Your Next Customer is in Your Neighborhood – Do You Know That?

Overview

GE Capital retail bank reports that 81{bdbbbf61f95330256c4a8626245213c737e8efb191a712bf52e8edc213ed162f} of shoppers make decisions after online research. Other reports find that 3 out of 4 of those shoppers visit stores that they find in those online searches. Even more telling is what they do when they arrive at your business. While on site, they are still doing online comparison research.

Not only should your company have the answers to their questions online, it should rank as high or higher than the competition in SERPs. Local business listing sites featuring your listing will usually list higher in SERPs than your website. These listings also help your website in organic searches by increasing your search engine ranking through backlinks.

Your organization may already be listed in a few directories, but to really make an impact, those listings need to be managed, not just exist. Listing your business with more than just the top few will also make a huge difference in your traffic flow. Business listing services know just where to position your company for the greatest success.

7 Trends in Local Business

Mobile: Mobile searches are outpacing searches on PC and local listings companies like Google My Business and the Yellow Pages are rising to meet those changes. In the coming years, there will be shifts in how consumers are presented local service and retail options.

Accreditations: yp.com and the YP app, better known as The Yellow Pages, are now listing A and A+ Better Business Bureau ratings on business listings, as well as BBB accreditations. Businesses that have these ratings and accreditations will want to be sure they are listed on yp.com to take advantage of customer interest in highly rated companies.

New Ad Placements: Google recently added “promoted pins” to Google Maps to help consumers see opportunities along planned routes or businesses that match needs the consumer has been searching for. Google has employed similar ad placements in the past and removed them, but they are committed to this new way of placing options in front of users now that mobile use is skyrocketing.

Content: Another Google advancement is the addition of content options for local businesses. As long as the content is relevant to consumer search wants – like inventory lists, product information, etc. – Google will allow businesses to post that content in their listings. Discounts and promotions are part of these additional features.

Offline-Online Integration: Google will be offering the Store Visits data tool in AdWords to small businesses in the future. While it may require hardware changes for Google, they are planning on making this change.  This tool will help small businesses understand what draws customers offline and to brick and mortar locations.

Marketplaces: Facebook is relaunching Marketplace, but with a new face. It will be an additional tab on the app and will be a competitor for sites like Craigslist. In its infancy, the add-on will be mostly centered around peer to peer shopping, but the social media giant expects to open it up to small businesses and then feature those ads with links to business listings within newsfeeds.

AI: Artificial Intelligence devices will be leading against mobile searches within a few years. The current processes for local searches on these devices present the user with the top three local choices only. A business needs to be sure that all of its location information is accurate and that it is listed on all relevant local business listings to rank high enough to be one of the businesses selected to be presented to the potential customer. When a consumer queries the AI device, such as Echo, Cortana, or Siri, the businesses with matching long-tail keywords will be at the top of the results.

With these coming changes to the way consumers search for businesses, enlisting the help of professional business listing services experts will greatly influence a business’ success in remaining at the top of search engine results.

Uniqueness

Local Business Listing services help small businesses position their companies for the highest, and most high quality visibility on the web. Sure, small business owners and managers have the ability to list themselves, and many of them are listed with the top five sites automatically. What makes a business listing service unique, though, is that they know which lists garner the most traffic and which ones actually prompt consumers to choose your business.

When you enlist the help of a local business listing service, like those in Chicago, IL or New York City, you have already leap-frogged the competition. Now, instead of being listed with five local listings, you are on lists that are targeted specifically to the potential customers that are looking for you.

You would have also gained the knowledge and expertise of professionals that know how to manage your listings to the greatest effect. They know the add-on features that make a difference and how and when to offer promotions through listings and mapping tools.

Listing services companies also have greater knowledge of how wording influences the success of your listings. They are always on trend when it comes to how consumers are searching for the products and services your organization offers. Keywords, vital information, and how it’s all put together are crucial to your listing’s success.

Even if you are sure that you can manage your listings on your own, it would be smart to use listing software that helps you do that effectively. Business listing services offer software that manages your listings and your changes to listing content more efficiently than a “homemade” spreadsheet.  These sites allow you to manage data from multiple store locations across multiple listings sites from one dashboard.

Conclusion

Small business owners and managers are already short on time and long on to-do lists. Take the management of business listings off of your plate and hand it over to a local business listing service in Illinois or a listing service in New York and let these professionals make the most of these tools for you.

To find a local business listing service in New York or Chicago, log on to Credibase and browse our listings for top notch agencies today. And if you’re a service provider for marketing or other relevant B2B business services to local businesses, get listed today.

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