Get More Business with Online Business Listings
Is your business listed online? Even if you've tried it before, try typing your company name into Google or Bing now, and see what results come up— can you see your company's address and map location? How about your store hours, phone number, photos, or customer reviews? If you're missing any of this data, or if your business is listed too far down the search results page, then you will DEFINITELY benefit from being listed in Google and Bing's online business directories.
Why Google and Bing specifically? Well, Google is a no-brainer— it sees roughly 4.5 billion search requests a day, making it the word's most used search engine by a landslide. Bing isn't to be discounted, though, as it sees an average of 874 million searches per day (Internet Live Stats). Listing your business with as many search engines and social media platforms as you can will only help your exposure, but Google and Bing are great places to start, as their search engines provide so much exposure.
Listing your business online is beneficial in a lot of ways, but its main purpose and benefit is to bring you more business. Read on below to see why listing your business online can end up being one of your best marketing efforts.
Reason 1: So People Find You
Your Location Made Public
The most obvious reason to have online listings is so people know where you are. As phonebooks are nearly obsolete, the typical way to find a business in this day and age is to search for them online. Creating business listings with Google and Bing automatically adds your business to their respective map applications, so people can discover your address and automatically get directions to where you are. This type of search is so normal for most people now, that if a business isn't available on Google or Bing Maps, it's somewhat of a shock for a typical searcher. To gain more business, you'll want your company name and location to be as prominent as possible!
Get Found by New People
People search for businesses at home, but they also search on the go— whether it's on the bus, at the airport, in restaurants, at hotels, or while actually shopping. People are searching all the time, everywhere, and at every point of the buying process (Google Local Search Behavior). Being listed online with search engines makes your business available not only to local consumers but to visitors and new area residents too. When people use Google or Bing to look up services nearby, they'll see your business listed as an option, forever broadening your potential customer base with new people.
Rise Above the Competition
Google ranks local search results higher (meaning it places business information higher on search results pages) according to three main factors— search relevance, distance from the searcher, and prominence. Now, search relevance and distance are aspects you can't necessarily control, but prominence? That's a different story! Prominence here refers to how well-known a business is— if they're listed in various online directories, if they have reviews and positive rankings, and if there are articles and links related to the business, they'll have a much higher level of prominence, and they'll be listed higher on Google search results (Google). To be #1 in the search results requires in-depth SEO (search engine optimization) and a full online presence, but your business can become much more visible simply by listing it with search engines like Google and Bing.
Reason 2: So People Trust You
Let People Get to Know You
It's recommended to flesh out your business listings with as much detail as you can, rather than only providing your most basic information. Having your company name, address, and phone number online is vital, but adding more detailed information can bring you much higher benefits. Think about it— consumers shop around and compare products and services all the time. They can't understand the depth of what you provide just by reading your company name and contact information. The more information they have, the more trust they can develop from the beginning of their search.
Try providing extra details, like your hours of operation, your company's description, a list of services, photos of your building and employees, alternate phone numbers, emails, and social media pages, and a link to your website. This will all help educate people about your business, and it'll also increase your reputation with Google and Bing, again resulting in higher rankings.
Reviews: The Deciding Factor
Speaking of building trust, nothing builds trust with a potential buyer quite like a positive review does. Google and Bing deal with consumer reviews a little differently— Bing presents reviews from other review websites like Yelp when your business appears in their search listings. Google also does this, but they provide an extra bonus— people can use Google itself to leave reviews on your Google business listing. And truly, the more positive online reviews your business has, the less competition you'll have.
According to BrightLocal's 2016 survey, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. After reading a business's positive reviews, 54% of those surveyed will visit the business's website, and 19% will visit the business directly. Reviews are a big part of consumers' decision-making, and they're only becoming more important. It's time to get your business listed so you can start building up those positive reviews!
Reason 3: So YOU Get More Business
It may seem like huge companies like Amazon run the show nowadays, but, in fact, local searchers are ready to act. According to Google's study, many local searchers will visit a location within a day of finding it, and they complete purchases at a higher rate than those who conduct non-local searches. In the same study, Google found that 4 in 5 consumers want ads customized to their city, zip code, or immediate surroundings. And, one-third of consumers would buy in-store instead of online knowing they 1) are close to a store, 2) can get a product quickly, and/or 3) can get better pricing.
The data goes on and on. Local searches make a difference. People want to shop locally. But, WHERE people search is online. The best way to start is to list your business online, making it more available in a hundred different ways. If you want to list your business, but you don't have time, check out the box below— we'll take care of creating your Google and Bing business listings for you!