It is indeed exciting to own your own business but it can also be overwhelming at times. You certainly have a lot on your plate so you need marketing that is effective and proven to work so that you don’t waste time and money. This is why you need to be listed in business directories as part of your marketing.
Why do business directories work so well for small businesses?
According to a recent study,[i] 8 out of 10 people will use a directory when they are looking for a business. And of those directory searches, eighty-six percent will end in a sale. This means that adding your listing to a Business Directory has a higher chance of getting results, as the person looking for your products or services has a great need for them.
Business Directory listings also help with getting found in the search engines. As these directories are highly optimized for the Search Engines, you have a greater chance of being seen. It is very important to have your business listed in business directories and be consistent with your business details.
Are business directories profitable for small businesses?
If you maintain your listings and update them regularly, you can expect a great return on your investment. Keeping your content fresh helps your listing show that your business is active. Research has shown that nowadays 97% of your prospects look at an average of 8 different sources, before they make the decision to buy.
As a marketer I can tell you that if you want to make a sale, you need to remain in his mind so that when he is ready to buy, he will think of you first, before your competition. Therefore, if you are listed in many directories, your business name will come up often, which will increase the likelihood of your prospects finding you before your competition.
How to choose which directories to list on and where to find them
It is best not to haphazardly put your business in every directory you can find, but to choose the best ones. You should upgrade your listing too as many directories have your website as a nofollow link until you upgrade. It is therefore wise to choose about 10 – 15 good ones and upgrade in some of them rather than more listings that won’t bring you business.
Look for directories that get lots of traffic. They also need a high Google Page Rank. This helps your listing appear high in Google’s search results, which will increase your chances of being found.
If you want to be listed in a print directory, look for directories in your niche, and also look for business directory sections of a popular magazine or newspaper. If you are a business-to-business service, you need to belong to your local chamber of commerce and get a listing there.
Make sure to get the right mix for your business. New directories appear daily. Some are free, whilst others charge a fee. You absolutely need to be listed in Google Maps and Google Places as those are the main ones. If your business sell physical products, you should also look for comparison shopping websites and look for a directory where you can add your products.
Increase your website traffic
Listing your business and website can also help your website appear higher in the search engines. You need to list your business in quality business directories. Search engines will then take note and see your site as an authoritative site. This can increase your website’s visibility and increase your page rank.
For this reason, your details need to be consistent in every directory. If you have variations, the search engines will get confused and start treating it as different businesses. If you move your business or take over an existing business it can create a big issue with the search engines. Make sure you have a list of all the listings you have and update them all if any of your business details change.
Google Yourself, claim and update
It helps to Google your business every now and then to see the status of your listings and to see which perform better. Double check that your business information is still correct, and update where necessary. In some directories you need to claim ownership of your listing.
In some cases, new directories just add you themselves. It is important that you check these as often their information is incorrect.
Make sure that you document each place you have a listing at. I suggest making a spreadsheet where you list things like the directory name, website and your login information. You can then also document the results when you search in Google and see how each listing performs. This will save you a lot of time and frustration when your business details change.
Consistency, documentation and taking ownership will help your business ranking in the search engines. And it will help your SEO. (Search Engine Optimization)
What you need to do now
You need to consider adding directory listings to your marketing plan. You can look at which directories are available in your niche and region. You can look which business directories have good traffic and a high page rank. Then you need to look at what your competitors are doing and see where they advertise and whether it would be beneficial for you to also advertise there. Implement some sort of tracking system to see which directories give you the best return for your investment. And above all, remember that it will take some time before you see amazing results.
Remember that the task of listing your business in business directories is an ongoing task, which means you don’t “set and forget” but maintain these listings and update them often. Studies have proven that this strategy of listing your business in directories can be a very good and profitable one.
Make sure your listing is designed in such a way that it catches the attention of the prospects searching for you. This, together with minding the above, will help ensure your small business success.
PurpleBiz is an International and Local Online Business Directory with a difference: Not only can you have a listing with a link to your website, but you can also showcase your business with video, brochures and graphics.
This article was written by Hannah Kramer of Attraction Marketing
[i] Burke study