These days, the strongest advertising platforms are found on the internet. People are increasingly turning to Google and other search engines to learn about businesses, whether they’re across the country or right in their own city. People want to know what your hours are, where you’re located, what you offer, your prices, what your reviews look like, and more before they commit to getting in their car to drive to your business.
Local business listings on the internet aren’t just convenient for potential customers, they are becoming essential to the survival of many types of businesses. The use of local internet listings has grown exponentially in the digital age, and you can be sure that it will only grow more from here as new tools are invented and existing ones optimized. So, how can you use local internet listings to benefit your business?
The impact of local listings on the internet
One of the biggest and most immediate benefits of local listings is the improvement of your business’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you’re the only bicycle shop in town and you’re listed locally, anyone in your city who searches “bicycle for sale” is likely to see your shop as the first result.
Also, there are a ton of online directories to leverage. There are over 1,500 online directories that list local businesses. Plenty of these directories list businesses on their own or rely on users to fill in the information with what’s available. Once you’ve listed your business on a few of the larger directories, like Yelp, it’s not uncommon for any business to eventually show up on over 500 online directories.
However, you need to be thorough when listing your business’s information. If you’re missing important information like your hours and location, or you’ve duplicated or contradicted information, this will confuse and frustrate potential customers to the point of giving up on your business.
How important are local online listings to your business?
Consider these stats which show how local online listings can hugely impact a business. Whether it’s a good or bad impact depends on if you listed your information correctly and completely.
- 79% of store visitors do research online before arriving
- Nearly 80% of mobile searches will end in a sale
- About 50% of mobile searches are for local businesses, and about 20% of desktop searches are, too
- 53% of local listings are either missing important information or have incorrect information
- 15% of local businesses are not listed, missing out on all the awareness local listing offers
Which online directories should you list your business on first?
Here are the biggest free online directories that you need to be on, along with links to their sign-up pages.
- Google My Business – Google accounts for almost 90% (!) of organic search traffic around the world and is by far the most important online directory to list on
- Bing Places for Business – In just 3 easy steps, your business information will be available to millions of Bing users.
- Manta – Though it’s not a household name like the other two, with 20 million monthly users and an emphasis on small businesses, listing on Manta can’t hurt
RCC Web Media | Online Reputation Management & More!
It’s already become difficult to grow and succeed as a business without a strong online presence, and the internet will only play a bigger and bigger role as time goes on. While taking simple steps like listing your business online will definitely help, there are tons of more complex and ever-evolving digital marketing tools that can have an even larger impact on your success. To get the full benefit of the wide range of digital marketing tools out there, you’re going to need the help of experts. At RCC Web Media, we are constantly learning how to implement the new best practices and tools in digital marketing so that we can keep our clients in the lead of this accelerating ‘digital arms race.’ We have the team and the expertise to make sure that your business’s voice stays loud enough to stand out in a sea of competitors. We offer the full digital marketing spectrum of services, here is just some of what we can do for you:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Services
- eCommerce Website Management
- Web Design and Development
- Content and Blog Writing
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Management
- Video Creation
- And much more!