Why use online directories?
In years back local businesses turned to Yellow Pages, newspaper ads, and direct mail to attract new customers. Today, these are still viable options but they are not nearly as effective as they once were. So where should you be advertising? The internet. According to into local search behavior, 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information. The best part, the small business directories mentioned below allow you to list your business for FREE!
If you have not listed on these small business directories, you are missing out on so many opportunities.
What should you include in your local listing?
You will want to include the information your potential customers are looking for. Include the store address, business hours, product availability and directions. When allowed include a picture of your business if you don’t have a storefront use your logo. Make sure that all your information is accurate by continually updating these listings!
Which small business directories do you choose?
Every online directory that you submit information to is another chance to be found in search results. This can be a very daunting task so start by adding your business to the platforms that make sense for your business.
Here are some of the most popular online business directories:
Social Media Sites:
Choose the social network that makes sense for your business. While you want to have your business listed on all of them it is best to really focus on the one that promises a good return for your efforts.
The biggest social network on the internet with 2.01 billion monthly active users. Facebook offers so many options for any type of business that it is a great starting point no matter what industry you are in.
Twitter has 328 million monthly active users. The 140-character limit, hashtag and retweet features make it easy to quickly spread your message. This platform is great for a variety of business’ in any industry.
With 700 million monthly active users this platform is based entirely on photos and videos. Posts vary immensely but food, art, travel, fashion, fitness and similar subjects seem to perform the best.
More so than the other social media sites this platform has a huge impact on SEO and search traffic volume. When you search Google for a type of business it’s usually the Google+ listings at the top of the search results which makes this platform great for any local business.
This platform allows users to save and display content by “pinning” digital bulletin boards, which can be organized by category. DIY projects, fashion, exercise, beauty, health, photography and food are popular categories on this site.
LinkedIn is great for B2B businesses and can be used to get referrals, recommendations, and endorsements.
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Google outperforms every other search engine available by a long shot. Your listing will appear when people search for your business or related businesses on Google or Google Maps.
It may not be Google but is a super valuable way for your business to gain exposure online. Bing uses the listings added on Bing Places for Business to show the right business information to customers searching on their site.
Yahoo comes in third as far as search engines go but it is still powerful to have your small business listed here.
Customers can leave reviews as well as see past reviews which will influence their purchasing decisions. Encourage past customers to leave reviews and always make sure to respond and resolve any negative reviews.
More than 3 million households nationwide use Angie’s List to find, hire, and rate local service providers. The great thing about this site is that there are nearly 60,000 monthly reviews left by members and they are screened vigorously to ensure users get the real story about service providers before hiring them.
A platform for small businesses to connect with local customers and other local businesses. You can boost listings and post blogs to expand your exposure.
The online version of the traditional phone directory organized by category rather than alphabetically. It generates millions of daily searches and is a valuable resource for local businesses.
One of the largest online resources used to promote and connect small businesses with their customers and other businesses in the area.
Using these listing directories will increase the visibility of your business online. And when people can find you, they can become customers!
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