As the internet becomes more and more easily accessible (iPhones, Androids, Tablets, etc.), people, more often than not, turn to the internet to find local businesses for products and services. They know that they can find helpful peer reviews to help them decide to which of all businesses they should give their money. Are you being found?
For any local business to be found online, they need a strong online presence. Local listings and citations do exactly that. They allow businesses to be found online on many different sources and platforms. By including your business’ information in online directories, your marketing reach will greatly expand and business will grow. The more listings you have, the more opportunities people will have for finding your business. These listings allow users to rate, comment on and/or suggest your business to other people.
Local listings and citations are easy to create and the ROI is off the charts. A few hours of work can turn into hundreds to thousands of new customers overtime. If setup correctly, listings and citations can be a set and forget source of constant business.
7 Tips for optimizing your local listings
- Business information – Make sure that your business information matches the information on your company website or BBB listing. Google looks at these to determine your business address. Be meticulous with your NAP
- One listing per business location – Do not create multiple listings for the same business location. Google will give your Google Places listing a nice little slap if you try to work the system
- Add pictures – Potential customers like to see pictures of places they are considering and Google does too
- Add videos – Even more than pictures, videos provide a great way for you to engage potential customers. Google loves social engagement
- Write unique descriptions for each listing – This is mainly for SEO purposes. Google penalizes duplicate content, even within local citations
- Duplicate Listings – Claim all your business listings under one email address if possible. If there are duplicates in a directory, choose the strongest one and delete the rest.
- For the listings that ‘require’ you to pay – Search for an existing business listing created for your business within the directory. You can often ‘Claim’ the business and take control of the listing
Since you will be creating most of these manually, you may want to install Auto-Fill add-on for Firefox or if you’re using Chrome, Auto-Fill extension for Chrome–these should speed up the process of filling out the listing information. Make sure to make each listing unique though
Ultimate Local Business Directories List: sum=54
- Google Places: The #1 local listing that a business must have is a Google Places listing. Google Places will be the largest source of business for you. Don’t stop there though, all other local business directory listings that you create have the ability to rank your Google Places listing. Here’s the other 49 local listings and citations.
- Yahoo listings
- Merchant Circle
- Merchant Circle
- Magic Yellow
- Shopcity – Be city specific
- Discover our Town
- Best Deals on
- Local Site submit
- Navteq GPS
Adding your business to these local directories and directories that are specific to your market, you will increase your online reach, build solid backlinks for your website and pump the ranking power of your Google Places listing. Feel free to add more directories that are not on this list. Good luck!