The Internet has made it an even smaller world by creating a global community built on a network of links. While it is a common occurrence to communicate with a friend or co-work across the global via the Internet, consumers are turning to local search results to assist in their next buying decision. The only question now is, will consumers within your marketplace find your local business when it comes time for them to use your product of service?
Google local search platform is making it extremely easy for consumers to find relevant, local information regarding their search inquiry. In fact, Google Places has created millions of business listings for local businesses in their effort to provide relevant search results to their users. All the owner needs to do is claim their local listing and optimize if for maximum results. No web design experience or budget required to have your business listed in Google and other search engines.
During the early days of the Internet it was required that local businesses built a website and spend time or money on getting a good ranking within the search engines. Today, it is much easier to get your business listed in front of local consumers. Local search marketing should begin with claiming and optimizing your local business listing on the number of business directories such as Google Places.
Here are just a few benefits of listing your business in online directories.
- Search Result Listing – While phone books are still in use (often as a booster seat or door jam) more and more people are turning to the search engines to find local businesses. Claiming your business’ listing and optimizing it for maximum results allows searches to quickly determine where your business is located and provides contact information. Often, consumers do not want to travel too far out of their way to purchase whatever it is they are seeking. Google’s local search platform makes it easy for consumers to find the physical location of a business serving the local community.
- Social Proof – Social proof has long been a determining factor when consumers are making a buying decision. Having a local search marketing in place for your local business is a strategy that can boost sales without increasing your advertising budget. If your business provides exceptional products and services it is wise to encourage your happy clients to leave a testimonial.
- Having a local business listing appear on the search engines that is full of satisfied customer testimonials is a surefire way to generate new business. It also provides an opportunity to hear what your customers are not happy with and ways to improve their experience with your local business.
- Mobile Ready – With the popularity of mobile devices such as the Smartphones and the iPads, it is becoming increasingly important for local business to be mobile ready and this is as simple as claiming your local business listing. Over 50% of new Internet connections are through the use of a mobile device and many of these devices have the option of pulling GPS information which becomes extremely useful to the user on the go. Having your local business listed in online directories provides for a greater chance that your business will show up in GPS devices in cars and definitely within the search results from Google, Yahoo and Bing. While mobile marketing is a subject on it’s own, having your local business listed in the online directories is a great starting point.