The Benefits of Online Business Directory Listings
Most online business directories offer a choice between free and paid advertising services; both play a vital role in promoting businesses and are gaining popularity for a range of reasons. The key is to maximise your effort and time in establishing your online business directory presence along with your online presence generally (assuming you have a website). Ideally, you will register with an online business directory that features prominently within internet search engines (e.g. Google). With most smartphones allowing internet access anywhere and at any time, the use of online business directories is increasingly important – so utilise this advertising medium.
This site is an online business directory solution that provides a range of features including the ability to list your business, highlight your branding (logo), list your key people (including their photographs if you like), as well as list your products and services, embedded social media, associate networks, and more. This method of advertising also assists your business with SEO strategies and provides practical business tips via its regular blogs and updates.
If you are not listed with an online business directory, you are likely missing sales opportunities!
Listing your business on an online business directory is generally very easy and convenient, with each site offering you step by step instructions and easy to use tools to establish your advert. However, registration is not simply about exposure and getting your name out into the market place.
Maximizing Your Online Business Directory Listing
We all know that competition is generally very high and that most of us are time starved. This is extremely true of people who run their own businesses because they need to balance the fine line between working in the business or actually running it (working on the business). Making sure that you stay ahead of your competition is important, as is using your time effectively.
There are a number of key things to think about to maximise your efforts. Here are some of the more important ones in no particular order:
- Make your online business directory listings appealing – ask yourself: if you were to come across your online business directory listing, would you find it appealing? You need to make your adverts appeal to your potential customers. Use similar branding to your website if you have one.
- Select an online business directory that looks organised and appealing, as that is more likely to be used by your potential customers. Hard to use online business directories are not consumer friendly and therefore most likely add little benefit to your company if they don’t hang around to use it.
- Link to your social media campaigns. Use Twitter to advise where you can be found and what you do. Communicate your messages concisely and clearly.
- Make sure you actually help your customers, as the listing must be useful and beneficial to them. Consumers use directories as a way of having access to a more complete range of businesses. Accordingly, select an online business directory that matches your business so that you are likely to attract customers who actually need or use your type of services and/or goods.
- If the site allows ratings, then be aware that this can work for and against you and will require you to regularly monitor your ratings. If your ratings are low, then act to either change this or cancel your advertisement on that site as it will do more damage than good.
- Look for online business directories that are nationwide as these are likely to comprise a large number of listings and therefore are more likely to cover businesses in most locations and in most categories. However, choose a site that allows you to search by region. HirePulse, for example, offers various tools that allow visitors to search graphically by location as well as by individual and by business. HirePulse allows your business to cover all parts of Australia and therefore offers a complete consumer solution for finding businesses throughout Australia.
- Select an online business directory that allows you the flexibility to change the information as often as you like, as your business will not stay static and will evolve. It is also important to keep your adverts fresh and up to date. Having a listing that is out of date is more damaging than having an advert that works so KEEP YOUR ADVERTS UP TO DATE AND CURRENT. This sounds obvious, but is a problem frequently not addressed.
- Consider how your adverts tie into industry online business directories. If these are available, this is a good place to tap into industry specific news and issues.
- Include local business directories in your mix.
- Don’t just advertise with one online business directory. Good search engine rankings will make sure that your business is picked up when people search by key words. Online business directories should let you establish links back to your own website; the more business directories your business is submitted to, the more inbound links you will have. This effectively improves your own website search rankings.
- Don’t just forget your registrations/listings. Make sure that you monitor them so you can understand which ones are working for you and which ones aren’t.
- If you don’t have a website then the listing/advert you create on the online business directory will provide you with an online web presence.
Online business directories benefit all types of businesses and offer an inexpensive and generally effective way to maintain your online presence.