June 08, 2020
If you are a small business owner, you know that building brand awareness is usually not a simple task. This is particularly true if your small business has to compete with larger companies and multi-location stores. This problem is often compounded when your brand does not have a business website.
Having an online presence for your business is essential nowadays, as it will help your business get found online. However, there are a lot of ways to set up your business online. Local businesses have to be found online to improve their brand awareness and reach their prospective customers. This is one of the reasons local SEO (search engine optimization) is such a crucial strategy for small and new businesses.
You may have heard about the significance of using localization and online business directories in order to help garner more traction for your business while improving your SEO. Apart from using effective localization in your web and blog content, or for your various social media platforms, you will also like to make sure that you’re on local listings to improve local SEO.
It is worth noting that there are many types of online business directories. These are usually segmented by location, category, or service. The good news is that searching and finding online business directories is easy, and you can add your business to these listing in a matter of seconds.
There is no denying that local listing services and business directories help businesses stay competitive and allow prospective customers and clients to find precisely what they are looking for when these customers are in the market for a specific service or product.
Here are a few benefits of using local listing services for your business.
Benefits of Business Listing Directories
Updated and Accurate Contact Information
Note that when prospective customers search for your business online, usually, their main intent is to get in touch with your business for more information. You can boost your chances of getting found or discovered online when customers search for products or services, by ensuring that all your business details are updated and accurate on multiple listing websites and online web directories. This is true even if they do not search your business or brand name directly.
Note that this can come in handy because most customers do not search for a business name when they are looking for a product or service. You should ensure that you pay attention to listings and also keep your business’s phone numbers, addresses, web addresses, and email information correct for all locations in listings, like Google search listings.
Here are some examples of search terms that prospects and customers use:
- Best restaurants in Long Island
- Nail salons near me
By investing in various local listing services, you can considerably increase your brand’s online presence and visibility. This will increase not only your business’ online visibility, but also traffic to your store location and website. This is because people searching for local businesses, such as restaurants, online are searching in your particular area and are more inclined to contact a business and make a purchase.
It is Cost-Effective
The main hurdle that many small businesses face when it comes to marketing and advertising is budget. Some businesses advertise in the wrong locations and don’t get the results they want. It is often tricky for small businesses to come up with a cost-effective way to increase brand awareness and improve their online visibility. This is where local directories come in the picture. One of the best things about them is that you can add your business name and other information for free in most cases.
Many online directories, including Google My Business, allow you to list your small business for free. Google My Business is one of the most important and impactful online listings your business can have as it considerably boosts your chances of showing up in various local search results, and you will get found online. By listing your business on various local directories, you will get top-quality brand exposure.
Enhance your Local Visibility
Do you know that many large business directories provide advanced filter options? These options enable your prospects and customers to connect with you in your local area easily. This is why local business directories are immensely useful for targeting prospective customers in your local community.
Gather Customer Reviews and Testimonials
Many business directories also allow your customers to rate and review your company’s performance. You may even remind your customers to leave a testimonial or review for your business on these websites. It is worth noting that prospective customers who are looking for specific services, such as construction work or bathroom remodeling often visit a number of different review sites and online business directories before choosing a specific company.
However, there will also be people who write negative reviews. This is how the Internet works. You have to be careful in these cases and make sure you respond to the negative reviews responsibly and quickly. Having these reviews, testimonials, and ratings along with your contact info will help bolster the popularity and visibility of your business.
Rank Higher on Search Engines
SEO helps promote your business to the first page of search engines, like Google. However, it often takes up to 6 months to start seeing notable results. The good news is that by placing your website link on multiple listing sites, you can expand your reach and improve your local SEO. This is because many online business directories are considered trusted and valuable sources of information by Google. And it is the often first page of search results that contains results for online and local business directories.
The higher number of citations (or mentions of your small business) as well as quality links to your site will improve your ranking in the search results. This is because it proves to search engines, like Bing and Google, that your business is credible and legitimate.
Best Online Business Directories
Want to get your small business found? Online business directories are an easy and quick way to get your local business in front of many prospective customers. This is why it makes plenty of sense to get all your local business information, such as contact info, into the places customers are already looking to find businesses like yours, instead of hoping they will find you in search results.
Here are some of the best online business directories that you can add your business to:
Google My Business
When it comes to business listings, the most popular search engine is often a natural place for most businesses to start. Google will let you easily add some basic details about your business, such as your business name, hours, and location, so that customers can see that information whenever they Google your business.
Known mainly for online reviews, Yelp will allow you to add your business, such as hours, locations, and even menus. It has become an incredibly popular place for consumers looking to find information about local businesses.
This is the ‘Google My Business’ equivalent for the second most popular search engine in the world. Although less than four percent of the population uses Bing as their default search engine, you should note that it is the default search engine for both Internet Explorer and Edge. So, make sure that you reach all those PC users by timely adding your business details to Bing Places.
When it comes to listing management, you will want to be sure that you’re aware of your company listings and that they keep consistent information. Depending on your company size, age and number of listings, you may want to consider a listing management service.