Local Directories (Superpages, Yellowpages, Yelp)
Once upon a time, we all knew what the phrase “let your fingers do the walking” meant. For those who don’t remember that time, we used to have to use actual print telephone directories to look up numbers. These directories usually included yellow pages in the back, which would feature businesses. Those businesses could pay for a larger ad or just stick with a small regular listing.
While paper telephone books still exist, they have lost a great deal of their popularity since it is so easy to do a quick search online and get the same information. As a result, local directories have found their way to the World Wide Web so that they can continue business and provide information for people who are searching.
In fact, some would suggest that these directories are the core of local Internet marketing. That’s because they make it easy for a business to input their information and then people in the area will find it easy to find those details.
The Importance of Local Listings
Since you already have a website and you show up in search engine results, you may not think that local listings are all that important. However, they are still quite relevant because they reach a different type of potential customer. For example, if you sell products online and in a shop, then you can reach customers who want to buy online through search results. Through local directories, you can reach customers who may wish to come into your shop.
Every time you use one of these local directories and add a listing for your business, you will have the opportunity to reach more people.
The Four Criteria
To be included in local listings, you have to meet certain criteria. If you don’t meet them, then you won’t get to be considered an option. So, before you get on the local sites, you will need:
- Your business name or at least a DBA.
- A local phone number (it cannot be a cell phone, a shared number, or a toll-free number).
- A dedicated street address that serves your business only.
- A business that makes face-to-face sales with a customer (a brick and mortar store).
If you meet these criteria, then you can create your local listings as well. You will likely need to verify each of the listings you create so that the local directories can avoid fake content.
The Local Directories
There are a number of different local directories to consider. Many of them include a review feature meaning that customers can leave feedback. That’s a great way to build a reputation as long as the vast majority of the feedback is positive. The local directories you can consider listing with include:
- Google+ Local
- Yahoo! Local
- Bing Places
- Internet Yellow Pages
There are plenty other sites, but you don’t necessarily have to list with every single one. Instead, you can choose the top local directories and get started with them.
When you have a brick and mortar store, you don’t necessarily want to just put your products up for sale online. You will also want to make sure you are driving business to your store as well. This is where local directories come into play. They give potential customers access to the information they need in order to find you, including your contact information, reviews, your open hours, and much more depending on the site itself. It is definitely worth your time to list with the local directories online. This way potential customers will have even more ways to find you and your business.