Sunday, 10 June 2012

Importance of Having a Local Business Listing

Whether you have a website or not your business can still benefit by having a presence online via local listing. Once you have established your business, all you have to do is to ensure that your business is listed in Local directories, and local search results.

Before there was a tendency to have your numbers listed in the directories that get printed and posited out, now for your business to be found easily by your potential customers you need to ensure that your business is easily found online.

Video: Video: Importance of Having a Local Business Listing

Whether you have a website or not your business can still benefit by having a presence online via local listing. Once you have established your business, all you have to do is to ensure that your business is listed in Local directories, and local search results.



Hi guys this is Wasim of Alrayes Web Solutions. In this episode, I’m going to quickly touch some points on the importance of having a local listing such as in Google places and Bing and also, in other directories online such as yellow pages, free index. As when a business establishes a website and sets up a website, generally, they try to aim to have large, try to aim to get more presence online and try to target general keywords which are quite broad and quite generic and rather than being more targeted. By having local listings, what you can do is actually target your local customers which are already in front of your doorsteps and are ready to buy off you. So, it’s a great way for your business to establish a brand, and slowly grow over time. So generally, what you want to do first is, once you’ve setup your business online, is to do a quick search on Google and also on Bing. So search for your name. So your name at the town that you are in. So for example, if you are a local beauty salon, you can search for ABC Beauty Salon in London, or ABC Beauty Salon in Sydney. Or you can even be a bit more specific and mention the area. So if you are a beauty salon in Hounslow which is an area in London, so if you can say ABC Beauty Salon in Hounslow in London. So, it’s more specific and see what comes up. If your business has been trading for a while and you’ve been established off-line and for quite a while, most probably Google has already listed your business in the database. So, all you’d got to do is claim that business. If it’s a brand new business and it’s a new start up company, then what you need to do, most likely, probably you won’t have any listing there. So you go in and create a listing and set up an account. Now, some points to keep in mind when setting up an account, first of all, and also when claiming a business and populating your profile, you want to put as much information about your company in this profile.

So, first thing, it gives you a description area where you can put information about your company. So, really use that space and fill out as much as you can. Now, some profiles give you, have a restriction where you can only put 500 characters or 1,000 characters or 700 characters, make sure you utilise that so put as much information as possible. So mention who and what you do, how you have been established for, the services that you offer, the products that you offer. And also, some key selling points of your products and also for visitors to come into your premises rather than going to your competitors. Specially, if you are a restaurant, and a high street brand, and high street store where visitors really come to your premises. So, mention as much as possible about your company, about your business in the description area. And then, what you want to do is, put some media on your profile. So really, make your profile attractive. First of all, put your logo, which needs to be everywhere anyway. And then, put some pictures of your shop front, of your products, inside your shop, outside your shop. And so when visitors do actually come unto your profile page, they can recognize your profile and recognize your business and that you know, they may have been walking past your store or may be driving past and seeing your logo, and on some literature, on some newspaper adverts; so, they can really relate to your business. So make sure to put some images, some photos, if you’ve got any videos and if you’ve got any footage of your products or if you’ve got any footage of your business, also upload them and upload them unto your business profile. So, you’re really optimising your profile; choose the traffic correctly, make sure your business is listed under the right category, so when users do a search for that category, your business comes up. And in Google, you can also put in extra information like your opening hours, really vital information, specially, you know, when you’re closed on certain dates or you’re only operating on certain hours. It gives that information to your visitors and to your potential customers to know exactly when to contact you. So again, make sure you put out your opening hours. And in some directories, you may not have an option to put opening hours; so what you do is put that in the description area there. Of if you are closed on certain areas; make sure that you put that in the description section that “we are closed on...” for example, “... between 3 and 5 on a Wednesday afternoon” so your visitors know exactly when you’re open, when you are closed. In Google places, you can also put what sort of payments you take. So if you just take, just for example, checks only, make sure you state that, your customers know that we only accept checks. If you do credit card payments, Visa Card and Master Card, you could put all that. The more information you put on it, the more it’s easier for your customers to know exactly what to expect when they come to your profile.

So now, you’ve claimed your business or you’ve set up a new account, what you want to do now is really populate that, really use that to your business advantage. So, first thing is to put a link on your business website to the profile. So, put a link maybe in the footer, on the “contact us” page or on your review section, anywhere on your website put a link to this profile where visitors can actually find more information about your company and see your local presence. Secondly, what you want to do is, is really promote your profile. So encourage your customers, encourage your visitors that come to your store, to go into your profile and start leaving you reviews and encourage them to leave reviews. Maybe if a customer just only sent an email review, send them a link to your profile page and ask them if you could please leave us a review and it’s probably going take them a couple of minutes to do that. So really, really push out your profile, really promote and get more and more people to review it. And also, it’s a benefit to your profile too; if a new visitor or a new customer wants to come unto your profile page and they see you’ve got you know, 50 reviews or you’ve got 100 reviews or a couple of reviews compared to a business which is similar to yours who’ve got no reviews, you know, I’d rather go with a business that’s got more reviews because I feel more assured, I feel more safe and know how what other people are thinking about your company. So, it’s another way of building your brand online. So really promote that. And some business profile directories and also local directories also allow you to put vouchers and promotion codes; take advantage of that. Really, you know, you can have promotion codes for just maybe for that particular customer, what I mean for that particular customer, if for example, if it’s an online directory; let’s say, it’s like Free Index, so you can put, you know 50% off for all our Free Index users. So it’s a bit more personal and also encourages them to, you know, use that voucher to come to your premises and to claim and to take advantage. I see restaurants do that in a great way where they put 10% off drinks or buy one get one free. All other business can do that if you are driving instructor or a beauty salon or a plumber or a builder, use vouchers and to really drive customers to your website and also to your business.

So in a nutshell, if you serve a business online and if you are not already registered a local profile make sure you go out there, register your business in Google places, on Bing local which I’ll put below the video and also register in other directories like BT Tradespace, there’s Free Index and many other directories which is local to you. This way, you can tap into local customers; get some more traffic coming to your website and start to build your brand locally. And then slowly, slowly, you see that as your website being more active, you start adding more and more content, having a blog and start really establishing your brand online you start to get traffic from other long tail keywords and also, start to attract more visitors which are not just local to your area but also from out of town.

I hope you find this video beneficial. You can also catch us on Facebook, on Google+ and also on Twitter and also come check out our blog at where we’ve got loads of information on search engine tips, on social media and also general website and web design tips that you can use within the business.
See you next week.

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