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Why Small Businesses Should Advertise on Directory Websites

Published on May 6, 2024.

Finding customers is the number one challenge that small business owners face. The main reason? Small businesses often have an ineffective or nonexistent online presence.

There are a lot of online advertising methods out there. You can use social media, email marketing, and Google ads to name a few. But if you're on a small budget, these ideas might be out of your reach.

One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to grow your web presence is to advertise on a directory website. These websites collect local business information and list it in an easy-to-search way.

In this article we’ll talk about all the different ways directory websites can help your small business grow!

What Directory Websites Can Do for Your Business

If you've never considered a directory website, you might not be aware of the benefits. Think about your thought process when you need to find a local product or service as a consumer.

First, you probably head to your favorite search engine such as Google, and begin searching for a particular product, service or business. You might even localize your search by including your city or "near me" in the search box. This is where directory websites are extremely helpful.

When you search for local products and services, you'll likely get a local business directory website as one of the top links. This includes both national sites as well as local community websites. There, you can view a business listing which often includes the business hours, location, company information, photos and reviews. From there, the customer can visit the businesses' website to learn more, get directions, call them or reach out directly for more information.

Directory websites are essential for connecting local businesses with local customers making them a vital part of any business's marketing efforts.

Here are 7 reasons why small businesses should advertise on directory websites.

1. Help Customers Find You

One of the biggest mistakes new business owners make is not making their information accessible online! It doesn't even necessarily have to mean building a whole website.

Listing your business on a business directory, like OKC Small Business Deals gives customers immediate access to your information. How do you expect anyone to find you if they don't know who or where you are?

When you're filling out your listing application, be sure to include the following information:
Business address
Business logo
Contact information
Map with directions
Website address
Social media links
Hours of operation
Company description
List of products or services offered
Accepted payment options

You wouldn't believe how many business listings are missing this essential information! Let's imagine a potential customer is searching for a 24-hour pet shop. They find you in the directory, but you don't have your hours listed. They'll likely skip right over you!

2. Cost-Effectively Promote Your Business

Did you know that the average small business spends close to $10,000 per month to advertise on Google? If you're just starting, that's going to be a hefty chunk of your budget. At the same time, online advertising is essential to your success.

The solution? Listing your business on a local online directory website like OKC Small Biz Deals! Most directory websites charge anywhere between $39 - $100 per month for a basic listing. Even if a business owner paid $100 a month for a listing, they would still save $8,800 a year!

Not only are online directories a cheap way to advertise, but they're also very effective. If you’re a local business trying to attract local customers, a directory website is the way to go.

Let's say you're an independent accountant based in Oklahoma City, OK. You can promote your business on local directory websites that serve the area. Whenever anyone in Oklahoma City searches for "accountant near me," you're likely to pop up!

Studies show that "near me" searches on Google have increased up to 500% in the past few years! People are moving more towards buying local products and services, which is excellent news for directory sites and business owners alike!

3. Boost SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) can be tough to understand, especially if you're not a techie. It's a system of improving web traffic to your site from search engines. SEO is essential because it targets unpaid visits.

That means bringing visitors to your website who haven't clicked on a direct link or ad. When you boost your SEO, you essentially attract customers without paying for advertising. Better SEO means higher rankings on search engines, like Google. The higher you rank, the more likely your website will be seen first. For example, someone searches for "photographer near me," and your business is the first link that Google shows.

That's good! That means you've mastered the art of SEO. Surveys show that 60% of people are likely to click on the first three results in a search. At the same time, 90% of people click on the first link.

So, how can online business directories help you rank higher?

Let's say you're searching for a sushi place in your area. Your top two results are "OKC Sushi, Oklahoma City, OK" and "The 10 Best Sushi Bars in Oklahoma City." Which one are you more likely to click?

Probably the second option, right? Clicking on the restaurant's website will give you the menu and location, but not much else. But clicking on the business directory site will give you access to reviews!

Also, because online directory websites tend to share many listings, they get a lot of traffic. More web traffic means more page visits and higher search rankings. So even if your business site doesn't get a lot of visits, the directory can help you out!

4. Build Your Reputation

Creating a solid reputation as a trustworthy company is crucial to surviving in today’s competitive economy. People often rely on word-of-mouth reviews to achieve this. And it works, to a certain extent!

With our world becoming more digital, online reviews are highly valuable. Research shows that 93% of consumers use the web to search for local businesses, and 89% read reviews. If you build up an impressive collection of positive reviews, potential customers will trust you. This is especially true for younger consumers.

Many online business directories allow customers to leave reviews directly on your profile. So, whenever someone does the "near me" search and sees your listing, they can instantly see reviews. The more listings you have showcasing positive reviews, the better it is for your business.

5. Share Incentives

With the OKC Small Biz Deals platform, website directory business owners can share advertiser incentives. Anytime you have coupons, specials, deals, or sales for your business, they can share that information. Budget-conscious customers and deal hunters might find you and can become returning customers.

For example, if you own a small retail shop and have a lot of old stock, you might want to get rid of it. Old stock depreciates quickly and takes up precious storage space. You can advertise a 25% off sale or offer coupons.

You'll be able to catch people's interest, especially from potential customers who've never heard of or visited your store. After all, everyone loves a good bargain!

6. Advertise Events

Another great benefit of advertising your small business on a local directory website is to highlight and invite people to events you're hosting. Events encourage foot traffic and motivate new customers to check out your business.

If you're starting a new cafe, you might want to have a grand opening event to welcome consumers. The directory website can advertise this for you! Locals will be naturally curious about you and will likely pay a visit.

