The 5 Best Tools You Should Be Using to Market Your Local Business

Mobile devices and local searches go together like peanut butter and jelly.

If you’re a local business, guess what method people use to find you?

They’re looking for your business on their mobile devices. If you’re not aware of this or optimizing for it, you’re leaving money on the table.

Smartphones and tablets have made it easier than ever before for prospective customers to search for businesses in their areas and to find any pertinent information to influence their purchasing decisions.

In fact, “60 percent of American adults use smartphones and tablets to search for local product and service information.”

Furthermore, “50 percent of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day, and 34 percent who searched on a computer/tablet did the same.”

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Within seconds, potential customers can see what product/service a business offers, get directions, and find contact information.

I do this myself all the time. I live in a big city. There are always great new places to discover, and I know I can find these places, check what they offer, and discover their ratings with just a few taps on my phone.

Because of the simplicity and convenience of the local search, one thing is true for smart local businesses who capitalize on it: increased sales.

In theory, one out of every two individuals who find your business through their smartphones will actually visit your business that very day.

Studies have even found that “18 percent of mobile searches lead to a sale within one day.” That’s pretty impressive!

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But we need to ask a question: how do you capitalize on this sales-ready segment of the population? How can you make sure your business is placed front and center before their eyes?

It doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, if you use these four tools, you’re virtually guaranteed a position at the top.

I’ve seen businesses rise from having zero online presence to dominating their local markets simply by using these tools. You can do it too.

Want to automate your local business marketing? Check out this 5 tools that would be effective for you.

Here are the tools you should be using.

1. Google My Business

Did you know that 46% of all searches on Google are local searches?

That’s right. Nearly half of the people checking out your business online will be located within your immediate geographical area.

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To ensure that prospects are finding your business, you’ll need to be active on Google My Business.

I personally can’t even count the number of times a week I use my smartphone to search for business info via Google.

I also find myself using the “Okay, Google” voice search feature more and more. It’s quick. It’s easy. It’s hands-free. By and large, it’s quite accurate in matching my voice commands.

Getting set up on Google My Business is simple. First, visit the site: https://www.google.com/business/.

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Next, register and fill out all pertinent business information.

I also recommend including plenty of pictures (at least five) so that prospective leads can get a better sense of what your business is all about.

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Once you’re set up, you can painlessly manage everything from your dashboard.

More specifically, you can:

  • Stay updated on customer reviews
  • Get insights on the way people are interacting (e.g., the number of views and clicks you receive)
  • Check the number of requests for driving directions to your business
  • See the number of people ultimately visiting your website

For me, the more data, the better.

The more information I can accumulate, the easier it is for me to spot patterns and trends so that I can make necessary adjustments.

That’s why I really like this tool. It gives me comprehensive data so that I can make highly informed decisions.

Like most platforms from Google, Google My Business is intuitive and user friendly, so there shouldn’t be much of a learning curve.

You can also update your profile when necessary to ensure your information is always current.

2. Yelp

In my opinion, Yelp is the second most important tool after Google.

Some marketers have even gone so far as to say that having your business listed on Yelp is more important than having a website.

While I wouldn’t go that far, I do think being featured on Yelp is pretty much a necessity these days.

As of March 2016, Yelp received 145 million unique visitors per month and is one of the go-to sites for finding information on local businesses.

People use it to find contact info, business hours, pictures, reviews, and more.

If you’re able to get a solid list of reviews and a strong rating, you can bet that your sales are going to increase and your brand equity will grow.

To get set up, you’ll need to first claim your business  and visit the mobile download site to use the mobile app for business owners.

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From that page, Yelp will send you a link so that you can manage your page from your mobile device.

Using this app is awesome because you can:

  • Seamlessly manage your page
  • Engage with customers
  • Track visitor engagement
  • Monitor leads
  • Respond to reviews and overall feedback

Just remember you’ll want to fill out your profile completely and include enough info to answer any common questions customers may have.

Again, I recommend including plenty of pictures.

3. Facebook Pages Manager

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The fact that I mentioned Facebook probably doesn’t come as any surprise.

Facebook is a huge deal, so it only makes sense that you’ll want to use Facebook Pages Manager. Visit this page to download the app.

Simply download the app for your iOS or Android device, and you can manage your business’s presence on Facebook with the utmost level of control and efficiency.

Use it to do the following:

  • Post updates, photos, and videos
  • Respond to comments on your page
  • View and reply to messages
  • Get push notifications for page activity, tips, and reminders
  • View your Page Insights
  • Manage your settings and page roles

This app serves as a streamlined way to manage your Facebook account from your mobile device and stay in close contact with your customers.

I like it because I can stay on top of things no matter where I’m at—even if I’m out of the country.

Having a presence on Facebook and advertising on Facebook matters.

