Why Business Listings Are A Great Idea For Your Business
If you have a business, you probably have one main goal: to get lots of people to know, love, and buy from your company.
And there are quite a few ways to make that happen. One surefire way to gain customers and exposure? Using effective online marketing strategies.
That said, many small or local businesses still struggle when it comes to understanding exactly how to market their business online, or how to control their online presence and use it to their advantage.
That’s where local business listings come in.
The Bigger Context: Marketing and Exposure Today
Traditional Marketing Strategies
Before we dive into the power of local business listings, let’s discuss the broader context of marketing today and how you can use it to effectively take your company to the next level.
When it comes to increasing exposure and getting more traffic, customers, and revenue, there are many strategies and tools that business owners turn to.
The winning combination today? A mix of outbound (traditional) and inbound (usually digital) marketing strategies.
The more traditional options that are usually used today include things like:
- Word-of-mouth marketing and recommendations
- A focus on excellent customer service
- Traditional advertising, including mail and print ads
And yes, these strategies work. Word-of-mouth marketing, in particular, is more effective than ever: a whopping 92% of people today trust recommendations from friends and family over any other type of advertising, and just a 10% increase in word-of-mouth marketing can lead to a sales lift of 0.2-1.5%.
That said, all of these strategies ultimately have a few drawbacks: namely, they require consistent time and effort, they cost money, and they can be unreliable and untargeted.
Which is why many savvy companies also use digital marketing strategies to achieve their goals.
The Importance of Digital Marketing
At the end of the day, digital marketing is hands-down the most effective way to reach a broad, qualified audience. The main idea? To get on the pages that your customers are already searching and to draw in long-term, returning customer by introducing them to your brand and presenting them with information that “speaks their language” and grabs their attention.
Sound hard? That’s because it is. There are many digital marketing options and strategies available today - including email marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, and more - and lots of conflicting best practices that, at the end of the day, can be time-consuming, complicated, and unreliable.
So how can you get it right and make sure that you attract the happy, delighted, returning customers that you’re looking for (without the headaches and the confusion)?
Well, that’s where local business listings come into play.
Local Business Listings: The Basics
At its most basic, a local business listing is a social media profile for your business that contains your business name, address, phone number, and other relevant information. There are lots of online platforms today where you can create such listings, including Yelp, Bing Places, Google My Business, Yahoo! Local, and Internet Yellow Pages.
Now, the idea here is to create multiple listings - and preferably to manage those listings through one centralized tool - so that you can make your business visible and easily found by customers in as many places as possible.
Of course, you may have some objections here, like: We’re a small business - we don’t want to be messing around with all that, I already have a website - I don’t really need a local listing too, or I like my current tools or strategies - I’m good without this.
But here’s why that’s a big mistake.
Why You Want a Local Listing For Your Business
- SEO and Exposure
The biggest goal of all marketing campaigns and strategies? To get your business on the first page of search engines. Think about it: 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine and 75% of people never scroll past the first page of search results. Which means that, if you want to stand a chance of your customers finding you, you need to be on that first page of results.
But optimizing your website so that you organically appear on the first page can be tough and time-consuming, especially for small businesses.
With a local business listing, it’s all much easier. Why?
Online local directories have significant SEO value, and they dominate local search results for your business’ keyword. Which means that, just by having a local business listing, you can fast-track your way to the first page of results - and to the eyes of people that are looking for a product or service just like yours.
- Accuracy and Consistency
We mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating: people don’t trust businesses or advertisers today, and they’ll take their business elsewhere at the first sign of a scam or inconsistency.
A big red flag? Incomplete, out-of-date, or duplicate company information - all of which can confuse customers and lead to a major loss of business over time.
With a local business listing network tool, you can overcome these issues and:
- Integrate into a network of local online directories, using one dashboard to manage listings on sites like YP.com, Yahoo, Bing, Apple, and Nokia.
- Suppress duplicate listings so consumers never see duplicate, incomplete, or out-of-date information.
- Get ongoing business validation and verification so your business does not become stagnant and unreliable.
- Mobile-Friendly Business
News flash: the world today is mobile. In fact, people today have 2x more interactions with brands on mobile than anywhere else - including TV, in-store, etc. - and 46% of people say they would not purchase from a brand again if they had an interruptive mobile experience.
That means that people are looking for you on their smartphones - and they expect to have a positive experience if they find you.
Luckily, local buseinss listings can help with that too, ensuring that your businesses appear on the map in mobile searches in a clickable, easy-to-understand fashion.
Think a local business listing might be right for you?