Tag Archives: local business listing

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.