When a person wants to find a business or a type of service, they turn to the internet. Online directories like Yelp, Yahoo, and Google+ are the digital version of yesterday’s phone books. If you’re not listed, you’re not being found. It’s as simple as that. This is a missed opportunity to be visible to potential customers. We’ve identified 9 essential local business directory sites where you should list your business.
1. Google+: As far as businesses are concerned, Google is the head honcho of the internet. Having a Google+ Page for your business will do wonders to get your business found online and in the face of local customers. Like Yelp and other directory sites, Google+ has a review feature that is prominently displayed online. Read our blog post on how to set up a Google+ page for your business to get started.
3. Yahoo! Local
Many times we find that a business (especially if it is new) is not listed at all in a directory. If you’re one of these businesses, take an hour and register your business on Google+, Yelp, and Yahoo to start. If you need help, check out this webinar on setting up directory listings for a step-by-step instruction on how to do it all in just one hour!
If your business is listed, that’s great! But is it listed correctly? If it’s not, you are limiting your ability for potential customers to find you. Make your business more easily found online by ensuring that your business is listed with all of the relevant information fields. One you’re set up on all of some of the above local directory sites, here are 5 essential questions that you need to answer with your business information.
While the name of a business may seem like a fairly straightforward element to a directory listing, we frequently find businesses listed under inaccurate names. Keep your business name consistent to avoid confusing your customers and potentially losing sales. If you list your business as “The Sweet Spot Bakery” on Yelp, don’t list it on Google+ as “Sweet Spot Bakery” — consistency is key in marketing.
It is important to have an accurate address in your directory listings, even for a business that does not have a meaningful physical presence. Without a physical address Google may de-emphasize your listing when a search is conducted, decreasing your overall visibility. If you don’t have a brick and mortar location, enter your home address so that Google will recognize your listing. You need to do this for Google+ anyway so its good to get into the habit of doing so.
Having a phone number is important to ensure that you are making it as easy as possible for a potential customer to get in touch with you. We recommend using a tracked phone number for your directory listings to enable you to monitor how much business you receive from your directory listings. If you don’t have a tracked phone line, use your regular business line. This is the number that people will call when they want to get in touch with your business so make sure to list a number associated with your business.
Although not all local business directories allow you to list your website, most do and it’s a good idea to include it whenever possible. Some potential customers will want to contact you directly by phone, but others will prefer to look at your website to learn more about your business before contacting you. Listing your website accurately allows your potential customers to get in touch with you the way that they prefer. Listing your website also increases the chances that customers will access your website directly from the local business directory.
While not all directories allow photo uploads, in some cases it is an option. Wherever possible, uploading a photo helps associate a face with your business, which can increase the chances that someone will want to contact you. The photo can be of the business itself, a person, or the product. Businesses that have a visual element, like a photographer, a dance studio, or an event space will benefit from adding pictures to their local directory listings. Pick something that you think will resonate with your customers and help make you stand out.
Is your business listed in all of these local business directories with all of the above information?