23 May 5 Best Free Local Online Business Listings to Promote Your Auto Business Online
Local business listings are a powerful new way customers are finding businesses online. Customers love these listings because they can see multiple local businesses complete with contact information, directions, and other customers’ reviews. More and more people are searching for businesses on these local listings – both on computers, and with their phones – but is your business being found?
Nearly all of the major business listings are free to join, and require little setup time. To make sure your auto appearance business is attracting maximum customers, Rightlook.com gives you 5 free and easy local listings that will get you more exposure online.
*Note for Mobile Businesses
All of the following listings require a physical location to list, but that doesn’t mean your mobile business can’t be listed. If you have a mobile business, pick one mailing address you have access to, use the same one for every listing, and make it clear on all of your listings that you are a mobile business.
If you’ve ever searched for a business on Google, you may have noticed the map, and the “A, B, C” location listings in your search results. Those lettered results and the corresponding points on the map link to an online business listing called a Google Places page. If you haven’t already, get your business on that list by following the simple steps below.
How to List on Google Places and Google Maps
To list your business for free on Google Places, go to http://www.google.com/places/ and follow the directions to “Get your business found on Google.” You will need to have a Google account, so use an appropriate business account, or create a new one (this is also fast, easy, and free). Since Google takes information from all over the internet, your location may already have been recorded. Google will have you enter your business phone number to see if your location already exists. If so, Google will walk you through steps of verifying yourself as the business owner. If not, adding and claiming a new business is straightforward – just follow the steps provided.
Google competitor, Bing, also has an online local listing. Google may be the most popular search engine, but Bing has gained a strong following as well, and with free local listings, what do you have to lose?
How to List on Bing Local
To get your business on Bing’s listing, go to http://www.bing.com/businessportal/ and click “Get Started Now!” Similar to Google Places, you will see if your location already exists, add it if not, and then go about claiming the listing as your own.
That’s right, Yahoo has local search pages too, and a powerful business database that plenty of people use to find local businesses organized by service type. Yahoo offers both a basic listing (free) and an Enhanced listing (monthly fee), but we recommend at least getting the free listing.
How to List on Yahoo Local
To list with Yahoo, go to http://listings.local.yahoo.com/ and hit “Sign Up.” You can actually use your Google account to sign into Yahoo, so plug that in and follow the prompts to find, add, and claim your business.
Yelp is yet another local business website, but with a stronger social media feel. Customers that have a Yelp account can build a personal profile and then go about rating local businesses. Yelp has become a favorite listing among search engines, and has become especially popular with the Yelp mobile smartphone app, so this is a must for any local business.
How to List on Yelp
To start, go to https://biz.yelp.com/ and click “Create your free account now.” Hopefully you’ve gotten the hang of this by now, so you can follow the prompts to get your business on there. A tricky part about Yelp, like Google Places, is that your business may already be on there, so be sure to do a search before creating a whole new business (Yelp will walk you through this). You’ll then be asked to verify ownership of your business via phone.
MerchantCircle is another enriched business listing site that includes reviews, articles, and social media integration. More importantly it’s free to join and will get your business in front of even more customers.
How to List on MerchantCircle
To get in on MerchantCircle, head to http://www.merchantcircle.com/corporate/landing/signup.html and follow the steps for local businesses. Again, you may want to search the database for your business first. If you find it, you can then claim the business as your own and follow a similar set of steps.
Local Business Listings – Best Practices:
When you sign up for any of these listings, they give you a lot of different fields to enter business information. This may include hours of operation, pictures, history, and other potential business content. Many of them may be optional to list, but entering all business information is mandatory if you want to list better than your competitors.
For best results, fill out as much information as possible for every listing and make sure it is the same information everywhere. It might take a bit of time, but customers want to see rich, engaging listings online. Give customers every method of getting in contact with you including phone, email, mailing address, and your social media. Also upload pictures and videos when available. Promote a discount or coupon too if the site allows it (many do). Once customers do get into your store ask for reviews since good reviews will give you better search rankings.
Besides the reviews these sites need little to no upkeep, so once you set them up you’re good to go. By putting in the time to use all the tools these listings provide, you’ll get better results and more customers online.