Maybe a music venue is hosting a concert, a restaurant is offering a wine tasting, or a bookstore is hosting a book signing event for a popular author. These are all examples of how businesses can leverage a local directory website to promote their upcoming events.

7. Join a Community

When you use a directory website, you're joining a community of like-minded small business owners. They are locals, neighbors, and friends trying to make their dreams come true and share the goal of growing their business. This sense of community can feel uplifting and puts you alongside many of the other small businesses listed in a local website directory.

It can also help you network with potential clients and partners. Imagine you own a floral shop and advertise yourself on an online directory. Local wedding planners, party planners, and funeral homes might find your listing.

It can create long-term partnerships and build your group of repeat customers. A directory website is a valuable resource for every community because it supports the local economy. In fact, nearly 84% of shoppers recently said they would rather support a local business than a large corporation. Making business connections and getting your brand out there in the community are essential for growing your business.

Get Listed on Directory Websites like OKC Small Biz Deals Today!

Mom and pop shops often struggle with how to promote their small business and gain customers online. In general, online advertising can be expensive and time-consuming.

Online business directory websites on the other hand, are an inexpensive and easy-to-understand concept! Plus, they'll help you rank higher on local searches and build up your reputation. As a small business owner, you need to be listed on directory websites to improve your online presence!

If you have more questions about online business directories, we've got the answers! Check out some beautiful examples of real, live client listings.
Learn More
Why reputation management and online reviews are important in business original

Value of Reputation Management

The true value of reputation management cannot be overstated. Protecting your online brand has become increasingly important in this digital age.

Statistics demonstrate that an online business with a strong online reputation has almost 60% more chance of succeed than a business without one. With the ever-growing presence of social media platforms, customers now have greater access to information about businesses. This means they are able to make informed decisions when it comes to purchasing goods or services.

It also means that businesses must take extra precautions to protect their reputations and ensure that customer reviews and experiences are positive.

Reputation management is the process of actively monitoring, managing, and improving the online presence of a brand. This includes responding quickly to customer feedback and complaints, monitoring online reviews, building relationships with customers and fostering overall trustworthiness. By doing these things, businesses are able to gain customer loyalty, attract new customers and increase sales.

Recent studies have found that potential customers trust online reviews almost as much as personal recommendations. With this in mind, it's clear that having a robust reputation management strategy in place is essential for any business. It is the key to creating a positive, reliable and trustworthy brand image in the eyes of potential customers.

Reputation management is no longer something you can afford to procrastinate on. In today’s digital age, protecting your online reputation is vital for success. Don't wait until it's too late—take steps to actively manage your online reputation today!
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Google reviews guide
Google Business Profile Guidelines 2023 and beyond Explained

Creating and maintaining a strong online presence is crucial for businesses of all sizes. One of the most important tools in a business's online toolkit is its Google Business Profile. And following Google Business Profile guidelines is vital to maximizing its potential.

A Google Business Profile is a free tool that lets businesses control their online presence across Google, including in search results and on Google Maps. It used to be called Google My Business, but minor changes in structure and format justified a new brand identity.

There are guidelines for representing your business on Google that must be followed to make sure you are presenting your business accurately and in line with Google's rules.

These are known as the Google Business Profile Guidelines.

In this article, we'll be exploring the Google Business Profile Guidelines for 2023, discussing what they are, why they matter, and how businesses can ensure they're staying compliant with the latest standards.
What are Google Business Profile guidelines?
Profile guidelines for Google Business pages are a set of rules and recommendations for creating and managing a business profile on Google My Business. These guidelines, or ‘suggestions’, ensure that the information provided by businesses on the platform is accurate, relevant, and helpful for customers.
This free platform is attached to Google Maps, meaning that a business or entity needs to be linked to a physical location to qualify. The overall guidelines cover various aspects of creating and managing a business profile, including:

Business information: To qualify, a business listing must provide accurate information about the company, including its name, business address, phone number, and website.

Business categories: They must also select the most relevant categories that describe the business and avoid adding categories that are not relevant or misleading.

Business hours: Another primary guideline is that the business who wishes to be published via Google Business Profile needs to provide accurate and up-to-date business hours that reflect when your business is open to customers.

Reviews: Google also requires its businesses to not interfere with independent reviews. They are also prohibited to solicit incentives for customers to write reviews or post fake reviews. Google also requests business account users to respond to all reviews in a professional manner.

By following these guidelines, businesses can ensure that their profile is complete and accurate, which can help improve their visibility in Google search results and Google Maps. It also provides transparent contact with customers. This, in turn, can help attract more customers and improve their online reputation.
Leverage feedback and reviews to improve your online reputation.
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Why is it important to follow GMB guidelines?

The Google My Business (GMB) guidelines are designed to ensure that new visitors to your profile are educated in a factual and transparent manner. This creates a positive user experience, which is the primary objective of Google in the first place.

But if you follow these rules, your business information will be correct and the same on all Google platforms, like Google Maps and Google search results. By following the guidelines, you can help your business appear in relevant searches and attract more customers.

4 Crucial GBP guidelines explained

As we noted above, there are four primary guideline categories that are essential for every core business to understand—especially if they are going to establish a new profile in 2023. Every distinct business has unique requirements. In fact, some co-located businesses can be approved if they are published as separate locations.

Generally, if your business is located on Google Maps, whether it's your central office, or specific service area businesses, you should be OK to publish your GBP.

Noted below are the four key areas of establishing new or editing existing Google Business Profiles – along with specifics about how to best allocate information within the categories.

