Local business owners tend to fall into 2 camps: those who are still trying to conduct business using the old school methods like phone book ads, newspaper ads, and mail outs. Those are the local business owners who are struggling to make ends meet because frankly, they’re trying to bring in new business by putting their advertising dollars in places that today’s consumers don’t look to any more.
On the other hand, those local business owners who have kept up with the times and applied the current marketing and advertising methods are not struggling, in fact they’re thriving. So what makes the difference between local shops that are barely making ends meet and those that are having a stellar year? Local business directory listings.
Why Local Business Directories Can Make or Break Your Local Business
Unless you understand how the large search engines like Google and Bing work, you won’t understand why you need a local business listing in order to thrive in today’s culture. You see, when consumers use the large search engines to find US local businesses, they are only shown the local shops and restaurants that have taken the steps needed to get the attention of the search engine spiders. And those that don’t? They are placed so far back in the search engine rankings that no one will ever find their local business.
As you might have guessed by now, the best way to signal to the search engine spiders that your business is worthy of appearing in the local results is to have a lot of citations spread across the internet. Let’s talk about what those are and how to get them next.
What are Local Business Citations?
The simplest definition of a local citation is that it is a mention of your business on a site that the major search engines view as credible. For example, once you create a local business listing on a local business directory like FindUsLocal, that is counted as a citation. And the more of these citations you have, the more attention the search engine spiders will pay to your business. That’s why local citations are so important for local businesses.
But you need to be careful of where you get these citations because if you list your business on a site that’s not deemed credible by the major search engines, you could do your ranking more harm than good. For example, not all local business directories are considered credible by Google and Bing, and that’s why it’s important to be choosy about which local business directory you list your business on.
How to Choose the Right Local Business Directory
When choosing which local business directories to list your business on, you’ll need to evaluate each one to determine whether it’s truly a local directory or simply a database with a bunch of outdated information. For instance, if you look at a quality local business directory like FindUsLocal.com, you’ll quickly realize that it’s a well maintained, quality directory that provides many features and benefits for consumers. And Google and Bing agree, and that’s why it’s considered credible and will help boost your search engine rankings.
On the other hand, some local business directories simply pull in information from across the web and create a large database of local businesses. The problem is that much of that information is outdated and just plain wrong, and that will confuse the search engine spiders. For example, if your business name is ABC Computers, Inc. and the database lists your business as simply ABC Computers, the spiders won’t know whether or not the citation belongs to your business. If you have enough of these confusing citations, your business will be ignored and placed at the bottom of the search engine rankings.
To resolve this problem and get the most out of your local business directory listings, be sure to list your business on credible local business directories like FindUsLocal.com, and if you find your local shop or restaurant listed on one of those databases, simply go in and claim your listing and make the corrections. Remember, your business should be listed on as many credible local business directories as possible, but all of the details on each one should match. Once you do this, new customers will be walking in your store in droves!