Why List Your Business on Directory Sites
Gone are the days when people are flipping through yellow-page directories. It is the digital age. Almost everything has gone through technological innovations for our convenience, including paper directories. And although they still do exist today, everyone is already using the Internet to search for local businesses. Without a doubt, online browsing is more convenient than scanning through pages, and online directory sites have been created for easy access and fast search.
With people having access to the Internet, it puts businesses at a great advantage if they exist on online business directories. Why? Simply because online business listings are effective tools in creating a successful marketing strategy and increasing customer reach. If you are a retail owner running a physical store or an online venture, you should think about putting your business on online directories. It is a good move since you are making your business visible and available to your customers.
But of course, online business directories have more to offer. They are not only lists of business pages, but they are also useful platforms to boost your brand, online presence, and reputation. In this article, you will have a better understanding of what business directory sites are, how they work, and what benefits they provide. Aside from those points, you will also learn the top online business directories and know whether investing in an online business listing is worth it or not.
What is a Business Directory Site?
Searchmetrics defines a business directory site as the online version of a directory’s yellow pages. It is also an online registry of businesses that are categorized by industry in alphabetical order. Each entry contains a unique link directing to a specific company website with its corresponding information.
Business directories collect all the necessary details that users need to know about a company. These include addresses, phone numbers, products or services provided, business hours, and even links to their respective social media accounts. Depending on your chosen directory site, business listings will also give you options to include media and a box where users can write reviews, comments, and feedback.
InCityLife, for example, is a global business listing and directory site where you can post your company and have it featured. The details you can include are the name of your company, address, contact details, business category, price details, business hours, and social media pages.
Another example of a business directory is Facebook where you have the liberty to create a business page. You can write a description of your company, FAQs, links to your website, images, a video, a featured image, and your company logo. Everything you want to present to your prospects is ready for you to fill in.
While the features vary from one listing to another, all business directory sites basically have the same function.
How Does it Work?
As previously stated, business directory sites are like the printed yellow pages. The only difference is that you see the listings on the Internet. But how do they work? Online directories work by directing users to the websites they are looking for. They either search for a specific industry in the directory, type a business-related keyword, or browse through the different categories on the site until they find the business or company that they need.
Every time a user performs a directory search, a list of all related websites will appear. What usually appears first are the company name, address, contact details, and business hours. That is it. That is how easy online directories work. And considering that many people rely on the Internet these days makes it more important that you list your business on directory sites. The more visible and searchable your business is, the more customers you get.
Types of Online Directories
There are various types of business directory sites. They are usually categorized according to niches. But the most online directories we see are:
- Article or blog directories
- Travel directories
- Business or retail directories
- Real estate directories
- Accommodation directories
- Job portals
- Classified directories
- Events sites
- Classified ads directories
- Local directories
- Yellow pages directories
- Video portals
Benefits of Business Directory Sites
Online directories are effective platforms to promote your business. You can have it for free or pay an amount to get your business listed. But other than being used as a powerful marketing tool, business directory sites provide other benefits. These are the following:
Boost Online Presence
As a business owner, one of the things you need to prioritize is to boost your online presence. You can do that by placing your company on a business listing site. Once you have launched your profile on a directory, you are already present online. In a way, online directories offer affordable publicity and an effective marketing platform.
But to take advantage of this benefit, you’ll have to add your company to as many business directories as you can. The more listings you have, the more frequent your company shows up in search results. But make sure that all your business profiles are updated with the current contact information and new photos. And if your company appears on local listings like Google My Business, Angie’s List, and YellowPages, then it means that your online presence is getting better.
Gain Brand Visibility
Once you have a stable online presence on your business listings, your brand visibility becomes better, too. Users will know you who are, and they will start to avail of your products or services. But gaining brand visibility also depends on how you create your business profile.
What will users remember about you if you don’t put anything on your profile? With that said, make sure that you share as many business details as you can. Don’t forget to upload a unique company logo that your prospects can identify with. And maybe, create a tag line that impresses your prospects. Sometimes, tag lines make companies more popular than logos, so make sure that you use your creative juices well.
This is where it gets a bit technical, especially if you have no idea what SEO and inbound links are. But if you are a business owner with a website, you should know something about search engine optimization (SEO). For a quick reference, SEO is the process of optimizing websites to make them appear on top of the search engine results page for targeted keywords. It also increases traffic going to your website, making it more visible in search results.
