories to find the stores they shop in.

The New Yellow Pages

Local business directories are the Yellow Pages of the internet. It’s the place where people go when they want to find local businesses or restaurants. And if a business can’t be found on local business directories, most consumers will never even know they exist.

Chances are, all those stores that are closing don’t have a business listing on any local business directories.

Here’s a short video that shows you exactly how local business directories work:

How to Get Your Listing on Local Business Directories

If you’re a consumer, you already know how to find local businesses on a local directory. You simply log on to the directory and type a keyword in the directory’s search bar. You can look for specialty shops, bakeries, restaurants, car repair shops, clothing stores, or any other local business you want to find.

But if you own a local business, you need to know how to create a free business listing on local business directories.

Here’s how to do it:

Yes, it’s mine!

Your first step in the process is to search for your business on the local business directory and then claim it as the owner. This will give you the right to take the next steps in the process.

Give them what they want

Consumers use local business directories to get the information they need to decide whether or not to visit a business. To make that decision, they need the business’ name, address, phone number, hours of operation, and anything that makes that business unique. For instance, if you own a local coffee shop, you might list the fresh pastries you offer or provide a list of your coffee flavors.

Fill in as many details as you can. The more you offer, the better your chances that customers will come to your store.

Tell us how you feel

Finally, once you’ve created your free listing on local business directories, it’s time to get some reviews. Customers trust reviews, and the more you have, the harder your local business listing will work for you. Ask happy customers to leave a review at every check out transaction.

Here is one more short video that walks you through the process:

Local Business Directories Are the New Marketing Tool

If you want to prosper and not just survive, you need to think like today’s consumers when it comes to local marketing. They aren’t looking in the same places anymore, and that’s why you need to take your marketing efforts online.

If you haven’t already set up your free local listing on local business directories, what are you waiting for? The time to bring new customers into your shop is now!

How to Avoid the Next Retail Armageddon

If you’ve watched the news lately, you’ve surely heard about the abundance of retail store closings plaguing the United States. In fact, it’s so bad that experts are calling it a retail Armageddon. And while many people attribute the rash of store closings to the convenience of buying online, others have a different point of view.

What’s Causing the Current Retail Armageddon?

In the past, people looked to the Yellow Pages to find a local business or restaurant. But when the internet came along, people threw away their phone books and began looking online when they wanted to find something.

Because they were already online, it became easier to buy what they needed right then and there. That means if your local business or restaurant isn’t listed online, today’s tech-savvy consumers will never find it. And you can no longer count on people driving by and seeing your sign. Newspaper ads no long work, nor do mailings.

So what do you do?

The New Way of Marketing a Retail Business

But studies show that although buying online is convenient, many people still like visiting their local businesses. There’s nothing like forming relationships with store owners or touching products before you buy them.

The question is: how do you bring customers to your store when they’re looking online for information?

The answer is local business directories.

What Are Local Business Directories?

Local business directories are just the old Yellow Pages, but they are geared for online consumers. Instead of picking an old, heavy book, all they have to do is log into a local business directory and search for a business. For example, if they want to find a local bakery, they would simply type the word bakery into the local directory’s search bar, and all the local bakeries in their area will appear on a list.

Can you see why it’s so important to create your free local business listing?

How to Get Your Local Business Listed

Did you notice my use of the word free in the sentence above? If you remember how expensive Yellow Page ads were, you are likely shocked. But it’s true. You can get a local business listing for free.

Simply go to a credible online local business directory like FindUsLocal.com and claim your business. Then, fill in all the details you can. Soon, all those customers who are looking for a business like yours will start walking through the doors!

How to Get Reviews for Your Local Business

Most people know that if you run an online business, you need to advertise it online so people will find it and shop there. But did you know that the same is true for local businesses?

It’s true. Today’s consumers turn to the internet when finding local businesses, and they expect to see the same information as they do for online shops. That means that as a local business owner, you need to do all you can to get as many online reviews as you can.

Here’s how to do it.

Create Your Local Business Listing

The first thing you need to do is create a local business listing with a credible site like FindUsLocal.com. There, you can include as much information as you need so that potential customers will visit your store and buy from you.

Tell People About the Local Business Listing

Your next step is to tell as many people as possible about your new local business listing. You can include the URL on your business cards, receipts, or hang up a sign in your store or restaurant.

Ask for Reviews

Now that people know you have a local business listing, it’s time to ask them to leave reviews. Start with your most loyal customers and then branch out and ask everyone who does business with you. You can ask them as a favor or offer them a special discount when they leave a review.

Now that you have the online creds that you need, new customers will find you and realize that your business can be trusted. And just think, you did all of this for free.

Isn’t it great to know that you can market your business yourself and bring in new customers—all from creating a new local business listing at FindUsLocal.com?

How to Market Your Local Business for Free

If you have a local business, you may be wondering how you can get the word out about it. Times haven’t been easy since a lot of commerce moved online, but the truth is that many consumers still want to shop locally in stores they can visit in person.

But there still remains a problem: if the entire world is online, how do you tell these consumers about your store?

It’s easy: local business directories are the new Yelllow Pages in the retail world. If you still haven’t created your local business directory listing, you are missing out on new business.

Here’s how to set up yours.

Find the Right Local Directory

The first step in the process is to find a credible local business directory where you can list your business. We recommend using FindUsLocal.com. This innovative business directory offers consumers a way to find local businesses, but also lots more. It offers up local news, event happenings, and even thoughtful and funny sayings to keep them checking the site day after day.

Enter the Details

Your next step is to fill in as many details about your business as possible. You need to enter your business name, address, phone number, directions to your store or restaurant, and other details customers need to know. For example, are there parking instructions? Daily menu items? A particular brand that you sell? Give potential customers plenty of details to make them want to visit your store.

Spread the Word

Finally, you need to tell all your customers about your local business listing. Ask them to leave reviews on the site, because the more reviews you have, the higher your credibility in the eyes of potential customers.

Aren’t you happy to know that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to advertise your local business? You can set up your local business directory listing for free in five minutes or less.