- Business and Employment»
Tool for Local Businesses: Online Directories
Are You Utilizing Online Local Directories?
With huge corporations, biased tax laws, and a myriad of other obstacles for small businesses, it can seem a daunting task to start up or maintain a small business in today’s competitive economy. However, often small businesses don’t take advantage of all the resources and opportunities that are available to them! One such opportunity is online directories. Online directories help both locals and visitors to the area find out where a business is, what the hours are, a business’s reputation, and how to get to their locations!
Get on the Map
With the internet so prevalent and accessible, printed roadmaps are a thing of the past. The best way to direct new customers to a business? Online maps, or even step-by-step directions. Local directories often show a map of where your business is, and what streets or businesses are around it. Some are even able to show you a street view of the front of your building! This makes it easier for potential customers to see your business, recognize it, and get there easily.
For step-by-step directions, some online directories even have mobile apps, to make directions even easier. Customers can browse on their phones for their needed business or service, check out the reviews, then get a map with directions to any given business! It makes the consumer process so easy, customers can be breezing into your establishment and boosting sales in no time.
Do customers love your shop? Most likely they will leave a review on your site, prompting others to check out your business as well! Customer reviews are like an online word-of-mouth system where a customer’s positive experience can reach the ears of thousands of viewers. The quicker you list your business online for existing customers to review, the quicker people can start typing out reviews and encourage others to come in the doors! You can even tell your current customers about your listings and encourage them to list a review if they had a positive experience. This active attitude toward receiving positive reviews will make your boost your online reputation quicker, and will make your online presence that much more effective.
Reaching a Wider Audience
While repeat customers or random street walk-ins are great for business owners, especially small business owners, a business needs to reach a wider audience to really thrive. And where is a better place to do that than the internet? The internet has millions of users, and a good number of them could be searching for a business just like yours. The best way to ensure that your information is effectively available is to just get out there and start listing!
It can be pretty easy to make sure your business is listed online. Start with the major search engines, give some basic information about your business, then work your way down to the smaller, more local online directories. You want to make sure that you have your business listed on as many directories as possible, since even the smaller, more local, or more focused directories can bring in customers. And what does listing cost? Generally speaking, it only costs a few minutes of your time! While every online directory is different, it is usually free of cost to list your business. This is the cheapest form of advertising you’ll find all day!
Niche Specific Directories
Getting listed in niche specific directories can especially be helpful, because the users of those directories are more likely to become a paying customer. They already know what they want, and often times, they are are looking for someone in your specific category because they are loyal to your type of business. What do I mean by that? Say you're a green company, or a woman-owned, African-American, or hispanic owned company. You can find a directory that only lists your type of business, and the people searching in those directories are looking for you because they'd rather support a business that is green or owned by someone like him or herself.
Get Online and List!
Your next free advertising campaign is just a few clicks away. Just enter in your favorite online business directory, or even try my favorite local business directory, and start making sure your business is getting the online attention it deserves. Not exactly sure how to go about listing your business online? Stay tuned, because my next article will feature exactly how to list your business online!