But how local shop and restaurant owners compete with all the large online stores and national chains that pay thousands of dollars in online advertising fees just to stay at the top of the search engine rankings?
Three words: Local business directories
What are Local Business Directories?
Local business directories, also known as free small business directories, are the most important marketing and advertising method to come along for local shop owners since the Yellow Pages. In a nutshell, these small business directories operate just like the major search engines do, only the focus on providing only local results for visitors. For instance, if someone were looking for a flower shop in small town, USA, they would type flower shop into the local business directory search bar and see a list of all the flower shops in their town or city. No wonder consumers are using free small business directories at a record pace!
How can Local Business Directories Help Me Compete with the Big Guys?
Most likely, you don’t have the thousands of dollars per month it would take to get you good spot in the search engine rankings, and that’s where small business directories can help you compete with all those national chains that do have that kind of budget. You see, in order for a local business directory to stay relevant—both to consumers and the search engine spiders—they have to spend a lot of money to keep up in the rankings. And if your local business is listed on a small business directory that spends a lot of money on online advertising, you will benefit from it.
For example, FindUsLocal.com, one of the most innovative local business directories around, spends a small fortune every month just to make sure they place high in the rankings. And if you create your local business listing on the site, consumers will be more likely to find your shop and visit it. And you’ll get these benefits without spending a lot of money—in fact it’s absolutely free to create a local business listing on quality small business directories like FindUsLocal.
How to Create an Effective Local Business Listing
You can’t just claim your local listing and expect the shoppers to come walking through your door. Instead, you need to do in a way that will make it work effectively for you. Here are some things to remember when creating your free small business listing.
- Choose the right directory. Not all small business directories are the same, and in order to get the most from your local listings, you’ll need to choose the directories wisely. Make sure the directory uses GEO local technology so that visitors will automatically see the results from their local area without having to jump through a bunch of hoops. And you should also check out the site—would you use it to find US local businesses? In other words, it is an easy to use site with other features for online visitors?
- Make sure you listing is complete. Don’t just type in the bare details about your business when creating a local business listing, but fill in as many details as you can so that people have all the information they need to decide whether or not to visit your site. Start with your business name, address, phone number and website, and then include extras like your store hours and special offerings.
- Get those reviews. Online reviews are an important aspect of your local marketing and advertising plan, and luckily it’s not difficult to get them. Studies show that if local shop owners would only ask their customers to leave them, 7 out of 10 of them will. And it’s not only important to have reviews for potential customers, but the search engine spiders reward local business listings that have them with higher search engine rankings.
Free small business directories should be a major part of your local marketing plan, and no plan is complete without local business listings. Today’s consumers use them to find US local businesses, and if yours isn’t listed there, you’re not getting all the business that you could be.