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If the customers do not know anything about you, then how would they come to you? Simple logic right? Yes, this is the case with your online business too. Local business listing enable you to market your offerings to a targeted demographic.
A strong local search presence is extremely important for both single as well as multi-location businesses.
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Today, close to 90% of the customers turn to search engines when they want to shop locally. These searches happen from mobile apps, desktops and any other GPS-enabled devices.
In short, when your consumers are searching locally and displaying their intent you have to be there for them, no matter where they are and what device they are on.
After all, you cannot expect them to be your customers when they do not know who you are or what you are?
Local listing let you to claim your business online and verify that you own a valid business, thereby authorizing you to maintain your business on the web.
Having said that, you next question will surely be “what is the role of this in local SEO.
Citations and local business listings have a major role rankings, reputation and revenue. They have a direct impact on these elements.
Business listings enables marketers to reach out to the broadest possible set of audience that their budget allows.
So, it is important to see the complete big picture of getting your business listed in local business listings.
Previously, local business owners followed a few of the offline marketing options. These included publishing ads in local news papers, paid inclusions in Yellow Pages, print marketing like coupons and brochures, telemarketing, local television/radio buys and postal mails.
Well, all of these options are still viable. However, while some offline options have become optimal, online marketing has now become the new mandate for every local business.
Today, if your business cannot be found on the web, then it is as good as being non-existent.
This is exactly where business listing sites, business listing directories and free business listings online can help you.
Getting your business listed on the best online business directories, free website listings and free online business directory can help you to reach out to a huge audience.
Completely filled, structural citations can be incredible comprehensive. Also, they pretty much do the same function as a traditional offline marketing and advertising would do.
You can consider the following:
Reviews, coupons, menus, driving directions, attributes, descriptions, taglines as well as the owner responses provided on the top-tier local business directories and listings.
These local business listings do all the weight lifting associated with the traditional print marketing.
From one digital local listing, consumers can discover your business, learn everything about it, know where is it, what is it into, what are the special offers it has, who like the company and how it treats its customers.
So, in other words, business listings allow you to squeeze in all the information that you could put in a brochure.
But, in a digital format that is more accessible. Be it yellow pages free listing, free business advertising online, local yellow pages online or enrolling into a local business directory, all these will help you to better promote your business.
With fingers are already doing the walking on the screens of smartphones and other GPS enabled devices, search users no longer find it necessary to be at home and thumb through heavy print directories.
A consumer who is located anywhere can now get instantly connected with any business located in any place through local business listings such as local online directories.
Today, you can also get Yellow Pages online. Although some business models are able to see good ROI from print media, this option is quite expensive. However, getting included in most of the online business directories and local pages business listing are free.
If you are already thinking “how to advertise my business locally”?
Well, then you can just turn to local directories online and local directory listings.
This can be a great move because online audience is really vast and two-third of the world is already online.
The basic data present in your local listings or your local business listings is a major factor driving traffic as well as revenue.
When local business listings support videos, images, virtual tours, social media profile links and call buttons, it enables consumers to see and hear businesses from wherever they are.
What more? All they should do is to just click to make a call or just follow the social media links to directly get in touch with the business.
This is something that a radio ad just cannot provide and the TV should still catch up. A good directory listings or a business listing should provide complete information at a single glimpse.
If you are a competitive local business, then you would surely not want to miss out on this powerful and mostly free yet enormous advertising potential of local business listings.
However, it is also important to improve your ROI by efficiently allocating the staff hours.here are two considerations that are worth evaluating:
It does not make any sense or is of any use to blindly get listed on every other index, app or search engine, just because they are available.
Instead, it is a great idea to choose the major ones like Yelp, FaceBook, Google My Business etc. Later you can wisely choose the platforms that are relevant to your geography and industry.
Although it sounds extremely exciting to put together all your best data, but it certainly not so fun to enter your data over and over in to the forms across various platforms.
This is exactly where automated solutions for actively managing location data such as Moz Local can come to your rescue.
The rise of such solutions enables marketers like you to fill out single form to distribute your business data to top-quality search local businesses platforms.
You can then monitor it for any changes and progress.
Besides, your automated push can also be supplemented by investing some time into building your business listings across geo-targeted or industry specific platforms.
In addition, automation reduces the load, avoids human errors and also leaves you free to concentrate more on other creative projects.
Whether you choose to opt for a completely manual approach or semi- or fully operated. One important thing to note is local business listings are really very helpful.
Now, you would have also heard terrifying tales on residential contact numbers getting published on some print media and the homeowners getting unwanted hasslesome calls throughout the year.
The case with online business listings is also the same.
They are no different in having bad or inconsistent data occasionally. Such data will negatively impact your transactions by misdirecting your consumers.
So, if you are a small local business, then there is no way that you can overlook or neglect the data that you publish online about your company.
The best option is to take control of what information you publish and monitor it regularly.
Ongoing management of the data on your business listings ensures consistency and credibility.
Try implementing these steps and do let us know your experience in the comments section below.