If you are a small business owner looking at starting a local search marketing campaign you’ve probably already realized that there are a lot of free business listing sites available. And it can be a lot of work and take a lot of time submitting your business to all of those sites. So it’s important to you that you get started with the right submissions. The ones that offer the most bang for your time. So to help get you started here are 7 of the best sites to submit your business listing too. Of course you won’t want to stop here. This is just meant as a starting point. Here are two things for you to consider though. One keep your listings consistent by using the same basic information and two be as complete as possible with every listing.
1. Google Places – Of course Google is the de facto place of all the free business listing sites. Google gets more searches than any other search engine. But with Google your listing can really gain some traction. If you haven’t already noticed Google searches include maps when that search is local. So your listing can end up on the map. It’s not guaranteed but with a little bit of work it can happen. And Google can bring you a lot of customers. No one can tell you what exactly it will take to end up on the top of a local search for your type of business. But claiming your free listing is the first step to take. That’s for sure. One note about Google Places. They’ll want to verify your business exists where you say it does. So they will want to send a post card with a verification code to your business address. They say that you’ll see this card in 3-5 business days. It’s really 2-4 weeks so be patient.
2. Yahoo Local – Of course the next biggie in the local search game is Yahoo. Yahoo is similar to Google. The goal is to show up on the map. So start by filling in all of your listing information. And just like Google Yahoo wants to verify you exist where you say you do. So again patience is the key because it can take longer than they say to get your post card.
3. Bing Local – Now we can’t leave Bing out now can we. Bing owned by Microsoft is sort of the new player in the game of local search. But they’re catching up quickly. So make sure to get your listing done and as before wait it out. Your postcard will arrive.
4. Local.com – Unlike the top three Local.com falls into a different category of free business listing sites. This type of site lets you set up a business listing but they’re not a regular search engine. This site is meant for locals to use to find businesses in their area. It encourages user interaction. They like customer reviews and always want more. But it’s also great for reinforcing what search engines already know about you.
5. MerchantCircle.com – Now this site is really business friendly. Not only can you get listed but you can network with other business owners in your area. You can offer customer promotions and actually build your reputation with customers here. A good place for any small business owner to get listed. Definitely one of the better free business listing sites.
6. ThinkLocal.com – This site is another good one for local listings. It seems to be very user friendly. Customers can submit reviews of businesses and they incorporate Google maps to make businesses easier to find. Definitely a good site to get your free business listing.
7. CitySquares.com – Another good free business listing site. The one problem with them is not in the listing but the reviews. They do make it possible for fake reviews to be submitted. And you can definitely spot them on the site. But otherwise another good starting point for your local campaign.
Of course there are other sites. These are just some good places to get started. And the reason these are listed instead of sites like SuperPages.com is that they are not yellow page websites. These are just free business listing sites that can help get a local search campaign started.
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