In this crackerjack good, no-fluff read you’re going to find out how to spend just $5 and five minutes to get dozens of free local listings, pointing Google juice back to your local business and putting YOUR business on the map.
Free Local Listing is Important to YOUR Bottom Line
In this day and age it’s nearly as important to let robots know about your biz as it is to advertise to humans.
Google takes its cue from dozens of local directories when it’s deciding who belongs on the front page. One of the FIRST ways that happens is by creating a lot of references about your business on other websites.
Both humans and Google use these references to find what they’re looking for. And now, since most of these ways of getting listed are free, to stay competitive you MUST cast your net as wide as possible.
Free Local Listing Method #1
If you have lots of time on your hands, you can go to each of these directories and enter your information by hand.
I do recommend that you visit each of these, whether you begin free accounts or not, so you can get a feel for what each provides to its users.
If you do visit and create accounts with each of these fellas, here’s what you’ll need:
- Your Business name
- Business owner’s name(s)
- Your Business physical address. This can be your home address as well
- Your Business phone (some folks use multiple numbers. Don’t do this, it can bite ya)
- Business e-mail (again, ONE email. We can set up tracking other ways)
- Website Address (don’t forget the http:// part)
- Description (BEFORE you enter this, see the Five Steps to Your Killer USP post on this site)
- Category of business
- Company logo
- Keywords (see Get Found on Google Locally: Front Page, ZERO Ad Spend)
- Payment Methods Accepted
- Hours of Operation
If you’re going to do these by hand, I recommend that you get all the above info on a Word doc or some such, then go around to each of the above sites… copy and paste. It’s very important for your name, hours of operation, etc to be exactly the same across the board.
Free Local Listing Method #2: The LAZY Man’s Method
I’m the resident lazy man around here, so for repetitive tasks like these I use Fiverr.
Here’s a fella you might wanna look into:
He’ll also populate a Google Places for ya, if you give him a gmail password (it doesn’t have to be your main one, and you can change the password right after).
Habib ^ will give you some 30 free listings, and a report of each one that he visited.
Worth the fiver(r) if you’re asking this kid.
What to Expect from Free Local Listings – Good and Bad
Let’s go with BAD first.
Any dog owner that uses postive reinforcement training knows that “nothing in life is free”… so while these listings don’t cost you anything dollar-wise… they will paint a big target on your back that says “SELL ME ADVERTISING”.
You can expect that the Yelp mafia will have you in their sites, leaning on you for paid upgrades. Don’t fall for the ‘enhanced listing’. Their rep is what they want to protect, not you. If it’s ever even a HINT of a choice between their ‘unbiased’ reputation with free users and their loyalty to their paid advertisers… they won’t go your way.
Also, sure as the sun… the SEO gang will be calling your business number, pretending to be reps from Google but really shaking you down for monthly fees to “improve your listing”.
Okay. Now the good.
You will have cast wide your net of possible routes of contact to your business. If you’ve got a good USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and brief but clear description of what your business does for a specific target audience… when a member of that audience happens across your listing they will call.
That’s money in your pocket, without spending on advertising. Well, without spending more than five bucks if you went with option #2 above.
You can also expect lots and lots of Google Juice… multiple references to your website from local directories really raises the roof as far as your cred with the robots goes. If the message is consistent across the board for what your business does for people(signalling “relevance”), having multiple inroads to your site will skyrocket your standing in the local search results.
MORE Stuff to Know and Things to Expect from Your Free Local Listing
Okay, gang… this post is unfinished. I’ll come back with more spit and polish but for now it’s important to get this vital info to you as it is, broad strokes only, warts and all.
See something I’m missing here? Suggest an improvement? Gotta question? Leave a comment below and I’ll personally email you when we update the post. Thanks Steppers! Bye for now.