Local Directories Help Small Business Compete as Amazon and Walmart Fight

As Walmart ramps up to go head-to-head with Walmart for local consumers, local business directories can give small local retailers an unexpected boost.

Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods last month stoked speculation that the online retail giant was about to challenge Walmart for their share of local consumers. The battle between the two retail giants also stoked fears that small local retailers would face even more challenges in attracting customers to their stores. Not so, says a well-known local business directory. Recent changes to search engine algorithms may actually make local small businesses more competitive in attracting customers through basic local search engine marketing, such as local business directory listings.

“Over the past year, Google made changes to its algorithm that boost the profile of small, local retailers and businesses,” said a representative of FindUsLocal.com, a business directory that boasts special features to attract potential customers to its website. “Google’s intent was to weed out huge multi-location retailers, as well as online-only retailers who use fake addresses to trick consumers into believing they are dealing with an actual local business.”

The Find Us Local representative referred to a series of search engine updates between February and May of this year that knocked a large percentage of “fake local” businesses out of the search engine result pages. The resulting shake-up provided an opening for the owners of small retail businesses to leverage local business directory listings and other online mentions of their shops.

“Google has invested a lot of energy in providing the kind of search engine results that people want to see,” the spokesperson continued. “Today more than ever, people want to support their own local economies by shopping local. Businesses listed in local business directories get an extra boost so that they show up in the search engine results when people nearby search for their products or services.”

Local business directories also weigh heavily when potential customers use their mobile devices to help them find and compare products, in and out of the store. Geo-location services on mobile devices make it easy for voice-activated searches, such as Siri and Cortana, to recommend businesses within a few miles or blocks of the user’s current location.

Millennial shoppers, GenXers and younger consumers shop differently than any generation before them, say marketing experts. Not only do they search online before leaving the house, they also are more likely to continue searching with their mobile devices when they are actually in a store. The latest statistics show that nearly 80 percent of searches on mobile devices and more than 70 percent of all online searches with “local intent” lead to a store visit and a purchase within a day of the search.

“The combination of the search engine changes and geo-location services leads to higher sales for local retailers who take advantage of them. Completing and customizing their listing in local business directories is one of the smartest, most effective, and easiest strategies to increase in-store traffic,” the Find Us Local spokesperson said.

About FindUsLocal: FindUsLocal uses geolocation technology in visitor’s browsers to construct a home page focused on their city, town or community. Right there on the front page, they’ll find local weather, sports results for their favorite teams, and announcements of the top musical acts and events coming to their city. Smart business owners list their businesses on the site to be seen by those who are specifically looking for businesses in their local area.

Release ID: 243859