17 Reasons Why You Need Online Business Directories
1. There was a time when directory listings were the end-all, be-all of online business marketing. Before search engines spawned the SEO marketing rules we are familiar with nowadays, there was the directory listing. In the past, it was considered imperative to list your business to as many directories as possible.
But what changed, you ask? A lot. Other than the death of Yahoo directories just recently, Google came up with a new algorithm that changed the way they produce search results. Gone is the link spamming that has pretty much dominated the search engines before the introduction of the new algorithm, Penguin. Lots of directories have suffered massive blows from this new change; many are even banned because of black hat or spammy link building.
But if you think listing your business on directories is no longer important and relevant, you are sorely mistaken. Now that the bad guys of link building are filtered out, the good guys have a better chance of shining in the spotlight. And if you take advantage of this window, you can benefit from them.
2. Directories have become more than a place to list links to your website.
There was a time when directories were only just a place to leave links to your website. That’s no longer what makes up directories these days.
You are not only leaving tiny, unnoticeable links on a huge web page but an entire banner that will serve as your advertisement. This gives you more visual exposure to entice your potential clients into checking out what your business has to offer.
As opposed to buying an advertising space in other websites, directory submissions are not discriminating towards their clients. In other websites, you might have to compete with other businesses for that advertising space. If you are a fledgling company up against bigger companies, competing can be really tough.
You might have to shell out some money for that advertising space, yes, but compared to the cost of advertising on other, PR-rich sites, the cost is comparatively smaller. This gives you a chance to advertise on a larger scale with a very minimal advertising cost.
3. It’s a great starting place.
Let’s face it, SEO isn’t exactly the easiest of things to understand. Unless you have been learning the nuances in algorithms and the various SEO techniques you can employ in your website, you might feel lost amidst the vast property of the World Wide Web, keyword building, meta tags and descriptions. It would take a while to learn all these. In fact, it is a learning process that will require endless tweaking of the way you submit your posts or create your site. It will also require constantly checking out your progress to see if your SEO strategies are up to scratch.
It’s easy to feel lost, especially if you are just starting out. If you are feeling lost and you don’t know where exactly to start with your online advertising scheme, directory submission sites such as Shop In Canada is a great starting place to go to.
Directory submission sites already have a process by which they follow to adhere to current SEO protocols. When you submit your website link, you will be under the protection of the directory submission site.
Subscribe and the company will employ strategic link building strategies to get your business and your brand out there.
4. It is effective in targeting local consumers.
Perhaps one of the most important benefits of a directory listing is its ability to get you the local clientele you are after. Directories such as Google+ Local and other legitimate directory listing sites like Shop In Cities can put your website on the internet map. Think of this as a referral system. Even though the directory does not directly link back to your website, which might put you off in an SEO perspective, it can give you a direct boost in local market – the people who will be checking out your business.
According to studies, people do an online research first before they actually buy something or take advantage of services. And in most cases, they will prefer to purchase or use services closer to their area for added convenience.
A directory submission can help you introduce your website to your local clients who are always online as the links of your website in a directory can put you on search lists, giving you more online visibility and presence.
5. Directory listing is significantly cheaper than other methods of advertising.
Chances are, if you have a thriving business that you want to boost, you will need to employ a full SEO campaign to keep up with your online competitors and to broaden your target market. There’s just no getting past this. Your competitors are probably already doing it and you definitely don’t want to be left behind.
SEO campaigns are helpful in boosting your online search rankings organically. Your goal here is to make sure that your web page ends up at the top search list of search engine giants like Google.
But a full SEO campaign does not come cheap. It is an investment you have to make that will reap generous rewards in the future. The amount of money you invest on a full campaign will pretty much pay for itself when your business becomes more visible online and you are raking in more traffic that will convert to sales. You need to hire a competitive team of SEO experts to get you in that spot.
Business owners also should look into the benefits of PPC campaigns. But compared to SEO organic campaigns, PPC has more demanding funding system so it can be taxing on your monthly advertising budget.
For starting companies with only a small budget to speak of, these campaigns are probably still out of the question. While you are still saving money to get yourself a team of SEO experts to work on your organic traffic, you might want to make an initial investment on directory submission. Compared to the rate of SEO campaigns that will set you back by a few thousands, directory submission campaigns cost only in the hundreds.
It is not a “you get what you pay for” scheme either. Directory submission costs less, sure, but you’ll still be getting the boost in traffic you can get from organic SEO.
6. There is actually a steady growth in revenues from online searches even when the economy is bad.
It is interesting to note that despite bad economy, people are still willing to spend. In fact, they might be more willing to spend on products they see online rather than on groceries or physical stores because the products are not tangible. They can conduct searches to cull reviews to give them better perspective on whether to buy a product or not. This gives the consumer a better buying decision.
