As a local business owner you wear many hats and you have countless responsibilities.   Consequently you’re not always able to follow-up on opportunities that could advance your business.  It is the nature of running a business.

Once an awhile an opportunity comes along that you absolutely should not pass up.  In this case it is  a business listing on both Google and Yahoo local.  Not only can it generate targeted traffic in your area, but the listing is FREE.  And here is another reason why you need to jump on this, it doesn’t matter if you have a web site or not, you still qualify for the free listing.

Why would you want a free business listing with Google and Yahoo?

Because they are the two largest search resources online, and account for approximately 78% of the total search results.  But even more important is the fact that your customers are searching for local products and services online in greater numbers.  In some surveys it is suggest that as much as 25% of all Internet searches are local in nature.

Your customers are turning away from the cumbersome yellow pages.  Instead their utilizing the content rich resources of the Internet.   You have to ask yourself  – if you competitors are listed and you are not, when a prospect searches online which business will most likely end up with a new customer?
How hard is it to list your business?

It can be done in less then an hour.  Below are the two locations:

Local Business Center – https://www.google.com/local/add/login?hl=en-US&gl=US

Yahoo Local – http://local.yahoo.com/ (Click on the “Add/Edit a Business “ link at the bottom of the page)

The Benefits of a Local Listing

Besides the excellent exposure, you get to list important details about your business, including:

Business Name
Address

Phone
Email address
Web address
Payment methods accepted
Brands carried
Products/services offered
Specials

In addition to company details, Google and Yahoo both provide an interactive map for locating your business.  I’m sure most of you have utilized the mapping service of either of these search engines and know how convenient it makes finding a business.   Not only can customers find out who you are, but they also can pinpoint where you are.

As I mentioned, neither of these services require a web site, but when you combine your listing with a link to a killer web site you are in position to do so serious customer conversion.   For those lacking a web site, Yahoo offers a free 5 page site.  It allows you to get a basic web presence until you get the real thing up and running.

At this point few businesses are cashing in on local Internet marketing.  For those that are the results show a higher ROI, and an improved customer conversion rate.

The future of your local business will depend on how effective you are in reaching your customers online.  Getting a free listing on Google and Yahoo Local is an excellent start.

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