When was the last time you sprawled a crinkled paper map across the dashboard of your car?

Severely limited in their practicality, paper maps are a piece of litter from the past, and digital technology has rightfully filled their shoes. That worn-out map still tucked in your glove box has its limits, and phone book directories are a distant memory, too. 80 percent of internet users use a search engine to discover a local business and its location. They simply search, click on the business, and their smart device voices a verbal direction, even in an accent of the handler’s choosing.

This is especially useful if the consumer is a traveler, a new citizen, or simply doesn’t know if a service is provided in their area. Or maybe they do know, but have no idea where your business is located.

Whatever the case, it’s important to get your business on a digital map and increase your chances of getting new, loyal customers by using the latest local search marketing techniques.

For example,  consider you’re the business owner of a hair salon in a small town. A new family has recently moved to the neighborhood. The woman of the house is tired, exhausted, and in serious need of ‘me time.’ A justifiable hour of pampering is in order. She hops on her smartphone, types ‘hair salon near me’ in her favorite search engine, and she’s rewarded with four local businesses within a five-mile radius. If your business isn’t listed, you’ve lost a potential client.

It’s important to add your business listing to as many professional marketing companies as possible. Just the thought of that can be overwhelming, but the following article will provide a few of the more popular places you can consider.

Search Engines

A business website is not an option anymore; it’s a requirement. If you have a business website, your business will show up on search engine queries if a customer types your business name into the search box.

Sites like JustDial, Google My Business etc. are great places to start. Sign up with them and they will distribute your business information to Google Maps plus Google Search results as well as smaller, third party search engines such as Yelp and Bing.

Social Media

If your business does not have a professional social media page, you should consider adding one and managing it with proper care immediately. Customers, especially younger customers, are more likely to buy and frequent businesses with a social media presence. A few places to consider are Facebook, LinkedIn, and Foursquare.

Travel Websites

No matter what city your business is located in, there will be travelers passing through, and most often than not, staying for a day or two.

People need food, people want to shop, and people want to see what the town has to offer. But before they do all that, most will have researched your town when they planned their vacation weeks or months ago. It’s important that you’ve already made your business known before they arrive.

TripAdvisor, Expedia, and Travelocity are excellent, travel-based web pages to list your business.

Digital Directories

Digital directories have replaced the phonebooks of yesteryear. Consider listing your business in one of these so potential customers can easily find you.

Many towns and cities have a website. This allows them to easily display what they have to offer for their citizens and tourists. Most of these websites will have a business directory section where you can easily list your business.

Along with your city’s website, give Yellowbook and Discover Our Town a try.

Global Positioning Systems (GPS)

GPS manufacturers often pull business information from other sites. Some include the above examples listed, but it’s important to place your business on as many digital devices as possible.

Hiring GPS Data Team is the best place to begin a GPS listing. They will distribute your business information to companies who manufacture GPS devices, such as Garmin.

Sometimes, listing your business comes at a price. Be aware of alternatives, and carefully consider your options and what’s best for your company before you purchase.

Since it’s the 21st century and the digital age, customers are using the internet to find companies and products and services they need. If you can increase your business’s web presence, it will be much easier for your customers to find you. You’ll grow your brand awareness and customer loyalty with comprehensive, local search marketing techniques.

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