Many internet users looking for answers, suggestions, and ideas about products and services on the internet before making a purchase, it therefore makes sense that businesses with good online presence have an edge in getting customers as opposed to those who do not. An important way these businesses benefit is by listing their businesses in online business directories. There are many different types of online business directories, from large global directories to small, niche and location-specific ones. Business directories also differ in use, regarding creation and laying claim to business listing.
Business directories are online records of details of businesses including products and services rendered, contact information, website link etc There are many benefits associated with listing your small business in an online directory. Business owners are advised to list their businesses in several online directories. The more directories your business is listed in, the more benefits it derives from the listings. The following include some benefits of online business directories:
Advertisement is essential for every business. Businesses cannot grow without it! Some online business directories allow businesses to add listings for free, while others will charge some fee. Some directories offer premium/paid advertisement packages to advertise on the directories for a period of time. Either way, the results are far more than could be gotten from conventional local forms of advertisement.
Some business directories can add a badge to your business listing(s) to indicate that your business is verified and authentic. This tells users to trust your business, a confirmation that your business exists and trustworthy. A professional appearance enhances your status and makes customers more likely to patronize your business. Online business directories also give your business a professional look. Your business will be viewed by users as an authority in your business niche and a legitimate place to do business.
Many directories allow customers to leave a review about their experience with the respective businesses, the products or the services rendered. Many business owners do not appreciate customer reviews, ironically, reviews offer the ability to improve business reputation. Either good or bad review can improve business reputation. With customer understanding and communication, negative reviews can be turned the opposite. Reviews are a form of recommendation, as people prefer to buy products someone else has enjoyed rather than a new product.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Business directories play a great role in the SEO of business websites. Search engines favor business directories! They are a great source of links for search engine crawlers to index and generally, they have a lot of traffic. Links form directories or other websites to your website are called back-links. Back-links from directories to your website increases its value with search engines. They give your website relevance with search engine crawlers also, making it rank high in search engine result pages (SERP). This increases traffic to your website and the awareness of your brand online.
They offer inbound links to your website. This means that users of directories can view your business listings on the directories, click on your business website and be re-directed to the website. This increases traffic to your website.
New Leads or Customers
Users don’t go online to search for businesses, they search for specific products and services. Online business directories allow users to search for businesses with products they want or those with services they need. The easier a potential customer can engage with your business, the more likely they are going to, and thereafter make a purchase. Business directories create a channel by which potential customers can easily engage business owners and their businesses.
Online presence and Brand Awareness
Business directories help to increase the number of people you can reach with your business. Online users check out local businesses in online directories generally, listing your business’ website with several online business directories will help more people find your website, whether they are specifically searching for it or not.
The more your business and/or business website appears in search results, both in search engines and business directories, the more brand awareness and exposure your business gets. Overall, the number of people visiting your business listing or business website increases, increasing sales.
Business directories are good for lead generation. They can increase your sales and revenue. Your business listing on directories will benefit from the high traffic of the directories, leading to more people visiting your website/store. This increases the number of people with potential to buy your products and more people that eventually buy your products.
They are also a very effective way to directly target potential customers. online business directories make it easy for online users to find something they want. This is a very effective form of targeted advertising. The customer already needs or wants your product or service and you can directly target them by listing your website in an online directory.
- Claim your listings
- Cross check and update your business details on all platforms
- Ensure business address is listed correctly in Google Maps
- Google yourself for maintaining listings
- Be consistent with your business details on all platforms
- Document your listings in all platforms to keep tab on them.
- Link to your website from your listing Page
- Encourage customers to review your business
- Monitor customers Reviews
- Update business listings regularly
The days of looking up businesses in hard-copies of the Yellow Pages are over. Users nowadays make use of search engines like Google and online business directories to find businesses with products they want or services they are in need of. There are many online directories for specific niches, industries and business categories. Find the ones that benefit your business and list your business in them or update your business details if your business has been listed already.
Duplicate listings on a directory or not claiming your listings are mistakes business owners often make. These are not good, as they have the potential to harm, rather than improve, your online presence and verification with search engines. You may have several listings of the same business on different business directories but not more than one on a single directory.