What are the benefits of online directories for a business?
Well let’s start with what is an online directory. A online directory is a website that provides a list of businesses within a particular niche, location, or category. One way businesses can get found or improve their chances of being found online, is through online directories, as it provides additional pages that Google can check to locate your business. Making sure that you have a presence everywhere your potential customers might find you is critical to any marketing plan.
Because of the extra exposure online directory provides a business, it important to ensure the listing provides you the ability to show your business name, website and social media links as well as contact details, reviews as online directories are a very cheap marketing opportunity, which can raise your brand visibility.
Listing a small business on an online directory increases the businesses (website) visibility and helps to create inbound links to your business (website.) Online directories make it easy for people to find what they are looking for. All a customer needs to do is jump online, and search, so the more places your business website it listed the more chances people can find your business’ website from whether they are; eg home, office or even while travelling.
Online directory benefits:
- Online business directories can be a low-cost way to drive potential customers to your website.
- They increase your online exposure, with very little effort, as you purely enter a few key details, which is simple and easy to do.
- Additional SEO that will direct people to the services you offer.
- They provides more backlinks, which in turn supports you being ranked higher on search engines.
- Super low maintenance and cost-effective way of advertising your business.
- Your potential customer will most likely start their journey for the product/service/questions they need answers to by doing an online search. So the more places you have an online listing the greater the chances to be found.
How to select an online directory to join?
There are a few things to consider when you select an online directory to join, such as whether they include the correct level of requirements for those businesses listed to provide the services offered, such as insurances, qualifications etc,
It makes sense to be visible on directories that are relevant or specific to your industry and service. As it helps support the validity and quality of your business and the sector.
Google and Bing and Yahoo and the other search engines rely on the information you put on your website (both in the technical backend and as content such as blogs), what companies have linked to your site, what the online reviews say about your business, and what is listed about your company in online directories. Google pulls information from online directories to help decide what to show up in search results. So if you’re able to show up in multiple directories with accurate information, it gives Google a positive signal about your business and is another data point to help Google show you in the search results.
You should always check that the Directory allows for reviews to be added to your listing, as this allows for greater validation of your business especially if you are a service provider.
After all, the more people who are exposed to your business the more people are likely to pay for your product or services. If online viewers aren’t able to see your website, they likely don’t even know it exists and they probably aren’t going to purchase your products or services. Listing your business’s website in online directories helps your website to gain exposure. Thousands of people use online directories every day to find things they are interested in. These are people who are actively searching for websites that are directly related to your products or services. They are already looking- all you have to do is make it easy for them to find you. Online directories will expose your business to more online visitors, which could increase traffic to your website
For example if you need a tradespeople then people often think of RatedPeople (https://www.ratedpeople.com/), or for an accountant, you might look at the ICAEW (The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) https://www.icaew.com/about-icaew/find-a-chartered-accountant and for Virtual Assistants there is https://virtualassistantnearme.co.uk
So, in essence, the main factor to remember is that using online directories will help support your businesses online presence, increase your ranking on search engines and provide additional opportunities to reach a wider market, especially if you are a small business or a local high street business. There are very few downsides for being listed on an online directory, especially if it is a free or very low cost, compared to what you charge. As the age-old saying goes “you have to speculate to accumulate.” But to get the most out of an online directory you need to ensure you use them properly.
Avoid having incomplete and inaccurate business details as this can affect your online reputation and frustrate customers who are looking for your business. Customers, if unable to contact you, will shift away from your brand and might end up landing on your competitor’s perfectly updated listing and eventually doing business with them.