With small businesses now spending an average of $75,000 a year on digital marketing, companies are looking for new ways to cut corners in their budget. Thankfully there are lots of low-cost or free opportunities for companies to promote their business. One of the most often overlooked options for many companies is to take advantage of business listing websites.
Business listings are more than just the yellow pages of decades previous. Most search engines and business directories allow companies to upload photos, verify address and contact information, hours, and other details. They even allow for customers to leave reviews.
If you’re struggling with the high costs of marketing in the digital era, you can save yourself some time, money, and frustration by using business directories. Here are 7 reasons why you need to get your company up on all the business listing websites you can.
1. Increase Your Online Presence
You might have noticed that your business will show up listed on search engines and directories where you didn’t submit information. That’s because business listing websites pull from large directories across the internet. They’ll automatically generate listings based on the information you have.
Getting listed on one major directory means that you’ll be listed on multiple sites.
This is great because it means that you don’t need to crawl through the web looking for every low-grade, bottom-shelf business directory and enter information. Putting the right information on the biggest directories and search engines will get you listed across multiple sites.
The downside is that if there is any incorrect information about your business, it will be amplified much more loudly than you’d probably like. Incorrect information will be repeated at multiple sites. You need to verify, claim, and keep your listings updates as frequently as possible.
2. You’ll Be Visible Locally
Search engines and local business listing websites have automatic, geo-specific targeting that they perform based on where a user is connecting from. They use the cookies, profiles, and other information that users have entered to determine their location. They use those results to return relevant information.
For local businesses, this is essential. When someone types “pizza” into a directory, they want to see local pizza places. Business directories have gotten hip to this and now will automatically filter. Otherwise, they’ll prompt users to enter their zip code to ensure the results are relevant.
3. Get More New Business
Most business listing websites prompt users to figure out the specifics of their search criteria first. They’ll ask what the service they’re looking for, where they’re looking for it, and the category of service they seek.
If you’ve selected the right series of options when listing with these directories, customers who might have never heard of you will be introduced to you. When people are searching for a service like yours and you’re geographically nearby, directories will play matchmaker.
Often people don’t know the exact name of a deli, locksmith, or hardware store near them, even if they’re a customer. This allows them to get a little more familiar or even be introduced for the first time.
4. Get Valuable Reviews
With 84% of people trusting online reviews as much as they trust referrals from their friends, online reviews are extremely important for small businesses. Most directories allow users to leave reviews, and as stated above, they become a trusted resource for potential clients.
Most directories and review sites allow for reviews to be posted immediately. They may even ask users to review a business following their service. That means that having good reviews is a must. Making sure users leave their negative feedback for 1st Ave Burger and not Avenue 1 Burger is extremely important.
Claim your listing as soon as possible to make sure to avoid any mishaps.
5. Build a Great Reputation
As stated above, feedback is incredibly important. The more positive feedback you can generate from users, the more customers will trust your business.
Prompt your customers to leave reviews for you on these websites so that if you run afoul of a negative review, you’ve got good ones to back you up. Mixed reviews aren’t terrible for your reputation. It’s how you deal with them that customers really pay attention to.
People make mistakes and customers are far more forgiving than you might think when it comes to dealing with squeaky wheels.
6. Build Brand Awareness
Being listed alongside other brands is good for business. If you own a little burger bar and you’re listed alongside the top 3 fast food chains, it creates a perception and awareness in customers’ minds. It says that you’re part of the same ecosystem as the multinationals.
Seeing your name over and over again in searches creates an awareness that you’re active and around to stay. Customers might take a risk and go with you rather than their usual place and then it’s just up to you to make sure they come back for more.
7. Give Your SEO A Boost
Search engines use a complex series of criteria to judge the relevance and importance of a given website. Search Engine Optimization is what sites do to ensure that when a user makes a search relevant to their site, their site comes up as an option.
You want your content to rank high and having it on multiple listings is a good look for any brand. It shows that you’re present on trusted and important directories. You’ll have validation and support that your information is verified and relevant to users.
Business Listing Websites Generate Leads
Rather than going out with door hangers or flyers to put on windshields, business listing websites do a lot of that work for you. They’re out looking for clients and generating leads at the exact moment clients are looking for services like yours.
If you’re ready to take on all of the best directories on the web, contact us for more info on how to make your listings pop.