What is the easiest way of finding, let’s say, a dental clinic in your area? The answer is fairly simple: pull out your smartphone or tablet and google it. I bet you will most likely choose from the top three or five results. This is the way most customers behave and this is the process you should keep in mind when building a marketing strategy for your local business.
What’s the point of local listing?
Let’s be honest, the core target of any promotion activity is to reach the broadest audience possible and maximally increase your ROI. But how to compete when everyone fights for the leading positions on the first pages of search engines? If your business is based in the certain city or region, think about Google or Yahoo local business listing. When you must be visible and accessible to the customers online, this is a unique opportunity and a separate business development strategy to try out. Listing your business in an online directory, you can also add images or videos about the products or services you offer to increase exposure, provide customers a clear picture of what they will get and increase sales.
Topping it up, Google favors city- or state-specific websites when displaying search results. Customers, in their turn, tend to trust smaller local businesses and include their location running a search.
What’s the best part about local business directories?
Now it’s time to show you how local listings impact the business success and what benefits you can reap.
1. Improved Accessibility
To buy what you are selling people must know about and easily find your website. Listing your business locally you get greater exposure and brand awareness. Again, there may still be people in the area unaware of the services you offer. Use this opportunity to inform them and to showcase your expertise. Here is the most important part: capturing the target audience attention you significantly increase chances these people will try your service or purchase your products.
2. More details - more sales
The biggest grab with using business directories is that most of them are free.
You can create a company profile and include all details you believe important and crucial for the decision making:
- Brief description of a product or services type
- Phone number
- Working hours
- Link to the website
- Customers’ feedback, etc.
Mind that all this information will be depicted in search results. Try to be as specific and detail-oriented as possible to add plus points to your local search ranking factors.
3. Enhanced marketing efforts
We spend most of our free time online messaging, searching and discovering. What stops you from being found by potential customers during the local search? Poor visibility. It sounds simple. And it is. Improve the situation. There are dozens of directories waiting for your profile listing and no limitation on the number of websites you can join. In addition, you can win the priority of going first in search results even if your website itself does not have the desired rank score. The more you submit, the higher changes to catch the attention of your targets and convert them into loyal customers.
Local listing for SEO
From the SEO perspective, you get quality backlinks from reliable sources and drastically reduce competition going local. Ranking by region and not by the whole country you get a few competitors who can be easily outplayed with smart SEO techniques or even low-budget PPC campaigns. Sounds great, but there is a tricky part. It will be really difficult to conquer the international market when initially targeting at a specific country and promote on the country level when focusing on a city.
The additional traffic flow is also a huge plus. For your local business, it can be direct and indirect. In the first case, customers and, quite possible, potential leads will get to your website simply following the link in the listing.
In the second, they will come from search results when searching, for example, pills from a toothache and seeing your clinic as the nearest to their location. And who will neglect an opportunity of getting the qualified help and soothing that terrible pain? Ugh!
Now you know what for to market your business locally. Being an awesome tool for indirect marketing, such directories open new prospects for business promotion. The topic becomes increasingly popular. So, if you type “How to set up Google local business listing?” in the search bar, you’ll get numerous step-by-step guides and I’m not going to focus on this question. Instead, let’s consider other ways of entering local markets.
- Write region in titles, content, and posts on your website. It may sound logical, but not all local business owners know about and follow this rule. Just do not be spammy and do not overstuff your texts with the keyword. The content must remain user-friendly, easy to read and comprehend.
- Specify and mark out Schema.org for your clinic, store or office address to help search engines grasp what your data means and grant potential customers as relevant information as possible.
- Provide your office address and phone numbers on the business pages and profiles across social networks. People come here not just for fun, but also to find necessary contact details or check your reliability.
- Set up your site on Google Webmaster Tools to optimize its visibility and monitor the most important SEO aspects.
Top destinations for listing your local business
- Google My Business, Yelp, Bing Local, and Facebook Local are among the top business listing directories. If you plan to enlist, there is a point in starting from these giants constantly moving to small business listing platforms.
- Add your business to subject catalogues that comply with your industry, for example, the medical services category. This is one more way to provide users more targeted information and get additional backlinks to the website.
- Mark your location on Google Maps and other available resources to get discovered by local customers and help them find the way to your office.
- Finally, utilize the potential of search-and-discover services, like Bing, Yellow pages, LinkedIn, local.com, Foursquare, etc.
Online directories are simple to use, require minimum information and present manifold advantages for business growth and networking. Along with finding future customers, you can also reach potential business partners or investors.
Do not miss a chance to grow locally. Give it a go and generate more leads for your business.