Business Directory Listings and Why Your Company Needs Them
Back in the dark ages, before smart phones, search engines, and the internet, if small businesses wanted to be found by potential customers, they would list their information in the local Yellow or White Pages or other publications. Of course potential customers would have to thumb through hundreds of pages of competing businesses looking for what they wanted and, if you were lucky, they might find yours.
In today’s online economy, the competition is even tougher with literally thousands of pages and search listings competing for attention. You might be asking, “How does that help me?” Well, truth be told, internet marketing and global reach create a vastly different landscape for your online business. The most important thing you need to consider though, is having your company listed in every major search engine with a business directory listing. This is essential if you are to compete in today’s market. Following are just some of the benefits of having business directory listings and how they can benefit you.
Grow Your Presence Online
When you submit your business information to one directory, let’s say Google My Business, there’s a good chance you’ll see your profile pop up on other directories as well. This is because many smaller directories pull their info from the larger ones, so you can expand the reach of your brand when potential customers search for you online.
Target Your Local Audience
While online directories can reach customers worldwide, you can utilize a multitude of custom targeting options to find your local customer base. According to Google, 68% of mobile users use the ‘get directions’ and ‘call’ feature from their phone and make a purchase from a local business within a week of searching them. In fact 72% of users specifically want location based ads for their local area, so targeting these customers is extremely advantageous.
If you’ve Googled any business recently, you’ll have noticed that a lot of information comes up including a map with directions, website link and most importantly, customer reviews. When you list your business on a directory, often times your customers will be able to leave ratings and comments to inform other shoppers what to expect and up to 88% of mobile users in recent studies have been shown to trust these reviews almost as much as a personal recommendation from a friend or family member. This same study by Google showed that most customers search for business hours, directions and location, so having all of this information in your directory listing is a great way of meeting your customer’s needs even if they’ve never shopped with you before.
It’s Great for SEO
Search Engine Optimization is a practice you should be putting into effect throughout your website and social media pages. Using proper key words and search terms will help boost your chances of being found in search engines but having a business directory listing will make that process much easier. Most search engines, especially Google, Bing and Yahoo, favor verified pages and directory listings over websites that don’t have these things as it tends to reflect a certain credibility that consumers can trust. You want to give your site the best chance possible of being discovered.
If you have a startup or small business, you want every opportunity to grow, especially online. As I’ve just shown, Business Directory Listings are a great way to gain exposure to new customers while improving your ranking in search engines across the web and ALM Web Pros can help you get started.