1. Business eligibility guidelines
The first item to consider before you attempt to set up a profile on Google Business is whether it qualifies. Since this platform is attached to Google Maps, it makes sense that the first requirement would be to maintain a physical address of some sort.
However, there are other requirements for a business or entity to be listed on this platform.
  • Physical location: The business must have a physical location that customers can visit. Mobile businesses, such as food trucks or home services, may be eligible if they have a service area where they operate. A residential address will not qualify as a remote location. 
  • Service area: If the actual business serves customers in a service location, such as a plumbing or landscaping service, you can specify a service area instead of a physical address.
  • Business type: Only certain types of businesses are eligible for Google My Business, including retail shops, restaurants, and professional services. Some businesses, such as virtual offices, online-only virtual kitchens, virtual brands, delivery-only brand businesses or affiliate marketing, are not eligible.
  • Ownership: The person establishing the Google Business Profile must be the owner or authorized business staff to create a Google My Business profile. Some co-working space facilities will be permitted, but it is up to Google to approve these business profiles on Google. A business can assign separate staff to manage the profile once it's published. 
  • Verification: You must verify your business information by phone, email, or postcard to confirm that you are the owner or authorized representative. For the page to be published, you must be a verified provider. Some business-types may require additional verification steps based on Google search and maps policies. 
  • Duplication: As attractive as it might be, users are prohibited from creating separate business profiles for the same business location or multiple locations for a single business. A business with permanent signage is recommended. Those with separate signage that does not match the online profile may be rejected. 
2. Google My Business content guidelines Content is king. This digital marketing concept is well known throughout the business world. It’s also the reason why many of the leading corporations on the planet have teams that focus directly on creating engaging content that establishes an affinity between users and their brands.
However, you don’t have to be a professional scribe to take advantage of a positive Google Business Profile and attract nearby shoppers.
Here are the guidelines for content when using Google My Business.
  • Must be relevant to the business: Google requests that businesses only publish content in their business description that is relevant to their business and useful to customers.
  • Follow the terms of service: Make sure your content follows Google's terms of service and community guidelines. This includes ensuring that content does not use abusive, offensive, derogatory, or discriminatory language, does not include spam, and no fake or paid reviews.
  • Be accurate: Ensure that all the information that is posted is accurate and up to date, including business office hours, website URL, primary and additional phone lines, and contact information. Whether you operate a retail business, service business, manage leasing offices, or another office building, make sure everything on your profile is updated and accurate. 
  • Using high-quality images: Use high-quality business photos and images that are relevant to your business and accurately represent your products or services. It's always best to review the recommended file sizes, along with Google Ads policy and Google Analytics policy, so you can maximize the potential. This isn’t a mandate but is a general guideline that helps improve the overall user experience.
  • Keep it fresh: It is also suggested for users to regularly update their business content to keep it fresh and engaging for your customers. They can use Google Posts to accomplish this, but updating promotions, sales, new products or services and events with their potential customers. If your sales hours change, make sure to update your page visitors. 
  • List your services: Google wants your potential customer base to learn about your company. Whether you serve as healthcare providers, sell a branded product, or operate a restaurant, listing your services or products is highly suggested. For example, if you operate a 24-hour coffee shop, consider listing your breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu. Auto dealers and auto repair shops should also provide details of the vehicles they sell or service. 
  • Follow Google My Business post guidelines: When you create a post on your business listing on Google, make sure to carefully review the content guidelines for posts. GMB post guidelines are similar to the other recommendations listed above, but it’s important to understand that posts should be crafted with professionalism. 
One minor tip. Google suggests staying away from using too many special characters in your profile. It's also not advised to display links of third-party websites not associated with your business on your Google profile.

3. Business category guidelines
One of the biggest challenges for any business is to effectively target their potential customers online. Google helps every establishment by allowing them to link business categories that are related to their industries.

However, there are certain guidelines that you should factor in before you establish or edit your business profile on Google.
  • Choose the most relevant category: Select categories that most accurately describe your business. You can choose up to 10 categories to help customers find your business more easily.
  • Use specific categories: Use specific categories instead of general ones to provide more detailed information about your business.
  • Avoid adding unnecessary categories: Do not add categories that are not relevant to your business or misleading.
  • Research categories: Research the available categories before selecting them to ensure that they accurately describe your business and are commonly used by customers.
  • Use primary categories: Select one primary category that best describes your business, as this will appear in search results and maps.
  • Use additional categories: Select additional categories that also accurately describe your business to improve your visibility in search results.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing: Do not add keywords or phrases to your business name or categories that are not part of your official business name.
  • Avoid duplication: Do not use duplicate categories or categories that are too like each other.
4. Business hours guidelines
It’s hard to drive people to your business if they don’t know when you’re open. This is why Google is strict with regards to the business hours you publish online.

Noted below are a few of the important items to remember when you’re posting business hours on a profile page.
  • Accurate hours: Provide accurate and up-to-date business hours that reflect when your business is open to customers.
  • Regular business hours: Provide regular business primary hours that customers can expect on a typical day.
  • Holiday hours: Update your business hours for holidays and special occasions to ensure customers are aware of any changes.
  • Temporary closures: Mark your business as "Temporarily Closed" on Google My Business if you are closed for an extended period.
  • Seasonal hours: Update your individual business location hours to reflect any seasonal changes in hours, such as longer hours in the summer.
  • Multiple locations: Provide separate hours for each of your business locations, if applicable.
  • Special hours: Use "Special Hours" to set different hours for specific dates, such as extended hours for a holiday sale.
  • Avoid 24-hour listings: Do not list your business as open 24 hours unless it is truly open around the clock.
  • Use consistent hours: Use consistent business hours across all platforms, including your website, social media, and Google Business Profile.

What happens if you fail to meet Google Business Profile guidelines?

