Making the most of business directories: 3 steps to success
As a small business you’re always looking for cost effective and practical ways to increase your visibility, boost your sales and improve traffic flow to your website.
The good news is that online directories tick all these boxes (yes, even cost-effectiveness) and making the most of them is simplicity itself, if you follow some basic rules.
Sometimes referred to as business listings, you probably use them yourself all the time – to check when the local supermarket closes, or to find a replacement watch battery on the go. Listings are a cost-effective way to gain exposure and establish credibility. So if you’re working on a less than gargantuan budget, getting your business listed in online directories is a smart and worthwhile exercise. Many of the most credible sites are free to use, and even the premium options will probably not break the bank. We’ve highlighted some of the key sites for your business here.
The key to maximizing your business listings lies in 3 simple steps:
- Spot-on Accuracy: Your listings should be accurate in every directory you list in. Not only will customers get annoyed if they think you’re open when you’re not (especially if they’re popping in for an emergency birthday cake), but if your phone number is wrong, or the listed email inactive, you could easily lose a sale that you’d otherwise have made. Furthermore, keeping your name, number, and address accurate and consistent across listings sends good signals to search engines and will probably boost your rankings in results. This is especially important now that around 85% of all purchases start with an online search (according to a report by Fleishman Hillard). In fact, most customers who are searching online directories are on the verge of making a purchase. So you definitely want to be high in the results when a potential customer searches for a locksmith in Norwich.
- Rich Content: You may have heard the term ‘rich content’, but what does it really mean? Rich content is all about providing information that is valuable and of interest to your target audience. For example, you could include photos, videos, and product reviews – anything, in fact, that will increase the appeal of your business to potential customers. The other great thing about including rich content in your listings is that this is another thing search engines look for to push you up the rankings. So make sure your business is as well-presented and appealing as possible.
- Frequent Updates: The third key to success is ensuring that your listings are frequently updated. The fresher and more recent your information, product details and reviews, the more your online credibility will grow. Not only will this help boost sales, by being more relevant to your customers, again, search engines love updated information. The same thing applies to social media, so whether you’re moving locations, launching a new product or promoting an offer, don’t forget to update your listings.
As a small business, you can’t afford not to take advantage of online directories to make your presence known. And by paying attention to these three simple steps, your business will be found online more often, as you’re more likely to appear higher in search results. Even better, your customers will be happier and more likely to select you over your competitors as your listings will give them all the information they need to make their decision.
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