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The New Ways Yahoo! is Helping Small Businesses Gain Visibility

Small businesses are always looking for ways to gain visibility in an increasingly competitive business world. Recognizing this, more companies than ever are realizing the value of helping the country’s many small businesses succeed. After all, small business success has a direct impact on the economy, since more than half of American employees work in a small business, according to Business Insider. Yahoo¬†recognizes this fact and is on a path to help small businesses gain that visibility they need.

Yahoo! has been working to redefine itself in a Google-dominated world. The company’s recent purchase of e-commerce company Lexity has called attention to just how committed the company is to the small business space. In addition to providing new homepage options and e-commerce solutions to users, the company recently announced a new program designed to help small businesses compete. Called Localworks, the new initiative is intended to act as a marketing portal for small businesses, helping them gain exposure through listings on 40 top directories across the web.

 

Web Hosting and More

Already a provider of small business solutions, Yahoo! is only moving further into the space. Currently, small businesses can obtain web hosting and e-commerce support through the site, as well as purchase custom advertising to reach targeted customers. But many other sites offer those same services, as well, leaving Yahoo! to search for ways to set themselves apart.

Yahoo!’s Small Business Advisor section provides insightful tips and the latest news for small businesses. The site offers exclusive chats and information on how businesses can use small business tools, among many other informative articles. Yahoo!’s Young Entrepreneur Blog reaches out to aspiring entrepreneurs by highlighting professionals who mentor their younger counterparts.

Localworks is a major step in providing a service not found on other small business portals. On behalf of small businesses Yahoo! Localworks pushes profiles and contact information about a business to more than 40 directories, providing small businesses the opportunity to reach 150 million customers monthly through local search. Additionally, these directory listings will be available to both PCs and mobile devices, ensuring consumers can find information on a business using today’s technology.

 

Engaging Customers

To optimize results, businesses can add video and images, which help them stand out in a sea of text and links. Yahoo! Localworks provides the template and businesses need only input their own information to get started. Businesses can even add in their own special offers to give customers a reason to click.

Once listings are in place, small business owners can regularly manage listings from one easy interface, making changes to fit each directory as needed. If a business’s contact information should change, that business needs only update it once to have the changes appear on all directory listings at once. Yahoo! Localworks also provides analytics to give businesses insight into how their listings are performing. Metrics also give businesses an overview of their online reputations. Through this interface, businesses can also manage customer reviews on sites like Yelp in order to address them as quickly as possible.

 

Taking on Competitors

Yahoo! has more than a few competitors when it comes to providing small business solutions. WordPress provides easy collaboration and website design, while Wix, SquareSpace, and GoDaddy give businesses the ability to easily deploy and manage websites. But Yahoo! is working to build a space where a business can design a website, set up an e-store, and read great advice on building their businesses.

 

No Requirements

Businesses don’t have to participate in Yahoo!’s other offerings to take advantage of Localworks. In fact, even if a business is completely without a web presence, that business can take advantage of Localwork’s directory listings service. The service costs $29.99 per month, which is billed quarterly at $89.97. This price is only available through the end of the year, with the service regularly costing $49.99 per month. For businesses simply interested in local listings without enhanced services, Yahoo! offers businesses one listing for free.

The free directory service is said to be only the beginning of Yahoo!’s attempts to help small businesses gain exposure and increase their marketing efforts. To see a full list of directory listings available through Localworks, use the free directory scanner on Yahoo!’s website. Visit this page for more information on Yahoo’s free and lower-priced local listings plans.

 

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About Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and young adult/middle grade novelist, who worked in information systems for more than a decade. Her first book, 30 Days of No Gossip, will be released by Simon and Schuster in spring 2014. She lives in Nashville with her husband.

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