7 benefits of using online directories for local business

27December 2020

Online directories are really beneficial for local small businesses

Online directories are basically a website submission service which allows small business websites to be added to a specific category and can be searched for by potential customers.  By listing your small business on an online directory it will not only increase visibility online, but it also creates inbound links to your business’ website.  Online directories make it much easier for people to find what they are looking for, which means people can find your business’ website from anywhere.

1. How do online directories work?

The idea of online directories is really a simple one. Online directories are very similar to the printed version of Yellow Pages in the real world, but instead listed online!  Actually, Yellow Pages.com is now also one of the biggest online directories as well. As a local business in Australia, you can create a listing on https://www.yellowpages.com.au.

An online directory is just a listing place for any type of website.  The listings are indexed in a web directory and some of the directories are huge, covering just about every topic.  Other directories can be very small and specific to a niche market. Online directories will direct you to any website you are looking for.  By searching in the online directories for a specific topic, there are various categories to select from.  The search results will display a number of links to these websites and each link has a short description, so you can click on the website to find out more.

2. Get more exposure for your local business in an online directory

Getting more exposure for your local business is so important to your marketing strategy.  After all, the more exposure to your business, the more likely people will want your business services or products. If potential customers are online and your website is not visible, then there is a much lesser chance they are going to purchase your services or products. By listing your local business website in online directories, will help gain more exposure. Thousands of people are actively searching and using online directories everyday to search for what your business provides. So why not make it easier for them to find you and increase your website traffic by using online directories?

3. Boost your SEO efforts by getting listed on online directories!

Online directories offer a number of SEO (search engine optimization) benefits as well with more inbound links.  When a person visits your website link in an online directory, they can click on it and be instantly redirected to your website. This is a great way to increase your website traffic and improve your status in the eyes of search engine crawlers as well.  The more backlinks a search engine crawler can find, the higher it can rank your website. By being linked to authoritative online directories, such as Google My business, this will help your website have more relevancy in Google’s eyes, resulting in higher page ranking on the SERP.
And of course, the higher your results appear in the search engine, the more clicks to your website!

4. The best place to start looking at online directories is…. where your competitors are hanging out!

To start with, you should consider listing with the Top 10 Online Directories as these already offer a higher relevance and authority with search engines. Google My business is a large general-interest directory that you should list your local small business on. If your business sells tangible goods, consider listing it in comparison shopping websites and product listing directories. Studies have shown approx 42% of consumers will look at a comparison shopping website before they decide to purchase a specific product or service.

But the best place to list your local business is to start with your competitors and find which online directories they are listing their business website. Consider looking at your local and specific niche market and find out if your competition is already listed.  If they are, then that’s where you need to hang out as well!  But if they aren’t listed, you need to list your website anyway, so you are one step ahead of your competitors!  Ideally, you should be listed in every relevant and specific major online directories as you can, but without being spammy of course!

5. Online directories are important, but make sure you have reviews!

Listing your local business is certainly a great way to market your business and get the word out!  However, if you don’t have any reviews within the listings on the directories,  they can do more harm than good. Consumers are savvier now online and they are looking at the reviews as part of their research.  If you don’t have any reviews but your competition has a page filled with great reviews, then you are inadvertently be sending your potential customers to your competitors.   Are you capturing reviews from your customers from surveys or incentives, or even have a tablet handy at your location with the review site for customers to post their feedback?

6. So what next?  You need to track, track, track!

Seeing results of listing your small business’ website may take some time in so many online directories, but it will happen.  As you know with any marketing, it’s all about testing and see what are the best online directory listings for your business and that will come down to a tracking or analytics system. Google Analytics is a great free tool to use to see how many people clicked on your website links from within the directory and if your website has shown increased traffic since then. Once you have identified which online directories are not producing results you can focus on the ones that are more productive.

In summary

Online directories are used to maximise exposure, build social evidence and so you can keep precious advertising and marketing dollars!

If you want more customers for your local small business, make use of online directories!

Looking for more tips on how to maximise your reach online?

Don’t get left behind in the social media and the digital marketing revolution! REACH your community and grow your business.

Need help with your online presence? Let’s meet for a free discovery session.


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