Let’s say you run a local hotel. You need to optimize your website for related keywords like “cheapest hotel”, “affordable hotel”, “accommodations in the city”, or “hotels for tourists” to make it searchable.
That goes the same with business directories. You need to optimize your business profiles for targeted and related keywords so that they can easily be searched. The good news is that you can add keywords to your business directory profile. Furthermore, online directories have a high DA (domain authority), which means that online business listings tend to show first on search results for similar keywords.
Improve Inbound Links
Apart from optimizing websites, SEO also deals with inbound links or backlinks, which are useful in increasing traffic going to a website. These inbound links are placed on other web pages like business directories to direct users to the main website. If you place inbound links to many web pages, it boosts your website’s popularity and placement in search engines. Placing them in online business directories is a great way to improve your site’s performance because the links primarily direct users to your website.
Have Better Search Results
In a nutshell, the more frequent your website appears in search results, the higher the chances the users click and visit your website. One way to place on top of the search engine results page is to create local business profiles on online directories that have high domain authority. You can look into Google My Business, YellowPages, Yelp, Angie’s List, Facebook, and LinkedIn, to name a few. These sites have many visitors, so putting your profile in those sites will increase the chances of reaching more customers.
Build Business Reputation
If there is one thing you need to do for your business, then that is to build credibility and a trusted reputation. People don’t like being scammed, that’s why they make sure that they choose reputable businesses for the products or services they need. To check the legitimacy of a business, users usually read online reviews. If they don’t see any reviews, they are quick to assume that it is a bogus business.
The good news is that most online directories offer a cost-effective, low-maintenance platform to build your business reputation. They allow users to leave reviews, comments, and feedback about their experiences with a certain product or service. Although reviews can be harsh at times, they help you improve your business. They also give you ideas on how to provide your customers with something better.
If you take all reviews constructively, you can always see negative reviews as learning experiences. You have to communicate with your customers and address their concerns promptly. Once they see that you are taking action, customers will return the favor by posting positive reviews. Gather all the positive comments and post them on your business profiles or share them on your social media handles to improve your business reputation.
Top Online Business Directories
If you want to ensure that your business profile receives the necessary attention, then post them on the top-performing online business directories. There are many great business directory sites, but here are the online directories for businesses:
Google My Business – An optimized listing on this site ensures that your business appears in search engine results of the users.
Bing Places – This comes after Google My Business in terms of popularity.
Yahoo Local – It is also a popular search engine, but a listing on this site has an initial price of $8.25 per month.
Yelp – More than 171 million reviews 69 million users every month
YellowPages – It has a large business listing, offers coupons, posts blogs regularly.
Angie’s List – You can find different kinds of listings related to home services.
Facebook – It is one of the biggest social networking sites today with more than a billion active uses around the world.
You can post on most of those popular directory sites for free. But because some directories have built a strong reputation already, it may be challenging to get your business listed. For one, you may need to pay for a registration fee, which is a bit expensive. And two, you need to pass all the requirements that they have set. The posting of your profile can also take a while since they usually do another background check.
But there is nothing wrong if you opt for other online directories. They still work the same way. InCityLife, for example, is a perfect site to get your business listed. It features the necessary information about your business, and it can feature your business profile right away. It is easy to use and fairly affordable with a lifetime dofollow inbound link. It is a one-time fee, but the results will be favorable to your business.
Are Business Directory Sites Worth it?
The simple answer to the question is YES, they are worth it, considering the many benefits they provide. Most, if not all, big-time business players have listings on many online directories because they know it is an effective platform to reach more customers.
As I have mentioned earlier, the best thing about most online directories is that you are allowed to post your business profile for free. What more can you ask for? You can add your company to Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, Bing Place, Angie’s List, YellowPages, HubSpot, and other major online directories without paying anything. Promotions and marketing become free of charge.
Aside from that, creating your profile is also straightforward. It is time-consuming, yes, since you have to include all the important information about your business. But once you finish it, your profile becomes visible right away. Meanwhile, paid business directory sites like InCityLife charge a one-time fee or a monthly rate or to keep your business listing active on their websites.