For better or worse, people trust Facebook. Facebook serves as a tool for people to discover new friends, keep up with the news, stay in touch with family, and, yes, discover new places to eat, drink, shop, and play.

Not being on Facebook is the 1980s equivalent of not being in the phone book. I’m not going overboard when I say your business needs to be on Facebook.

4. Bing Places for Business

Okay, so Bing isn’t nearly as big as Google or Facebook. That’s true.

But that doesn’t mean that it can’t still be a viable resource for marketing your business locally. Bing relies on the same basic premise as Google My Business does, only it does so on the Bing search engine.

It’s easy to hate Bing or totally neglect it. I get that. But listen to this: Bing controls 33% of search!

In my opinion, a third of all search engine users is no small chunk.

Getting set up is pretty straightforward. Visit Bing Places for Business.

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You must first claim your listing. Next, fill out your profile, and verify your listing.

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Think of it like this. Many of your competitors are likely to be so fixated on Google that they completely overlook Bing. Maybe you were even tempted to neglect Bing.

Getting on Bing takes just a few minutes, giving you an advantage over your competition. By taking the time to get your profile up and running, you can pull in a larger chunk of your target market and win their business.

5. YP for Business

Remember back in the day when people manually thumbed through the Yellow Pages directory to find information on businesses in their area?

Well those days are gone.

But like most companies with any type of longevity, the Yellow Pages has been smart enough to reinvent itself so that it’s still practical in our modern era.

Now you can get your business listed free on the YP for Business app.

According to its website, “60 million consumers search YP every month for local businesses,” which is nothing to sneeze at.

Here are some other interesting stats:

  • Over 15 million consumers have downloaded the YP app.
  • The YP app and mobile web drive more than three calls to a local business every second.

If you’re looking to round out your local marketing efforts and get exposure to the largest percentage of your demographic, I definitely recommend listing your business there.

It only takes a few minutes, and your reach can grow considerably.

Some added benefits of using Yellow Pages include having the ability to check out the number of impressions, clicks, and leads you generate.

You can also maintain a comprehensive vantage point of your online presence, online reviews, and social activity.

I would also imagine that the YP for Business app would be an effective way to reach a lot of the older demographic of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, who have fond memories of the original Yellow Pages.

Conclusion

To get your business in front of potential customers, you must have a presence on some key sites.

Because people are using these sites so frequently, taking the time to register your business and fill out your profile in its entirety can pay good dividends in the long run.

Don’t forget the key statistics, correlating searches, and sales.

Remember: 78% of local mobile searches result in offline purchases.

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That’s huge! If you’re a traditional brick-and-mortar establishment, you can most definitely cash in by featuring your business in the right online places.

The bottom line is that there’s a growing trend of people using their mobile devices to search for local businesses.

Being active on these five online spots not only allows you to be more competitive and claim your piece of the pie but can also be the catalyst for your business thriving in the long term.

Which of these tools do you find yourself using the most to find info on businesses in your area?

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Comments

  1. Mohammed Anzil :

    Great post again Neil. YP for Business is really new for me. Let me chek that. Thanks for sharing.

    • Didn’t hear about most of them but would love to give a try.

      I think one should also give a try to tools like SEMrush for competitor research. It doesn’t matter which niche you are in, you should analyse your competitors for dominating your niche.

      Here’s where tools like SEMrush, Moz come into handy as they can help you everything from keyword analysis to backlink analysis.

      Great tips Neil!

  2. Rajender Thakur :

    http://socialposter.co/ this is also amazing tool

  3. This is awesome. YP is new for me as well. What would you say for virtual local businesses, apart from Facebook, are the rest necessary?

    • To piggy back on Mr. Patel, one of the brightest minds we have in Mass Media Communications, he has laid out the free tools that do work best. Being that YP is on his top and most folks are truly unaware of the power YP has to offer, please take me up on the offer to learn more about YP’s partnerships with Google, Bing/Yahoo, Yelp, Groupon, and many more!

      https://www.linkedin.com/in/getyourbrandon

  4. GMB is must for any local business and even for a multy location business and the NAP citation is something very important too. Sometime even question answer sites like Quora work great.

  5. Hey Neil,

    Great post as always. I actually just put together a 16 chapter, 13,000 words article on this subject, you can find it here: http://improvemysearchranking.com/comprehensive-local-seo-guide

    I’ve not actually started promoting it yet, just getting feedback from other SEOs as it stands. Would be great if you could cast your eye over it 🙂

    Many thanks,
    Josh

  6. Kalpana Sharma :

    Hi Neil,

    This is really a very useful and informative article. I have already registered on Google my business and I am waiting for Verification code to verify my business.
    Second, I tried to signup to Yelp but it’s not picking any address in India. Is the yelp only for US? Can’t we use it in India? and same is with YP for Business. Pls reply

  7. Joe Chamberlain :

    Great post Neil.

