Listing Your Business on Online Directories: A (Mostly) Great Idea
Yes, the Yellow Pages still exist. But nowadays, when people need to find a business, they won't be reaching for the big yellow book your kid used to use as a booster seat. They go online.
Online directories, such as Google, Yelp! and Angie's List, play a big part in how people find services, suppliers and partners. We'll go through the mostly positive (and some negative) aspects of listing your business on online directories. But before we do, you should know that online directories play a big role in driving traffic to websites. If you plan on listing your own business, we recommend using our Free Website Audit to make sure your website is ready to go!
Being online offers businesses more ways to promote themselves and interact with customers. When customers use online business directories, they'll find a business' location, contact information and a website link. Directories also gives customers the opportunity to rate businesses. A whopping 90% of customers will read online reviews before buying a product or service.
If, for example, you are looking for an electrician to fix some faulty wiring in your home, a great review on sites such as HomeStars or TrustedPros can go a long way in easing any apprehension you may have about hiring someone. Likewise, If you run a successful business, or are just starting out, positive reviews that drive sales are like gold.
Of course, the opposite can be true. If your business doesn't deliver what it promises, negative reviews in online directories can become an obstacle to success. In one survey, 86% of respondents said they wouldn't buy from a business if it had too many negative reviews.
SEO Rankings soar
Improved search engine optimization is the biggest standalone reason to list your business on your industry's online directories. Basically, the more online directories your business is listed on, the more inbound links that are generated to your business' website. Therefore, the more directories your business is listed on, the easier it will be for potential customers to find you on Google. Most people begin their online search for anything on Google, so better SEO is an excellent reason to begin listing your business.
Listing in your industry's online directories can help your business build an excellent reputation. If you are opening a restaurant, listing it on Yelp!, Chowhound and Zomato (amongst others) will help get attention and, hopefully, customers. Making your business highly visible enables you to control a big part of the online narrative about it. Ensuring your listings are accurate and up-to-date can go a long way in driving customers to your website.
Online Directories Can Be A Boon For Your Business
Listing your business makes it stand apart from the competition. Keeping your listings fresh will show customers you are serious about running a sustained, successful business, not a fly-by-night operation that is here today and gone tomorrow. Most online directories are free - so get going and use them to your advantage!
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