With the rapid growth of technology in our society today, it can be difficult to stay up to date with all the ways to enhance your business using the Internet. Throughout this blog, we will explain exactly what local directories are, as well as how they can be extremely beneficial to your success.
In the most basic terms, local directories are essentially the “new” Yellow Pages. That giant yellow phonebook has become obsolete and its main function now is to serve as a doorstop. So where do people go to find your business? The Internet. According to The Kelsey Group, a whopping 97% of all people online use the Internet to find information about local products and services. And since competition for business is at an all time high, it is crucial to make use of every tool you can to get your name out there, and local directories do just that. They are a place to find local business, products, and services online, and there are hundreds of different directories.
Some of the top local directories are:
- Google Places
- Bing Business Portal
- Yahoo Local
- Angie’s List
Some other commonly used local directories include:
Using the local directories listed above, you can rank your business on the first page of Google without even having a company website! All you have to do is claim your listing on these sites, and your business will see immediate benefits and positive impacts. This is a wonderful tool to use because about 90% of business owners, your competition, have not claimed their listings on Google. So simply going through each one, and doing so will place you miles ahead! It is important however that you do not set up all of your local directories at once. Since Google prefers content that is regularly updated, in order to increase your ranking, it is better to go through regularly and update them on a consistent basis.
If you are a little overwhelmed, that’s okay. Google Places is an excellent place to begin. This is the mot important local directory, and it is integrated with Google Local and Google+. Claiming your listing on Google Places will help rank you on Google and will assign your business a little red indicator on the map to show people where you are located. While this aspect of searchability is huge for any business, local directories also are key for reputation management. When you search for a product or service online, which would you rather trust: a business with high ratings and excellent reviews, or a business that is not ranked and has zero reviews? Chances are, people will choose a business based on testimonials or number of “stars”. Because of this, it is key that you promote your company’s presence online. Ask your best clients to leave you a positive Google review, or offer a discount as an incentive for those customers who do. One of the best things you could do for your business is to provide potential customers with real-life, relatable, positive testimonials.
Remember, people will want to do business with a company they can trust so be sure to get reviews! Having social proof of your business has become an increasingly huge determinant as to whether or not you get customers. And getting your business registered with these local directories is fairly simple, however it does take time. But if you put in the due diligence, it will be worth it! Your potential clients will find someone to buy from, so why not have that someone be you?