Friday 28 February, 2014
Online business directories are like the modern-day Yellow Pages. Their local directories that tell customers what services are available in their area. The only difference is that they’re online rather than in a huge book that your postal carrier flops on your front step.
If you have an online business with technically no physical presence, it might seem odd to list yourself in a directory. After all, you’re working your SEO magic to drive people to your website. But wouldn’t it be nice to be listed in your local Yellow Pages? Since it’s essentially the same thing, there are several reasons why businesses should do it.
Listing your business in local directories simply gets you more exposure. People search these directories and they also show up in web searches that use local search terms. This means that more people will find your business when they’re looking for your products and services.
As more people use the internet to find local businesses, local search is on the rise. By listing your company on online directories, you boost your local SEO and this helps your website rank for geographical keywords.
Like the local Yellow Pages, getting listed in a directory gives your business more legitimacy. As more people shop online, they’re wary of companies that have only a virtual presence. This is why so many online stores now include phone numbers and physical addresses. It gives you getter credibility and this makes people more likely to trust you and buy from you.
Although there are directories that charge fees for listing (the merits of which are outside the scope of this article), there are plenty that are absolutely free. This means you have absolutely nothing to lose by listing your business with them.
The one downside is that it takes time to list your site or submit corrections to listings that already exist. Each directory has its own sign-up process and most of them are relatively easy, but if you’re going to jump right in and get listed on as many directories as possible, this can be quite an undertaking.
If you have someone on your staff that is young and internet savvy, this is a nice task to delegate to them. If you don’t or if your company is only you, you’ll have to roll up your sleeves. You can either devote a full afternoon to listing your business on directories, or plug away at it, for example doing a listing a day until you’re everywhere you want to be.
To make it easier for you, I’ve just done a Google search on ‘best online local directories’ and I came up with several articles with lists. Not all local directories are created equal, so go with the ones that seem most popular: