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What Is an Online Directory?

Feb 9, 2022 | Online Directories

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And Why Should I List My Business on Them

Where Is Your Business Located and What Products and Services Does It Sell?

Back before the days of the internet and the world wide web, I started the first Solar Heating business in Tazewell and McClean Counties in Illinois. It was named Tom’s Solar Pak Sales. Formed in 1975, I wanted to sell a product branded as the Solar Pak II with related services that would circulate and heat air on sunny days. I was in 5th grade and had conducted many experiments with various types of solar thermal panel designs. But, while I was good at discovering ways to design solar panels to heat houses, I was not good at helping my potential customers find my business. I assume many business owners still face this struggle.

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What’s Your Sign?

To attract people to my solar business, I purchased a four-foot by eight-foot sheet of plywood and spent a weekend painting and stenciling the sign so that it had the name of the company on both sides, along with my carefully designed logo, which looked like a big ball of sunshine. But the sign exposed flaws and challenges in my thinking at the time. We lived in an area that got very little traffic, so very few people drove by my large sign in the middle of next to nowhere. So, at the ripe age of ten years old, I recognized that traffic was a challenge for my business.

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What Is Meant By Business Traffic?

My small solar business needed people to travel by the sign: either on foot, on horseback, on a bicycle, in a car, on a train, in a plane, or any other form of available transportation at the time. I needed people to discover my business and then have the curiosity to see what types of products and services I offered. In those old days, when fossils roamed the earth, companies would place their buildings in locations where they thought people would travel using some method of transportation. Ideally, this traffic would get congested and force the pace of travel to slow down so that the travelers would see the business and let curiosity get the best of them. As time progressed, so did traffic patterns. People went from traveling on horseback on trails from town to town to canals, then trains, then roads, then superhighways, and so on. It became more challenging to capture the traveler’s attention and interest.

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How Did These Older Businesses Get Discovered?

How did businesses like my small solar shop get discovered back in those days? We could get listed in the phone directory and pay for advertising in the Yellow Pages, which was the extensive printed directory of businesses at the time. We could also purchase advertising space in newspapers, shopping papers, on radio stations, and television stations. Many companies relied on their reputation, which spread from person to person verbally through in-person meetings or over the telephone. While this was far better than waiting for the stranger to ride into town on their horse and ride by the business, the process was slow and cumbersome, and many companies failed to get discovered.

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Why Do Local Businesses Fail?

You can offer the best products, and premier services, have the best storefront, and have attractive displays, but if people can’t find your store or business, how will you get the clients and customers necessary to grow your business? These thoughts have troubled even the best entrepreneurs and caused them to have many sleepless nights. All of us have memories of so many of our favorite local businesses that came and went because the owner could not attract the attention of the travelers and convert these potential shoppers into customers or clients. These businesses needed traffic then and need traffic now.

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What Is Online Business Traffic?

The internet was not accessible to my solar business back in 1975, and it eventually failed due to the lack of traffic and sales. The internet and the world wide web changed the rules and challenges for businesses over time. The internet allowed enterprises to establish an identity or brand in a virtual world accessible by anyone with a smartphone, a computer, a tablet, or any other device that offered access. Without the limitations of the real, physical world, these online properties could be created in an attractive, alluring way that could tease the online traveler in an intriguing way. These astonishing technologies would tempt the person on the internet, but they did not provide traffic, so even many of these businesses remained undiscovered, unexplored, and virtually unheard of.

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What Is an Online Directory?

Since the advent of the internet and the world wide web, there has been a lot of talk about online directory sites for businesses. And it appears that more and more directory sites are popping up every single day. An online directory is basically an online telephone directory, however, it’s likewise a lot more. Online directories are sites that hold the information of various companies. An entrepreneur can send their service information to these websites, making sure it contains things like their service name, their telephone number, their website, their physical location, and the kinds of products and services they use.

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How Do Customers Search Online Directories?

When customers are looking for a specific company, a service, or a particular product, they’ll quickly have the ability to discover it. These directories allow the customer to search by location, product or service category, business brand, or name and then travel immediately to the virtual business site or property to discover all these wonderful offerings. It’s a reliable strategy for a company too. Over 80% of all purchases made by consumers start with an online organization directory site. All companies should be registered on at least a few online directories. Local businesses need to display their brand, identity, products, and services in these directories, in order to ensure that they’re not losing customers and, in the end, sales.

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How Do Online Directory Sites Work?

