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The Benefits Of Listing On B2B Trading Directories
Business Directories – 1st. Getting Your Firm Listed
The advantages of having your firm listed in a business directory are many-fold: exposure to new potential clients; an assurance of quality for your customers and a cost effective way of communicating your company or brands message in print or online. There are, however, a number of types of business directory each suitable for different businesses and judging which directory to list your company within can be a tricky decision making process.
One of the major distinctions between business directories is their target audience. On a high level directories can be split into business to business (b2b) and customer to customer (c2c). If your company generally does business with other companies a b2b trading directory is naturally the obvious choice and vice versa.
Within these two main categories are hundreds of sub-categories and divisions. A b2b trading directory may specialise in a particular trade or industry, a particular region or country or place certain limitations on the companies it lists. A ‘green’ business directory, for example, may only list companies with environmentally friendly credentials.
Another distinction between business directories is their size. Whilst this may seem an obvious point, it is important for a company to consider how large a business directory is and how broad its audience is. Whilst business directories may be too small for some multinational or large corporations, the opposite is also true. It may be uneconomical for a local SME to be listed in an internationally renowned directory.
The next consideration is the cost of listing within a directory. Fortunately, many directories offer both standard and premium listing options, with many listing companies for little or no charge as standard. Premium options naturally give your company more exposure within a directory and so it is important to budget accordingly.
The reputation of the directory you are applying to be listed within is also very important. Whilst a listing within an internationally or nationally renowned directory may be hugely beneficial for your company, it comes with a price. Often SMEs are better targeting smaller, more niche directories that are respected within their individual industry or region.
Finally, decide whether you wish to be listed within a directory that checks and vets its companies or simply publishes a list of companies that apply. Whilst the former option is more expensive, it allows your customers to rest assured of the quality of your products or services – a valuable asset, particularly for young SMEs.
In conclusion, there are a range of considerations and decisions a company must make with regards to trade and business directories. The trade-off between price and quality is further complicated by considerations of reputation and audience. Think hard and plan your listings carefully to ensure you reach a wide array of potential clients whilst receiving the best value for money.
The Worldwide Market Place
2nd. The Benefits Of Listing On A Business 2 Business Trading Directory
The internet is fantastic for many things, with communication being high up on the list. Over the past decade hundreds of B2B marketplaces have sprung up, offering businesses the opportunity to communicate quickly, cheaply and at their own leisure. Today, there is a marketplace or b2b trading directory for almost every industry out there.
The beauty of these sites is that companies no longer have to search through vast paper copies should they find themselves in a situation where they require a new service or product. This is particularly useful for SMEs who may not have the established connections of a larger company.
In addition, companies benefit from being listed within these marketplaces or directories on a number of fronts. Firstly, their name and brand suddenly become accessible to thousands of new potential clients and customers. In addition, many marketplaces actually evaluate and vet the companies listed and trading within them. This assures clients of the quality of those companies, promoting trust and confidence in new clients. The reverse is also true. Companies can do business with another listed on a b2b trading directory or marketplace with the confidence that they won’t be ripped off or let down.
There is more to b2b marketplaces than being a directory, however. The best are dedicated to promoting, developing and sustaining relationships between companies in a safe and profitable manner. Software is developed and managed that facilitates trade as well as places companies relevant companies in touch with one another.
SMEs typically make up the bulk of companies operating within b2b marketplaces, in line with the fact that they make up over 98% of the UK’s total businesses. Moreover, larger companies typically view marketplaces neutrally, often resisting the transition from offline to online relationship management. Many larger companies would also sooner set up their own marketplace, which can be controlled in house, ahead of joining an existing one.
The reluctance of larger firms to join marketplaces partly explains their slow take up by many firms. Despite their obvious advantages, their popularity only really began to take off around eighteen months ago. Since then, however, more and more have popped up and today essentially every industry is covered.
Finally, over the past eighteen months there has been a shift in the mentality of many b2b marketplace operators and several marketplaces have changed and adapted dramatically. The days of huge, public marketplaces are limited as many become private and far more specialised. The main reason for this is that the larger marketplaces were incredibly difficult to manage and often, companies were put off the sheer amount of businesses irrelevant to their own industries.
Utilising Business Directories For SEO
How Can A Business Directory Help My Search Engine Rankings?
A number of benefits to being listed within an online business trading directory are fairly obvious and straightforward. Firstly, by becoming listed your business is suddenly at the fingertips of hundreds of thousands of new potential clients. In addition, reputable directories assure potential clients of your company’s quality making them far more likely to trade and do business with you. The fact that online business directories can actually improve your company’s performance on search engines such as Google, however, is lesser known.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an art form in itself, with companies investing heavily to ensure their name is at the top of the list of relevant searches. What many do not realise, however, is that being listed within an online business trading directory can seriously bolster results.
Search engines rank websites on a number of criteria including their relevance, which is often related to how many key words can be found within the site’s pages. In addition, the number of back links to the website has a significant impact on its performance within the results pages. The more relevant back links found, the better a website will perform.
Whilst a few years ago any link would suffice, search engines have become more sophisticated and only recognise relevant, quality back links. As such, websites known as link farms have become redundant and only respectable, relevant sites are counted. All this means online directories are fantastic sites to be listed within. Not only can new clients find you through the site itself, the link on that site is improving your own company website’s performance on search engines like Google.
Better yet, most online business directories offer listings completely free of charge with small charges for larger adverts and postings.
It is important to select a business directory directly relevant to your company’s industry or field to assure Google and other search engines rate any back links as high quality. Most industries have dedicated directories and there are also a number of very well respected general directories to choose from. On the contrary, choosing a poorly run or constructed directory could well be a waste of time.
Local directories are also useful, particularly for SMEs. With Google searches tailored to users’ location, being listed on a local directory will benefit local businesses tremendously. Many companies take a two pronged approach, listing themselves on larger, industry wide directories as well as broader, local sites too.
At the end of the day, it is down to you to decide which directories are the most relevant to your company. Question exactly who you are trying to reach and the types of things they are likely to be searching to ensure you get yourself listed in the most appropriate directories to your company.