Tag Archives: local business directories

Are Online Reviews on Local Business Directories Really Worth It?

Making the switch from offline marketing to online marketing has been tough for many local shop and restaurant owners. After all, they wonder if it’s really necessary to cater to online shoppers when their business is likely located only a few miles away from them. But with the advent of local business directories, that thinking has gone away.

Why? Because having a local business listing—along with all the online reviews that come with it—is the core foundation of a quality and effective online marketing campaign for local businesses.

Let’s take this theory apart and find out how you use can leverage online marketing and online reviews to attract more customers to your store.

Why Do I Need to Use Online Marketing for a Local Business?

You would think that it makes more sense to use offline marketing tools to reach local customers, but that’s not the way the world operates anymore. In fact, studies show that almost 100 percent of shoppers use local business directories to find local shops and restaurants.

That means if your local business can’t be found online, chances are you’re missing out on a lot of business.

The change came about once people realized that they could go online to look for the things they wanted to buy. At first, local marketers were afraid that would be the end of local business sales, but it turns out that’s just not true. Studies show that people still want to shop locally, but they just go about finding all those wonderful local stores differently than they did in the past.

The Old Vs. New Way

Not that long ago, it was common to pull out the local Yellow Pages when you wanted to find a local business. People would thumb through the book to find that local furniture store, dress shop, or bakery. But then came along the internet and everything changed.

People quickly realized that by going online to find what they needed, they could save time and sometimes money. So, they began to look for local businesses online.

But there was a problem.

The large search engines weren’t that great at helping people find local businesses. In fact, people used to have to tell the search engines what city or town they were looking in. For example, if someone from San Antonio, Texas wanted to find a local car repair shop, they had to enter “San Antonio car repair” into the large search engine.

But they typically got more than they bargained for. Instead of seeing a list of San Antonio car repair shops, they also saw articles about car repair and even books on major booksellers about the art of car repair. Oftentimes, they ended up frustrated.

But then came along local business directories. And what happened next changed the way local business owners find and attract new customers.

Before we tell you all about local business directories, check out this quick video that sums up why local marketing is so important to your local business.

What is a Local Business Directory?

Local businesses need a way to replace the old Yellow Pages that consumers had always relied on to find local businesses. Clearly, the large search engines weren’t the best way to find those shops and restaurants because it was too frustrating, no matter how many changes the large search engines made to their algorithms.

And that’s when some genius came up with the idea of local business directories. A local business directory operates just like a large search engine, except it only shows searchers the results they’re actually looking for.

For example, if that person from San Antonio logged onto a local business directory like FindUsLocal.com, they would simply type “auto repair shop” into the local directory’s search engine bar and they would instantly see a list of all the auto repair shops in San Antonio.

That’s much better, don’t you think?

So do all the consumers who use local business directories on a daily basis.

What About Those Online Reviews?

We started this article with a promise to tell you why online reviews are so important to owners of local shops and restaurants. But we felt it was necessary to give you some background so you would understand how local business directories play into our explanation.

You see, when consumers stopped using offline methods of finding local businesses, they quickly adapted to some other methods of evaluating those local shops and restaurants to determine whether or not they wanted to visit them.

And that’s where online reviews come in.

In the past, people would ask their friends, family, and neighbors to give them a recommendation for a local shop or restaurant. But today’s consumers trust online reviews even more than those personal recommendations. That’s what the latest studies show.

Nowadays, if a local business doesn’t have a good amount of online reviews, shoppers are hesitant to take a chance on them. They want that social proof that shows others have had a great experience with the local shop or restaurant they’re thinking about going to.

And having plenty of complimentary online reviews is the best way to get that social proof. But it isn’t very effective to ask your customers to leave online reviews for your local business without having a place to point them to. Otherwise, you will have a few online reviews here and a few online reviews there, which add up to a lot of social proof.

The Alternative

The alternative when asking for online reviews is to point your customers to a local business listing so all your reviews show up in one place. This local business listing can become your local shop or restaurant’s hub of business and it can dramatically increase your sales if you handle it correctly.

Before You Ask for Those Online Reviews

Before you begin asking customers for online reviews, you need to set up your free local business listing on a reputable local business directory like FindUsLocal.com. You can do this in about ten minutes. Simply log onto FindUsLocal and click on the “Add My Business” button located in the top right hand corner.

Next, fill in all the applicable details about your business. Be sure to input the correct business name, address, and phone number. And don’t forget to include important details like your store hours, directions, what types of payment you accept, and the brands you carry—or the food you serve.

How to Get Customers to Leave Online Reviews

Now that you have a place for customers to leave your business online reviews—your local business listing—it’s time to drive them there to leave those all-important reviews.

And here’s the most important way to do that: ask them. Studies show that customers are more than happy to leave online reviews for businesses is they’re asked. Train your cashiers to ask every customer at checkout to leave a review. You can also leave flyers around your store or post a sign asking people to leave your business an online review.

Are You Ready to Boost Your Local Business?

If you’re ready to take the next step in your business, it’s time to create your free local business listing and put your business in front of all the shoppers who look online for local businesses. Why not take the next ten minutes to do something that could put your local business on the map?

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!

 

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!