There is a definitive separation between what is considered ‘guidelines’ vs. a regulation. Some of Google’s guidelines are recommendations, which ensure the business has the best opportunity for positive engagement with their future customers.

Other guidelines are mandates, which can come with harsh consequences if they are violated.

If you do not follow the guidelines, your GMB profile may be suspended or removed, which can negatively impact your online presence and make it harder for potential customers to find your business.

Additionally, inaccurate, or misleading information can also lead to customer dissatisfaction, negative reviews, and a loss of trust. It can also increase negative customer reviews.

Since the main reason to be listed on Google is to get the attention of users, and increase active users to your profile, it's important to be open and honest about everything.

Key takeaways
Every business owner and manager strives to drive traffic to their online profiles – such as websites, social media pages, and other sales channels. They spend a lot of money, effort, and hire teams of experts to help establish a solid online presence.

Google Business Profile is a 100% FREE tool that every business can create – that provides a solid platform for future customers to discover their place of business in their local communities.

However, the key to rapid growth and rankings for your business on Google is increasing your positive online reviews and ratings. Our software is a reputation management tool that helps local businesses collect, monitor, and display their best reviews from across the web.

With a few simple steps, you can send emails and SMS requests to your network of happy customers, sending them a Google review link to easily share their feedback.
Plus, with the Google reviews widget, you can display your Google reviews directly onto your website - which can significantly improve social proof for new visitors to your website.
Apple business listing

Boost Visibility with an Apple Maps Business Listing

Dec 04, 2023

Listing your business on Apple Maps is an essential step for increasing visibility and attracting potential customers who use Apple devices. With over 1.2 billion iPhones worldwide relying on Apple Maps for navigation, seizing the opportunity to enhance your business visibility on this platform is a strategic move.
Google Maps may dominate the mapping market, but Apple Maps commands attention with its massive user base. With most smartphone users frequently using navigation apps, having a strong presence on Apple Maps can place your business in front of customers precisely when they're making critical purchasing decisions.
A well-crafted Apple Maps business listing ensures your business information is accurate so people can easily find your location, contact information, and more. However, many business owners may be unfamiliar with the process of adding or updating their listing on Apple Maps.
In this article, we'll delve into the importance of Apple Maps for your business and guide you step by step on how not only to add but confidently claim and manage your business listing.
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Apple Maps Business Listings: Why Claim Your Business on the App
Apple Maps is a widely used navigation app, making it a valuable platform for businesses to display their (accurate) location and information. Enter Apple Business Connect, a game-changer introduced in early 2023. This service revolutionizes the way businesses manage their listings on Apple Maps, similar to Google Business Profile.
With features like Showcases, Partner Integrations, Multi-location Integrations, and more customizable fields, businesses can showcase promotions, connect with scheduling and delivery applications, and seamlessly manage multiple locations. This is particularly crucial for local businesses, as it helps build their reputation and visibility in a crowded marketplace.
When you utilize Apple Business Connect, a dedicated place card is created, showcasing your business location, directions, contact information, and other relevant details. This expands your brand's visibility, prompting potential customers to engage directly through the app. Apple Maps consolidates these listings for companies with multiple locations to make it easier for customers to find the nearest branch, leading to a seamless user experience.
Accuracy is paramount for a positive customer experience on Apple Maps. Users rely on the provided data to find businesses and make informed decisions. By claiming your business on Apple Maps, you verify essential details such as your address, phone number, and working hours, enhancing convenience and contributing to heightened customer satisfaction.

How to Add & Claim Your Business on Apple Maps
Ensuring your business is on Apple Maps is not just a step; it's a strategic move to place your establishment on the digital map of your customers' iPhones. This simple yet powerful action can significantly increase your visibility and set you apart from local competitors.
By following the steps outlined below, you'll make your business easily discoverable to Apple device users and open the door to a broader customer base, giving you a competitive edge in the local market.
Before getting started, you’ll need to visit the Apple Business Connect website or search for your location on the Maps App. Once there, sign with an Apple ID that has the role of Administrator. If you already have an Apple ID, sign in. If not, you'll need to create one.

1. Search for Your Business
Once you have signed in to Apple Business Connect with the Apple ID you use for your business, Apple will then ask you to select the type of business you have.
Once you do this, click “Next” and use the search bar to look for your business on Apple Maps.
Enter your business name, location, or any other relevant details, then click on the listing that matches your business.
Note: If an existing listing is not found, Apple will ask you to create one. Select “Add new location with this name” and then click “Next.”

2. Confirm Your Address
Next, you'll need to confirm your location’s information. Make sure to drag the map so the pin is accurately over your building.

3. Add Some Details
Once you have confirmed your business’s location, add some details such as your default language, name, category and website.
Note: For brand-new listings, your steps will also include adding your business hours.

4. Finalize Your Company Details
Next, you will need to finalize some additional details, including your company’s legal name and phone number.

4. Get Verified
The final step in the process is verification. You have two options to choose from. You can opt for Apple to review and verify your ownership or management of the business by submitting documentation (such as a utility bill displaying the location’s name and address) or by receiving a phone call.
It is important to note that the phone verification option is not available for brand-new listings.
Note: You can skip this step and get verified at a later date.

5. Add Additional Information
Once you have completed all of the steps above, you will then be taken to Apple Business Connect, where you can manage your locations' business profiles.
Here, you have the option to add more details about your business, such as photos and a brief description.
Note: In order to publish changes you make to your Apple Maps listing, you must verify your location.

How to Edit Your  Business Information on Apple Maps
Keeping your business information up-to-date on Apple Maps is a breeze, thanks to the user-friendly features of Apple Business Connect.
This tool empowers you to effortlessly manage and enhance your business listing, ensuring that potential customers using Apple devices find the most accurate and enticing details about your establishment.
The following steps will walk you through the straightforward process of editing your business information, giving you the control to shape a compelling presence on this widely used navigation platform.

