Is your business listed in local directories?
My antique shop has been around for many years so I've relied on word of mouth and our reputation in a small town up until this point. To keep my business operating, I need to consider other options. I want to start small. Is it worth spending the time to get my business listed in local directories (both online and offline). Currently, we run a small newspaper ad once a week.
At least get your business listed on google places. From there you decide what to do.
Yes. Having your business listed in a local directory is one way to maximize your business visibility online. But of course, you must be wise and try to consider the value of a directory. Is it on top of the list? Is it the most visited site? Or it has a low number of traffic. Considering these questions can help increase the chance of someone noticing your business listed and for your effort not to be wasted listing on a wrong site. Add a presence online as it is one of the most effective marketing strategy today.
I think most businesses nowadays will benefit from having a strong positive online presence. You may not realize the benefits overnight, but keep at it and slowly, you will see business growth over time.
I agree with a previous answer that if your business has been around for many years, you may already show up in different directories without knowing it. Do a quick Google search to see where your name may pop up, so you don't create or submit a duplicated entry. Plus then you can correct any mistake about your business details, perhaps an old address or outdated business hours. If you can't spend money on drawing people to your shop, then at least start with making it easy for them to find you!
yes get your business listed in Local Directories and consider doing a blog.....
Stay with the newspapers as well
Eolo chances are that if you have been in business for many years that your business is already listed in a lot of the online directories. See most of these directories basically scrap the web and pull information about businesses and populate a listing in their directory for your company.
Now, this isn't to say that you will be in all of them or even the best directories based on your industry. My advice is to start by simply searching for your company on Google and see what pops up. Go into the directories and see if you have a profile, if so first claim it, then you can optimize and link it back to your website because that is the ultimate goal; driving more traffic to your site.
This can be extremely time consuming and there are people out there just like me that offer this service for a very reasonable price if you aren't wanting to do this yourself.
For example, as part of an Online Branding I typically start with Google+, Bing & Yahoo then move on to 200 other directories and business profiles such as Manta, Local.com, Yelp and so on. Then I combine this with Social Media including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and create a custom YouTube Channel along with 5 videos.
If you're interested in learning more check out my post about this topic on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/just-how-important-online-directories-your-business-jennifer-hunt?trk=mp-reader-card.
Or if you would like a quote connect and message me directly on LinkedIn at Public Profilehttps://www.linkedin.com/in/jenniferhuntbbp.
Hope this was helpful.
Several knowledgeable answers in this thread so far. Definitely get your GoogleMyBusiness set up. From there, for about $100 you can have your site listed in the major directories from any number of credible services. I like WhiteSpark, but here is an excellent RECENT overview of the industry and top services.
Today, having a presence on the internet is almost a requirement for having a successful, sutainable business. While it's important to get listed and be able to be found, the choices can be daunting.
Here are some things to think about:
1. Who typically looks for antiques online? Where do they go to find the items they want?
2. Are they simply looking for businesses who have antiques or are they looking for other information like item, value, availability, etc.
3. How many people come to you because of the antique dealer you are as opposed to the items you might have available?
4. Is your business 'location based' or do you get inquiries from people in other cities or states looking for a particular item?
Where you show up online should take these questions into consideration.
Here are the various types of online sites you could consider for business listings:
Business listings like Yellow Pages
Business community sites like your Chamber of Commerce or Manta.
Business Review site s like Yelp
Social sites like Facebook and Alignable
Map sites like Google+ local maps.
Industry specific sites that promote your particular business type.
Surprisingly, most of these sites are free at the basic level.
What you want are sites that allow you to promote your business or your expertise. People that search today are looking for more than a name and phone number. They want to know what kind of proprietor you are and why you do what you do. They may able be looking for education on your business or the things you sell in order to make a better purchasing decision.
Here's an easy way to find out what's currently out there for you to consider. Go to google and type in Antique Shops. See who pops up. Pick the first one on the list and google their business name specifically. This will give you an idea of where they are listing their business.
Firstly an emphatic yes and I will then explain below why!
The world is changing and the way we interact with customers, suppliers, and people has been revolutionised. Just look at this site alone. There are people asking questions and others trying to help from around the world. So we should all ask ourselves “If we are doing it on the Web, would it not be feasible that our potential customers would be doing it too?”
As Scott has already said you should take your first step into Web Presence by Registration with Google My Business. This of course assumes you have a website although it is not mandatory you do not get the full benefit of any web presence if you do not have a website.
Searching on the Web is not just the Millennials (or Generation Y) but people of our generation are heavily reliant on the Web. For example one of the concerns of Facebook is the increasing use of the FB by parents is making the young generation look elsewhere. After all show me a generation wanted to do what their parents thought was cool. This would be the most uncool ever, so it is a mistake to think any customer segment by age is not using the web.
If you do not have a website get one ASAP and then get on Google My Business, and with your business I would put money on it that Facebook would be a storm (assuming you use it properly). The cost of creating a website would be the same if not less than your weekly advertising and if you get this right in 12-24 months you will not need any more advertising in a newspaper or at the very least you can cut it back the frequency.
Just to illustrate this my point, I was having lunch with a Lawyer some while ago. Conversation got to websites as this is our main business. After a lot of chit-chat he casually told me “of course my business mostly comes from referrals, so I don't really need a website”. I asked him if he had a website and he replied “No. It is a waste of time, as I said 90% of my business comes from other sources!”.
You can see the self-fulfilling prophecy here. If you don't have a well optimised and well designed website, then you won't get any business from the Internet. However, this does not mean “The Internet is not for my customers”. It just means you are not there when they are looking
Our team at RevLocal has built our entire business on the power and strength of local directories. As Walter mentions below, there are hundreds of places online where your business information can be listed. What we've seen is that any inconsistency in the information between directories could lead to data collisions online and prevent a business from getting the exposure over their competitors in local searches.
Reviews and online optimization in local directories will help your business get found when consumers are searching for what you do and don't know you by name. Your newspaper ad might slowly build your brand through repetition but you don't know if the paper readers are seeing your ad or if they're interested in your offerings.
Online optimization of your business makes sure that when people are searching for what you do, you're not only found but your online image reflects the quality of services you provide in person.
We work with several thousand small businesses across North America. If you wish to learn more, let me know.
Eolo: I love Mt. Dora. First and foremost, if you haven't done so already, register your business (for FREE) with Google My Business (https://www.google.com/business/). This will guarantee you are put at the top of Google's search results for your business. I would also suggest creating a company page on LinkedIn (also FREE). Google likes social media pages and will highlight your LinkedIn page on Page 1 of a Google search for your business. I also suggest that you create some SEO optimized videos for display on YouTube that tie into key search phrases associated with your business offering (also FREE if you have the skills to do this, otherwise expect to spend about $375 per 2 minute video to have this produced for you). Google owns YouTube and will import these almost immediately into its search rankings.
Separately, I don't know the name of the specific publication, but in the Orlando/Mt. Dora area there should be tourist books that you can look into advertising in. Also you might want to contact both the Florida division of tourism and the Central Florida/Orlando/Mt. Dora tourism centers to look into advertising opportunities. Doesn't Mt. Dora have an annual festival? Do you advertise there?
I hope this helps your thinking on the matter.