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The Importance of Having Local Business Listings

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The Importance of Having Local Business Listings

In this day and age, it is clear that having a strong online presence is very important for any company. Business owners know that having a functional, informative, and visually attractive website will draw in more customers. The same goes for a strong social media presence. We’re sure that you’re marketing your business on Instagram, Facebook, and so on. However, what people sometimes don’t think about are local business listings sites. In this article, we’ll explain the importance of having local listings and why utilizing such listings would be beneficial for your business.

You’re Easier to Find if Your Name is in the Phonebook

Basically, think about local business listings as a sort of a digital-era phonebook. Nowadays, whenever people need information on a certain kind of business, they’ll most likely look for it online. Local business listings can introduce them to a variety of companies offering the kind of service or product they need, based on the potential customers’ area. For example, people looking for moving companies in New York would find the company Dumbo Moving and Storage Brooklyn, as well as important information such as the company’s working hours, address, link to the company’s website, and its phone number. As a lot of queries also specify the location of the kind of business they’re interested in, having your business on these area-based listings can help you a great deal.

Posting important information on local business listings is not hard to do and it doesn’t take much time. It is an easy way to improve your digital marketing. So, why waste the opportunity to efficiently attract new customers? There’s even a good chance that interested parties will give you a call right away. People often use the internet on their smartphones, so it’s very easy and convenient for them to call you as soon as they find your number on local business listings. And if you receive a phone call, then you’re already halfway to securing new customers.

SEO Benefits

Apart from this obvious advantage that local business listings provide, there are more “under the hood” benefits as well. Namely, they can increase your search engine visibility and overall brand visibility. If you’re paying attention to the keywords you use, then you’ll be pleased to learn that local business listings do the same. They’ll most likely use the same or similar keywords you’ve used, thus generally improving your SEO. These sites usually have significant domain authority. Even if your potential customers don’t find your website while using the specific keyword, they’re likely to find your profile on local business listings.

What’s more, the benefits to your search engine visibility don’t stop there. The people working for the major search engine companies like to compare their data with data found on such sites. If your information is there and it is consistent, search engines will deem your business to be more reliable and trustworthy. And if it’s not, they might think that you’re running a shady business, causing your SEO to degrade.

Local Business Listings Can Improve Your Reputation

The importance of local business listings in terms of your reputation isn’t only related to SEO. Potential customers themselves might think that it’s strange that your company isn’t listed there. They might consider it a red flag, warning them to take their business elsewhere. Even if they’ve already heard of your company, finding another one on local business listings might make them call that company and end their search right there and then.

On the other hand, local business listings also offer user reviews. If your company is not only listed there, with all the up-to-date, relevant information, but it also has a lot of good reviews, that’s often all it takes to secure a customer. While we know that many company owners often fear reviews, if you don’t have faith that you’ll receive good user reviews (in other words, if you’re not sure that you’re providing a quality service and/or products), then you have more pressing matters at hands than thinking about the importance of local business listings. However, if you are good at what you do, then you can expect the positive reviews on such sites to help you significantly. You can even post the same reviews on social media or on your website.

When it comes to your reputation, it is also worth noting that some business listings will include your information without your knowledge. This information could be incorrect. What’s more, your competitors can also use these listings to harm your company (this doesn’t happen often, but it is possible). Setting up your profile by yourself on local business listings will prevent that from happening.

Five Most Important Business Listings

So, utilizing local business listings is easy and can generally only help your business. The only thing to consider is which business listings to use. We’ve prepared a list of the five most important ones to help you out:

-Google My Business

-Yelp for Business Owners

-Yahoo Business Listing

-Bing Places for Business

-Facebook Business

There’s not too much difference between these five listings. They are all free and easy to use and setup. However, Yahoo Business Listing will require you to pay 9.95$ every month to allow you to include pictures, which could be important depending on the type of business you run. They also offer the option of paying 29.99$ every month. Choosing this option is recommended because Yahoo’s employees will then include your business in about 40 other local business listings as well, thus saving you some time.

Facebook Business is also highly recommended because many people are using Facebook to find businesses in their area, even if you are mostly doing business with baby boomers. Unlike other business listings, this one not only makes it easy for potential customers to call you, but it also makes it easy for them to message you, if that’s their preferred way of doing business.

