by Bonnie Jo Davis
Every offline business wants more customers. That s why you hang signs in your window and outside your door, to attract people s attention and entice them to come in.
But if you are focusing solely on the people who walk past every day, you re missing out on the huge market that constantly looks for services online. There are 300 million internet searches performed every day and a whopping 3 billion of them are performed on a monthly basis! About half of these people are looking for local businesses to buy from. The question is whether or not they can find YOU.
This is why it s worth spending some time making sure you are listed in as many online local directories as possible. Don t restrict yourself to the people who are already walking down your street. Get yourself listed online in some of these directories and you can reel in people from further afield as well. Just imagine there are people out there who are driving around trying to find a business just like yours. If you re listed online they have the ability to find you immediately. And, if you have more than one location you can list them all so they can find the one nearest to where they are.
An offline business can list all the important information quite easily online. Your business name, address, phone number and location can all be listed. If someone searches for your kind of business online, they ll find you on search engines, online directories and local directories of all kinds. You can also make it easy for them to find you on social networking sites, which means you don t even have to have a website. Simply link to your Facebook or LinkedIn profile or whatever other social network you belong to.
In this way people can find you by using their computers or even their cell phones. Once they ve got your details they can find you with their mobile or GPS navigation devices. Could you imagine how many more customers you might get as a result of listing your business in these local directories?
You won t have to worry about customers finding incorrect information if you happen to change phone numbers or locations for some reason either. Quick changes are easy to make in order to keep your listing accurate. When you consider that most of these directories are free to use as well, you d be missing a trick if you didn t use them. The only reason you would pay to use some of them is if you wanted to have an enhanced listing to gain more visibility.
The majority of offline business owners know how important advertising is to keep their business going. But you don t want to spend more than necessary to get the results you want. These directories not only reduce PPC costs, they also reduce your overall advertising costs. So not only can you increase your revenue from being more visible to more customers, you can also do it for less cash.
What kind of savings are we talking about here? Well, think about the amount you spend on your print advertising every month. Whatever that amount might be, you ll be spending a lot less getting listed in hundreds of local directories online. These listings not only bring you direct traffic, they can also provide you with a way to brand your business on a consistent basis.
Having a website isn t necessary to enjoy all these benefits. But if you do have one you can get a one-way link back to that site further strengthening your position and credibility, especially with Google, with the search engines.
The best thing about being listed in every appropriate directory is that your customers can review your business online too. Monitor the feedback and respond to it quickly, making changes for the better as you do. As you gain more feedback and reviews you ll find you get ranked more highly in Google Places as well, so you ll be found even more often.
The only question that s left is why you haven t already started listing your business with all the online local directories?
© 2010 Davis Virtual Assistance. Publication rights granted so long as article and byline are reprinted intact, with all links made live.
Bonnie Jo Davis submits and manages offline business listings to local internet directories. She is a published author, expert in article marketing, and feels comfortable working in a virtual environment. If you need help getting your business into local directories visit http://local-map-listings.com/services-2/local-directory-submission for more information.