    Regarding GMB – I’ve recently found (to my demise) that changing your business name, business address or business phone number has the effect of ‘resetting’ your GMB rankings.

    I’ve spoken to Google about this, and they confirmed that changing any of those 3 areas instantly drops your rankings. So make sure you choose (and stick to) those 3 key areas.

    On top of that, having more followers on G+ than reviews may impact you negatively (again, spoke to Google about this and they advised that, even though my page has 2 dozen 5-star reviews, my followers were my ‘loyal customers’ so I should have more reviews than followers), as can receiving very little ‘+1’s/comments/click throughs on your posts.

    Cheers

  8. As always, pretty useful information. Would do well for folks to note that some of these tools are not available in all countries. Thanks, Neil, for the list, again 🙂

  9. Himmat Chahal :

    Good stuff, thank you Neil!

  10. Neil, I do agree with your rankings here. After reading, I realized https://www.ridgezellertherapy.com – the local Arizona business web presence I manage – was not listed on YP, so I just added them! One thing I’d like to include in this discussion is the fact that Yelp is very aware of their popularity; anyone who plans to feature their Yelp listing as a large part of their local marketing strategy should be prepared to be frustrated regarding the filtering of genuine Yelp comments that their algorithms may deem as “spam”. And be prepare for the hard sell from their sales force pushing your small business towards paying a premium of paid advertising.

  11. Neil, I am a regular visitor of your website and I really feel that it is full of informative content. Yet I could not understand or found material for my website. I have a very different website or blog, I don’t know what to call i.e. http://www.peppersmile.com hence would really appreciate if you can let me know how to promote it on internet.

  12. Tiffany Simpson :

    Hi Neil, thanks for sharing.

  13. I feel still there are lot more tools/websites available in the market unique to each country where these works best for many local business owners.

  14. The Google business is one of my favourite but yet to look inside Bing business.

  15. Christina Victoria Costa :

    I have been following your advice and this year the #1 thing that boosted my Google search for my keywords was being in the top 3 local listing for wedding photographers in my area. It’s meant a 70% increase in inquiries just this month alone. Thank you so much!! This advice is brilliant.

  16. Great post again Neil. Very useful and informative article. “Bing controls 33% of search” – is a new information as we always consider Google alone.

  17. Good post, Neil!
    My web development business could use the Yelp, YP, and Bing for Business listings. I better get on it. Thank you for the tips!

  18. MacKenzie from Great Whyte :

    Finally a post where I use all of these tools!

    Though there is definitely room for tweaking.

    Thanks Neil!

  19. Google my business is better one to Local business and to follow Google my business to get my profits in local area sides.

    I hope you continue to provide new ideas for us all and greetings success always for you. I’m satisfied to find so many helpful information here within the put up, we want work out extra strategies in this regard,

    Regards,
    SindhuBell

  20. Manta.com is pretty nice too, they might call you a few times trying to sell a premium membership but I’ve been able to boost specific pages on client sites with it.

  21. Its good that you are sharing all this information with everyone but please check below fedback:

    Why your articles are so big?
    Many of us not good at reading it quickly.
    You should make a video or at least add audio file to your articles so people can listen while traveling or while doing some other work.

    Hope we will get something positive result on this.

    • I always like to go in depth with my articles as it’s vital to be clear about the subject for all types of reading levels.

      But I agree there is still room to add different ways for the content to be consumed such as video, audio and appreciate your honest feedback.

  22. Google my business is one of the best ways to list your business on Google. Even I prefer to choose “Google My Business” for information like address, timings, reviews and others.

    Similarly I found “Crunchbase” and “Foursquare” very good platforms for the same. You can add them to the list as well. Otherwise great Post!

  23. What a nice article. Thanks Neil;)

    Local searching is very imprortant, yes! And then location tagged social media sharing is also imprortant. So Pointro.com is built with this insights.

  24. Farcas Gelu Danut :

    Good job, Neil.
    Unfortunately, some from this list (Bing Places for Business or Yelp) don’t work now for Romania. 🙁

  25. Yes we should not forget Bing. It can help to drive traffic.

  26. nice article, this is really useful, i live in georgia (country) and i have my personal website associate with affiliate marketing, exactly online credits, i need high quality backlinks from good quality sites, for example sites as quicksprout.com

  27. Mama Marketing :

    Good job 🙂 Many local companies have no idea about effective promotion on the Internet.

  28. Gestor Redes Salamanca :

    Local SEO is the present right now. But it will be more important in the future.

  29. Another great article, neil! Thank you for mentioning bing in this post. I almost neglect bing. I didn’ t know bing haps 33% searchers.

  30. Great to come to your site as the information shared is good and is explained in simple words. Good stuff you are created, thank you for sharing a nice article.

  31. Thank you Neil, I had no idea that Bing had gained such a huge influence in search! This is surely big news if a 35/65 ratio correlates to 1 in 3 searches being from bing!