Of course, these five sites are just the tip of the iceberg. Don’t stop there and try to include your business in as many local business listings as possible (even if you’ve paid for Yahoo Business’ 29.99$ option). Taking the time to do so means that you’ll have less time to dedicate to running your business, but in the long run – it’s definitely worth it.

Customs

Common U.S. Customs Clearance Issues & Overcoming Them

For people who are not intimately familiar with the international freight industry, it can appear to be dauntingly complex. After all, dabbling in international trade means dealing with a host of different entities, each of which has its own regulations and rules that you have to follow. And US customs are just one large piece in an ever-increasing puzzle.

However, understanding common US customs clearance issues and anticipating them is crucial for a successful global trading endeavor. That’s why we’re going to delve into some of them, and propose ways to of solving them.

Customs Exams

If you want to deal with common US customs clearance issues, be prepared for customs exams. Naturally, you probably know that random checks at customs aren’t that rare of an event in the world of maritime shipping. And sure, only up to 10% of global shipments are inspected in reality. While that may be a small fraction of the overall volume of shipping; you need to be prepared. And that goes for any customs in the world, including the US.

Issues with US Customs Clearance

The first thing you need to understand regarding US customs clearance issues is – they are different in each country and port. So, some things you read about the priorities of Dutch customs won’t necessarily be true when the US is concerned. Generally, U.S. customs tend to have frequent random inspections.

Know that there are separate, country-specific inspections that they conduct, depending on what country your shipment is coming from. That’s the sort of information that importers regularly provide to freight forwarders. So, that sort of logistical information is important, as any misleading information can lead to long-term distrust; not a good thing for trading efforts. If complete information flows both ways, your freight transport will be a smooth process. And in the case of the contrary, you’ll be dealing with another issue: delays.

Delay Expenses

One of the most common US customs clearance issues is delays. And these happen precisely because of different exams and holds. These, in turn, lead to fees and charges that are a consequence of delays. Which can happen for an entire slate of different reasons. However, not all delay charges are the same. Generally, they are divided into per diem, detention, and demurrage. So, make sure you familiarize yourself with the terms, before negotiating with a shipping company.

Missing Documentation

When it comes to your shipping process, know that the original copy of your Bill of Lading is the most crucial document. And its misplacement is a surprisingly common problem that happens to shippers. If the Bill of Lading is missing, be sure that you will face issues regarding your shipment’s release. And that will result in additional delays. That’s why you need to be sure that the Bill of Lading will be carried through a channel you can rely on. That’s where the aforementioned trustworthiness comes into play.

If you’ve got a supplier with whom you have a fairly trusting relationship, you can opt for an Express Release or a Telex Release. Though, you may require more particular paperwork, depending on the type of cargo and the port of destination. Uncertainty and trade volatility is something that all shippers face; being familiar with all the details will go a long way towards reducing them to the minimum.

Missing Taxes and Duties

As we’ve mentioned just now, you may need some specific sort of paperwork, depending on where the shipment is going and the sort of cargo you’re shipping. And not abiding by this is one of the common US customs clearance issues, but you want to avoid that. After all, this additional paperwork is there to protect the interests of the country’s residents and the economy. Thus, some commodities may be forbidden, while others are allowed, but only with special permits.

To give an example – auto-shipments are among those which require specific documentation. Before the shipping is done, have a look at the HS Code of the cargo that you’re transporting. You may encounter extra taxes and duties in order to clear your shipment. So, if you want your shipment to go through smoothly, be certain that you have all of the particular documentation that all the different ports require.

Cargo Damage

Unfortunately, cargo damage is something that happens often in the world of shipping. That’s why you want to make sure your cargo is safely secured in its container at the port of origin. Statistics show that 90% of cargo damage actually happens due to improper storage and packing. Plus, bear in mind that the loading process in your origin point should be perfect. Take care of all the details, like remembering how many pallets you can actually fit into the container.

Because in reality, cargo damage rarely happens due to terminal or carrier mishandling. But if that does happen, do not forgo filing an insurance claim. And while doing that, take great care to go through all the proper procedures step by step, if you want to be certain that you will be compensated for the losses. Still, though; we recommend safely securing your cargo, and you won’t have to go through any of this.

Nathan Smith is a freelance author, mostly writing analyses of the maritime and air shipping industries. When he’s not writing about moving companies like Four Winds Saudi Arabia, he likes reading crime fiction and watching science fiction movies.