According to recent studies conducted to test the efficacy of online searches, using Google and other search engine giants with the intention of buying has yielded up to 50% sales. That proves just how effective a marketing tool search engines are. And if your business is very visible in search engines, you are definitely tapping into that market, thereby boosting your own revenues.
7. You don’t need to have a website to use directory submission.
Before you can conduct a full-fledged SEO marketing campaign to boost your organic traffic, you need to have a solid, well-built website as a landing page. That website needs to adhere to SEO rules such as keyword usage and meta tags incorporation. The website needs to be optimized so it will fit all screen sizes and therefore more user-friendly. It needs to be heavily-laden with quality content.
That requires a lot of work, which might prompt business owners into hiring a team of SEO experts to build the website from scratch and create content for it.
If you don’t have a website just yet, you can set up a landing page for your business through a directory listing. Think of it as your building block in the World Wide Web. When you are ready to build a website for your business, which is a must if you really want to compete, all you need to do is update your directory submission and include links to your landing page.
It serves as a flexible solution for your advertising needs. In the mean time, have your local business listed in these directory sites such as ShopInCities.com. Search engines can pull up information such as your business name, what products and services you are offering and where to find you. Such information is already vital in creating recognition for your business.
8. Business directory sites create solid back links.
In the past, one of the most commonly used methods for building links is looking for websites with higher PR rating and asking them to exchange links. If you’re lucky, you might be able to find a neighbouring site that can help pull up your own PR rating with just a simple back link. It is also customary for link building before to create a two-way link to benefit both parties.
But after the change of search engine algorithm, this method of link building has pretty much taken a back seat. After all, if the neighbouring site you exchanged links with practices bad SEO methods, your site could get affected too.
Submitting your website or business link to an online directory eliminates such a scenario. What you get is a solid link in a trusted directory that gets pulled up in searches. Rather than aimless link exchange with sites that have nothing to do with the niche of your own site, you get a solid link from a directory that search engines will find relevant and useful. This link building approach strengthens your position in search engines.
9. Your website or business can be easily indexed by search engine giants like Google.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a popular marketing tool for a reason. It does its work in increasing your website or business’ visibility in the online platform. This is why it is a great marketing method that you can add to your existing marketing strategies. If you are not yet employing SEO strategies in your website or business, you are missing out a lot on its many benefits.
But just like what was mentioned earlier, employing SEO in your current advertising techniques is not a walk in the park. It is not enough that you have a nice-looking website with impressive flash presentations. SEO has to be at the heart of your website where every page is optimized in order for search engines to recognize it as a website that is worth putting on the topmost list of its searches.
That is your goal right there: to boost your site enough so that it appears at the front page of Google’s search results. The top websites listed there are the click hogs. They get the most traffic and if you are not yet at the top, you should employ SEO strategies to get there.
Because SEO needs to be incorporated in every step of your website processes and would require a lot of time for it to fully work, you will need a team of SEO experts at your beck and call to incorporate these strategies. Many business owners shy away from this because of the initial cost of hiring SEO experts. The rate of an exemplary SEO team can be lofty but it is an investment a business owner should look into because the rewards are good. You are looking at doubling or tripling your return of investment.
If you have no such means to support a full SEO campaign, directory submission is a great starting to point. The directories are in charge of employing SEO to drive organic traffic to your website – traffic that will convert to sales.
Directory listing sites use SEO strategies to help search engines find your business and give you the exposure you need. You will be jumping in on the good track record of the directory listing and taking advantage of their optimized methods to boost your own site.
10. You can choose which local places to target.
One of the features offered by directory listing sites is choosing urls that will target a specific city. If your business is location-centered this is good for you. It will also enable you to widen your business’ reach and target cities outside your current location that are not normally targeted when you use organic SEO strategies. This strategy will entice tourists from neighbouring cities. A lot of good online directories boast of the ability to reach more than 70% of your current market potential.
11. You can start developing brand awareness.
In the past, brand recognition takes a long time to develop. You’ll need countless advertising on TV or print with enticing spiels and commercial story line to fully click in the heads of your potential customers. That requires a lot of money.
But thanks to search engines, there is now a comparatively easier way to build brand awareness. By making your website or business more visible on searches, it is easier for customers to remember your business and what you are offering.
It is imperative that you know the importance of making it at the top page of search lists. This is where the gold mine is. This is where your clients will find you. If you make it to the top list, you can then be on your road to creating brand awareness.
Business directories like ShopInCanada now also include your social media account details. Having a Facebook page or a Twitter account for your local business can also boost brand recognition. Social media has become a platform for you to reach your clientele faster and easier and to make sure that they also have a way of reaching out to you.