  32. TechAspirants :

    Great information Neil !

    I see Yelp is more specific to US users. Can you do an article specific to Indian business or cite some in your next local article.

    Thanks
    Akshay

    • If you check a site called Whitespark they hopefully will give you a few more options to consider. But I will take the feedback on board.

  33. Hi Neil,

    it is such a useful article.
    As You said: The Best Way which I know is using Google My Business for local seo. And than… Add google map in your contact page…

    Thanks
    Tolga

    • There is a reason certain sites rank well for local search. And when you look at the sites that tend to appear there, your notice it’s also about pointing away from your site as well 😉

  34. I must admit I never even thought of Bing Places for Businesses and Yellow Pages… And I’m using YP on a regular basis to find other businesses. What a shame haha.

    Will get on that right away.

  35. Great article! Local searching is gold for local services. YP is an altenative.

  36. Great information Neil !
    it is such a useful article.

    I follow you and learn new things. Thanks

  37. Awesome Neil, You Rocked! 😀

    Like every tool you shared!

    Your all articles are really impressive and you provide information in-depth! 😀

    Hats off buddy, keep it up!

  38. Good article! you have good and nice information Thanks for sharing such a amazing article with us.
    http://www.yorpage.com/

  39. Teddy Tech - SEO & Digital marketing in Kerala India :

    Thanks Niel for new information.
    I was aware about google listing, Facebook page managing etc.But Yelp is a new information & good.

  40. Google My Business and facebook Pages are always been big part of my strategies for clients.
    But, I never Preferred others mentioned in list.
    I think I might be underestimating the power of them.
    I might Give it a shot.

  41. Dhaval Parmar :

    Thank you for bringing more information to this topic for me. I’m truly grateful and really impressed. Really appreciate for your amazing article. Thank you for this valuable information.

  42. Basically Google Business , yelp and local yahoo are using all over world but many local business generally listed in local business websites dorectories like justdial , yellow pages , sulekha and many other local business directories varies country by country .

  43. Hey Neil Patel,

    Google my business, Bing places for business and Yelp are the most helpful tools to increase your local presence in search.

    Today in the morning I read a blog about Google my business in search engine land why google is filtering the local business having multiple locations with same NAP is definitely a problem which causes for suspension.

    What do you think Neil about this filtering of local results.

    Your continuing this tactic of publishing your blogs with free tools previously I read a blog on neilpatel.com about 10 free seo tools and also free tools for content marketing and this is really working you, thanks for this valuable share.

  44. This level of marketing strategy will stand the test of time. It will apply to any type of technology and marketing channel. Working with small business I know only to well how the fundamentals of marketing aren’t so fundamental. So I dedicated a podcast to just that. The development of small business marketing strategy!

  45. Thanks for posting this. It was indeed a great article. It was fun reading this i have learned new things.

  46. The tools are suggested by you is really helpful. Hope that you post more great links for us….

  47. Yup! Being featured on Yelp is pretty much a necessity today! Yelp is one of the most important tools to use when you market your business.

    The same thing goes for Bing Places – though many people underestimate it since “it’s not Google”. Well, I wouldn’t underestimate it at all… 🙂

  48. I got a job of marketing a local company. But we aren’t located in USA, and i don’t believe yelp will accept international business places. So i’m trying to figure out local ways to do this.

  49. Apex Web Firm :

    Yelp is very important, I started seeing once you get over 10 reviews on YELP, you start receiving a lot of calls. Even without the yelp ads.

  50. Vennie Govender :

    Interesting blog Neil. I am neither here or there with establishing my website and needed direction, I am really glad I came across your site.

  51. Cristina Sliva :

    Thanks for sharing this valuable blog. This blog is very useful for everyone. keep it on.

  52. Nice post…
    Thank you for sharing very informative article.

  53. What an awesome way to make our business grow. I hope someday ill become an icon like you

  54. onlain sesxebi :

    nice article i liked it, i will always read your nice posts. it’s useful.

  55. Awesome post! I’ll check out some of the tools you mentioned here. I also use http://proofy.io/ provides organization for integration with your mailing client delivering marketing information to targeted audience

  56. Thank you for sharing such an amazing tools. I always have difficulty to find out for the SEO of local businesses. Hope this tools will help me out.

  57. It’s a very nice post,I really appreciate your efforts,Thanks for sharing

  58. Hi Neil
    Again a very useful article. You have mentioned some business tools for market the local business. Yelp is new for me. I will study about Yelp. Thanks for sharing.

  59. Kishore Chidambaram :

    Google local business listings definitely outstanding tool for local business to be found in search and this articles is informative and useful for who are looking to establish their local brand.

  60. my review here :

    Greetings! Really helpful guidance on this
    article! It is the small changes that make the largest changes.
    Thanks a lot for sharing!

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