A woman in an apron stands behind a wooden counter and hands two paper bags to a customer.
Online business listings are great ways to attract local customers to your business. — Getty Images/Dan Rentea

Taking advantage of free small business listings is one of the best ways to get in front of new potential customers. Of course, it’s impossible to be everywhere at once, so here are the five small business listings you should pay attention to.

Google My Business

If you only claim one small business listing outlined in this article, it should be Google My Business. Your Google My Business listing allows you to connect with potential customers across Google Search and Maps. It’s also one of the best ways to improve your local SEO.

This listing highlights important details, like your business hours, location and the services you offer. You can update this information if your hours change or you have a special promotion going on.

The biggest advantage of claiming your Google My Business listing is that it increases trust with potential customers. According to Google, businesses with a complete listing are seen as more credible and customers are 38% more likely to visit their store.

[Read more: 7 Tips to Improve Your Google Search Ranking]

Yelp for Business

If you’ve ever dreaded the thought of receiving a Yelp review, then you’re not alone. The site gets a bad rap but your Yelp for Business listing can help you get in front of more potential customers and present your business in the best light possible.

That’s because Yelp users tend to be the customers that are the most highly motivated to buy. An estimated 45% of customers will check Yelp reviews before visiting a new business, and 35% of those individuals will visit that business within 24 hours of checking its reviews.

After you claim your business listing, you’ll want to make sure not only that your profile is complete but that it stands out to potential customers. Highlight the products or services your business offers and specify what differentiates you from your competitors.

Yelp listings are a crucial part of establishing your business, so be sure to encourage your customers to leave you a review. Most businesses see a 9% increase in revenue for every new star they earn on Yelp.

[Read more: How to Encourage Customers to Leave Good Online Reviews]

Your Facebook Business page is a great place to share information about your business and encourage customers to leave reviews.

Angie’s List Business

Angie’s List is another great way to get the word out about your small business and manage your online reputation. This free listing site caters to professionals that offer health care and home contracting services.

One of the great things about Angie’s List is that the site filters out spammy, low-quality reviews. This means the reviews that do show up gain added credibility with potential customers.

Angie’s List will not only put your business in front of more customers but will also help facilitate new transactions. You can use the site’s messaging center to communicate with potential customers about job requests.

[Read more: How to Make the Most of Review Sites like Angie's List and Yelp]

Facebook Business

If you want to take advantage of your free Facebook listing, then you’ll need to set up your Facebook Business page. Once you have a Facebook Business page, your business can start showing up in relevant searches.

If you check in at your business, you can also get listed on Facebook Places, which helps new users discover businesses in their area. You can get featured on Facebook Places even if you don’t have a business page, but it works best when you use the two features in tandem.

Your Facebook Business page is a great place to share information about your business and encourage customers to leave reviews. It’s also a great way to drive traffic back to your website.

Foursquare for Business

Foursquare for Business is an established business directory that millions of people visit to discover new local businesses. Claiming your listing here is another great way to connect with new potential customers.

Claiming your listing is easy and gives you the ability to target local customers. Plus, you can highlight any special offers or discounts you have going on. However, you will have to pay a one-time fee of $20 to manage your listing so it’s not entirely free.

Foursquare users can also share feedback and photos from their visits to your business, which is a great way to encourage customer engagement. And utilizing Foursquare’s analytics will help you improve your performance over time.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published October 20, 2020