In days past, when someone needed to find a business for a product or service locally, they reached for the Yellow Pages. Today, people reach for their smartphones to search instead. For this reason, having a local presence still matters, even on the worldwide web. To make sure you’re seen by local users on the internet, you’ll want to utilize local listings. Local listings can not only help you outrank local competitors but also improve your overall digital presence.
Local listings refer to digital directories, such as Yahoo or Google My Business Profiles, that highlight local businesses. For example, if you have searched for an Italian restaurant online, you’ll likely see the names, addresses, and phone numbers of several local restaurants at the top of the search results. These are powered by local listings. If you’ve been overlooking the importance of developing these online listings, here are some of the reasons you should reconsider your local SEO strategy.
Local listings bring in new customers and contacts.
With so many options online, customers don’t have time to search for information from a business that is hard to find. Even if local people know about your brand, if they search for your online and can’t easily find out where you are and how to contact you, they may simply go to a competitor instead.
The flipside is also true. If a potential customer goes online to find information about one of your competitors that isn’t easy to locate, they are more likely to turn to you (if your information is readily available).
Local listings also help your business get on the map—literally! When someone is looking at a particular area on Google Maps, they will see the names of different businesses in that area. Being indexed on a wide range of local directories makes your business more likely to show up on the map.
The same idea works for finding new contacts, especially B2B contacts. Your local listings will help you to build connections with other local businesses to partner with, adding one more avenue to grow your base.
Your online reputation can improve with local listings.
Because the world is accustomed to finding information online, they expect to find businesses online. When you don’t have a robust online presence, people begin to wonder why. Is your business outdated? Does that mean that your products and services are as well?
Simply seeing you online boosts your reputation in the eyes of consumers, but local listings provide another avenue for increasing recognition of your good name. Most local listing databases welcome user reviews, which means your listings are a platform for customers to comment directly on their experiences in working with your business. Customers place a lot of weight on the reviews of other consumers, so racking up good reviews is a great way to convince new customers to take a chance on you.
Negative reviews can also have an upside. If you’re diligent about responding to online complaints, then consumers will see that you take customer satisfaction seriously and will be willing to give you a chance. Additionally, negative reviews are a good way for you to get honest feedback about what kinds of improvements could benefit your business, so you can make changes that will make your brand even stronger.
Local listings can improve your SEO efforts.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the key to getting noticed online. Strong SEO helps you rank high in search results, which means that potential customers look for the products and services that you provide, they are more likely to encounter your brand. The higher you are in search results, the more likely customers are to see you and engage with your brand.
Good SEO requires a multi-level strategy with different techniques working in tandem, from content marketing that is optimized for specific keywords to a website design that is developed with search engine algorithms in mind. Local listings are another important component of a solid SEO strategy.
Local listings ensure that consistent information about your company’s name, location, contact details, products, and services are available online. The more places that information is found—and perhaps most importantly, the more places where that information matches—the more favorably your listings will be looked upon by search engine. Local listings are an extremely valuable way to boost SEO that many brands overlook.
Traffic may come to your other online profiles from local listings.
When a customer lands on your local listing, there is a good chance that the listing will include a link to your website. That click can drive potential customers to your site, where they can learn more about your brand and all the different things you offer, which can lead to a same-day purchase or put your name in their mind for future products and services they may need.
A local listing is also a good way to drive customers to your social media accounts. Getting potential customers to your social media page is a great way to engage them on a more regular basis and entice them with promotions, new product releases, and more. Drawing them into your social media accounts also gives customers a better understanding of your brand identity.
The web isn’t just for businesses that trade on a national or international level. In fact, the web is one of the most powerful tools a local business can have in driving customers. The trick is to leverage your web presence the right way, to target the right audience. That’s what we do at Salem Surround. Our name points to our philosophy of surrounding your customers as they browse the web, so your brand is never far from their view. We work with brands of all sizes and have helped local businesses like yours get discovered, drive engagement, and generate leads. For more information, call us today at 1-844-277-5797.