Operating a small business is a big responsibility. There is a lot of pressure on your shoulders to successfully manage and run your business so that it grows and becomes profitable. With so many different responsibilities that you are in charge of, it can be difficult to remember some of the basics that should be considered in digital marketing.
It’s important that customers know what your business is and how they can get in contact with you. One of the best ways to do that is with a directory listing. However, claiming and updating your directory listings might not be at the top of your to-do list. Without your directory listings, you might not get discovered by the clients you need to grow your business. In this article, we’ll help you understand the importance of directories and why you should prioritize your online directory listings in your marketing strategy.
What Are Directory Listings?
A directory listing is an online profile of your business. It will include essential information about your business and help customers learn what you do and how they can contact you in order to access your services. Most directory listings are found on search engines like Google or Bing, or on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook. Depending on what industry your small business is in, there might be additional listing opportunities for local directories or industry-related directories.
There are a few common elements that are found across directory listings that you should have fully filled out in order to capture the attention of your audience and properly educate them about your small business.
- Name: The official name of your business should be the main focus of your business directory listing.
- Address: It’s important to have an email and your physical address listed on your listing so people know how to find you or get in touch.
- Phone Number: A phone number is essential so that people can get in touch with you immediately and speak to a representative.
- Website URL: Many people will want to do further research on your business, so linking to your website allows them to search through your content.
- Photos: Photos of your business, location, products, or even your staff and team help humanize your business in the eyes of potential customers.
- Videos: Videos also add more interest to your business and help you appear more authoritative and authentic, especially if the videos are high-quality.
- Details About the Business: You can also list details like your industry, areas of service, products, hours of operation, and a brief description of your business.
Benefits of Having Directory Listings
There are many benefits to managing directory listings with regard to your online presence and search visibility. They do more than just list details and information about your business, but also connect you with your potential customers and help you improve your search engine rankings.
- Increased Visibility: Directories will often appear at the top of search results when someone searches for a business near them. The more filled out and detailed your directory listing is, the more likely you are to rank within the top three results.
- Local Search: Directory listings are based on location, and they are relied on by customers to find a local business in their area. If you work with local clients and customers, then a directory listing is essential.
- Credibility: If you can’t find a business on a popular directory platform (like Yelp for example), it makes you question whether or not the business is legitimate. The more detailed and filled out your directory listing is, the more authentic and real you appear in the eyes of customers.
- Direct Contact to Business: A directory listing also allows people to directly contact your business. Whether they use a phone number, email, or leave a review, they are actively engaging with your business, which helps you capture more leads and get more customers.
How Directory Listings Help You Attract More Customers
Now that you know what a directory listing is and what should be included, let’s discuss how you can utilize your directory listings to find and attract more customers so that you can grow your small business.
1. Improve Your Online Presence
People are already looking for your services online when they engage with your directory listing. A directory will generate in a search result when someone wants to find a specific type of business near them. By having your listings clearly filled out with accurate information, you can capture those warm leads as they begin their search for a business that will solve their problem.
Staying on top of all the possible directory listings you can have and updating them regularly with changing hours, new photos, and responses to reviews allows you to find new business without relatively little internal marketing effort while growing your online presence.
2. Strengthen Your Reputation
Directory listings are a trusted source of information for people. When someone wants to learn how late you are open or what your phone number is, they go right to a directory listing. It’s also important to note that businesses that don’t have a strong directory or online presence will struggle to get new customers.
If a business doesn’t have information online with contact information, photos, reviews, or hours, it’s hard to take that business seriously. As a small business owner, you might not have a long-standing reputation that other, larger businesses can use. Therefore, having your directory listings clearly filled out can go a long way in improving your reputation.
3. Increase Brand Awareness
You gain a competitive advantage over your competitors who don’t appear in listings when you focus on directories and improving your listings. Not all small businesses will utilize the strategy of having strong online directory listings. You can take advantage of that fact and claim your online real estate by using directories and listings.
You can also use your directory listings to showcase what makes your brand special and unique. Your listing, while not the main place where you should showcase your brand voice, still allows you to connect with customers through question answers, review responses, and the type of media you upload.
4. Grow Your Local Visibility
Directory listings help you increase your local visibility so you become more easily found on Google and other search engines like Bing or Yahoo. A directory is great for being found by people in your immediate area. If you search for something like “coffee near me”, search engines use your location to generate directory results. By having your address and location information clearly displayed, you can start ranking higher in local search results.
Local visibility is especially important for small businesses that are looking to grow or establish themselves. The higher you can appear in search results through your directory listings, the better it is for your business recognizability and growth.
5. Get Discovered More Easily
Directory listings help your business get recommended in voice search and other types of searches. The rise of voice search has come about due to the increase in virtual assistants and hands-free devices. By having your directory information listed clearly, someone doing a voice search for your hours, phone number, or location can quickly get that information read aloud to them.
A directory also helps you capture the attention of people looking for quick convenience. Most customers don’t look beyond the first page of Google and usually stick within the first three results in a local search. Your directory listings allow you to capture that audience and increase your rankings for SEO. This helps you not only be found for local search, but also increases your business reputation, helps people find you organically, and helps you generate more leads to turn into customers.
Attend a Surefire Local Marketing Platform Demo
There are many moving components of running a successful small business. Your directory listing is just one small part of that, but it can have serious implications for your long-term growth and business development. In order to stay on top of your listings and implement a strategy to manage your directory listings, you need the help of a marketing platform.
Surefire Local is a business intelligence and marketing software that only costs a fraction of what other agencies and platforms will charge. Surefire Local allows you to take complete control of your marketing activities and monitor all of your directory listings in a single place. You can update your listing information, track and monitor your reviews and questions, upload new photos and videos, add additional details, and claim new listings all from the Surefire Local platform.
To learn more about Surefire Local and how it can help you manage all aspects of your business with a single login, then attend a Surefire Local demo. There you’ll learn about all the applications of Surefire Local and how it can help you as a small business owner take charge of your marketing initiatives and grow your business successfully.