Have you heard about Google’s ‘Google My Business’ feature? People keep mentioning it, especially wholesale dropshipping suppliers and distributors. How come? Well, for starters, it helps put your business on the map, for free! Well, this same search feature has placed renewed emphasis on the importance of local search.
If your business is dependent on local traffic, as most brick-and-mortar businesses are, then a spot in the local directories is a must.
Actually, you can find the right answers if you dig enough into your web analytics. If you aren’t making the most of Internet browsers and its search traffic, then you are following an old guide for search engine optimization success.
Many business owners don’t realize the benefits of using local directories. It can make a huge impact on your business revenue.
Why is that? Well, it increases the chances to be found in the broader web search, according to the latest study. As expected, the front-page search returns are usually listed in the local directories.
So, to help you, we’ve gathered a list of 10 sites that can help you out with your front-page efforts. These are local directory sites, so expect more local visitors coming up your way. You can read about their features and benefits, and how to get listed.
Google My Business – also known as Google’s local business directory, helps businesses get found more easily. Without any fees, you’ll surely receive more customers for free, especially in your hometown.
As a bonus, Google offers a free website builder for your business, also 100% free of charge. You can showcase all your skills, services, and products, and create call-to-action buttons, acquiring potential customers much faster.
What Google My Business offers to its consumers:
- Check your business page to see any additional information, like reviews, photos, or other;
- Get your customers to publish some testimonials and reviews, or even photos of your business;
- Based on business circles, reviews and location, you can even get free recommendations;
- Find reviews from other people and read summaries of the user reviews for a business.
In order to set up your listing, first, perform a quick Google check to see if your business exists. If you found your business, the next step is the right-hand column of the page when you can see a button. If you click on that button, it will take you to a page to manage the listing.
Local listings function like business pages. So, you can set up a business page, and then merge it with the local listing information.
Local directories such as Yelp with help you out through the process. Did you know that Yelp is visited by over 130 million users every month? Imagine how many of them can stop and check for your company there?
Local businesses can be found on Yelp. Also, consumers can write reviews and give ratings while uploading photos of businesses. One of the many features users can experience on Yelp is following one another as they do on Twitter or Instagram.
A suite of free tools is offered on Yelp Business accounts, which have the ability to:
- Track analytics, like profile views, etc;
- Chat with the customers, either publicly or privately;
- Add more information about the products like photos, more detailed business description, history or areas of specialty;
- Also, the tools offer to recommend other businesses.
You can have all of these benefits, but you have to do one thing first. You must claim your listing, and the right way to do that is to search for your listing on Yelp.
It might happen that the listing exists, but has not been claimed. In that case, you’ll see a CTA button on the page that says “Claim This Listing.” Click that button and start the process. Just like the other directories, you need to pass the verification protocol because Yelp needs to verify that you are the business owner. If your business is not listed, don’t wait anymore. Create a Yelp account and begin the process.
You can find two versions of Yahoo’s Small Business option. The standard version ($23.30/month) can help you if you are on a tight budget, and the premium one, which costs as low as $33.25 per month.
Yahoo’s standard version enables businesses to:
- Add products, brands, services, and other additional information;
- Choose five categories to include your business into;
- Display their website URL, phone number & address.
While the premium version, as expected includes more features like online coupons, photos and a tagline, and business description.
Setting up a listing is similar to the other local listings. You just go to Yahoo Local and search for your business there. If your business can be found, you will see a link where you can edit your business information. Yahoo Local similarly to the other local listings has a verification process to ensure the information reliability. There is another option, where your business is not listed. You can begin the process by going to Yahoo’s business listing page. You can set up an account there if you do not already have one.
Yelp listing is critical, and here is the reason behind that statement. Did you know that Bing local listings are powered by Yelp?
Well, back in 2012, Bing released a statement that said that Yelp will surface content to Bing users in the U.S. That content includes reviews, photos, business attributes. You can find this kind of content featuring on some Bing Local pages, and the main reason behind it is helping consumers do more with local businesses.
You know the rest. If you can’t see your business listed, go the Business Portal of Bing to do so.
Foursquare City Guide, which is commonly known as Foursquare is a location-based social network. It relies on a mobile app. While using Foursquare you can “check-in” to your business, leave reviews, comments, and share information about it on the other social networks like Facebook or Twitter.
Nearly 55 million people visit Foursquare every month.
Businesses can place their listing on the app by going to the Foursquare City Guide business page.
Using Foursquare for your business offers many benefits. One of them is the ability to gain access to analytics about customers, create promotional offers to retain their customers, and gain new ones.
There are countless ways to showcase your business on local directories. However, Facebook is the ultimate source of increased social media presence. Upon creation, pay attention to your About page, and add useful information for the incoming customers. Businesses need to be recognizable on Facebook, so use your creativity. Also, don’t forget to stay up to date with accurate information, as well.
Other Useful Local Directories For Your Business
Some other local directories which will help you with your local listings are:
Businesses use it to get reviews, comments, and more visitors. It’s the classic online guide for the consumers.
Local business finder. It is used by millions of small businesses, and you can claim your business listing for free.
Is known as the largest social network for business owners. Their services include business listings, marketing tools, Internet advertising, etc. They help small and midsize businesses to reach their local market through customized marketing tools.
Yellow Pages is one of the oldest and most trusted online directories to list your business. It’s easy to use, gives precise results, and will get you those extra customers you need so badly.
According to your region, there might be other directories that can help. Search and find out.
Listing tips while using Local Directories
- Stay up to date. One of the most important things about the local listings is giving accurate information to your consumers. Keep your business information the same on every directory, in order to avoid confusion.
- Save your information. Create a document and enter all your information about the local directories. Then, make a couple of copies and store them in a safe place. This way you won’t lose your data.
- The consumers love to see more detailed information as possible, just to make sure that you are the right fit for their needs. You will stand out from the competition because if you do research you’ll see that businesses don’t pay as much attention to details on their local listings. This is what do you need to include in order to do that:
- Photos of the business & employees;
- Your products & types of services you offer;
- A detailed description of the business;
- Your location and parking availability;
- Working hours;
- The main info and branding, name, and logo.
It would be easier if there was a platform that offers something like managing your whole local listings from one place. Fortunately, there is Constant Contact’s SinglePlatform that provides you with your needs. For only $49, you have available an administrative dashboard that offers businesses to manage all of their directory listings in one place. It saves time and removes the need from updating the listing information.