Free Online Advertising to Increase Your Local Business Presence

SCE Federal Credit Union Provides Entrepreneurs with Free Ways to Promote Their Business

Aug 01, 2011 | Business

Remember when the phone book was the only way to find a local business? Searching for a product or service has greatly changed with the internet and the various search engines.

While the internet has given us access to the entire world... literally... many people still prefer to do business locally and are searching online or on their mobile devices. In fact, with over 71 billion searches, 25-30% of the searches are local – and that number increases daily. That's why it's important to maintain a local presence.

Small business owners should take advantage of the FREE listing services offered by Google Places, Yahoo! Local, Bing Business Portal, and Yelp for Business. Think of these as free websites... even if you don't have a business website of your own.

To get started, do a search for your business on each of the provider's sites. If your business appears, make sure you claim your business and update the information accordingly. If it doesn't, then simply add your information. Don't forget to include your hours of operation. If done correctly, your business could land on Page 1 searches on Google, Yahoo!, Bing or Yelp, helping you to:

  • Attract more local customers
  • Increase your online visibility
  • Promote your product or service
  • Get listed on maps

You can even offer coupons on these sites to promote even more business! Create printable coupons for specials and deals to entice people to come visit your store or restaurant. Offer Promo Codes for online purchases. The ideas and uses are endless. Just remember to keep your promotion fresh and update it on a regular basis.

Here are 3 things you can do to leverage your listings to get more visibility:

  1. Before you begin, develop your business description using specific keywords. Keywords are words or phrases a person might use to find your business in a search engine. i.e., pizza, Italian restaurant, pizza delivery, etc.
  2. List all information possible about your business on each site. Missing information tends to demote your business listing, causing it to fall further from the top of the list.
  3. When listing your business on other sites or directories, be sure to use the exact same name every time. For example, if you listed your business as "ABC Pizza" on one site, make sure not to list it as "ABC Pizza Inc" on another.

These sites have so much to offer the local business community, yet many businesses have not claimed their Google Place, updated Yahoo! Local, completed their Yelp for Business or Bing Business Portal. In many instances, the information presented is outdated. If your business has moved, the map location could be incorrect. So go get your free local advertising and stir up more business right now!