This is a critical stage in the process of developing any online business, and many companies are reaping the benefits of joining forces with an online local directory. This is a simple way for a consumer to source the right supplier by clicking on directories and sub-directories until they find what they are looking for. If there are many to choose from, having a good profile helps. Start with informative content about your business, with your contact information, and make sure there are several ways for clients to contact you. Your website details should be very visible, as this is the preferred method of consumer contact. Telephone, email, Facebook and twitter are just a few examples of platforms that people use when ordering products or services, so they should all be in your listing.
Creating your profile
Before you can list your services with a directory, you need to create an online profile, with information about your company and the products or services you provide. This would include reviews from existing customers, and details of any affiliations the business might have, as well as links to your website and contact information.
Beat the competition
Not all small businesses see the importance of directory listing, and therefore you can get ahead of your rivals by creating a strong online presence, using the platform more and more consumers are moving towards.
Cost effective advertising
The crux of any marketing strategy is cost effectiveness. By listing with a leading online directory, such as Thomson Local, you get more for your money with maximum exposure across multiple platforms. If someone was looking to replace their windows, they can simply check on Thomson Local for reviews of double glazing companies, and find a local business with a good reputation.
Online directories have a special working relationship with major search engines, with Google now incorporating local directory listings into search criteria, helping your prospective customers find you easily. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is something online directories are well acquainted with, achieving high rankings for all their registered clients. So use the services of a leading online directory, and ride the wave of inbound marketing techniques that will keep your business at the top of the tree.
Generating the right kind of traffic
The objective of an online directory is to put the right people in touch with you at the right time. Their marketing experts are constantly tweaking things, and it is not unusual for a small enterprise to triple their website hits within a few months of listing.
Referrals and recommendations
This has always been the most effective way of increasing your customer base. Online directories will encourage clients to spread the word, thus directing more people who require your services. A satisfied customer can give you more positive exposure than any amount of advertising, with genuine appreciation of your service, they will persuade others to contact you for information and advice.
The right listing by category
When listing with an online directory, your service will be put into a number of directories and sub directories. These need to be in line with what people are searching for, and by spreading your services in several categories, you increase the chances of a new customer sourcing you. This is something your online directory will assist you with, helping your business to be visible in this e-commerce world.
Directories rather than key words
A search engine uses key words or phrases that the user enters to search for what they need. An online directory works in a different way, by placing your business in certain sections or sub-sections, the consumer will easily locate you.
Promote your image
Your online profile is important, so you will need a good website that provides the right information to the prospective client. If they like your initial profile, the user will be directed to your company website, where you can provide the necessary information and convert the lead into a sale. For more information about the local search Ecosystem in the UK, with detailed information showing how the various Internet platforms interact.
A strong online presence
This can done in a number of ways, such as,
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Business profiles on social networking sites
- Business listings with online directories
The benefits of online directory listing are,
- Direct advertising exposure
- Business networking platform
- Free traffic generation
- Targeted lead generation
- Improve link popularity
How to identify a good online directory
An established online business directory will have the following,
- Good search engine rankings
- Directories will have a proper internal link structure
- A user friendly interface
Increased sales leads to higher profits
More traffic results in more enquires, which means more leads, which then become sales, and therefore increased profits. It is now accepted by all good business models that online business directories are a simple, cost-effective way to improve online visibility. Your website traffic will increase and the enquiries will be stronger, as the people who are visiting your site found you through a directory, which suggests they have a need for your services. By providing strong leads, a business directory will help you to achieve your sales targets, and play a major role in future marketing campaigns.
A one-stop solution
Many small businesses do not advertise outside of their online local directory, as this alone gives them adequate exposure. A high level of credibility and customer satisfaction will empower your business to reach a much greater number of people who are within your immediate area, and are looking for your services. So, contact a leading local directory, such as Thomson Local, and your marketing will be taken care of by the professionals. More people are using a local directory to source any number of requirements, so your online presence will continue to grow, empowering your business to develop and expand. The future will see a steady rise in e-commerce, with online directories evolving to accommodate a growing sector.