There are many different ways in which a business can market themselves online; their own website, social media, banner ads, search engine advertising, organic SEO and online listings. The latter is often an afterthought mainly because there are so many more obvious alternatives. Although, online listings are not everyone’s first port of call, they are actually really easy to set up and can benefit your business.
What is a local online listing?
A local online listing could be any page online that references details of your business including business name, website, contact number, postal address and email address. However a local online listing will usually contain all of this information plus be a website that potential local customers frequently review. A few examples of online local listings would be Google Business, Bing Business, Yelp, Touch Local and Central Index.
How can I use my local online listings?
Your online listing should be treated like any other online advertising; ensure that your listing highlights all of your business’ best qualities. For instance if there is room to write a small bio about your business make sure that this is filled with your USP, if there’s an option to add photos do this too – add in product pictures, photos of team members and whatever else you think illustrates what your business is about. A listing that is both complete and compelling is sure to grab some attention.
What are the benefits of having local online listings?
If you read our online spaces article then you’ll know that by including your local business in online listing websites you can not only bring in more online traffic but more foot traffic too. Local listings provide your business with more opportunities to appear in organic search engine results and can improve your business’ overall brand awareness.
What are the disadvantages of having local online listings?
There are many different online listing services out there however this is the problem. It can become overwhelming to choose which service your business should use. While signing up for more online listings sounds like a good idea, it can actually do more harm than good. Some listing websites are not seen as reliable by providing inaccurate information and representing businesses without permission. Staying away from sites like this doesn’t just save you money it could also save your brand.
Will my online listing bring in more local business?
Unfortunately there is no way to know the answer to this question for certain. The best way to find out is to test, test and test again. Make sure you have the right analytics software to keep track of how many website visits you’re getting from your listings and ask new customers when they visit your place of business where they heard of you. While these sound like very basic monitoring tasks, they are the only sure way of determining the success of your listings.