How Does Getting Listed in a Directory Help Your Business?
You may be wondering, what’s up with with people trying to sell you directory listing services? Some people are selling directory listing services only to benefit themselves, while some other options are actually good for your business and will help it in a variety of different ways. Want to find out how directory listing helps you and how to spot which one’s will be of most benefit to you? Don’t worry, we have you covered. All you have to do is continue reading to find out!
What are Local and National Directory Listings?
There are thousands of different websites that list businesses all around the world. They serve as a great resources to help people find products or services they need. These include local area directories, and national directory listings, as well as others. These listings typically have information on your business, such as your company name, your services and products, and your contact information and hours if applicable. One of the most well known directories is Yelp. These listings are important because they help people find your business and ultimately buy something from you or use your service.
IMPORTANT: It’s very important that you keep ALL of these directory listings up to date with accurate information about your company. Even if you have incorrect information listed on only 1 website, that could be the next way a potential customer learns about your business but you could miss a sale because the hours are wrong, or even worse the physical address or website URL is wrong, so the person moves on to the next company listed.
How does listing your business in local directories help your business?
We’re going to start by pointing out the most obvious benefit of good management of online business directories. Many people that use directory services on a normal basis, use them because they make it very easy to sort by a certain product, service category, or geographically. So, for example, let’s say someone is traveling outside of the city or state that they live in and a crisis arises, using a directory like Yelp or similar will allow them to search for whatever service they need. It could be anything from “Phone Repair” to “Roofing Companies” to “Website Design Companies in PA” or almost any other services.
-Increases Online Authority
Something you may not be aware of is that your site, and every other website has a certain authority online. Google and other search engines rank websites based off several different factors including (but definitely not limited to) how many years the domain has been registered, how much content the site has and if it’s all coherent throughout the site. One of the biggest factors, however, is something known as backlinks. Backlinks are known as links from one domain or site to another. “Search engines often use the number of backlinks that a website has as one of the most important factors for determining that website’s search engine ranking, popularity and importance. Google’s description of its PageRank system, for instance, notes that “Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B.” – Wikipedia.org. So the more backlinks you get from other websites, and the higher their online authority, the more authority and trust your site is given.
-Increases Brand Awareness
Surely as a business, you understand how important it is that your company or brand is recognized and remembered. What better way to do that than to sprinkle your company’s name, logo, and other business information all over the internet. Over $17 billion was spent on radio advertising in the year 2016… so why wouldn’t you take advantage of free online directories as advertising mediums. The more you put your name and website link out there, the more likely it is that people are going to find your business that may never have found it otherwise. Additionally, if a potential customer types your name into a search engine, the more results you display on the first couple pages, the more established your company brand looks and the more likely a potential customer will convert into a true, paying customer. Directory listings add more of these results throughout the first few pages.
-Increases Your Advantage Over Your Competition
If your company has only one goal, it should be to provide a better, faster, or cheaper product than your competitors. This will allow you to essentially make more money than them, and beat them at your own game. As mentioned above, directory listing (especially listing yourself in local directories) will contribute to your success over your competition. I like to use the example of business card dropping (I know, who does this?) but it’s a perfect example.
Let’s say you’re going door to door just letting people know about your business and it’s products or services. You can walk down the street and leave 1-5 business cards in each of 50 businesses on a particular street. By doing this, your card can be seen by ONLY the clients who visit businesses and walk inside their door. Now lets say instead, you walk down the street, strategically dropping cards all over the sidewalk. There might be hundreds of people that walk that particular street every day and might potentially see or pick up a card that they stumble upon.
What’s the difference between the two scenarios? The difference is that by dropping business cards off inside 50 businesses, you can only reach the clients who physically walk into that business, whereas by dropping them on the ground you’re potential reach is much more because with the same amount of cards you reach people who are both walking the street and going into the businesses instead of just the people who visit the business.
Listing your business in all the local and national directories you can is the same as dropping business cards on the ground AND ALSO leaving them inside the businesses; but it’s cheaper! You’re sprinkling your information all over the internet to be found by the most people you can. If you’re not leveraging these directories as tools, your competition might do so before you. So the moral of the story here is to make sure you’re listing yourself before your competitors are able to, which will greatly increase your chance of scaling your business well past the competition in the years to come.
-Increases Overall SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Lastly, listing yourself in directories has many other obvious advantages to your search rankings beyond just your page rank or authority. Let it be known, that while most of the information listed on these sites might seem repetitive, the content and business information that these directories are listing are helping Google and other search engines learn more about what your business does. With the slight variation of wording and categories these listings display, it really helps encompass all areas and help prevent confusion in people trying find you or the products or services you provide.
How does one get their business directory listings on a local or national level? There are 3 main ways:
- You manually list you business on directories, one at a time.
- The listing company automatically scrapes your website and automatically populates their directories for you (most don’t do this, but some do.)
- Pay for directory service management software to automatically add listings for you and manage them across 10’s of hundreds of listings instantly.
Even though some directories will list your company automatically (number 2), very few directories have the capability to do this; and even fewer, if any, ensure that the information is up-to-date. Due to this inefficiency, we usually don’t even tell people about the automatic scraping.
What’s the best way to list your business?
The answer to that question is managed directory listing software. This is software where you can update many different directories all from one single dashboard with one single button. Some services are better than others, and some are just a joke. So how do you know which software or provider to trust?
There are a few different things to consider when deciding who to trust or which software will give you the best ‘bang for your buck.’ The first thing you should consider is how many directories the software can list your business on. Some will only provide listings on 5-10 websites, some 50 websites, and some list over 100 sites automatically for you. The next thing to consider is the price they want for this software. Is it a monthly or yearly service and how much will it run you? Do they automatically manage the listings for you, or do they just give you a login and you must do everything yourself? What happens when you don’t renew or stop paying for the subscription? Do they revert all the changes, therefore throwing away all the money you spent while you had a subscription? Are there any other software or features that come along with this, like a bundle package?
We always advise that people look for a company that charges a monthly or yearly fee for managed listings (so you can focus more on what you do best) on at least 40 directories. Stay away from providers who are super pushy. Make sure to avoid software that automatically reverts listings when the subscription is canceled and try to get the most features possible for your budget.
Getting listing and directory management software?
If you read this and think listing software could benefit your business, we have a solution for you. We believe that our listing software is the absolute best on the market. It’s ease of use, automation, and the directories it supports trumps all other software we’ve tried in the past. It syncs with over 100 local and national directories, shows information about interactions with your company and business reviews across all supported websites and social media, respond with just a few mouse-clicks, get insights into search rankings, and encourage positive reviews while stopping negative ones in their tracks by leveraging email and text messages.
Our software is also constantly being developed by a team of professionals and new features are being added almost every single month.
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Also feel free to check out some other features on our listing page here and please contact us if you have any questions at all.
Until Next Time,