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The Process of Creating and Maintaining a Local Business Directory Listing

Local business directory listings are important because they improve the company’s exposure. They target specific areas, meaning you will be reaching out to a targeted audience. Most listings are free of charge. The process of creating local directory listings varies from one local business directory to the next. There are, however, some processes that are common across the board.

You will be required to give your contact information such as your email address and your phone number in all local directory listings. You will also provide the actual location of the business for mapping purposes. You are allowed to include a brief description of your business. You are also allowed a link to your website.

Once you have created a local business directory listing, you need to regularly maintain the listing for it to give you consistently high results. Note that there will be high competition for placement and you need to go out of your way to maintain your ranking. It is also important that you note you are unlikely to get a high ranking on your first try.

For effective local directory listings, information has to be updated regularly. As an example, change the phone number in your listing if and when you change it. Most people want to call you to ask for directions. Another example is that you should change your location on the listing should your premises change locations.

Use your local business directory listing to advertise as many products/services as possible. These should be listed in a product/service catalog. Giving your prospective customers/clients a wide choice is advantageous in that you will attract a lot more people and you will get referral and return customers/clients.

People who use local directory listings to run promotions get positive results. Selling offers and running promotions attract customers, but you have to post promotions regularly to prevent the pushing of your listing further down search engine results pages (SERPs). Take down expired promotions since they will do more harm than good.

For proper maintenance of local directory listings, study what your competitors are doing. This is important because it ensures that you take action that is likely to give you an edge. Start off with as many local business directory listings as possible and use online analytics to determine which are working and which are not. You could do a simple Google search to determine where you rank on SERPs on different local business directories. Once you have determined where you are most prominent, put all your efforts here.


What do you Look for in a Business Listing Directory?

There are many business listing directories. You could hire a business listing service to help you with your listing. The best business directories are those by Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Other notable business directories include Yelp, YellowPages.com, Yellowbook, Local.com, Foursquare, ThinkLocal, MyCity, ocalEze, Local Site Submit, Localize It, Network Solutions, CityVoter, Zipweb, Yellowassistance, MojoPages, TeleAtlas, and Judysbook, among hundreds others. Given the big number of these directories, it follows that getting a good business listing directory is not always easy. Knowing what to look for in a directory will help you make an informed decision.

A good business listing directory is one that has guaranteed results. Google Places shows results in the first page of its search engine results page (SERP), including a map. Go for business listing directories that have been tried and tested. One way of determining the effectiveness of a business listing service is by doing a simple Google search with the type of business and the location (such as ‘barber in New York). A good business listing service will have its results very high in the search engine results pages.

Go for a business listing directory that provides a search engine optimization (SEO) tool since this means you will be killing two birds with one stone. Google, Yahoo, and Bing’s business listing directories have such tools.

Consider the submission features, including how your information is submitted to the directory. A good company is one that does manual submission. This is because people trust the listings by such companies more and being listed here will, therefore, bring you out as being credible. Listing in a manual submission business listing directory also helps your SEO efforts. Also important is the frequency of adding information on your listing. A good business listing service will give you tips on how to improve your overall listing experience.

Go for a business listing service that does listing in directories that offer report tools. These tools are important because they help you determine where your info is posted and the traffic your listings are getting. With this information, you will be able to make informed decisions such as where you need to lay emphasis. Go for a business listing directory that allows for customer reviews and ratings of your business and its products. These reviews improve your ranking in SERPs and they add to your credibility.

Go for a business listing service that adds your company’s information to as many directories as possible. These include local maps, mobile maps, and phone assistance sites like 411 and TellMe. The cost of the listing is also important. Note that some of the best business listing directories such as Google Places are free of charge.


Finding the Best Local Directory Service: Important Tips

A local business listing in a directory listing service is advantageous in that you will reach millions of people from around the world at a fraction of what you would have used with traditional advertising such as classified ads, you will reach a targeted Web traffic, you will get search engine optimization (SEO) since you will use one way links, and you get to give contact information, a description (including pictures) of your business, and a map to your business, meaning you are more likely to attract Web traffic to your site. There are many local directory services and making a choice is not always easy. There are several tips that will help you get the best local directory service and these are:

Number of hits – you should only go for a directory that has a high number of hits. Look through statistics before making your decision. As an example, Yell.com gets over six million hits monthly.

Credibility and reliability – go for well-established local directory service since this is the only way to ensure that you get value for money. Some of the top local business listing directories are Google Local Search, Yahoo! Local Search, MSN Local, Ask.com’s Local Search Directory, Yelp.com, YellowPages, YellowBook, and CitySearch.

