Not all online searches and transactions are performed on search engines. Directories and social media websites expand your reach and have some of the hottest leads on the web at an inexpensive cost. Whether free or paid, these marketplaces are worth spending your advertising budget on.
Online directories are very beneficial for small businesses. You just have to know how they work.
An online directory is a website submission service that allows your small business’s website to be added to a specific category where it can be searched for by interested viewers. These searchable online directories allow their viewers to search for websites and businesses that they find interesting or that they want to learn more about. Listing your small business on an online directory increases your website’s visibility on the web and helps to create inbound links to your business’s website. Online directories make it easy for people to find what they are looking for. These directories can be accessed from just about anywhere that has an internet connection. This means that people could find your business’s website from their home, office or even while traveling.
Being listed in an online directory can give your small business more exposure!
Exposure is important for all business marketing strategies. After all, the more people who are exposed to your business the more people are likely to utilize your business’s services. If online viewers aren’t able to see your website or even know that it exists, then they probably aren’t going to purchase your products or services. Listing your business’s website in online directories helps your website to gain exposure. Thousands of people use online directories everyday to find things they are interested in. These are people who are actively searching for websites that are directly related to your products or services. They are already looking- all you have to do is make it easy for them to find you. Online directories will expose your business to more online viewers, which could increase traffic to your website.
Where’s the best place to start looking at online directories you should be in? Start with your competitors!
You will probably want to consider listing with the top 10 online directories, as these will be used by a lot of people and will offer higher relevancy and authority in the eyes of search engines. Google Places and Google Maps are large general-interest directories that you will want to list your small business in. If your website sells tangible goods you may also want to consider listing it in comparison shopping websites and product listings directories. Studies show that 42% of consumers will look at a comparison shopping website before they decide to purchase a specific product.
The best way to figure out which specific online directories your small business should be listed in is to start with your competitors. Take a look at your local and niche-specific options and figure out if your competition is already listed. If they are you need to be listed too. If they are not listed you may want to list your website as a way to beat them to the punch. In some situations it may not make sense for you to have a listing in a specific online directory, even if your competitors are listed in it. Your goal should be to be listed in every relevant and niche-specific directory you can find as well as many of the major directories, but no so many directories that you appear as spam.
On any of these sites, search to see if your business is already listed, then claim control of your existing listing instead of submitting a duplicate. For new submissions, I’ve linked to the deepest page that can help you set up a new business profile quickly. Also if you have a directory that you think should be included, please feel free to mention it in the comments.
Listings are important, but they’re just the beginning. You also want to make sure you have reviews!
Local listings are a great way to market your company and get the word out about who you are and what you do. However, if you don’t have any positive reviews within those local listings they can do more harm than good. This is because when reviewing all the different businesses within your industry or category, users will always look to the reviews to give them a better idea of the service and quality of product they can expect. And if you don’t have any reviews but your competition’s page is filled with positive reviews, you’re sending customers directly to them instead of to you. You can get more reviews by using surveys, providing incentives, having a tablet with the review site already up to hand over to customers, responding to reviews already up, and by knowing when and where to refer customers.
Need help submitting? This can be very time consuming, and we can help.