Promoting a local business isn't easy these days. You may find yourself wondering, will customers ever be able to find me?
Yes, they will! Fortunately, there's an easy way to get the spotlight on your business and stand out amongst the crowd: List your business on several local business listing directories.
We'll discuss what local business listings are, why they can be the game-changer for startups and how Incfile's Business Listing service can help you get noticed.
What Are Local Business Listing Directories?
Local listings of small businesses are essentially online databases or directories that house all the crucial details about your business. Business listings are an excellent way to find businesses based on niche, industry or location and should be part of any business's marketing plan.
Back in the day, "local business listings" used to be synonymous with the "Yellow Pages" — highly effective but terribly cumbersome. Today, the dead weight has been cut, and business listings are all digital. Some of the most comprehensive and frequently used business databases are:
Google My Business
Important details such as business description, location, website, opening hours, contact information, social media links and pictures are included in the listings.
Get Seen with Incfile's Business Listing Service
Local business listing directories might seem like a thing of the past, but they are an excellent way to increase your visibility online and get customers to the front door, which means more potential sales.
Incfile's Business Listing service offers the following services at a low investment of $240/year for the "business essentials" package and $360/year for the "business premium" package.
Business directories are popping up all the time. With our business listings, your company will have the ability to get listed across 40 of the major platforms and directories. And as new ones emerge, we'll get you covered there as well.
We also integrate your business into mapping apps such as Google maps, making it easier for your business to be found. More listings of your company = more spotlight on the brand.
Consistent, Accurate and Cohesive Information
Even slight discrepancies like different contact numbers or abbreviations in addresses between directories can signal to search engines and customers that your business isn't legit or trustworthy — and push you further down the search results (yikes!).
Our Business Listings will help you manage consistent listings from one integrated Incfile Dashboard. Suppose there's a change to your opening hours — you'll no longer have to manually alter each database. Just log in to the dashboard and make the necessary change; it will be updated across all directories and apps, ensuring your customer always sees the most accurate and relevant information.
Secure Business Details and Brand Image
Many times online directories scrap information via automated bots from your website, government records and other public data sources. This information isn't always accurate or updated and can make customers feel less confident about your brand.
Incfile lets you control all your listings from a single, secure source. Once you provide us with the necessary details, we'll lock in the listing — meaning no other data source has the ability to alter it without your permission.
Direct Connect with Google
It's not a surprise that 89 percent of consumers used one of Google’s search functions (including Maps & Local Finder) at least once in the past 12 months to find a local business. Incfile's Business Listings gets you a direct, special "VIP" connection with Google. Get your business details verified in real time and say bye-bye to waiting for weeks on end.
Why Is It Important to List Your Business?
Did you know that 94 percent of customers used an online directory to find information about a local business in the past year? Local business searches play a crucial role in local SEO (search engine optimization) and make it easier for consumers to find you.
And the benefits don't end just there. Lisa Gevelber, Google's Chief Marketing Officer, explains that business listings are critical to building brand awareness. Consumers are searching for opening hours, same-day shipping and proximity to fulfill their immediate needs.
If your local business listing shows up with complete information, then customers associate your business with reliability, loyalty and responsibility.
Online vs. Brick and Mortar: Who Are Local Business Listings Most Beneficial For?
If you're running an online business, are business listings worth it? While it couldn't hurt to have more backlinks for your small business website, most local business listings require a physical location (aka storefront or office). If you have a website but also travel to meet clients, you can also get listed across the major local business listing directories.
Here's the other scenario: You just have a brick-and-mortar shop with no web presence — a common mistake amongst many small business owners. In such cases, getting business listings is even more crucial. Having zero online visibility can hamper your small business's success and also make the customer wonder, "Does the business exist?"
How to Maintain a Local Business Listing
Business listings aren't a one-time job. Maintaining them requires ongoing maintenance. Why? Like in life, things in your business can change — it might be your opening hours, website link, social media pages or location.
It's certainly cumbersome and time-consuming to go through all the places your business is listed and change the information. We know you already have a million other things to manage as an entrepreneur.
But if you miss this step, the repercussions are serious. According to Business Listings Trust Report, 80 percent of customers report that they lose trust in a business when information is inaccurate or missing and 63 percent said they will stop using that business altogether!
This is precisely where Incfile Business Listing services can help.
Get Listed and Watch Your Business Get Noticed and Grow
Today's customers are constantly scouring the web seeking up-to-date and reliable information about local businesses: What's near me? What's open right now? Any ongoing deals?
Having consistent, accurate and multiple listings will boost your ranking in local SEO and increase your business's visibility, both of which will guide the right high-intent customers to your doorstep.
Move over bulky, printed directories: Online local business listings are where you want to be today. Trust Incfile's Business Listing service to help you easily manage all your information from a single, reliable place so you can spend more time running and growing your business.
Swara Ahluwalia is a freelance content writer with experience in the technical, B2B and SaaS domain. She also has curated content for various lifestyle brands. In her downtime, you will most likely find Swara training for her next marathon or spending time with her two daughters.