The news is in: retail sales are booming. The most recent report show that this holiday season is the strongest for retailers in six years. In fact, the nation’s retail sales rose 5.1 percent in the time period between November 1 and Christmas Eve over last year. And that’s just the most recent figures. Experts predict that once all the holiday season spending concludes, which won’t be until the New Year that number will rise even higher.
So what does all that mean for local business owners? If you saw your sales rise this year, it probably means you’re putting your business name in front of the public so they can find your local business when they want to shop.
But if you didn’t get the business you hoped for this holiday season, it’s time to rethink your local marketing strategy and learn how to bring new customers in through your door.
How to Increase Local Business
Today’s shoppers find local businesses differently than they have in the past. They used to pull out the Yellow Pages or comb through the ads in the local newspaper when they want to visit a local store.
But today, they go online. That’s great news for local business owners because it doesn’t cost them a fortune any more to advertising their local business, but for those shop owers who haven’t made the switch, it’s bad news.
Why? Because consumers aren’t finding them and it’s hurting their business.
Here’s the bottom line: if you own a local business and want to attract new customers, you have to have an online presence. And the easiest way to do that is with a local business directory.
What is a Local Business Directory?
A local business directory is an online directory that allows shoppers to search their local area for the shops, service businesses, and restaurants they’re looking for. They simply type their keyword in the custom search engine just as they would any other search engine, but instead of having to look through a bunch of irrelevant results, they will only see the local results from their town or city.
For example, if a shopper were searching for a car repair shop in San Francisco, California, they would type “car repair” into the local business directory’s search bar, and all the local car repair shops would appear in the results.
How to List Your Local Business in an Online Directory
The process of creating a free local business listing is not complicated. And did you catch that word: free? It’s not only easy to list your business on a local business directory, but it won’t cost you a cent. Isn’t that better than paying thousands of dollars to run a Yellow Pages ad?
Simply go to a credible local business directory like FindUsLocal.com and use the custom search bar to find your business. Once you see it in the search results, click on it and then claim it as the owner.
Next, the site will ask you to fill in the details of your business. List your business name, address, phone number, and website if you have one. Be sure to do this the exact same way on every free local business you create. Otherwise the search engine spiders won’t recognize them as the same business and it will hurt your search engine rankings.
After you’ve created your free local business listing, it’s time to promote it. Do this by asking your customers to leave a review on the business listing. This will do two things. First, it will alert the search engines that you’ve added new content to your business listing and that will help your rankings. Secondly, it will give potential customers the confidence they need to do business with you.
Creating a free local business listing is one the best things you can do to increase business. If you’re late to the party and haven’t yet created yours, remember, it’s not too late. Take five minutes and do it now, and soon you’re join the rest of the successful local business owners that already have an online presence.