As a local business owner, you know the importance of the Internet. Not too long ago, people had to look up information in a phone book and business owners poured their marketing dollars into advertisements in the Yellow Pages.
Today, customers simply take out their smartphone and instantly have the information they need about a local business in the palm of their hand. To ensure that your information is easily found by customers in your geographic area, you need to engage in a local search marketing campaign.
This specific type of marketing campaign helps your business and company website rank online for local keywords. For example, if I search “Pizza Delivery Murfreesboro TN” I get the following results:
Within this quick search, I have access to a wealth of information about local pizza delivery options. From maps with directions to websites detailing every option I have, my choices are endless.
As a business owner, you want to be on the first page for your local keywords. In addition to making sure your website is fully optimized for said keywords, you need to build links to your website from local listing sites.
These websites are free, and we’ve compiled a list of the top 7 listing sites your business needs to be on.
Google My Business
Formerly known as Google Places, Google My Business is the central location for everything related to your business listing on Google. This is where you can manage reviews, update the information on your map listing, and add photos to your listing to entice users to choose your business.
Why do you want your business to have a Google My Business listing? Aside from the fact that is Google, this listing helps your business appear in the “local map results”. This type of search result appears first on a mobile device. Considering that the majority of Google searches are mobile, it’s imperative that your website and map listing are ranked locally!
To start your Google listing, visit https://www.google.com/mybusiness/. Once you have completed your listing, Google will require you to verify that you are in fact a genuine business owner (and not spam or a robot). This means that you will either be sent a postcard with verification instructions, or be required to answer a phone call providing you with a pin code. Make sure you have access to the phone number you provided Google!
You have your own Facebook profile, right? Well, your business better have one too! Even if Facebook isn’t the perfect social media platform for your business, it is beneficial to have a business page with your company’s information on it.
Using Facebook, you can drive customers directly to your website. Plus, if you choose to engage in a comprehensive social media marketing campaign, your efforts can:
- Communicate your message to customers
- Rank your Facebook Business Page on popular search engines
- Increase the number of leads to your website
To create a business page on Facebook for your local company, visit https://www.facebook.com/business.
Bing Places for Business
While Google still reigns supreme in the online search market, Bing is holding strong to their modest share of desktop search traffic (and climbing). Similar to Google My Business, this online listing website allows you to upload photos, add information, and manage your listing right within their portal.
Plus, those who search online using Apple’s Siri capabilities will also get Bing results. While these Bing results may not always be local in nature, it can’t hurt to list your business on their platform.
Considering that Bing is 2nd in command when it comes to online searches, you do not want to skip this free business listing opportunity. To get started, visit https://www.bingplaces.com/.
Though not connected to a search engine or major social media network, Local.com is a fantastic free business listing for your company to take advantage of.
Local.com serves as a place for residents to find businesses within their geographic area. This site allows visitors to rate and review businesses and interact with local listings.
Just like local.com, Manta.com is yet another quality place for your business information and website to be listed online. Similar to most listing sites, Manta.com does offer paid opportunities with benefits such as improved profiles and more, but you’ll be just fine with their free version.
Start completing your free Manta online business listing today.
MerchantCircle.com, while similar to many other online listings, boasts one distinct difference — the ability to network with other business owners in your geographic area. Since it is free to business owners, make sure you claim this listing and start using it to your advantage!
You can network with business owners, provide promotions to customers, and much more. Complete your MerchantCircle.com listing now.
Everyone and their mother uses Yelp. As the go-to website for customer reviews, it is vital that your business have a claimed free listing on this online directory. You have the ability to create an appealing business listing, complete with photos, company information, directions, and so much more. If you want to drive significant traffic to your website and leads to your business, make sure you provide users with as much information about your company as possible.
Business owners also have the ability to respond to customer reviews and analyze the performance of your online listing.
Key Takeaways for Your Free Online Business Listing
Remember the key to online listings is to show local users and search engines that your business exists and can provide value. With this in mind, make sure the information you input on each listing is accurate and the same across all accounts.
The purpose of these listings is to drive qualified traffic to your website, which in turn increases your opportunity for sales. We recommend you use these free online business listings to your advantage!