Your niche – go for local business listing directories in your niche to get a targeted Web traffic. If you go for a general directory, ensure that it has categories and subcategories so that Web users can find you easily.

Cost – only a few local business listing directories such as CitySearch are paid-only – most directories offer free listings. You should however consider paid listings since you get greater visibility. Different directories have different costs for paid listings and you should therefore compare different options, not forgetting the number of hits you are getting. Go for a directory that has incentives.

Tracking – go for a local directory service that enables you to track your progress and the campaigns of your competitors. This is important because you will then be able to make the necessary adjustments in your strategy.

You could get tips on the best local business listing directories from recommendations from people who have used such listings before or you could consider what your successful competitors are doing. You could also get tips on credible and reliable local directory services from online discussion forums and independent reviews.


How to Go About Google Business Directory Listing

There are many directories that offer business directory listing. Some of the top directories are Yell.com, which has over six million hits monthly and which offers free business listings, BlueURL Business Directory, which provides business and non-profit listings, MSN Local, which includes Live Search Maps, Mast Business Directory, which offers website listing on a one-time review fee basis, aGoodDir.com, e Business Directory, Business.com, and Yahoo! Local.

The undisputed leader in local business listings is however Google Local Search, thanks to the Google search engine. Listing in Google is advantageous in that the website gets millions of hits each month, meaning your website will get more hits than with other directories. The directory is also advantageous in that it is free of charge, but you can list in the paid listing for greater visibility. So, how do you get a Google local business listing?

You do not need to hire a pro to help you with a Google local business listing. The step-by-step guide is detailed below:

The first step in listing with Google is going to Google and performing a search for ‘Google Places’.

Click on the very first result you get. You will be asked to login using your Google account.

Create an account by following the prompts given. This is free of charge and it takes approximately 40 seconds to complete.

You will get a prompt to add your business in the business directory listing.

Fill in as much info about your business as you can. Upload the photo of your logo as well as photos of your staff members, your shop’s front, your products, and everything else that is likely to help your business.

You will be required to verify your Google Business Listing. This could be by phone or through your mail in the form of an activation code delivered in a postcard. Verification by telephone is the best option since you will get instant results while a postcard can take up to 3 weeks to reach you.

After verification, you can create special offers or coupons to the visitors who visit your Google Places business directory listing. Note that you will be competing to stay up in the Google local business listing and you should therefore do everything possible to stay up. You could do two things:

1. Seek listing with other directories with the same information as that used in the Google business listing.

2. Get reviews in the Google directory and in other directories. Five reviews will get you a star rating in Google Places.


Top Local Business Listing Directories

It is difficult to overstate the importance of listing a business in a business listing directory. Listing your business increases its exposure, meaning you will get greater ROI or return on investment. Listing is one of the cheapest advertising methods and it helps you to reach a targeted Web traffic. Listing is also advantageous in that it leads to search engine optimization (SEO) since it involves the use of one way links. You should only go to local directory services that offer listing in credible and reputable local business listing directories since such directories have a lot of hits and this will mean more hits for your site. Some of the top local directory services (in no particular order) are:

Yell.com – this local business directory gets over 6 million hits monthly. The directory offers free business listings, but you can customize your listing by adding a description and photos for a fee.

BlueURL Business Directory – this is a worldwide business listing directory that provides businesses and non-profit listings. The directory provides information across different geographical regions and industries.

Google Local Search – this is undoubtedly the top business listing directory listing in the world, thanks to the Google search engine.

MSN Local – this directory includes Live Search Maps. MSN Local is particular popular in the U.S.

Mast Business Directory – this business directory offers website listing on a one-time review fee basis.

aGoodDir.com – this directory lists thousands of suppliers of both services and products in the U.S.

e Business Directory – the directory features listings for local businesses as well as non-profit listings.

Business.com – this is a business search engine as well as a directory that includes company listings.

Yahoo! Local – this is the 2nd most popular local business listing directory. The directory is powered by Yahoo, which is still a popular search engine despite Google eating into its market share. The business directory allows people to find businesses in their neighbourhood and beyond. It gives the names and the phone numbers of local businesses and services and it also features information related to the businesses and services.

You should also consider going for a business listing directory in your niche. As an example, if you are in the flower industry, the top local business listing directories are:

* Locate A Flower Shop
* Find A Florist
* Flower Shop Network
* Local Flower Shop
* FTD Florists Online
* iLocal Florist

Other top local business directories are Ask.com’s Local Search Directory, CitySearch, which is paid-only, AOL Local, and Dexknows.com, which are sponsored by telephone companies, YellowPages, YellowBook, Merchant Circle, Topix, Insider Pages, and SuperPages.com.