As a small business owner, how would you expect potential customers to find you? An easy way to gain online presence is through local listings. According to the public data from World Bank, over 74% of Americans use the Internet now!
Online listings can help boost your business visibility in the local area. When a user searches for a business, the search engine will list the local business profile, which provides the user with key information about your business. The profile includes details such as your location, hours, phone number and even directions to make finding your business easier than ever!
After getting your company listed online, you must ensure that your business information is accurate and consistent across all listing sites. There are a huge number of places your listing could show up, including local pages, review sites, and directories. Some of the major local sites to get you started are Google+, Yahoo Local and Bing Local. Some of the more “niche” listing sites can include Merchant Circle, Insider Pages and Yelp. Customers rely on these sites, so if you’re not listed or updating your profile, you will lose out on potential customers to your competitors!
Here is an example of how your business can lose out on a potential customer by not checking up on your local listings:
ABC Mechanic and XYZ Mechanic are directly across the street from one another. ABC Mechanic has not kept up with their online presence since their business opened whereas XYZ Mechanic consistently updates and monitors their listings. Sally’s car broke down and is in need of a mechanic. She is unfamiliar with the area, so she pulls out her phone to search for a local auto body shop in her area. Lucky for her, nearby mechanics popped up on her phone, two of which were ABC Mechanic and XYZ Mechanic. ABC Mechanic had the wrong phone number listed and Sally’s call did not go through, so instead she called XYZ Mechanic and gave them her business.
It’s not enough just to list yourself online and hope that people will always find your business. Unfortunately, your online information may become inaccurate or incomplete over time across any number of listing sites, including major ones customers frequently use to find local businesses. A business listing with incorrect information or a poor description can seriously impact your company. To avoid losing business, you must claim your business listings and keep up with them over time.
With all of your online business information under your control, you have the opportunity to gain Sally’s, and many other online customers’, business. If you’re not checking your listings, you’re losing business every day!
For more information, check out PropelList