1. Visit the Apple Business Connect Website
Go to the Apple Business Connect website.
2. Sign in
Log in to your Apple ID account. This should be the same ID you used to add or claim your business listing.
3. Locate Your Business
In the Apple Business Connect dashboard, you should see a list of the businesses associated with your Apple ID. Find the one you want to edit and click on it.
4. Edit Your Business Information
Once you've selected your business, you'll be taken to its details page. Here, you can edit various aspects of your business information, including:
  • Business Name: You can change your business name if necessary.
  • Address: Update your physical address if it’s changed.
  • Phone Number: Modify your contact number.
  • Website URL: Alter your website URL if needed.
  • Categories: Edit the categories that describe your business.
  • Hours of Operation: Adjust your business hours.
  • Description: Make changes to the description of your business.
5. Verify Changes
After making the necessary edits, carefully review the information to ensure accuracy.
6. Submit for Review
Click the "Submit for Review" button to send the changes to Apple for approval. The company will review your updates, and once approved, the changes will appear on your Apple Maps business listing.
Remember, providing accurate and up-to-date information is critical to maintain a strong online presence and attract new customers. Apple Business Connect offers a user-friendly platform to manage your listing, so take advantage of its features to stay relevant in the competitive marketplace.
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Key Takeaways on Claiming Apple Maps Listings
In the dynamic landscape of digital navigation, Apple Maps is a powerful ally for businesses seeking visibility. The location-specific place cards Apple Maps offers serve as beacons, effortlessly guiding potential customers to your doorstep. These cards showcase your business and offer convenient built-in actions like phone calls and website visits, establishing a direct and seamless connection.
The success of your listing hinges on the details. The more accurate and comprehensive your information, the higher the likelihood of converting prospects into clients. An Apple Maps business listing doesn't just provide information; it crafts a seamless experience for both your business and your customers.
Unlocking the full potential of Apple Maps is made simple with Apple Business Connect. Once you claim your business listing, expect more than just visibility; anticipate lucrative gains. Your brand will stand out, drawing in a wider audience and positioning your business for success in the competitive digital landscape.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Apple Maps Business Listing Free?
Yes, claiming and managing an Apple Maps Business listing is free for businesses of all sizes.
Why Doesn't My Business Show up on Apple Maps?
If your business doesn't appear on Apple Maps, it's possible your information hasn’t been added to Apple Business Connect or is outdated. Contact Apple Business Connects customer service for help.
How Long Does It Take for a New Business to Show up on Apple Maps?
The time it takes for a new business to appear on Apple Maps can vary. Once you submit your business information through Apple Business Connect, Apple reviews it to verify its accuracy. After the company grants approval, your listing will be visible on Maps. This process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on various factors.
How Do I Change My Business Address on Apple Maps?
To change your business address on Apple Maps, sign in to your Apple Business Connect account and update that information. Ensure the new address is accurate, then submit the changes for Apple to review. Once approved, the updated address will appear in your business listing on Apple Maps.
What Are Apple Places on Maps?
Apple Places refers to the place cards of businesses and locations that show up on Apple Maps. They contain information, including the business’s name, address, contact details, directions, and more. Users can interact with these place cards to learn more about the businesses and get directions or contact them directly.
What Is Apple Business Register?
Apple Business Register is the platform through which businesses submit and manage their information on Apple Maps. By signing up for Apple Business Connect, companies can create a place card for their establishment with important details such as location, contact information, and directions. This makes it easier for customers who use Apple devices and apps to discover and engage with businesses.
Can I Add Multiple Locations for My Business on Apple Maps?
Yes, Apple Business Connect supports multi-location integrations, allowing businesses with multiple branches or franchises to manage and showcase all their locations seamlessly on Apple Maps. Simply follow the steps outlined in Apple Business Connect to ensure accurate representation across all your business locations.
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How to Achieve a Healthy Work-Life Balance as an Entrepreneur

Published on October 23, 2023

The United States is the most overworked developed nation in the entire world. There are no federal laws requiring paid sick days, indicating a maximum length of the work week, or mandating paid parental leave.

Living in this kind of culture, it's difficult to know how to keep a healthy work-life balance. It's even more difficult when you're starting a new business!

Entrepreneurs invest much of themselves into their startups and could end up losing their social and family lives because of it. If you want to avoid those pitfalls, keep reading our article to learn how to maintain a healthy work lifestyle!

1. Set and Follow Your Schedule

Your schedule needs to be more than just a weekly work schedule. It should include all aspects of your life.

Things like holidays, family events, and doctor appointments should have their place on your calendar. It may help you to keep two schedules to separate work and home in your mind. Either way, organize your life, as well as your work.

Include little breaks in your daily schedule to go for a 15-minute walk. Put reminders to stop and eat lunch. Try to keep that lunch from being a work outing. It's easy to become one-track-minded when you're a business owner and entrepreneur. The number of hours that you're pouring into your work should be written down.

Even if you're not paying yourself by the hour, it helps to see how much you've worked in a day or week. Set the number of hours that you won't exceed and plan your work schedule within them.

It's common for entrepreneurs to work outside of the 9 to 5. This way of scheduling makes it possible for those who work better at different times of the day to still have a boundary.

You have to strive to protect your schedule. When work is done, it's done. No checking emails or taking work calls during family time or when you should be sleeping.

2. Prioritize Your Physical and Mental Health

You're of no use to your business if you're burned out, sick, or both. Prioritizing your health benefits, you and your company.

