Google, Yelp, Yahoo and other online entities give you the opportunity to create an online listing for your business. Each directory requests input of basic information about your business, such as business name, address, and phone number, then asks for specific information pertinent to the online directory. Many benefits exist for listing your business in an online directory. Here are the top 10 reasons to list.
1. Your audience can find you more easily.
You want potential customers to find your business in many ways including by name, city, type of business, product or service type, reviews, ratings, and other categories. Online directories enable you to enter that information so your business can be found by multiple criteria. The directories have sophisticated methods of filtering information for searches so that search results include your business and rank it high.
2. Become more visible to your local audience.
It’s no secret that thousands of online searches every include a type of business, product or service along with a location, for example, “Dentist, Seattle.” Online directory listings can lead local customers directly to you in search results on Google, another browser, or directly on a platform such as Foursquare. A high value is based on backlinks to your website, a validating feature for Google search.
3. You’ll enhance your SEO.
It’s likely you already have keywords and other SEO features on your website, in articles and blog posts, and in social media. Online directories provide another place to add keywords, images with alt-tags, and other SEO features that the specific directories will allow. Search engines looked for quality information to place your listing higher in the rankings.
4. It’s like free advertising.
Many online listings can be placed for free, while others have a small cost compared to actual advertising. In either case, listing in multiple online directories offers a cost-effective way to greatly improve the chances of your audience finding your business.
5. Awareness of your business and brand will increase.
If someone is search for a new hair salon, they may find a list upon searching and peruse it before choosing one. Even if they don’t choose your business, they may remember it and use that information later or mention it to someone else who’s searching.
6. You can benefit from online directory reviews.
Reading reviews are a critical part of decision making for many. If a directory includes customer reviews for products, services, and businesses, positive reviews help others in selecting your business. Negative reviews can hurt unless you address them online to show customers what you done and how much you care, turning the situation in your favor.
7. Build audience trust through directories.
When target customers find you in more and more places, they’re more likely to trust your legitimacy and quality. They see a valid business, good reviews, and accessible information to help them build trust.
8. Boost your reputation.
Along with building trust, a customer can get a sense of your reputation through some online listings. If you have backlinks to your website, blog, and social media sites, online searchers can learn more about you and form an impression.
9. Increase your competitor knowledge.
You can flip the script and use online business directory listings to find and network with other business competing in your space. In addition, you can use the listings to learn about your competitors. Information leads to competitive advantage, and listing are a good place to begin.
10. Make improvements on your operation.
If you’re interacting with customers through reviews, learning more about competitors, and maximizing opportunities online through online listings, you’ll have the opportunity to make continuous improvement on your business and your marketing efforts.
Accurate Online Listings Required
Make sure your online listing information is correct and consistent on all sites. Otherwise, the information may confuse your audience or lead them to the wrong address, contact information, or website URL. Create a plan for regular review of online listings to check information accuracy and to test that all links work. When you have good coverage through multiple online directories, your business will reap the benefits.