An online directory is a website where you can list your business under categories that best fit your services; think of it as a digital version of Yellow Pages but with a wider range of features and advantages. Online directories make it easier and more convenient for consumers to identify product manufacturers, service providers, tradespeople, and other businesses. Some examples of widely used directory listing services are Yelp, Bing Places, Google Maps, Foursquare, Yahoo! Local, Brownbook.net, and more.
Benefits of adding your business on online directories
Boost online visibility
Listing your business in several directories can increase your visibility to different kinds of audiences as most consumers nowadays use the Internet to search for information. Advance online listings have advanced filtering and are equipped with suggesting capabilities which can connect your business with your target audience and there are even listings tailored to certain niches like nautical services, for example.
Standard directories allow users to search by specific areas such as service, location or various categories so its vital that you provide accurate details and choose the appropriate categories so that you can connect your business to people searching for it even if they don’t specifically search your business name. Make sure your name, address, and phone number (NAP) is consistent for all of your listings as it also plays a big part in Google local search engine results.
Save on advertising costs
Advertising usually cost a big sum of money but many online directories offer free listing services especially within your local community. Some websites may require additional payment if you want to avail of special features such as multiple locations or multiple categories but you can take advantage of free directories such as Google My Business, Yelp, Bing Places or Brown Book because all you need to do is spend several minutes to submit your information and wait for verification to complete the process.
Improve your business reputation and streamline your operation
There are some sites that have a review section where customers can leave remarks about their experience about a particular business. Getting positive reviews does not only improve your reputation but they also get the attention of other prospective clients which can convince them to avail of your services. If you receive negative reviews, you can use them to improve your services and find ways to satisfy unhappy customers and even make them brand advocates. By reaching out to unsatisfied clients, you can determine your weak areas so you can come up with ideal solutions and avoid making the same mistakes in the future.
The more information that a search engine gathers about your website and the more consistent those details are, the better you will rank. By having numerous online listings, you are supporting your existing information on the Internet that yields additional validation. But the main benefit from online directories is that they give your website backlinks. The quality and quantity of backlinks play an important part in search engine rankings and in general, the more backlinks a website has, the better your rankings will be.