The idea of online directories is actually a pretty simple one. Online directories are extremely comparable to the Telephone directory in real life, and just these listings are online. YellowPages.com is now one of the biggest online directories of business enterprises. A directory is a listing place for a number of organizations. Any kind of company can be registered on an online directory site. Some online directory sites are big and cover every market, while others are very little and specific to a specific product or service niche. These sites can automatically gather and display details about your business, and many offer the ability for you to better market and advertise your product and service offerings. Online directories direct users to the businesses that provide the products and services they want to find. All consumers have to do is carry out a search in the online directory for a specific topic or browse through the various categories until proper service is found. Anybody can utilize an online directory to discover a service. As a small company owner, it is essential to know that this is the primary way prospective clients will discover your company. Now that you understand how online directory sites work, it is time to see how they can work for your business.

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How Does Your Business Benefit From an Online Directory Listing?

The benefits of using an online directory for your business are many. When a business is listed in multiple directories, there are even more benefits to reap. Below are just a few of the benefits business owners will realize when properly using online directories.

·Increased exposure for your business

·Attracts more traffic to your virtual and physical business presence

·Provides updates for your virtual and physical business product and service offerings

·Takes advantage of affordable virtual advertising

·Establishes professional and product credibility and authority for your brand

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What Online Directories Should You Use for Your Company?

Despite the fact that listing your company in lots of online directory sites will enhance your website’s direct exposure and authority, it is ineffective to just spam your service into every online directory site you can discover. Instead, you want to invest some time considering which specific online directories will offer you the very best return on investment. A company owner just starting to register their business on online directory sites ought to start with the largest and most extensive ones out there. These are directory sites such as Google Organization Profile, Yelp, Bing Places for Company, and the Yellow Pages. These are the largest directories, and, as such, they are going to have the greatest online traffic. It is better to be listed in a directory site that has high traffic because that will make it much more likely to be seen by consumers searching for companies online.

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Which Online Directories Attract the Most Traffic?

Fortunately, the technology exists to track and monitor online traffic patterns and travel, and this software can tell us which online directories get the most online traffic. When an online directory or website attracts lots of traffic, and people spend time on these business sites, this software ranks these businesses higher, because they have established product and service knowledge and authority. These are the top online directory sites, as ranked by their traffic authority currently:

·Google Business Profile: 100

·Apple Maps: 97

·Facebook: 96

·Yelp: 94

·Better Business Bureau: 93

·Verizon Small Business Essentials: 91

·Mapquest: 91

·Foursquare: 91

·Angi Ads: 91

·YellowPages: 90

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What Should I Include In My Online Business Listing?

Be sure to list all of the relevant information regarding your organization in your listing’s description. This ought to include your business’ name, location, telephone number, contact info, customer reviews, business hours, and anything else that is relevant. If the directory site enables it, include images, videos, blog posts, maps, or other interactive features. Keep your info constant across all of your online directory listings. This will assist your site in maintaining its credibility and will help your business establish better authority and ranking on these directories and search engines. To keep the business details consistent, store it in a place you can refer to easily as you make your directory site submissions, such as on your phone or in a location that’s simple to locate on your computer. Attempt to make your service stick out by providing an explanation of your company or any particular message the consumer must understand in your description. Keep all of your information, as much as possible, up to date. This may mean frequently updating all of your listings numerous times each month. Permit clients to leave evaluations, and use them in your listing if the directory site allows it. Always be consistent and professional with your company’s listings and messages. This includes any details regarding your brand name. If you offer services or items to a local market, make certain your organization is listed for each town, city, and county where you do business.

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Should You List Your Business In These Directories Or Hire Professional Help?

We will provide you with the information and training necessary to create these online listings yourself. Perfection is the enemy of progress, so, often, it’s best just to do the work yourself and start getting traffic. There are also many professionals that offer the service of creating, optimizing, and maintaining these business directory listings. If you decide to hire professional help or consultants to do this valuable and desirable work for you, be sure to hire someone that is familiar with the region where your business is located. They will be able to take advantage of opportunities that exist specifically in that business region.

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Where Can I Learn More About More Online Business Directories?

We have created specific instructions for you to get your business listed in the following online business directories:

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Thank You for Your Time and Attention

Please contact us directly and we will provide you with any specific instructions you require for any of these online directory listing sites.

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How Do People Find Your Business?

All the old methods still work to varying degrees but consider all the new, more modern ways people can hear about your business? They can talk into the air and Siri or Alexa can direct them, their watch can give them names of businesses and directions to get there. Their phones and their in-car GPS systems can give them detailed directions and ratings for businesses. The bottom line is that you need to know where your potential customers are gathering and talking and listening, either in person, or virtually, and meet them there.

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