The moment your mental or physical health takes a backseat to your business is the moment you've started down a dangerous path.

This means no ordering pizza so you can keep working late. Stop what you're doing and feed your body what it needs.

A mental health day isn't only for when a relative passes away. Sometimes, we have bad days. You blew a tire, your child's sick, and you found your house has termites. Take a day off to get these situations and your mind in order.

Stress causes health problems and disrupts everything in your body. It's important to find solutions to stress instead of simply living with it.

This looks different for everyone. A few ways to cope with stress are:
  • Meditation
  • Therapy
  • Journaling
  • Exercising
  • Reading
  • A New Hobby

Many people have seen wonderful effects from following a healthy diet and exercise. Care about your well-being at least as much as you care about
your company.

3. Get Comfortable Delegating

You can't do all things at all times. While it's true that no one cares about your business as much as you do, they can still be trusted to do their job.

Allow people to help you because as the saying goes, "No man is an island."

Invest in people that you trust and believe in. Then, don't micromanage them. Employees respond positively to bosses and employers that take the time to train them. You don't have to become best friends, but you should know their talents, strengths, and weaknesses.

Celebrate hardworking employees by promoting them to cover areas that you're struggling to maintain. Eventually, you want to feel comfortable being completely out of reach for days off. Not only is this a good work lifestyle to keep, but it also drastically helps your productivity. Imagine spinning five different plates.

You don't have that many arms. Get comfortable delegating!

4. Reward Yourself

It should go without saying that you need to pay yourself. Take a paycheck!

You have to be rewarded for your time, effort, and talent. You're deserving of it. It helps your overall motivation when you are rewarded for your work. This keeps you from burnout.

On top of being paid monetarily, you need to be setting business goals. How much do you want to have earned by this month? How many clients would you like to have by the end of the year?

These markers keep you focused and moving forward in your job. You develop a sense of accomplishment when you hit the goals, which is essential for both work and life!

Once you hit your goals, reward yourself. What have you been wanting?

It could be a vacation, a new car, a bigger tv, etc. Whatever you choose shouldn't have anything to do with work. Don't buy a new photocopier or a more comfortable desk chair. Treat yourself to something that keeps you reaching forward.

Then, set new goals and new rewards. This cycle encourages excitement about what you do instead of burnout.

5. Go On Vacations

In addition to health days, give yourself vacation days. Use those vacation days to go on a real vacation. Plan it in advance! Put it on your schedule half a year to a year ahead of time.

This gives you time to get your systems into place so you know everything will run smoothly while you're gone. Detach yourself from anything work-related and focus on enjoying your time.

At the bare minimum, you should be giving yourself the number of vacation days that you would get working for someone else. Don't pencil it in. Write it firmly in ink.

Vacations are one of the top ways to relieve stress. Strengthen your relationships with your family and friends by going on vacation with them. Going on a vacation increases happiness and widens your view. It's a great way to remove your tunnel vision.

You never know what you will see or learn in addition to safeguarding yourself against burnout. A new culture may be hiding a gem that helps your business go to the next level.

6. Listen to Your Loved Ones

Starting a business is a massive undertaking, especially in the beginning. It takes a lot of your time and a lot of your money.

Because of that, it becomes extremely important to you. It's difficult to keep a healthy perspective.
The people around you see how hard you're working. They notice the toll that it takes on you.

Keep an open mind and an open ear for your loved ones and mentors. Be receptive to what they have to say.

If your partner tries to tell you that you're working too much, enter into the conversation. Take a look at your schedule and notice where you're pushing your boundaries.

It's time to start examining your systems and setups. Rearrange them to free yourself up more.
It could be that you've had to work more this week because of unexpected issues that popped up. But it's easy to let that continue for weeks and months. Those turn into years.

Hold your boundaries in place. Take time elsewhere if you've had to work more recently.

Know the signs of when you're becoming a workaholic. Don't let your relationships fall apart because of it.

7. Keep a Hobby

Everyone needs to have a hobby! This is an outlet that brings you joy. Your hobby shouldn't be your main source of income. It shouldn't be something that feels like work for you.

Having a hobby gives you something outside of work to bring satisfaction in life. It keeps you from going all in on one thing. Hobbies also keep you from burning out. Ideally, this would be something that utilizes your creativity. It doesn't have to be something you're great at. It just has to be something you enjoy.

Your hobby could be one of the stress relievers we talked about above. This is because most hobbies relieve stress! Whatever you choose, know that your life is more robust because of it. You'll be more interested in social situations and stay interested in your work better if you keep your hobby.

Maintaining a Healthy Work-Life Balance

The biggest key to maintaining a healthy work-life balance is your mindset. You must know your priorities, stick to your boundaries, and listen to those around you.

When you notice, your scale is tipping to one side more than the other, take a step back and assess your schedule. Always prioritize your health and the things that keep you well.

Let Freedom Social & Web Designs know if you enjoyed our post and found helpful insights.
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The Difference Between SEO and SEM 

Did you know that there are over 1.9 billion active websites on the internet? With the online landscape becoming increasingly competitive, having a website has become a necessity, especially for businesses.

If you own an online business, you're probably wondering how to effectively promote and achieve success in this vast digital realm.

This is where the significance of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) comes into play. But what sets these two strategies apart, and which one is right for your business?

Let's delve into the crucial differences between SEO and SEM, and how both can significantly boost your business.

What You Need To Know About SEO

No matter whether you have a web design business, a law business, or sell products, SEO will always be your friend when marketing your products or services. If you don't know anything about the internet, the first thing you should know is SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimization.

What does this mean exactly? It has everything to do with search engines like Google and how those search engines find and rank online content. For example, suppose you type in "red lipstick" into Google. As soon as you do that, millions of search results will appear before your eyes.

