Whether you are traveling and searching for the best local cuisine or you need to the check business hours of your favorite shop, you use local listings all of the time. But, is your business online when people search for you? No matter your service or product type, there is much to be gained by maintaining your local listings. Improve your online reputation and boost your business traffic with local listings.
What Are Local Listings?
A local listing is a business listing which is associated with a physical address. Google requires a physical address in order to get certain local listing features but other websites actually offer full local listings with only a zip code or city and state. (This is especially effective for mobile businesses, at-home workers, and consultancy solutions).
Why Maintain Local Listings?
Whether online or in person, local listings bring traffic to your storefront. When someone is on their phone and looking to make a purchase, it does not matter if they find you from a Google Review or your website.
The sheer presence of information about your business online (especially positive information) makes it more searchable. More mentions online, maintained local listings, and accurate content on your listings brings traffic to your storefront. It all relates back to the marketing buzzword of the 2010s -- Search Engine Optimization. More mentions of your company online, especially via sources that are not directly associated with your personal website will boost your score.
Step 1: Get Your Business Online
Whether you use a company like Moz to manage your listings for you or you want to manually add to your local listings, the only way to start with the improvement of your online reputation is getting yourself online. If you are not certain about managing your own listings, there are online services that will maintain local pages on your behalf.
Step 2: Maintain Your Local Listings with Reviews
There is considerable value in the maintenance of your local listings. Once you get your information online, the only way to keep yourself relevant is to generate reviews for your business. Just like this pertains to blogging and adding content to be indexed, words from your customers make all of the difference in business growth.
To show exactly how important reviews and ratings are consider this example: Yelp reports that a business with 3.5 stars is 63% more likely to be full than a business with a 3-star rating. from a friend.
Step 3: Maintain Your Local Listings by Responding to Reviews
Yelp also reports that 88% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. This means your potential customers are reading reviews, both positive and negative. The only way to come back from a poor review is to respond directly to the situation. A great way to see how companies respond to poor reviews is via your own Yelp app. Read up on some of your favorite local spots and see how your favorite businesses handle negativity. Many local listing websites allow for you to dispute reviews if they are fraudulent but companies cannot remove reviews just because they are not positive.
Get Started with Local Listings for a Better Business
Local listings are a free (or affordable) way to build a brand online while also bringing traffic to your store. Get started by adding your business information to the major local listing sites, like Google and Yelp. After establishing your business and working on review maintenance, prospects will show up at your door. What do you have to lose by including your business information on local listings? Whether you run an online business that relies solely on your website functioning or you run a traditional store, every business needs local listings.