These days the internet is by far the most common and useful tool to find businesses and service providers. Getting online with business listings is particularly important to your business as it will deliver customers and sales to you.
Business listings enable you to:
- increase your online presence and improve incoming traffic to your website, which will greatly improve your internet search ranking;
- show up in customer search results - usually instant as most business listings provide quick listing processes;
- establish your brand by creating consistent attractive adverts;
- advertise your business for free or for a low cost;
- network and interact with your social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc;
- connect with your customers as they can find and connect with you from numerous sources - most directories provide a mechanism to contact you directly or via their service;
- tap into local, state and international searches, depending on your market;
- get connected with other business owners – share ideas, get support - many sites offer the ability to link, affiliate or partner with other members;
- get referrals from networks created on the various business listings;
- test sources of advertising and constantly monitor and refine your advertising sources and methodologies;
- drive traffic to your business website - good business listings will help you get traffic to your site;
- understand consumer behavior and trends;
- identify problems in your marketing approach;
- establish basic information about what works and what does not work, tie this into your overall marketing strategy and performance.
As a final suggestion, work with experts to help you maximise your online presence. This may include web designers, editors and digital media consultants who provide specialist advisory and management service to help your business and to optimise your web presence. Arguably, there are lots of benefits associated with search engine optimisation.
When Establishing Your Business Listings:
- Avoid inaccurate or misleading information;
- Avoid "hurried" listings – each one should be thought through and be well presented;
- Avoid inconsistent messages – make sure your data is consistent and always up to date;
- Provide information which is clear and easy to understand;
- Standardise your brand – use consistent messages, text, font and logos;
- Keep your listings up to date and remove the ones that don’t work for you;
- Avoid business listings that are not relevant to your business;
- Consider paid listings. Paid directory listings tend to offer more features than free listings and are likely to be more effective as you can usually provide better information on which your customers can do their online searches.
- List in good directories, good directories will pass the "Google test" – i.e. directories that have quality content that offer something of value to their visitors / customers.