Local Business Listings on the Internet

Filed Under Small Business Marketing 

If you’re in business, whether or not you have a website, it’s time to establish your personal and professional presence on the Internet. Getting your business listed in as many places as possible on the Internet allows people who are interested in you, your products and services, to easily find you.

The once conventional means of learning about a person, a business, products and services are rapidly going by the wayside because printed material is outdated before it reaches the intended audience.

We’re all familiar with the recent news stories about centuries-old newspapers closing down. Yellow pages, the formerly definitive guide to local business, are now archaic texts in part due to the way in which their publishers require information to be submitted… up to 5 months prior to publication.

83% of all Internet searches are for local business. The Internet is how the majority of people now find local business. If you are a business owner who sells products or services to your local community, you need to be found online for two reasons. First, your competitors are. Second, they aren’t.

Here’s a short list of suggested actions to start you on the digital highway: 

1. Register your personal name as a dot com domain. For example, mine is georgannmccrosson.com. If your name is common or already taken, try adding your middle name, or middle initial. If that’s not available, try to register ‘yournameonline.com’. Dot com is preferred; however, if your name is available as dot net, then get that.

GoDaddy.com and NameCheap.com are reputable registrars. A domain will cost about $10 per year. You need only the domain name, not all the other peripheral services they try to sell you on your way to check out. If you find you want or need something from them later, you can be sure they’ll sell it to you then.

2. Even if you have no intention of doing business on the Internet or putting up a web site, register your business name as a dot com. I recommend using the full business name, not an acronym or an abbreviation. If you are incorporated or have a dba (doing business as) name, register both the corporate name and the dba domains. Same recommendation goes here for the dot com vs. dot net. If dot com isn’t available, register the dot net version.

*Note – If you already have a domain that’s an acronym or abbreviation of the business name, see if you can still get the full business name as a dot com. If you can, get it. Your webmaster can use their magic powers to make the old and new domain names work together so the new one comes up even when the old one is typed in.

3. List your business on Google at http://www.google.com/local. Think of this listing as the jack daddy of business directories. NOTE: Google gets an estimated 65-85% of all search traffic. If you do only one thing, do this one.

You do not need a web site or a domain name to list your business on Google; however you will have to set up a gmail account. More info on that a little further down in this article.

4. List your business on Yahoo at https://local.adcentral.yahoo.com/locallistings/us/i2

*Note – you will have to set up accounts at both Google and Yahoo to list your business. Your user name will be an email address. I suggest using your businessname@gmail.com and businessname@yahoo.com. If your business name is not available, add your business zip code or city name to the account name (ex: alspizza92408@gmail.com or alspizzalosangeles@gmail.com).

While you’re setting up a business account with Google & Yahoo, I recommend you also secure your personal name as an email address. Mine is georgann.mccrosson@gmail.com. You don’t have to put the ‘dot’ between your first and last names, but that variation gives you some leeway.

5. Do a listing on MSN Local – http://www.addme.com/msn-local-business-listing.htm. MSN/Bing is barely on the radar as a search engine, but it is a search engine and it is owned by MicroSoft. Best to cover your bases.

These five steps will get you on your way to securing your good name on the Internet. There’s more (lots more) to come. But for now, if you’ve completed the things listed in this article, you’ve done good.

I specialize in creating customized marketing solutions for small business. Contact me at georgann at catchphrasemarketing dot com, or call me at 888-494-8445 to discuss how you can get more clients and increase profitability without increasing marketing expenses. Yes, you really CAN have it all!

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2 Responses to “Local Business Listings on the Internet”

  1. PaT Manhart on July 26th, 2009 3:55 pm

    This is very good information–a lot that I was not aware of. I will get registared on Google–hopefully today. Thank yu for including me on your list for this information.

  2. Shelly on May 25th, 2010 12:49 am

    That’s an excellent resource for people to utilize in their local business strategy.

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