Benefits of Joining an Online Business Directory
All businesses, regardless of their age and size, need to expand their online marketing strategies and have an online presence. Listing in an Australian business directory effectively communicates a message to your market group or target customers.
If well structured, an online business advertising campaign will open up numerous opportunities to build your wealth. Why is this? Because these directories provide a way for your clients to target their search efforts, and also provide you with additional online presence. Online directories give you the ability to be found by customers that would normally be directed to your competitors.
Do You Need to List Your Business With an Online Directory?
There are lots of benefits if you do, as most searched for good and services now happen online!
Listing in an Australian business directory makes you available to thousands of online visitors and potential customers every day. It can also increase your own website’s exposure through backlinks from the online directory, and customers will be able to find your business and its goods or services more easily, as they are more likely to look for these online than through the older mediums.
Also don’t underestimate the value that the listing will do for your business, as it will help you to legitimise your business website. This advertising medium is also a cost effective way to promote your business as most directories offer a free and/or paid membership subscription that is hugely less expensive than other methods of advertising.
If you elect to use an online business directory, choose directories that give you value adding features such as the ability to include pictures, social network chat, and interactive maps, etc. These features are attractive to your customers who now expect way more than a simple name and contact details like the old telephone books.
Importantly, one of the key benefits of advertising with a quality paid directory compared to a free listing is that you get greater control over the content and data on your listing, and thus customers have a greater chance of locating you when they search for your products or services. The cost of these features is hugely beneficial to you, so choose wisely and make a small investment as costs for these services tend to be very reasonable.
Tips to Maximise Your Listing
The key is to work out what you want to advertise or say, and to make sure that the directory caters for your goods or services.
Here is a list of things to consider maximise the bang for your buck!
- Paid plans are likely to offer you greater control than free advertising over what and how you advertise. This small investment decision can make a huge difference.
- Chose directories that have interactive social media features (e.g. Facebook, twitter, chat or affiliate features) as this allows you to create communities or links using these popular advertising mediums which will expand your marketing network.
- Include your branding / business logo if possible (this is generally available with paid listings and some free plans), as this builds brand loyalty.
- Look for the ability for customers to communicate with you directly through the directory site. This feature is generally only available in paid listings but enables your customers to find you more easily without the requirement to go through another step to get to you.
- Be transparent with your pricing as this may also improve the quality of each lead. Remember, quality is way better than quantity with no end gain.
- Keep your messages about your services or goods simple and easy to read. Your advert must be eye catching.
- Provide adequate and suitable information to enable the consumer to make a choice.
- Include keywords that make your advert work effectively for you. This is important as it allows customers to find you effectively using their internet search engines.
- Use images where possible, as only having text is not as appealing. This also helps with branding.
- Create links and communication mechanisms, which can be in the form of enquiry capability, chat lines, social media links, web page links, etc. This allows your customers to connect with you more easily and helps your search engine optimisation at the same time.
Other Things to Consider
- Remember if you have included your contact details (email, mobile, website etc.) keep them up to date! If you don’t, you have wasted your listing but worse you have accidently discredited your own business. However, weigh up the benefit of open contact details (such as openly displaying your email address) versus an enquiry capability, as this reduces spamming.
- Test your online directory presence to see if it is working for you and be prepared to make changes to non-effective advertising mediums / adverts. Fix the mistakes early.
- Be aware of your competitors, as this may change the way you advertise and where you advertise.
Where to Advertise
By far, the most common mistake in advertising is deciding on which medium to use. If your choice is to be online, then you need to determine where to advertise as this is also crucial to your success. The key is understanding your market. This requires research!
Before deciding where to advertise, consider the following:
- Who are your customers?
- What do your customers want to buy?
- Are your products/services needed by the market?
- Where are your customers located?
- Will your customers use the medium that your business is proposing to use? For example, is internet advertising viable given your market?
- Will your customers buy one or multiple items? This will allow you to mould your advertising campaign as obviously one sale as opposed to multiple repeat sales will target different spending patterns and buyer behaviours.
Once you have undertaken this basic analysis and research look at your answers to determine where and how you should advertise. For example, if your target market is the aged, then chances are the internet would not be the appropriate medium to use (at least for current generations). In contrast, if your market is young families or professional people then the internet could be a very effective place to advertise.