The internet is by far the most common and useful tool to find businesses and service providers. Accordingly, getting online with multiple business listings is important to your business, as it will deliver customers to you.
Listings enable you to:
- increase your web presence and improve incoming links 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 - create consistent adverts, messages and look/feel;
- advertise your business for free or for a low cost;
- interact with your social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc;
- connect with your customers as they can find and connect with you from more 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 – many sites offer the ability to link, affiliate or partner with other members;
- get referrals from networks created on the various business listings;
- test markets and sources of advertising – constantly monitor and refine your advertising sources and methodologies;
- drive traffic to your site / business - good sites will help you get traffic to your site;
- understand consumer behaviour and trends;
- identify problems in your marketing approach;
- establish basic information about what works and what does not work, which can tie 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 you optimise your web presence. Arguably, there are lots of benefits associated with search engine optimisation.
Things to do When Establishing Your Business Listings
- Avoid inaccurate or misleading information;
- Avoid slap dash listings – each one should be thought through and be well presented;
- Avoid inconsistent messages – make sure your data is always up to date and consistent;
- Provide information which is clear or 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 as well as free ones. Paid directory service providers tend to offer more features and these should be considered along with free listings as they will obviously improve your internet presence as they are likely to be more effective than the abbreviated free version.
- Get listed in good directories. Good directories will pass the “Google test” – i.e. directories that have good content that offer something of value to their visitors / customers.