“Let Your Fingers Do the Walking. . .“ That was an old advertising slogan used to promote those bulky old yellow telephone directories. But today, savvy shoppers looking for local businesses aren’t bothering with a telephone directory. They are looking for you online and it’s up to you to make sure that they’re able to find your business information quickly and easily.
A quick, cost-effective way to increase your online visibility is to register for search engine business listings with Google Places, Bing Business Portal and Yahoo Local Listings.
Talk about a cost-effective way to increase your visibility? Each of these is available free of charge.
Once you are listed, whenever anyone using these search engines looks for your particular business category in your area, your contact information will appear in the list.
It only takes a few minutes to claim your listings. Why not get started now?
To register your business listing with Google Places for Businesses go to www.google.com/places. Use your Google business account. If you don’t have an account, you can create one for free using the sign up link. Every business with a mailing address is eligible for a listing.
Once you are listed, whenever anyone using Google.com searches your area for your particular business category, your information will appear in the “Places” list with a map pinpointing your location on Google Maps. If you work out of your home and prefer not to list your address, you can choose to designate your service area instead.
Bing offers a similar local listing service. To claim your listing, go to the Bing Business Portal at http://www.bing.com/businessportal/. In addition to your listing, you can add your logo, hours of operation and select categories for your business to appear in. At this time, this service is only available in the United States.
Yahoo Local Listings
Yahoo has their own version of Local Listings at http://listings.local.yahoo.com/ (USA only). The basic listing includes your business name with contact information, website, hours of operation and a spot to list your products and services. You can choose a free basic listing or add enhanced features for an additional charge.