The most popular results will rank on the first page and they will also get the most views. They end up on the first page because those websites use SEO practices to the best of their ability. Then, there are millions of other search results that appear on the second, third, and even 21st pages of Google.

Of course, most people would never go to such a faraway page. In fact, few people even bother to ever click on the second page of Google. After all, the first page already has all the information that a person would be looking for.

But how can you get your content to the first page of Google anyway? It all has to do with how SEO works. Marketing businesses online has everything to do with what kind of SEO practices you use.

The first thing you should know is that using good keywords is essential. A keyword is only a single word or string of words that is used to help Google (and other search engines) rank and sort your content. For example, "red lipstick" is a very popular keyword.

Using Keywords

When you type this in, many search results of different websites will appear either providing information about red lipstick or trying to sell a product. Whatever the case, a keyword is what will make it easier for both search engines and real people to find your content.

Obviously, if you have an online business trying to sell red lipstick and you don't use the keyword "red lipstick," it will be hard for anyone to find your content. It is important to use the right kind of keywords as well. Keywords that are too short, vague, or popular won't be very effective.

This is because too many search results pop up when you type them in and if you use such a keyword, your content will only end up buried in the long list of search results. Ideally, you should choose a more specific or niche keyword. This will allow you to target a more specific audience and it will make it less likely for your content to be swallowed up by thousands or millions of other competitors.

Long-tail keywords are good for this purpose. They are keywords that involve three or more words. The sheer length of such a keyword will make it more niche which is what you want most of the time. Besides the power of keywords, you should know that SEO, in general, is a very powerful tool that you can use completely for free.

The Benefits of SEO

How can SEO be free if it is so powerful? This is because there are many ways you can enhance a website’s SEO on your own. As long as you know what words to use, what links to use, and so on, you can use SEO to your advantage and you won't have to pay a dime.

This is not to mention that SEO is an amazing long-term solution to bringing more traffic to your site. However, the main downside is that it can take some time for people to start trickling into your site. After several months, the power of SEO will start to take hold and you will notice an increase in the number of viewers your website will get and where you rank on search results.

From that point on, your views will only start to compound on an exponential scale. SEO and social media also have a close connection since social media also uses keywords and can help bring more views to your site. But how does SEM compare to the power of SEO?

What You Need To Know About SEM

Many people often confuse SEM with SEO since they tend to go hand-in-hand. Sometimes, SEM is even grouped in with SEO. However, these two things are very different.

SEM stands for search engine marketing. This type of marketing is unique because it is a form of paid advertising. Many people believe that SEM is one of the best possible ways you can grow an online business.

In reality, both SEO and SEM are ideal for growing an online business and you can benefit from using them both at once. However, the main difference is that SEM is not really a long-term solution but instead a solution for the short term, unlike SEO. This is due to the fact that you will have to spend money to advertise.

But even so, you can bring quite a lot of traffic to your website with this kind of advertising, even in a short period of time. This is because paid advertising has a wide reach and can attract internet users from all walks of life and direct them to one place: your website. Another benefit of SEM is that you get fast results, unlike SEO.

With SEO, you usually have to wait months and months before you finally see a significant uptick in your website's traffic. This is simply the way SEO works. However, SEM has a much more proactive attitude and can bring hundreds or even thousands of visitors to your site almost instantly.

This is the simple power of paid advertising. Of course, the main downside of SEM is that you have to pay for it. This is unlike SEO which you can do completely for free for as long as you want.

The Pros and Cons of SEM

When you use SEM, you can either decide to do a small marketing campaign or a massive one (as well as everything in between).

Of course, when you opt for a small advertising campaign, you won't have to pay as much but you'll only get a relatively small influx of traffic. If you pay a lot more money for a much larger campaign, you can get an influx of tens of thousands of people to your website, if not more.

The effectiveness of SEM really depends on how much money you're willing to spend. Big companies can afford to spend thousands of dollars on advertising alone while small businesses might only be able to spend a few hundred dollars, if that. However, even if you can't spend a lot of money on advertising doesn't mean that you shouldn't do it at all.

Even spending just a few dollars and advertising can have surprisingly influential results. Advertisements have the ability to reach all different corners of the internet and as long as those advertisements are enticing enough, they should attract plenty of people to your site. And, in regard to the amount of money you might need to spend on SEM, keep in mind that SEM is only a short-term boost.

You'll only need to pay for this kind of advertising for a short time to see significant results.

SEO or SEM: Finding the Perfect Fit for Your Business

When it comes to SEO vs. SEM, you should know that one is not better than the other. Rather, they are both very good types of marketing to use if you want to bring more traffic to your online business. SEO is free and takes a longer period of time to work, but it is the perfect long-term solution.

SEM is short-term paid advertising that is great for quickly bringing more people to your site. To learn more, contact us here.

7 Signs You Need a New Website for Your Business

The first and oldest web domain on the internet is symbolics.com, founded in 1985. And even they updated their look and feel to keep up with modern search and user trends.

Web design might sometimes seem like an unnecessary expense for some small business owners. In fact, it's quite the opposite. User habits and Google search algorithms change regularly. You're missing out on valuable traffic (and potential customers) if you're not consistently modernizing your website.

But how do you know when it's time to upgrade—or build your first site? Below, we highlight 7 signs or reasons a small business needs a new website.

Read on to see if they apply to you!

1. You Still Don't Have a Website

Shockingly, a large number of small businesses in America don't have a website at all.

It might be okay if your business is an independent gas station in a high-traffic area, but it poses a significant problem for anyone else. You're missing out on many potential leads if you don't have a website.

