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Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski

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Agile Computing: Blog Post

Local Business Listings, Consumer Reviews, and PR

Consumer Reviews on a businesses local business listing will affect your website ranking position

If your business is dependent upon the local consumer for revenue then you will need to start paying attention to your local business listing.  You, also, need to know that paying attention to your local business listing is not about one location.  There are over 60 different local listing websites and search engines in four different categories.  Most allow the local consumer to post their experience about your business, products and services without your knowledge or involvement.  While this has more importance for B2C companies, it does indeed apply to B2B companies as well.

One way of describing local business listings is to call them the interactive internet yellow pages. I say "interactive" because it is a two way street. Local business listings are a convergence of search, social media and mobile marketing. More importantly they have evolved to be an excellent marketing tool for the local business.  Local business listings show up in search results on the first page and on mobile searches when the local consumer is around town.

Local businesses are defined as large local businesses, franchises, restaurants, banks, professional services, and small business.  Pretty much any business that is dependent upon the local consumer for their revenue.

local business listing consumer reviewsThe business can do more with local listings then they ever could with the traditional yellow pages. Aside from the basic business information, you can add photos, videos, coupons, and events to showcase your business, your products and services. More importantly you can update them 24x7x365.

The consumer also is interactive in this case. They get to post their review of your business, their experience with you, your products and services. What is interesting is that the business does not have to be engaged in local business listings in order for consumers to post their reviews. Websites like Angie's List, Yelp, Google, Yahoo, Bing, City Search and more are a good example how consumers have been very engaged in posting their commentary about a business (good or bad).

If you think that "getting listed" inexpensively is the solution then you need to reconsider what you know about local business listings.  The trick is to claim your listing at multiple local listing websites in order to update them with your marketing material and manage them on a regular basis.  It is estimated that less than 15% of all local business listings are claimed, therefore there is large number of local businesses that neglect this as a marketing tool and their reputation.

These local business listings represent your company's brand and your customers feel about their experience with you. Isolated negative reviews are not to be taken lightly because your prospective customers that don't know you and can only make a decision based on what they read. Any negative review will reduce the perception about your brand and consumers will think twice where to spend their money. These online reviews of your business are a powerful first impression of your brand credibility as well as a sense of security for new customers. They need to know they can trust you.

Consumers are tuning out the commercial messages that bombard them everywhere at all the times. Any opinion coming from another customer gives confidence with prospective customers. The opinion given from an existing customer with no economic interest helps to facilitate a foundation of trust.

If you're wondering how a business utilizes this marketing tool effectively at all these locations with limited time resources, then the answer lies in local business listing management services that support the business to take care of this at multiple local listing websites. The only thing you have to be careful here is that most of the companies out there are about "getting listed", which is not really what the business needs since most businesses, unless they are new, are already listed. What you need is someone who will help you setup an account, claim your listings, update, manage and maintain them for you.

Local business listing management services are provided by SmartFinds Internet Marketing. You will find this to be of great benefit to your time resources and the low cost service may eliminate your yellow page ad costs. Let the experts of over 15 years Internet marketing experience help you use this local business marketing tool properly.

More Stories By Melih Oztalay

I have over 20 years of experience in developing successful, efficient and strategic web marketing and advertising solutions for businesses. Working through an entrepreneurial framework, I have focused on business development, sales, execution, and management. Combining solid knowledge of marketing and advertising with information technology, I have been successful in being able to apply digital technologies to the needs of businesses. As an early adopter of new ideas and technology, my clients are able to benefit from imaginative and effective programs that keep them ahead of their competition.

The Company

Smartfinds is a digital marketing agency working with national and global corporate clients including domestic and off-shore franchise operations with their online marketing efforts. We offer a number of core competencies including web marketing research, analysis, strategies, and tactics; website development and SEO; organic search engine marketing with content marketing and social media marketing; Google AdWords advertising including pay-per-click; Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools interpretation; Local Store Marketing including customer ratings and reviews management; and more.

Our entrepreneurial business approach employs open-mind creativity and early-adopter assertiveness along with in-depth planning for business growth. Our goal is to be a strategic partner with our clients focused on increasing traffic to the website, business growth, generate leads, increase sales and revenues.

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