Chisom Ezeneche is a Public Relations and Corporate Communications Professional
An amazing advantage of being local is the opportunity to be known and visited by customers in your locale, who have a need for your product or service. However, in a digitally optimized world, where customers actively search for local businesses online, being local also implies being visible in online business directories – the local listings.
While there are a thousand and one reasons why you should be listed in local directories like Google My Business, Yelp, Bing Places, Facebook, Yahoo etc., to help searchers find your business, here are my three major pointers.
Increase Brand Visibility: The sole aim of local listings is to make your business visible to searchers on the internet. The more online directories you add your business to, the more frequently your brand will appear in search results, thereby boosting your SEO and website traffic. With a unique business profile, prospects and customers can easily recognize your brand, and ultimately, pay you a visit.
Improve Brand Reputation: Online directories subject businesses to several validation processes to ensure the authenticity of the brand. This automatically confers a positive brand reputation on your business when customers are searching. Also, reviews are a good measure of reputation, as customers are allowed to leave a review about their experience with your product or service.
Complement Marketing/Advertising Strategies: Local listing is a strategy of local search marketing to reach local audiences who are searching for what you offer. While you pay to advertise on search engines, being listed on some local directories are absolutely free and very cost-effective for your business. However, to the main top position in SERPs, local listings and ad result pages, advertising is a way to go.
Whether you are an established brand, a start-up or SME, being local online is instrumental to building an effective corporate brand and your brand’s business growth and development over time. From visibility to favourable reputation and targeted marketing strategies, you are well on your way to growing your customer base, and ultimately, increasing ROI.