Local SEO Tips:
The Top 6 Business Listing Services And Why You Should Sign Up For Them.
Free Business Listings help meet the requirements when launching your business because they serve as a listing service that proves you are who you say you are, and they additionally prove that you are equipped to be in business while serving as a very limited source for advertising. But here’s the secret that most SEO providers will not tell you.
In many cases, the free listing sites will not do anything to help you reach your prospective client bases on their own. Instead, here’s the realistic expectations and purpose of free business listing services, and what you should expect from each.
Let’s start with the most frequent and one of the services with the most history. Remember the days, when you’d flip through the giant book that was full of local services when you needed a reliable painter, plumber, or in my case it was a search for someone that could completely rehab my Grandparent’s downstairs bathroom, and our kitchen so that we could sell it and get out of that going nowhere town. Turns out, I can work anywhere I want to (16 years and a lot of experience later) but for as much as I miss Red Maple Leaves, and snow on Christmas eve, my home is in the south and so is my business. Anyways, the Yellow Pages are a great starting place for businesses that want to meet business registration requirements, and additionally want to start the process of working on Local SEO efforts. While the main goal and objective should be to meet the business registration requirements after first registering your business, the yellow pages does offer the capability to advertise later on when a business is ready to. (We do not recommend this just starting out as most consumers no longer check the yellow pages website and the books are not always reliable).
Google My Business:
Google My Business will be one of the top 5 resources used when a client chooses whether or not to conduct business with your business. With a google my business account, you can set up your business listing, choose whether or not your business listing includes an address visible to the public or not, and will be asked to verify your business through a code sent in the mail to you. Additionally, you can set business hours, include or exclude holiday hours, add your contact phone number, and even your website url. There is additionally sections for customer reviews, and images taken by others or your business that you can upload.
Similar to Google My Business, you may want to register your business on Bing. If you sign up for and verify your Google My Business listing, all of that information can just be imported right into Bing to make it a smooth listing process. While Bing is not as popular as Google, and while less traffic does come from the search engine, we do recommend submitting your website and local business to the Search engine listing directory as well as their business directory for building your local SEO presence.
Okay here’s the thing. Anything that has become a review based service our team hates. We know too much, have seen too much, and therefore we just don’t endorse the industry at all anymore but, there are benefits to Reputation Management websites, and Directory Listing websites that help businesses get ranked higher in the search engines, and do help build a credible presence online and Yelp is one of them. Similar to Google My Business, yelp is most frequently used to verify that a business is who they say they are, and is additionally a way of generating reviews that can help potential clients determine whether or not they want to work with you. While Yelp is not required, it does serve as a way to increase your link rankings, and your link presence while providing additional ways for potential clients to find your business online. To sign up for a free business listing, visit Yelp For Business and click “Claim My Free Business Listing” the process is pretty simple and straightforward however, be prepared to upload a photo of yourself as the business owner, as it is a requirement for each small business listing on their platform while they focus on the element of transparency in business that has been lacking in the digital space for a long time.
The BBB can be a great resource for both business owners as well as consumers or other businesses looking for reputable companies to work with. With options for becoming an accredited business at a price point of $500 and up, this is a viable option at some point as your business starts to grow but, a free business listing works just as well in order to begin the process of generating positive client experiences and trust over time. To set up an account for your business please visit the BBB’s website and click Join / apply in the top right menu where you’ll be directed to your local area’s BBB page to sign up.
Chamber Of Commerce:
Many business owners find that being a member of their local chamber of commerce helps them get the credibility that they need in order to start generating new business. While this process isn’t for everyone, many business owners find that it’s exactly what they need in order to get the visibility locally that they need. Many local consumers want to shop local, and many local startups want to do business with businesses that have credibility attached. The chamber of commerce in your local area may be that resource that gets you from unknown and untrusted to known, and credible.
Other potential directory listings include: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Foursquare, Mantra, Merchant Circle, Angie’s List, and more depending upon your industry. Directory listings are most often found to be based on location and industry based. Restaurants, hotels, Theme Parks and similar hospitality based services all have their own directory listing and business registration databases of their own for the Hospitality industry.
While most directory listing and business registration sites are dependent upon your businesses industry it’s important to know that there are approximately 60 that just about every business can sign up for a free listing on no matter what industry they are in.
Do your due diligence when setting up your business registrations or you can bring us on to complete this process for you for a small, 1x fee please feel free to contact us for more information or to sign up for this solution.