Increase Your Business Visibility with Directory Listings
If you’re attempting to increase the visibility of your business, you may be tempted to you’re your business in as many directories as possible. After all, the more directories you’re in, the more likely you will be found, right? Not so fast! What are directory listings, and what’s a good strategy for using them to promote your business?
Directories are collections of business listings, and they function much like the printed paper phone books did, and still do. In 1967, the gold standard for business advertising was a Yellow Pages listing. Businesses received a very simple Yellow Pages listing as part of their telephone service. For a fee, a business could upgrade its Yellow Pages listing to look like an advertisement. These upgraded entries included more information, colored inks, and made a business stand out. Businesses were grouped in the directory by type, and listed in alphabetical order. The bigger your Yellow Pages ad was, the more attention it would draw.
Online business directories perform a similar function, except that they’re dynamic. In addition to including a telephone number and physical address, directory listings can also include reviews, photos, special offers and other information. In a “good” directory, a good listing can help search engines promote your business. An unattended listing can produce random results, and a bad listing can be a disaster. On the flip side, nothing good comes out of a “bad” directory, so your best bet is to avoid them altogether.
But what makes a directory “good” or “bad?”?
How can you take advantage of the “good” directories and avoid the “bad” ones?
Good directories have established themselves over time. They’re trustworthy and highly credible. The information in them is verifiable, believable, complete and accurate. As a searcher, you can count on what you find in a good online directory. Bad directories are the opposite of all of that. They’re not recognizable. They came out of nowhere. The information came from multiple other sources without verification. They might even look a little abandoned.
Good directories offer ways for businesses to claim their listings, and verify the information in them. Complete directory information is more than a phone number. A complete listing also includes the physical address of the business, a working website link, an email address or other online contact, business hours, recent customer reviews, maps, photos and more. Good directories verify the information they offer, and they have a defined and rigid process to validate information about a business. Examples of “good” directories include:
- Google My Business
- Bing Places
- Yellow Pages
A good directory strategy is to start with a few recognized, “good” directories. Manage your listings carefully in the good directories and you’ll see tangible benefits. The biggest directories will deliver the best results, so even if you never venture into smaller directories, you’ll still maximize the benefits of directory listings for your business.
If you’d like more information about directory listings, or you’d like us to help you create visible business profiles in the top directories, please contact us at (509) 792-3283 or fill out a contact request form, and we’ll be happy to help you get started on managing your business directory listings.