Let me tell you what my grandmother used to do when she needed to find a professional: She walked to her kitchen, opened the second drawer, pulled out the heaviest book ever made, and flipped through hundreds of pages in order to find a local expert to solve her problem. The use of that, aptly named, phone book has declined over 50% in the last five years. More people are steadily abandoning it for a more convenient and practical way to search for local businesses.
Let me tell you what I do when I want to find a professional: I turn on my laptop, tablet, smartphone; I open my browser; I Google my query; voilà. An easy, quick, and most of all, efficient way of getting the information I need.
Internet search is the primary tool of finding business’s today. Most people are quick searching their needs on one of the many online local directories. Why keep your business stuck on those heavy yellow pages when you can have your business listed on all applicable online directories?
Listing your business on Top Local Directories will rocket boost your chance to be discovered through a simple search. Combine that with your local connections and a handful of positive feedback and you are on your way of significantly growing your business.
Let us start with 5 tips to identify the Top Business Directories.
1. They are manually approved
The top business directories monitor the businesses’ that are applying to be listed. Like NetPages, these directories will manually check each and every business before approval. Make sure you provide a clean and concise profile: who you are, where your business is, what you offer.
2. Their Google Page Rank is high
Try a Google search for each directory you find. Does it land on the first page? Then you are on the right place. If their search ranking is high then it means that your business is more likely to be found on a relevant search.
3. They have a proper internal link structure
This is very important. Try navigating through the directory: Is it easy to find the different categories? Are the listings easy to distinguish and well presented? Do the contact and company name links work?
4. The directory is User Friendly
Nothing is more frustrating than a site that is hard to use. Make sure that the directory makes it easy to find your business. A clean, fast interface means that the client will spend more time searching and less swearing.
Now that we found the Directories in which to list our business, let us explore the gains of being in one.
Here are 6 benefits of entering a Business Directory.
1. Your business can show up in search results
If you enter as many local business’s directories as you can then you optimize your business for future searches. For example, if you have an Italian clothes business in Jakarta, and a potential client searches for “Italian clothes store in Jakarta”, then your business is more likely to appear on the search results.
2. It offers a boost in advertising
Local Directories are a form of cheap advertising. You are actually putting your business on the front window for local customers to find.
3. You can promote your business
Unlike the printed version, the ad you put into these directories can change as many times as you like. Use this to your advantage. Promote several kinds of offers and discount to attract potential customers. And remember: you can change them whenever you like.
4. Your location appears on Mobile Maps
Smartphone usage is growing as we speak. Customers are using their gadgets to access the Internet while on the move. They search for things the moment they need them.
5. You can show what you offer
Online ads have a distinct advantage. They allow more space for pictures and videos. Larger advertising space means more ways to attract a potential client.
6. Internet marketing
Yes, Internet marketing. Promoting your business has never been easier. Go out there and generate more leads for your business.
So, we have our business listed in these Local Directories. Now what?
People are using the Internet to search for local businesses. In order to keep up with the times, and the big fishes, you need to update and maintain your listings on a regular basis.
Here are 6 things to do to keep your listings fresh and active.
1. Make a list of Directories
Make sure you are aware of all the major Local directories. Make a list of the most important and be sure you are properly listed in all of them.
2. Find your keywords
Every business has a set of keywords related to what they offer. Find those keywords and use them both in the title and the description. If the listing offers the input of tags, make sure you use all the keywords you can. Optimize your add. Increase your chances of showing up in a search result.
3. Claim your listings
Claiming any listing of your business online verifies that you are the owner of a valid business and authorized to maintain its presence on the web. This provides you with a very important tool: credibility.
4. Choose the right categories
If you are offering pet food, do not list your business under restaurants. Choose the appropriate category.
5. Make a website for your business
If you haven’t already. Put that website as homepage. Businesses with a website are more likely to attract new customers through the use of Local Directories.
6. Be thorough in your About page
Add all the services and products your business can offer. Show your professional side and customers will be able to tell if they can trust you with their needs.
The Internet is growing and along with it: its users. There is no doubt the Web is now the major marketing and business tool. Just think for a moment where you are reading this, as we speak. On-line Directories are not only the easiest, but also the cheapest way to easily make your business accessible to everyone with an Internet connection.
Heck, Even my grandmother has a tablet these days! Make sure you let her, and all those Internet-searching clients, know of your company and what you have to offer.