When you want to try a new restaurant for dinner in your area, do you ever search on Google for “Best restaurant near me” or check Yelp to see who has the highest ratings in your area? The results that populate are called local listings and they can be found on search engines, social sites, review sites, and online directories.
Everyone wants to be at the top of the google search, but what if you’re an up and coming small business with a limited marketing budget? If done correctly, local listings can have many benefits. These benefits include improving local SEO, free promotion for your business, and an easy way to capture new leads. It is very important that you use the correct information when listing your business (Name, Address, Phone Number). I’m going to show you the benefits of listing your business and how to do so correctly.
Something to keep in mind is that these local listings can be created manually or you can use digital tools that will make this process easier. Using tools such as Yext and Moz streamlines the process of getting your businesses information pushed out to all of the relevant online directories. They save you time and eliminate the long tedious process of creating all the local listings yourself. I take you through the step-by-step process of how to properly create your listings using both Yext and Moz in the video below.
Now let’s talk about why your small business should be taking advantage of online local listings.
1. Local SEO
Creating local listings is an important part of the off-page SEO process. If you properly manage your local listings it can have a positive impact on your ranking in Google, and help your business appear more often when being searched by consumers in the area. Every time you create a free entry on a credible directory, it is showing Google that you are running a legitimate business with a trustworthy website. As long as you are showing consistency by using the same name, address, and phone number for each entry, Google will begin to trust your website. These local listings also provide high quality backlinks from each online directory your company is listed on.
This also improves the position of a website in the search engine results page (SERPs). Therefore when a customer is searching locally for your product or service, your company’s website will populate at the top of the search engine results. Ultimately this will increase your company’s sales through local SEO’s ROI.
2. Free Exposure
Thats right. The majority of online resources offer free entry for your business listing. The only reason you would have to pay is if you want an enhanced profile or to use digital tools such as Yext. Although it is free to manually enter these local listings, it can be a nightmare to manage. You would have to update the listings one by one, each time you update your business information. This can be very time consuming, not to mention a complete nightmare to stay on top of. Although Yext may be another business expense it saves you time and headaches. Using Yext or Moz Local also decreases the risk of making errors, which is very important for SEO. If there are any inconsistencies with the information in your listings, it will have a negative effect on your SEO. Most small businesses are on a small budget and this allows them to market their brand and build awareness without breaking the bank.
3. Grow Your Business
Advertising your business through local listing can also help you capture new leads. When you set up your profile for a listing you will be asked to provide information such as what industry you are in and what product or service you are providing. This will target a more specific audience that is much more likely to convert into paying customers. Small businesses will reap the benefits from customers in the surrounding area searching for their product or service. Not only are local listings important for growing your company but they can also help you grow your social media following. You can link your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. to your profile. Your business will now grow organically while building a stronger brand awareness.
So why wouldn’t your business utilize such an awesome tool like local listings? There are many benefits that will help grow your business for little to no cost. It’s really a no brainer. If you want to make your life easier, check out Yext and Moz Local. They even offer you the opportunity for a free scan of your businesses website! It allows you to see which sites your business is listed on, if the information is accurate, if there are any inconsistencies, and even customer reviews. From this point you can decide if you want to manually create local listings or if you want to utilize these tools. Remember it is very important that if you choose to do it yourself, the information you enter must be consistent across the board. Otherwise Google will penalize you for this and move you further down in the rankings.
Instead of spending thousands of dollars on paid marketing campaigns, make sure you have the basics down first. Local listings are a great way to get you company’s name out there, and should be taken advantage of by all small businesses.
When it comes to growing your business it is not always about making sales. It is about building a brand and creating a company that people trust and stand behind. Brand awareness is very important when scaling a business. Think about it, would you rather buy a laptop from a brand that you know and trust or from a brand you’ve never heard of. “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek explains this perfectly. “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” You must have that strong reason why you do what you do and believe in it. This will cause your business to thrive. Even though local listings are just a part of the equation, they are still very important and should not be overlooked.