Every local business owner needs to  find resources that will do two things:

  1. drive traffic
  2. provide unique citations

With local, if you want to move higher up on the maps results, one of the things you need more of is "citations" or places "linking" to you and referring you as a business.

These are the 3 I feel local businesses that are just starting out shouldn't do without.

Top 3 Local Marketing Tools

Most of these sources have videos that will help you understand how to get the most out of your listings, and do everything to teach you better than I ever could  (especially in a short post), so I would recommend going to them and learning more.

1. Yelp Business Listing

The main reason I chose Yelp as my number one is because I feel they are the best local marketing resource for getting people into your door. 

People want reviews, they want to see what others are saying - they NEED information.  More and more people are becoming owners of app phones and are downloading these type of apps (that are in a sense local search engines) and relying on them heavily for finding places to eat, dentists to use, doctors to go to and so much more. 

It is so much easier using apps like Yelp to search for local stuff than using Google on these types of phones.  Sure, Yelp has its problems, but that has not stopped people from using them, so you can't get mad and ignore them - that is just bad for your business.

2. Google Places

It's Google: use it simply because of that!  I really don't need to say any more.  People use them, and will probably always use them.  They are the champions no doubt and getting your business listed on Places is a very very smart move.  Lots of people still use the regular web search and there are those that fight through the mobile phone searches on Google.

3. Universal Business Listing

I like to refer this resource because  this will  get you on a lot of the places you need to be, and help you increase those much needed citations.  So at the very least, if you do this one and the above two - you are probably doing better than most of the local businesses marketing online.  Seriously.

Mat's Notable Mentions

  • Authority Labs:  track your local maps rankings through software.
  • GetListed.org: check how your listing or profile is doing on 6 local resources (US & UK only)
  • Foursquare:  I really can't live without Foursquare, but I don't consider it in my top 3 for local businesses brand new to all this.

What are your local go-to's?