“Back in the day,” phonebooks were used to find businesses. Now, most people use their smartphones, thus creating the need for online business listings. It’s all about your company being found in an endless sea of digital commerce.
What are directory listings, and why do they matter?
When looking for a specific product or service, users typically search Google or Bing for places to buy products “near me.” This narrows the search results to businesses close to their geographical location at that time.
Search engines use mapping and GPS functions to list businesses in search results, and/or pinpoint locations on maps. The results are dependent on location and products included in the search.
Placing consistent and accurate business listings on multiple directory sites will increase your company’s visibility, boost your SEO search rankings, build customer confidence regarding your company’s credibility, and most importantly, drive sales. Simply put, the easier you make it for customers to find your business information online, the better your odds of making money.
What is usually included in a directory listing?
Every directory site is a little different, but they generally include the following:
- Company name
- Phone number(s)
- Email/contact information
The more thorough sites will also include:
- Hours of operation
- Description of products and services
- Photos and videos
- Geolocation data
Major directory platforms such as Moz, Manta, YP.com, and Yelp offer free listing services, as well as paid services; however there are hundreds of other reputable sites with varying price points. Fortunately, you don’t have to sign up for all of them to get your business information out there.
With Moz, for example, once you set up a profile and your listing information, the service will use that information to set up directory listings on other major listing sites, saving you time and trouble. These services usually detect and update inaccurate or outdated listings, which left unmanaged, can cause a significant amount of frustration to a customer. Most of the bigger directories also offer ad space for guaranteed visibility in local searches.
For larger businesses with multiple locations, it’s worth investing in paid services to ensure that listings for your locations are accurate and consistent across the board.