Five ways to get your local business listed online

Online visibility is the new word-of-mouth. These days, everyone is online, including your potential customers. Traditional marketing strategies alone aren’t enough to attract new business.

As a small-business owner, with a small budget and limited resources, you may wonder: How can I boost my online visibility without spending a lot of time or money? And in a way that will actually bring business through the shop door?

You need to learn about local Internet marketing – online marketing that’s designed to drive business not just to your website, but into your establishment. “We know that 86 percent of consumers who use Internet search engines to find a local product or service follow up with a phone call or an in-store visit,” says Jay Bean, CEO of OrangeSoda, experts in local internet marketing. “And 61 percent end up making their purchase offline.”

You need to get your business listed online, and OrangeSoda offers these five tips for getting the ball rolling:

1. Get your business listed on Google Maps.

Google Maps are visual and draw potential clients. When someone uses Google Maps to search for a local business, the first three to seven listings display a company name and phone number. Searchers on-the-go, who are ready to come in and make a purchase, also use Google Maps to find local businesses from their smart phones. To help you make the list, you need a strong profile and people talking about your business online.

2. Use search engines to run local ads.

Search engine ads can drive business to your door more efficiently because potential customers who see your message are already searching for your product online. With traditional marketing tactics, you can only hope that your product or service is relevant to some of those who view it; with search engine marketing, you know it is relevant to viewers. Google offers text ads that return results related to the words someone types into the search engine. You can also buy ads set to trigger when someone within a defined geographical zone types in a search term that relates to your business. Or, you can set your ad to appear when someone adds a specific city name or state to their online search.

3. Improve your search engine ranking.

Local SEO drives traffic to your website. You can influence where your business appears in a list of results when someone searches for terms that relate to your business, product or service. Your goal is to be in the right location on the search results page, so you get the most customers.

4. Get listed in online business directories.

You’ll find countless websites, including the well-known Yellowpages, where you can list your business. Listing on the right sites means someone can quickly find your business name, address and phone number when they search for your business name or when they search for a category that relates to your business.

5. Get listed on social networking websites.

Google indexes videos from YouTube, news and images from Facebook, Twitter and other content from social networking websites. When someone does a search, these references are usually at the top of the list, right near your website. Social media gets your business more visibility and offers ways for people to reach out to you directly. You can also customize the address of your social media sites so that it helps your search engine rankings.

If you’re not sure how to go about it, local marketing can be a time-consuming process. Fortunately, it’s easy to find help.

“We cover every aspect of Internet marketing – paid listings, organic listings and maps listings on the search engine results page,” says Bean. “We’re a one-stop shop and we do everything so you don’t have to waste your time doing it yourself.”

To learn more about local Internet marketing, visit