Nobody looks forward to spending excessive time, money, and energy on online visibility, least of all me. There has to be a simple, introductory way to reach customers—and there IS! It’s not a huge secret that the way to reach people on the local level has changed. Regardless of the item, service, or individual, consumers are getting more and more used to researching before they spend. It allows them to be independent, selective, and to take their time before feeling any pressure to buy. After all, who doesn’t love feeling locked into an invasive sales pitch????

Instead of hoping that local customers happen to stumble across your website, there are a couple of simple things that you can do to help yourself out. Use the free opportunities at your fingertips to not only increase your visibility and brand power, but also deliver your value before you even know who your customer is. They’re out there! They’re looking for you!

1. Create business listings

One of the first things that we did when redefining our marketing strategy was to create a Google Local page. These kinds of business listings are available through many major search engines and greatly increase your chances of showing up in search results. Don’t worry, it’s painless—all you have to do is provide some basic contact information.

Think about the search engines that are widely used in your area. We’ve provided you with three (free!) here to get you started:

Create a Google Local page:

Create a Yahoo page:

Create a Bing page:

2. Take advantage of review-based business profiles

Don’t be afraid. Create a business profile with different review-based websites such as Yelp or Angie’s List. Provide a detailed company description—take this opportunity to express your company’s value. Most of these sites also create a simple email notification for you, which means that whenever a review is left for your company (whether positive or negative), you will receive an alert. This will allow you the opportunity to respond to the remark in the manner you see fit.

Following these two simple steps really can increase your local visibility. Want to know more about search engine optimization (SEO)? Check back soon.