Are You Listed? Tips for Using (Some) Web Directories in 2018

Business listings should be an integral part of your online presence. They are a great tool for providing important information about your business to local searchers.

They help you to maintain a consistency across search engines, web directories and other mobile and desktop applications. This is important if you want to boost your SEO efforts.

For this reason, it is important that you master the strategy of using web directories. Here are 8 key tips to help you strategize your local listings to your advantage:

1. Develop Solid Content

Business entrepreneurs usually have a certain expertise that can be shared with their potential clients. Sharing this kind of knowledge allows the prospect build trust in the business and its products.

Great content provides your clients with the opportunity to make your business a one-stop store for their needs. As such, select your wording very carefully when listing your business. Words have power. Be cognizant of the fact that first impressions are lasting impressions.

Use photos, videos, and links that will impress your prospects. People are easily moved by what they see. Add adequate visual representation to your online local listing.

This gives potential customers a good idea of exactly what you are offering. Add photos of the interior and exterior of your business premises to help them recognize your store more easily. If necessary, pay to put up ads that will add to your content.

2. Patience Pays

Most of the successful businesses that you see today did not become successful overnight. Their success story was borne out of an effort. They had to develop content and select reputable web directories to host a tiny part of their brand awareness magic as well as develop trust. All these steps take time, and they require patience.

It is likely that initially, your business may not get ROI as fast as you would want it to. You may not get many clicks in the first month or so. However, if you stick to your vision and give your directory listing time to flourish, the returns will be evident in due course.

Here is a list of top-notch web directories I suggest my client’s websites to improve their online visibility:

Anything good takes time to mature. Listing your business in web directories is no exception. With enough exposure, you will attract the attention of the right kind of customers.

3. Take Time to Research

Diligence can save you a lot of time and missed opportunities. The world of the internet is replete with many business ideas. Many of these purposes is to offer what you are looking for.

However, it’s up to you to research and find out exactly where you need to list your business. This is because not all the web directories should be taken at their word. Investing in reputable directory sites has the potential to catapult your business to greater heights. Investing in weak directories has the opposite effect. As a general rule of thumb aim for web directories with a Domain Authority 50+.

Take time to find out the impact of the various web directories on your target audience. Choose the one(s) best suited for your purpose. Is it a competitive website? Does it get good traffic in your business category? What do they offer their audiences?

Think hard about how you can use the web directories that you settle on to get the attention of your target customers. Study how your competitors have gone about it, and see how you can do yours better.

4. Encourage Your Customers to Speak Out

Getting favorable customer reviews is one way to enhance the growth of your business. The word of mouth is by far one of the most effective marketing strategies. Take advantage of this.

Encourage the clients to leave positive reviews whenever they interact with your business. Here is a list of my top five local business directories.

  • Google My Business
  • Yahoo! Small Business
  • Foursquare
  • Bing My Places

Also, ensure that you respond to each review left behind, both positive and negative.

5. Seek Professional Help

To improve your SEO, you need to submit content that has been professionally done. Your pages need to neat and well written. Ensure that the format and content are beyond reproach.

Remember, your prospects will be interacting with what you put out there. If they find your pages hard to read, they will form a negative attitude regarding your business. The same is also true if the pages are not clear or everything is a mess.

Similarly, reputable web directories may refuse to host you if your content is not up to standard. If need be, seek the services of professionals to help you in designing the content.

6. Choose Niche Directories over Industry Ones

Smaller directories that are dedicated to your niche are more effective than larger ones. This is more so if your business is new or very specialized. So, if you are a dentist, it is best to opt for web directories dedicated to dental hygiene as opposed to those dealing with general health matters. Your prospects will notice you more easily this way. Also, you will do remarkably well in local SEO, and this means that you are likely to get more local orders.

It is noteworthy, however, that getting listed in local directories in your niche will not particularly help you rank in national SEO.

7. Update Your Information on a Regular Basis

You would not want to confuse your customers with conflicting pieces of information about your business. Doing so can easily lead to loss of business. Keep the customers regularly apprised of any changes in your firm. For example, it is important to inform them of changes in your website, address. Telephone numbers as well as products portfolio. Ensure that such changes are communicated in all your web directories listings so that the customer does not make the wrong decisions.

As an integral component of your online presence, make all the sites a priority in your marketing strategy. Ensure that your customers access information that is up to date, clear and consistent at all times.

8. Choose Quality over Quantity

Cheap is expensive. Do not overlook the paid web directories in favor of the free ones in the hope that you will save money. Generally, the directories that require fees are more professionally managed than those that do not. Free directories are usually automated and they can thus be easily manipulated.

On the other hand, the directories that require fees have human editors. The editors rigorously ensure that standard measures are met before they accept any submission. These web directories are therefore more reputable. Search engines like Google are aware of this. They consider this factor as they decide how best to categorize the website. In short, money spent on being listed is not lost but gets your business into a better position to make money.

Indeed, getting your business listed in web directories is good for the increased online presence of your business (source).

Of course, it is important to get your business into as many high-quality directories as possible. The most important thing is to be tactical as you manage how your prospects perceive your business as they interact with it on local listings.

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