Online directories are becoming increasingly popular today. So popular in fact, that there are literally hundreds that business owners can choose from. When it comes time to start creating your brand’s online presence, boosting its reputation, and connecting to your customers, you’ll need to decide which ones you want to appear in.
You want to ensure you’re listed in enough directories to get seen, but not so many that your business appears spammy to the search engines. To help you walk this fine balance, below are a few ways to determine which online directories you should list your business in.
Know where Your Customers are Searching
Start by learning what online directories your customers use most. If they do most of their searching in Google, you should have a listing in Google My Business. If they use Yahoo! more often, you should have a listing there.
Still yet, if your customers are on Facebook more often than any other website, you should create a Facebook page for business. Going where your customers go will ensure that you are seen mostly by your target market.
Choose Directories with the Biggest Reach
There are some online directories that simply put, all businesses should appear in. These include Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, and Yahoo. If your business isn’t listed in these major directories, you’re likely losing out on profits that your competitors are gaining instead.
Conduct an Audit
This one may take some time, but you’ll need to conduct an audit on the number of citations, or mentions, you have. You can do this by manually searching the directories you’re more interested in listing your business with, or you can use an automatic tool such as the one found at moz.com.
Either way, look for missing listings and incorrect information on your listings. If you see that your business is already listed but that it’s also incorrect, you need to fix the listing and remain in this directory, even if you didn’t create it in the first place.
Follow these steps and you can rest assured that your business is listed within all the directories it should be!
Don’t Forget the Little Details when Creating a Listing
When it comes to creating a business listing for your company in an online directory, you know how important it is to include basic details about your business.
For example, your business’ NAP (name, address, phone number) are likely at the top of your list. However, you know better than anyone that your business is about so much more than that! You know it, and now it’s time to let the world know it through your online listing.
Below are just a few of the little details that you should include in any online directory that allows them.
- Social media profiles: When you include valid and updated social media links to your online listing, it allows customers to find out even more about you. They may head over to your Facebook profile when you are live, or they may check out your Twitter profile to learn of the most recent promotions in your business. Either way, they continue to find out more about you and so, it’s important to include these links in your business listing.
- Business descriptions: It’s tempting to forego filling in a business description because many business owners think it’s obvious what their business is all about. It’s not, so take the opportunity to tell your customers about it.
- Contact email: Email is the most convenient way for customers to reach businesses, so an address where customers can actually reach you is imperative when it comes to your business listing.
- Pictures: Many business owners think that pictures are just a nice little extra to have in their business listing. That may be true, but customers love those nice little extras! Include them in your listing to draw in even more customers and to build your brand.
When creating a business listing in an online directory it’s obvious to include the, well, obvious information. However, including some of the smaller details can help boost your brand’s presence, reputation, and bottom line!
Is Your NAP Correct?
When creating a business listing within an online directory, there is a lot of important information to include. One set of information that is crucial to the success if your listing is your NAP, or your business’ name, address, and phone number.
Although it may seem like you could never make mistakes when it comes to these details of your business, it’s surprising just how often it happens. With one simple tip, you can ensure it doesn’t happen to you.
The Stats on Incorrect NAPs
Before thinking that you could never make a mistake with your company’s NAP, consider these stats according to vandasta.com:
- 86 percent of businesses with directory listings have an incorrect company name across all listings.
- 72 percent of businesses have incorrect address information across all of their listings.
- 71 percent of businesses have an incorrect phone number across all of their listings.
Although it may seem like these types of mistakes are impossible to make, they aren’t. For example, consider a business owner that is located at 123 Main Street.
On some listings they may state that as ‘Main Street’ while on others they may state their address as being on ‘Main St.’ It’s a small difference, but one that creates a big error when it comes to listing consistency.
How to Maintain NAP Consistency
Any mistake contained within a business’ NAP information can turn into a real nightmare for business owners. The simple answer is to write down the information you use within your business’ NAP in the very first listing you create.
Of course, you also have to regularly check your listing and update it. This will allow you to look for typos, or change the listing any time there is a change within your business, including within its NAP.