While you may have been able to get by in the past with word of mouth referrals, the times are rapidly changing. These days if consumers want to find a local product or service, they turn to their laptops or smartphone and search for what they need online. In fact, 81 percent of consumers research products and services online before making a purchase decision.
If you want to be successful with your online marketing efforts in 2018, you need to focus on local search.
The Relationship Between Local Search and Mobile Devices
Today's consumers are attached to their mobile devices. With advancements in technology, consumers can now use their mobile devices to get directions, find nearby businesses, and even pay for products and services.
The vast majority (87 percent) of smartphone users perform at least one online search using their mobile device each day. Of these searches, 60 percent are for local product and service information. Even more astonishing, 78 percent of these local searches result in an off-line purchase.
With so many phone carriers now offering free smartphones for signing a contract, we can expect to see even more consumers have a mobile device in hand this year. From a marketer's standpoint, focusing on how to capture consumers that are browsing the internet on-the-go needs to be a priority in 2018.
The Power of Local Listings
Consumers are turning to the internet to find local businesses, and most will end up choosing one of the first businesses that pops up in search results. As a small business owner, how can you compete with all of the brands that are vying to be at the top of search results? The answer: local listings.
Including your business in as many online directories as possible will help to increase your online visibility. Local listings allow you to expand your visibility by including pictures, videos, and other important details so that you can give consumers a clear picture of what your business entails.
According to the latest research, more than 90 percent of consumers are using search engines to find a nearby business. Having local listings in as many online directories as possible will make your business visible to these consumers and help you to earn more traffic.
The Benefits of Local Listings
Marketing your business on a local level will increase brand development and awareness. The more often you expose your business to your local audience, the more likely they will become buying customers. If you make it difficult for customers to find your website or track down your contact information online, your online marketing strategy will suffer.
Think of local online listings as the new Yellow Pages. Instead of pulling out a phone book like consumers did 20 years ago, your audience is relying on search engines to find local products and services.
Increase Online Visibility
While Google, Bing, and Yahoo are some of the most popular search engines, there are hundreds of other online directories that you need to include your business in to maximize your exposure. Since the process of submitting business listings to these online directories is tedious and time consuming, it's in your best interest to utilizing a local listing service to handle this process for you. A listing distribution will include your business in hundreds of online directories with the click of a button and will ensure that your business is accurately represented.
Believe it or not, it's free to include your business in most online search directories, assuming that you plan to maintain your business listings yourself. However, if you choose to submit and maintain local listings on your own, keep in mind that many errors can be made. If your business listings contain inconsistencies (different addresses, wrong phone numbers, etc), your SEO strategy will be negatively impacted.
Local listings and SEO go hand-in-hand. Because local listings drive more traffic to your website, they help to increase the authority and credibility of your website. Authority and credibility are two pieces of criteria that search engine algorithms use to rank content.
Local listings also offer your business the ability to target a very specific audience through paid advertising. Creating paid campaigns will provide you with analytics to ensure that you're not missing opportunities.
All in all, if you're not utilizing local listings (or allowing listings to go unclaimed such as your Google My Business page), you're leaving revenue on the table. In order to capture the growing number of consumers using mobile devices to find local products and services, you need to include your business in as many online search directories as possible. Taking advantage of a listing distribution is a cost-effective solution to ensure that your business is accurately represented in hundreds of online search directories.
Will 2018 be the year that you dominate local search? Contact us at New York Ave to learn more about how we can maximize the reach of your online business listings with a listing distribution.