In addition to social media, it is also highly possible to insert banners or company logos to further strengthen your image and to post videos to introduce what your company is offering. This method of brand awareness becomes more effective when a third party (the business directory) that is already at the heart of SEO will serve as your rope to climb to the top.
12. Some business directories create content-rich articles that will link back to your landing page.
Content is key when it comes to Search Engine Optimization. Whether you are a website counting on your content to get your revenues for Adsense or you are a business that needs traffic for brand recognition, content is essential for getting your name out there.
Building content in your website or to link back to your landing page is a great step towards ensuring a strong SEO-friendly future. As long as you have well-written articles in your site or pointing to your site, you won’t have to worry about algorithm changes.
But there’s a caveat. Creating authentic, original and well-written content takes up a lot of time. You also need to hire writers who can produce great content. If you don’t know where to outsource, business directories can help out. Some offer their content-building services so you can hit two birds with one stone. These directories will create the relevant and high-quality posts for you and link back to your landing page, taking care of the problem for content building.
13. There is room for updates if you want to add keywords.
Like content, keyword usage is also imperative. Search engines use keyword as their beacon to sift out the relevant websites to cater to the search terms. Without keywords ingrained in your website, it can get lost amidst a plethora of other websites. Even if you have valuable content, if you don’t have targeted content peppered in your site, you won’t be visible online.
Business directories make sure that relevant keywords helpful to your business’ niche are pointed to you so when a search is done, your business will become visible in searches.
Additionally, you choose which keywords to point to your website or update it in the future if your business expands and includes other services and products. This gives your business so much room for growth. The flexibility will not allow you to make an overhaul in your current marketing strategies to suit your current structure. Business listing is flexible enough that you can take out keywords or add some in to work on what your business is now.
14. Legitimate and SEO-friendly traffic redirection
These business directories are already raking in traffic of their own. Their goal is to share that traffic with you. Think of your business as a tenant in a property. If that property has lots of fruit-bearing trees, has great view of the ocean and is located at an accessible place, you reap the benefits as a tenant.
In the same way, you will be able to benefit from the traffic already going in the site so you don’t have to start from scratch and find traffic of your own.
15. Online directories go out of their way to promote websites they are in contract with.
Social media marketing and SEO go well together. Social media boosts what SEO already provides, creating a tandem that will guarantee increased sales and traffic to your website. Consider using SEO Resellers In Canada to accomplish this.
When using social media for marketing, it needs to be done everyday. Frequently updating your social media can speed up brand recognition. Because it requires work and dedication to update social media on a regular basis, you will need extra help in doing this.
Take advantage of the social media accounts of business directories. Like organic traffic redirection, they can use their social media following to create brand recognition for your business. They direct the traffic they have for their social media to your business whenever they post to promote your business.
16. This provides you an edge over your competitors.
Directory submission has suffered a grave setback over the years. Because of this, a lot of business owners think submitting business profile and links to a directory listing site is no longer relevant and effective. Take advantage of this misconception and list your business. Consider this your edge over your competitors.
Furthermore, despite the purported benefits of SEO, a lot of local businesses still haven’t tapped into this market yet. You’ll be surprised to find many local businesses still without a website, a social media page, or even a Google+ Local page. Just imagine the many people you’ll be targeting online who will visit your local business because that is the only thing they saw online. That’s instant advertising for you!
17.Increase in sales
Having said all these, the benefits of directory submission can all be summed up to one thing: an increase in sales. Being able to reach your market will increase your chances of doubling or even tripling your sales.
In fact, even when the economy is poor, online-centered sales have shown an impressive growth over the past few years. That means people are more likely to shell out money on online finds. The convenience of online shopping will forever lure customers into opening their pockets.
Directory submission, along with Search Engine Optimization, can cost some money as an initial investment, sure. But if you look at its benefits, you will be able to get that money back in a short period of time – shorter than using the usual marketing methodologies.
Go Find A Reliable Directory Submission Site
This is the crux of the matter. In order for you to bask in the benefits of directory submission sites, you have to choose a good one first. There are many ways to spot a good directory listing site.
Showing you the figures isn’t going to cut it. If the directory submission site’s only method of appealing to you is by showing you their current traffic percentage, look elsewhere. This isn’t enough.
Find out if they have a relevant following or how many businesses have already listed on them. They should be able to drive buyers to your page each month. They should be able to showcase your business banners, links and logos in different categories for increased exposure.
Track record and years of experience in this business are also vital when choosing a directory submission site to trust. If they have been in the business longer than 10 years such as Shop In Canada, you know that they are experienced enough that they are already experts in search engine strategies related to directory submission. It is also a clue that they are not employing black hat SEO strategies.
So go ahead and do your business a favor. List it on directory submission sites and start enjoying the traffic being redirected.