Starting a local business is an exciting time and in today’s business climate, women in business are increasing in numbers.
In November 2014, the United States Census Department reported that almost 29 percent of all local businesses owned in the United states were women owned businesses and that those companies generated more than $182 billion in receipts. Research also indicates that women are more likely to own a local business which often caters to a smaller clientele.
All types of businesses, both male and female owned, sometimes miss opportunities to promote their company, but women seem to have a harder time with promotion than men.
Too often, women start a business using tips provided to them by others in business, such as creating a professional website and building a presence on social media, only to forget to claim their business profile in many other areas that can help them grow their business.
These four sites offer excellent opportunities to promote your women owned business and help it grow.
Google My Business
Google My Business is a free service offered by Google that helps you improve the page ranking of your company website.
It also allows you to track ratings and know when others are talking about your company. If you connect Adwords and Analytics, Google can provides report and information so you know how customers are interacting with your business, where they are coming from, how many clicks there are on your phone number, driving directions or any other types of visits to your website.
The program is free and users simply sign up using their business name. The system verifies the business and then allows you to edit any information you want displayed as part of your local listing on Google. Learn more about Google My Business through their website.
Yelp for Business
Millions of people turn to Yelp when they are searching for products or services. For many people, Yelp is a local directory that not only lets them know what businesses are available in their area, but also a way to learn more about customer experiences with those businesses. According to the website, Yelp for Business users report an average $8,000 increase when they create a Yelp Business Page to advertise their local business.
Yelp for Business offers free tools that include the ability to respond to reviews, upload photos and edit site information. The free version is enough to get you started.
In addition, users are able to track visitor engagement and a mobile app is available so that Yelp for Business is available for use anywhere you are, something critical for busy owners of a women owned business.
Bing Places for Business
Bing Places for Business is another free service that allows you to upgrade your profile in Bing’s search engine. In order to use the service, you simply claim your listing or add a new one.
You can even add multiple locatons into one group using the bulk upload tool. The next step is to complete the listing profile so that customers get the best picture of your business.
You can upload photos, hours of operation, the services or products you offer and the ways customers can reach you. Once you have updated your Free local listing, you can verify your listing by receiving a PIN at your business address, phone or email.
Foursquare for Business
One of the most popular sites used by consumers when they are searching for a product or service locally is Foursquare. The site is a sort of local directory that offers information about businesses in the area and your company may already have been shared on Foursquare without you even being aware of it.
The purpose of Foursquare for Business is to allow you to take control of your listing and be part of the conversation your customers are having about your business. Foursquare allows customers to leave tips and photos of favorite local companies.
Because up to 95 percent of mobile users rely on their mobile device for a local search and 90 percent make a purchase at a location they found using a search on a mobile device, it makes sense to take control of your local listing on Foursquare.
Women in business often overlook the fact that they need to take control of their online presence. These four tools help you confirm that the information found by potential customers in an online local directory is accurate and that those who are seeking a local business like yours are more likely to click on your links than those of your competitors.