Nowadays, the trend is to search for nearby carwashes with your smartphone and to buy kitchen appliances from your tablet while lounging in your pajamas in bed. The Internet is everywhere, and the old hardback Yellow Pages have become nothing more than paper weights. In fact, every single day there are nearly 6-billion Google searches. Oftentimes, folks’ online searches lead them to local business directories.
If you’re a small business owner, there’s a goldmine of opportunity in getting your business listed in online local directories. Here are the top 5.
1: Generate New Leads
When you have your business listed in popular directories like Yelp and Foursquare, it makes it a cinch for consumers to find you. These directories drive a lot of traffic and can literally bring new customers through your doors.
A vertical directory is also an excellent place to list your particular product or service. Vertical directories target a niche market. These directories tend to rank really well in searches with the particular keywords from your profession. You’ll want to be in on this gem of an opportunity for sure.
2: Link Building
In order to thrive in the online world, it’s important that your SEO strategy focuses on building high-quality links. Many online directories provide a link to your website within the business profile. There is a major benefit to this—many of these directories do well in organic search rankings for important search terms. If you can’t get your website ranked high for a specific keyword, you can have your business listed in a directory site that ranks for that specific term. This will generate quality links back to your website and also promote your business.
3: Allows Consumers to Leave Feedback
The numbers are in and research is showing that approximately 61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase or choosing a service. 63% of customers are more likely to purchase from a site that has reviews. Basically put, customer reviews lead to conversion. Being listed in a local business directory can do this for you. Many directories allow consumers to leave feedback and even rate the service they experienced. Let your current customers spread the good word about your business.
A citation is any reference to your business name, address, or phone number (called NAP data) on a web page. Citations have always been important, but this has become increasingly true since Google released the Pigeon update to their algorithm. This innovative update was targeted primarily at the websites of local businesses, and provides an excellent opportunity for businesses in the know. Obtaining authoritative citations with consistent NAP info across the web is vital, and will lead to improved performance within the local spectrum.
In order for citations to deliver their full value, the NAP information across all citations needs to match the NAP info listed on your website. The Chambers of Commerce and BBB are 2 excellent local citations you’ll want to utilize.
Maps and local directories tend to have a somewhat symbiotic relationship. As you gain more authoritative and consistent citations on major directories, your maps presence will dramatically improve. Once again, this has become increasingly true since the release of Google’s Pigeon update. This, coupled with the fact that the major maps listings receive a huge amount of traffic from consumers on their smartphone devices, makes these strategies even more mandatory for local businesses to achieve success.
Common Mistakes SMBs Make
Has your GPS ever led you to the boonies? There’s nothing more frustrating than discovering that the diner you found online had the wrong address listed. It’s a staggering fact, but more than half of all business listings in online directories have errors—whether it’s a misspelled name, a wrong phone number, or old address. This not only leads to dissatisfied consumers, but it also leads to potential revenue loss.
A common misconception among small businesses is that you can create or correct a listing on a major directory once and then move on. Unfortunately, this “set it and forget it” mentality will leave your performance within local search lacking at best. The reason for this is that the major data aggregators (Infogroup, Acxiom, and Localeze) are constantly pushing out business information, which is then picked up by major directories and maps listings. Unless you have a managed listing, once one of the aggregators pushes out outdated business info, your directories will revert back to the incorrect information.
In order to avoid this headache, you need to have a service that provides constant management of your business listings on major directories, as well as maps listings. OrangeSoda can help out here.
With LocalSync, your business will be listed perfectly across 40+ of the most popular directories, apps, and mapping sites. Instead of struggling to remember dozens of passwords and trying to juggle all of your directory listings, the crew at OrangeSoda can take over. Your information will be updated regularly and you’ll be added to new directories each month. You can expect prime placement for your business.
All you have to do is sit back and watch consumers flock to you.
Local directories could be just the thing your small business needs to bump up to the next level. The Internet has changed the way the world searches. Be part of the change.