More and more small businesses today are using online business directories to their benefit. If you run a small business, you likely spend a great deal of your time thinking about your marketing plan. online business directories can be a great addition to your current small business marketing strategy. Those sites can help your small business expand its website traffic, increase the likelihood that your website will be found by interested visitors and increase your bottom line. If you haven’t taken a look at those directories and considered how your small business could use them to increase its market presence, then now is the time to start!
What Are Online Business Directories?
There are many different types of online business directories available on the Internet. Each of these sites serves a specific purpose and can be used by your small business in specific ways.
An online business directory is a website submission service that allows your small business’ website to be added to a specific category where it can be searched for by interested visitors. Listing your small business on an online business directory increases your website’s visibility on the web and helps to create inbound links to your business’ website. This places make it easy for people to find what they are looking for. These directories can be accessed from just about anywhere that has an internet connection. This means that people could find your business’ website from their home, office or even while traveling.
Every website that is submitted to an online business directory is placed in a specific category. These categories can range in how they are organized. Some are organized by business-related categories, some are organized according to personal preferences and others are organized by subject. Each category consists of several websites relating to a specific topic. Each website listing features the name of the website, a direct link to the website and a short description of the website. Interested Internet visitors will be able to browse through the various categories in the directory and locate websites like yours that they may be interested in visiting. Essentially, those places make it easier for any visitor to find your business’ website.
Promote Your Website With Online Directory Submission
It won't be wrong to say that along with the normal physical existence, today everyone leads a parallel life in the virtual world of internet. The web has penetrated almost every sphere of life and has come to play an especially significant role in trade and business.
While the internet has become a huge global commercial playground, it has also presented the business owners with innovative marketing tools to promote their products/services. One such excellent method is online local business directory listings.
The key advantages to be gained by a business by submitting its profile to online local business directories are:
- Building local presence: In spite of getting access to global goods and services providers, a majority of the consumers prefer doing business with local companies. And getting listed in the most respected local directories is an excellent way of building a strong presence in your regional market.
- Targeted advertising: Inclusion in the local business directories helps in highly targeted advertising. The profiles are listed according to specific locations and clear-cut categories. Thus your business gets exposure to a qualified, 'ready to buy' traffic.
- Detailed information for prospects: Through the profile, you are able to highlight your business' salient features and introduce yourself effectively to your prospects. Apart from your physical address, contact details and website link, the directories even include a map pointer to your location making it easy for people to reach you.
- Help compete with big businesses: Local business directory listings bring a small/medium business on equal footing with the larger ones. It is a marketing tool that can be used by both with similar efficiency and effectiveness.
- Adds legitimacy to your business: Seeing your profile listed in reliable business directories instills faith of the customers in your business and adds legitimacy to it in their eyes.
- Better search engine rankings: Online local directory listings provide a business with quality back-links to its website. This link-building is a very effective SEO tool that helps improve your site's search engine rankings, increasing its visibility and boosting its web traffic.
- Fast customer feedback: Most of the business directories allow the customers to post reviews. You can serve your customers better with the help of such constant feedback about their needs and expectations.
- Lasting publicity: The business promotion that is gained by business directory listings can be enjoyed by your business for a long time to come. Moreover, you are also given the facility of updating your profile from time to time so that prospective customers don't get turned off by out-dated, wrong or misleading contact and other details.
- Free marketing: Nothing pleases a business more than free publicity! Listing in most of the local directories does not cost your business anything and thus, is an irresistible marketing tool.
- Easier accessibility: The online directory can be easily accessed by anytime, anywhere, by anyone with an internet-enabled device. This, no doubt, is beneficial for your business.
The Marketing Power of Online Directory Listings
Is your company listed in online directories? If not, it should be.
Directory listings are vital to your online visibility, and it should be a top priority for your online marketing strategy. Directory submissions provide inbound links to your site, which help your search engine rankings. The more inbound links you have, the better your placement in the search engines. Isn't that where we all want to be?
Submitting your link to relevant directories is a great way to maximize your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. Some sites offer free listings while others charge a fee. There are general, specific, and regional directories. When you submit your site under a particular category, such as hospitality or travel, the search engine will categorize your site under a relevant topic. Do not ignore the niche directories, as they are an excellent way to link to relevant sites and increase rankings.
While submitting to directories is something you can do now, it is important to note that it may take days or months for directories to approve your links.
Listing your link proves that marketing doesn't have to cost you a fortune. In fact, many sites are free. The process can be time consuming, but the payoff is worth it.
How to list your website:
• Research all the possible relevant directories and submit your link to them. Googling "Free Directory Listings" will pull up numerous sites to explore.
• If you don't have hours to spend surfing for relevant directories, there are online directory submission services available. An excellent resource is Best Web Directories, which offers a listing of the top directories, both free and fee based.