There are two avenues to pursue when it comes to marketing your business online. The first is general marketing, which is ideal if your business is online-only, or capable of catering to customers or buyers all over the nation or internationally. The second is local marketing, which is essential if you have a local business presence, or if you cater specifically to local customers. If you have a business that you want to sell on a local level, then being able to reach your potential customer bases through local directory search will benefit you.
Today there are a number of websites that cater to users trying to find local results, as well as mobile apps and other search options. Internet and mobile phone users have come to trust these providers for information on the businesses that they are looking for. These local directories can also benefit your business if you understand how to use them in your favor.
1. Maps: The odds are great that if your business has a local presence at all, there is already a listing available for it on the major mapping websites including Google, Yahoo and Bing. This means that you will not need to create these presences online, but it will benefit you significantly to update them and monitor them over time. There is typically a lot of additional business information that you can provide beyond the basic listing that the websites offer. Take advantage of this opportunity and share some information with people that may be looking for companies like yours. You will never know who may happen across your business while scrolling through a map of the area.
2. Yelp, SuperPages and Related Sites: These websites are modern day phone books, providing users with up-to-date information about local businesses relating to every search topic under the sun. Your local listing may already exist on these websites if added by another user of the website, or you may need to add a listing yourself. Either way, you typically possess the ability to “claim” your business and then add bonus information about the company so that users will be able to find you more easily. Yelp and similar local directories are becoming increasingly popular for helping users find restaurants, doctors, vehicle repair services and an ever-growing range of other products and services across the nation.
3. Industry Specific Sites: On top of the general local directory websites such as Yelp, Merchant Circle and Super Pages, there are also a number of local directories that are meant to be more specific to an industry. Health Grades, Urban Spoon and similar websites are geared toward specific types of businesses so that users can find exactly what it is that they are looking for without having to struggle through listings from unrelated businesses. If you have a healthcare business, then Health Grades and similar business listing websites will be essential as part of your marketing campaign. If you run a restaurant, the same is going to be true for Urban Spoon and related websites. Make sure that you are checking out local industry-specific directory websites as well as general websites to get the most out of your local marketing effort.
4. Angie’s List, Kudzu and Service Magic: These are other examples of local directory websites that allow you to list a business so users can find you. In some circumstances you have less control over what is said about your company, as is the case with Angie’s List, but with other websites, you can fill in a lot of vital information about your business so that other users will be able to find you more easily. These websites are essential in helping users all over the nation find companies that fit their needs.
Using local search directories and local directory websites is essential if you are trying to establish an online presence for a local business. Being able to bridge the gap between Internet search and your local presence is essential in allowing your business to truly thrive. The key that you need to realize is that different users are going to turn to different sites to seek results, and so the best thing that you can do is to create profiles and fill out information for each one. Many of these websites allow the ability to fill out a wealth of information about what your business is and offers.
This way, when a potential customer is looking for a company like yours, they will be able to find you regardless of whether they are searching on Yelp or Super Pages, Google Maps or Kudzu. Once they find you they will see the info you want them to see and get directed to your website where they can book an appointment. After all getting a customer in the door is your main mission.