Back in the day, any business worth its salt was listed in the Yellow Pages or local equivalent. Times may have changed, but the need for these services haven’t.
Business listing websites may have just modernized an old-fashioned concept, but they can have major benefits for your business.
Read on as we guide you through the benefits of using business listing websites.
Well, they’re not all free, but a lot of them are.
Crucially, the big players – Google, Bing, and Yelp – all have free listing services and your business needs to be on there. They will allow you to list information your customers need like contact details, address, opening times, and services provided. Some will even let you upload photos and logos to personalize your profile.
Other smaller players also draw from listings on bigger websites meaning your online presence could mushroom from just your initial listing.
Marketing that targets the people you want, but makes no dent in your budget – sounds like a win/win to us!
A Word of Caution
A word to the wise – keep on top of your presence on business listing websites.
Customers will quickly become frustrated by inaccurate or out of date information. This is a good way to ensure your business flat-lines, rather than makes progress.
Reach More People
Most businesses are looking to target more people in a relatively small area. That’s where business listing websites are potentially hugely beneficial to your business.
Customers generally perform two types of searches – direct searches and discovery searches.
With a direct search, they know who you are, and just want to track down your website. With a discovery search, they are looking for something general, for example, wood flooring nearby.
Whether they’re searching in a directory or on a map, if you have a listing with comprehensive information, your details will pop up.
This complements your existing website by getting you noticed. Embed a link to your website on your profile on the business listing website, and you’ll direct customers right to where you want them.
Get the Right People to Your Door
This is where niche business listing websites could work for you.
These sites cater to particular areas of business or interest. Listing on them could help direct the specific customers you are looking for to your site.
Take time to cultivate your listing. Include appealing photos, positive (genuine) customer feedback and even articles that would appeal to your audience.
Get Discovered More Easily
The beauty of business listing websites is their search functions. They allow people to track down exactly what they’re looking for by using search parameters such as business type and location to find you.
Make sure that you are on the map – literally.
If you’re running a business dependent on walk-ins, then ‘around me’ searches on top mapping software, such as Google Maps and Apple Maps are invaluable.
Within seconds, your potential customers can be devouring your menu, or the latest pics of customers enjoying your services. Recent customer reviews keep you current and can sway people to head your way.
Bring Local People to You
The beauty of business listings is that they allow local people to enter their area and narrow down results that are within striking distance of them. These are the people who are most likely to be your repeat customers year to year. In the modern age, they will make that first connection online.
Get Seen – Even If They Don’t Click
It’s important to make sure your brand has a major online presence. That means that even if potential clients don’t click straight away, they’re gaining familiarity with you and what you stand for.
By having a professional, well-maintained listing on all major business listing websites, you’re letting everyone know that you’re there and that you mean business.
Next time they’re on the lookout for a new contact, you’ll already have made an impression. That can turn into a click-through further down the line.
Enhance Your Reputation
By listing your business in a directory, you have a chance to showcase your products and services to the world, and they have a chance to tell everybody what they think of you. Nowadays, people increasingly check out customer reviews before making a choice about the business they’ll use, the restaurant they’ll eat at, or the place they’ll visit on vacation.
Research indicates that positive reviews make 73% of people trust a business more. Yelp and Facebook come out a people’s favorites for reading local reviews and are definitely places you need to have a presence.
Not all reviews are positive, but the listing forum gives you an opportunity to respond. When you respond carefully, you can show you care about your customers and value their feedback.
Check out our guide on how to use business listing websites to boost your company’s reputation.
Rank Highly on Google
You’ve got to be in it to win it.
If you want your business at or close to the top of the pile when someone hits search, you need to have a carefully managed presence on business listing websites. With the first page of a Google search accounting for at least 71% of clicks, that’s where you want to be to bring the customers in.
For ways to send your business to the top of the class, make sure you’re working getting SEO tailored to the needs your business.
The Takeaway: Benefits of Using Business Listing Websites
If you’re looking for more customers, particularly locals, then business listing services are a no-brainer for you. They help people to find you, get to know your brand, and they are a great way outside of your dedicated website to showcase the best of your business.
The key is maintaining your presence, cultivating the customer reviews and making sure that your brand is being presented accurately and as you want it.
At Latitude Park, we’re here to make sure that your local SEO is where it needs to be. Check out the great services we can offer your business today.