Standing out online as a small business may seem challenging these days. It is tough to compete against major corporations that are able to invest tons of money into SEO. But local businesses can also leverage search engines to their advantage to attract local customers. One of the simplest ways to get ahead online as a local business is to create a local business listing.
What are local business listings, and how can they help your business? Getting yourself listed in local business directory listings is not too difficult and can start paying off quickly.
Here is everything you need to know about how to find a list of local businesses and why you should join them.
What Are Local Business Listings?
You are likely already familiar with local business listings. The basic components of an online local business listing are the business name, address, and phone number (“NAP information”).
So, for instance, a Google results page that displays the basic contact information for a business is a local business listing. This is often among the first things consumers look for when trying to decide if a local business is trustworthy.
A local business directory is an online platform that will list local business NAP information and any other information consumers may need. The amount of information displayed in a local business listing might vary from platform to platform. The businesses themselves are also responsible for making some of their own info publicly available.
Being added to a directory’s list of local businesses is often an essential step to promoting your local business. Next, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of creating a local business directory listing.
What Are the Benefits of a Local Business Listing?
Increased visibility for your business
The first and perhaps most crucial benefit of joining a local business directory is increased visibility. Being listed in a local business directory means that local, interested customers can easily find and contact your business. Various surveys have been conducted into the online search habits of consumers.
While the exact figures differ, the findings consistently illustrate that most people research businesses online before deciding where to shop. A 2021 study suggested as many as 76% of customers will look at a company’s online presence before visiting the business in person. If your local business lacks an online presence, you could be missing out on a majority of your potential clientele.
Customers will find you more trustworthy
Online visibility is not just useful for attracting customers. It can also be reassuring to your customers and potential customers. There is credibility in having your business listed in a local business directory.
By contrast, if a customer cannot find information about a business online, they may question the legitimacy of that business. It is simply harder to win the trust of customers in the modern world without some form of digital presence.
Better inclusion on relevant SERPs
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a tool that every business can and should use to their advantage. Creating local business listings is one of the simplest steps to leverage search engine algorithms to grow your business.
This is because online local business directory listings help search engines like Google learn more about your business. The more a search engine knows about what your business does and who your customers are, the more likely you are to land on relevant SERPs.
SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page. This is the landing page with all of the search results when you enter a query on Google, Bing, or other search engines. For instance, if somebody searches bakery near me, the search engine will pull data for bakeries listed in local business directories in that area.
If you own a bakery that is not listed in those directories, your business is less likely to show up. You might also run into the same problem if your business is listed but not properly identified as a bakery.
Opportunity to receive and share positive customer reviews
Many local business directory listings, like Google, also provide space for customer reviews. In fact, customer reviews are one of the most trusted resources for making a decision about a business or product.
As much as 97% of shoppers read online reviews of local businesses before making a decision. Having your customer reviews prominently displayed in a local business listing directory is convenient for customers and your business alike.
Best Local Business Directory Listing Platforms
Want to create a local business listing for your business? Here are some of the best local business free listing platforms on the internet.
Google Business Profile
It makes sense for Google to be the best platform for creating a local business listing. It is by far the most popular search engine, after all. Google Business is a
Because it is a Google product, Google Business Profile is also fully integrated with the rest of the Google platform. This means it’s very easy to provide the information your customers want in a way that is easy to navigate.
Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau is a trusted source for business ratings and reviews. Getting your business listed with the BBB is free and relatively easy. Doing so can help your business establish some legitimacy and authenticity in the eyes of consumers.
A good rating with the Better Business Bureau is often seen as a strong stamp of approval for all types of businesses.
Yelp is one of the most popular online review platforms for businesses. Listing your business on Yelp is, therefore, one of the best ways to solicit customer reviews and increase visibility. Creating a listing for your local business on Yelp is also free and easy to set up.
Facebook & Instagram
One of the simplest ways to become listed in local business directory listings is to create social media pages for your business. Facebook and Instagram are the two most effective platforms for this purpose. Facebook and Instagram both provide space for businesses to list their full NAP information.
These platforms also allow for customer engagement and for the sharing of other vital information, which can increase SERP relevancy. And, of course, these platforms are free to use, and each has millions of active daily users.
Find Out More Ways to Grow Your Local Business Online
There are countless ways that local businesses can take advantage of having an online presence. From increased visibility to online promotions and customer outreach. If you’re looking for help setting up your local business online presence, Ecwid can help.
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