Small business owners have a bit of a hurdle to overcome compared to larger corporations. Brand awareness is such a complicated endeavor that it seems like a full-time job by itself. Local business directory, though, can help lift that burden. However, getting listed in a Local Business Directories is slightly different than how it was five, ten, or even twenty years ago. It used to be that all a business owner had to do was pay to list their business in the local Yellow Pages and then hope for customers to come in through the door.
Today’s business directories are a bit different and may require a bit more leg work, in a manner of speaking.
Local business directories today are mainly online. So while listing a business in the Yellow Pages (if they even still exist in some communities) might work, having an online presence will provide a much better opportunity for business success.
Benefit 1 – Increased Online Presence
Local business directories on Google and Bing can help amplify the presence of a particular business. While it may seem strange at first, especially since the business may be grouped with other businesses that appear to not have any connection to the initial business, it typically means that a single business can be listed under multiple search types.
What this translates to is increased website traffic. Exposure of this magnitude can place a business ahead of any competition, whether online or locally. This improves a business’ SEO which, in turn, allows Google to rank that website even higher than originally thought.
Read More: How To Set Up A Local Business Listing
Benefit 2 – Increased Local Visibility
The entire point of a local business directory is to build a rapport with the local community. And given that almost half of all online searches are for local information, utilizing this crucial tool can only serve to help a small business grow.
Think about how often someone performs a search; the autofill feature includes the phrase “near me.” That is how people find local businesses to patronize.
Benefit 3 – Increased Discoverability
When someone searches for a local business, they usually look for something specific, be it a car part, salon, or something else. Local business directories can organize that user’s search by service, location, and category. With an increased SEO ranking, a small business can get noticed quicker by being part of that directory.
This also helps when employing another marketing tactic that isn’t often discussed – word of mouth. When people discover a business they really like, they are more likely to tell their friends or even random strangers on the internet through reviews. Their experience with that business can spread like wildfire.
Benefit 4 – Increased Reputation
In the world of business, reputation is everything. And while getting a positive review is incredibly helpful, sometimes business owners hesitate to list their business on local business directories due to the fear of getting a negative review. The irony is that not listing also eliminates the possibility of positive reviews.
Negative reviews are inevitable. As the saying goes, “you can’t please everyone.” The truth is, so long as a business owner knows how to navigate the negative reviews that may come in, the positive reviews inevitably can outweigh them.
However, that doesn’t mean that negative reviews are all bad. People tend to be suspicious of businesses that have nothing but positive reviews. A healthy mix of reviews (such as 3-4 positive to 1 negative) can show that a business is genuine and has nothing to hide.
Benefit 5 – Increased Brand Awareness
On top of building a reputation through online reviewing, local business directories have the added benefit of increasing the awareness of a business’ brand. Online directories, in particular, help improve the image and awareness of a specific brand. For instance, a brand that is listed online is more likely to be sought after and used by a potential customer than a business that isn’t.
Benefit 6 – Increased Chance Of ROI
Possibly one of the biggest issues small businesses face is their marketing budget. What many business owners don’t realize is that local business directories, for the most part, are free or require minimal spending at all.
There are many free resources, such as Google My Business, that will help you list your business for free on Google, with similar tools provided by Bing and other search engines.
These free to low-cost resources allow business owners to use their budget for additional marketing and advertising they might not otherwise be able to use, such as search ads, print advertising, and so on.
Your Partner In Business Growth
Utilizing the power of local business directories is just one of the many benefits the Great American Buy Local offers to small businesses. If you need assistance getting your business listed, along with numerous other resources, signup today!