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Business & Marketing

How Online Directories Can Help Grow Your Local Business

Online Directories Can Help Grow Your Local Business

Why you should list your company’s information in online directories and how will that help your business. 

Nowadays everything is conducted on the internet, which provides ample opportunity for businesses. Instead of being confined to a local area, you can sell to people all around the world. However, selling online isn’t easy as there is cutthroat competition; if your business doesn’t stand out, it will be just another website out there. So if you don’t want that to happen to you, then you should start taking concrete steps to market your business effectively. You can do digital marketing, SEO-based marketing, or you can try out an online business directory website to put your business on the map. You might wonder if it is really important to put your business details in an online business directory. I would definitely say yes, and if you want to find out why then scroll down to the end of this piece.

What is an Online Directory?

An online directory is a submission-based service. You need to claim a listing, which involves a submission process that is generally free, although some online directories may require various fees. 

Your listing will include the company’s name, contact information, website, and social media accounts, as well as a short description of your company replete with photos and a list of products and services.

These features are why online directories are also known as “citations.”

Why Use Online Directories?

Many people aren’t as familiar with online directories as they are with standard search engines like Google. When I suggest listing your business in online directories, you might wonder why you should bother when you can just rely on regular web searches. After all, most people use Google to look up services and products.

Listing your business in an online directory will boost your company’s available information in search engines. This is because Google, Yahoo, and other search engines will pull information from your website and any listings elsewhere. So when you’re able to provide accurate information in multiple directories, Google gets a positive signal from your business and another data point for search results.

But Your Business is More Serious than a Local Pizza Shop

No matter how ambitious your business, it will benefit from a greater online presence. While you might think that being searchable online is for pizza joints or other local services, you will always have many potential customers first encounter your products or services through the internet. Even if you sell business-to-business (B2B) rather than walk-in customers, online directories will always boost the visibility of your enterprise.

I’m sure you would want potential customers to be able to easily look up your business online if they’re interested or have questions. If you want that to happen, you need to list as much information online that can show up as a result on Google, Yahoo, and other search engines.

So stop comparing yourself with local businesses like a local pizza shop or a hair salon. Even if you do executive training for large companies, your business will nevertheless benefit from being featured in online directories.

Essential Things You Should Put in Online Directories

If you think you’re ready to list your business online then you should claim listings right now in Google My Business Listing, Yelp, 411.ca, and other directories. If you’re already a member of any local business group, you should add your details in that group’s directory. And no matter what, you should list your name, address, and phone number correctly and exactly the same across all listings. If you don’t, Google might display contradicting information in search results.  

So from here on, I can say it’s a basic data entry exercise. All you need to do is enter the correct information for each entry. The things you should include before start claiming your listings are:

  • Social Media Links: You should add all the valid and updated links of your social media pages.
  • Business Description: You should provide a unique and communicative description stating what your business is about and the services you provide. This will help answer any questions a potential customer might have about your company. And you should include your keywords for that matter.
  • Contact Email: Nowadays we are so caught up in the social media madness that we completely neglect emails, which are comfortable and easily accessible. So you should always make sure to include an email address, as this often proves an invaluable method of communication.
  • Images: You should also include your company’s logo, a photo of your company’s building, your team/employee’s photos, and photos of your product. These will work as key descriptions while people learn about your company. 

Lastly, I would say to make sure you’re keeping a record of the online directories you claim. And don’t forget to update your listing if there are any changes made in your company like location, office hours, or name. Use this piece as a resource to help you understand the importance of online directories.

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