Thankfully, this is a problem that you can resolve quickly. There's never been a better time to access affordable website design. Today, websites are reasonable to host, affordable and quick to design, and easy to maintain—so long as you work with a savvy provider.

2. Your Current Website is Ugly or Outdated

The adage goes: Never judge a book by its cover. Well, that doesn't work so well when it comes to your online presence.

The main goal of your website is to attract and engage visitors, encouraging them to interact with your website the way the entity hosting the website needs them to. This might be to buy a product (an e-commerce business), request a service quotation (a plumber or roofer), or make an appointment (a doctor's office). However, one study found that close to 40% of visitors will discontinue their time on a website if they think it's, well, ugly.

So, if your website looks like it's from 2013 instead of 2023, it's time to invest in a website redesign—ASAP!

3. Your Website Is Not Mobile Friendly

You're probably glued to your smartphone. After all, the average user spends over 3 hours A DAY scrolling socials, websites, emails, podcasts, and more on their phone.

Well, it's not a wild assertion to suggest your customers are doing the same thing. And you need to make sure your company website works great on a desktop and adapts to the smaller screens people now use.

And that's because nearly 60% of web traffic comes from a mobile device—a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

Thankfully, most website builders today use responsive design technology, making it easy to adapt to this new reality.

4. You're Not Getting the Results You Expect From Your Site

You've nailed that all-important first impression. Your website looks great on mobile. Yet, you're still not attracting those all-important leads—at least, not as many as you'd hoped.

If your conversions are low, it could be because your website design isn't optimized to aid your customer's journey through your sales funnel. They might find you, but once they're on your site, they're getting lost in where to go or what to do next.

A redesign with a focus on clear calls-to-action can help you achieve your conversion goals.

5. Business Is Slow, and Sales Are Stagnating

You've had a legitimate business for a long time, and once, your website served you well. People could find you, and they'd contact you via phone or the contact form on your website to enquire about your services.

Today, those people just aren't coming. So what's going on?

Your aging website is likely not optimized for inbound marketing. You must ensure it includes places where you can provide your visitors with educational and helpful information that addresses their pain points and helps them trust your expertise.

6. You Have a High Bounce Rate

Google Analytics defines a bounce rate as the percentage of people who visit a single page on your website. This essentially means the analytics program is counting the number of people who only stay on the website they first click through to—say, from the Google search results page—and then click away from your website immediately or a short time later.

A high bounce rate is considered anywhere between 56% to 70% (or above). You can read this as your website not having enough relevant content to keep visitors interested and exploring.

To remedy this, you need to upgrade your website, so it offers people somewhere to go next at all stages of their experience.

7. Your Website Isn't Secure

If your website fails on security, it will get downvoted in Google searches. And this means no one will find you. Also, if visitors perceive your website as unsafe, they're unlikely to trust you.

Modern websites need an SSL certificate at a minimum. This is a fundamental trust signal for visitors and Google. However, some small businesses may need to consider upgrading to something even more encrypted, especially if they collect personal client data.

We Build Small Business Websites That Work

If you think you need a new website, trust your gut. If it's telling you "yes," you probably needed to invest yesterday. If even one of the points above resonates with you, it's time to invest in an upgrade.

Perhaps your customers complain they can't find what they need on your website. Maybe you're worried clients aren't finding you online at all! Can you navigate properly or upload new content onto your website?

Contact our agency to discuss your new website today. We specialize in affordable web solutions and small business websites that are effective, optimized, and secure.
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The Trade Desk shuts advertisers’ access to Yahoo’s video content

The Trade Desk disabled access to Yahoo’s video inventory across the open market on June 17 in a dispute over how the latter labels its media inventory, and while negotiations are ongoing, further repercussions are in prospect.

It’s the latest stage in a months-long dispute in which The Trade Desk’s marketplace quality team is dissatisfied with Yahoo’s declaration of its video advertising inventory as in-stream when sold via open marketplaces.

The industry’s largest independent demand-side platform maintains Yahoo’s approach to labeling in-stream ad inventory does not comply with the latest industry standards; rather, they interpret its definition as more akin to “accompanying content”— ad inventory that commands less of a premium price tag.

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Cannes Briefing: Sports hold full court at Cannes Lions 2024

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Sports at Cannes? Old news. They’re like peanut butter and jelly — they just go together. Normally, the festival takes place alongside mega events like the World Cup, where the ad industry’s elite sip rosé and munch on canapés, chatting about it all. But this year? Sports aren’t just a sideshow; they’re taking center stage.

And they’re everywhere.

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HR and marketing are more connected than they used to be

This story was originally published on our sister site, WorkLife.

Traditionally, HR and marketing operated in silos, with HR focused on responsibilities like recruitment, compliance and employee well-being while marketing was concerned with functions such as brand promotion and customer engagement.

But a highly competitive job market and the rise of employer branding have necessitated a closer collaboration between the two. This, as companies have come to see their employees as the ultimate brand ambassadors — something that requires consistent, strategic messaging internally and externally.

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Three strategies publishers are adopting to drive affiliate commerce revenue for Amazon Prime Day 2024

One of the most lucrative shopping holidays for publishers’ affiliate commerce businesses, Amazon Prime Day, is approaching.

Commerce publishers saw higher conversion rates, order volumes and revenue year over year during last year’s two-day sales event. But Condé Nast, Gallery Media Group and She Media aren’t relying on last year’s strategies to maximize the revenue potential of next month’s shopping holiday — especially after all of the changes made to their commerce affiliate businesses since then.

While Amazon hasn’t announced an official date for Prime Day this year, some publishers claim they are preparing for the sale to go live in July.

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