Most online advertising can be broken down into two main types: 1) Getting your name and information in front of likely prospects, and 2) Getting found by the likely prospects actively searching for your services. You can take the help of local directories to reach more people.
You’ve got to have an online presence to get found. It will show up in their search results. Local directories can help you in this matter. Preferably, as many places as possible and under the same keywords people are typing in. Additionally, try to create best Meta description. It helps local businesses to get more website visitors from local prospects. That’s why strongly suggest listing your company and contact info in these top directories.
You’ll get more traffic for two main reasons
The first is that these are high-traffic places already, and a percentage of their visitors are going to find you there. An example of this would be the last time you went to Yelp.com. Typed in “Coffee Shop” in “Your City.”
The second reason is that because these are what we call high authority websites, it is usually much easier to get your company’s profile in their website showing on the first page of Google’s search results (which is where most people find what they are looking for).
Here’s what it looks like when that happens:
Next time you search for a local business, pay attention to how many of the results are from one of the following places. This is admittedly not as great as people going straight to your website. However getting your profile found, reviews read, contact info given, and then having them contact you is much better than not being found at all.
So here is a list of the places you would set up a company profile. Yes, many people can do all this for you if you do not want to invest the time. Also, you would be sure to fill out all the fields as completely as you can. Namely hours of operation, parking, photos, list of services, etc. Make sure to use the same contact info in each of them. As this will help you get found more easily.
Top 6 Directory Sites to Find your Business
#1: Google+ Local
This is the most important directory for your business, hands down. Getting listed here means that people are using Google Maps to search will see your location. After that, they will get the information they need as well as directions. And, the first page of Google results is usually full of Google+ Local businesses, as shown below. Make this the first place you list your professional services firm.
Visit Site: Google+ Local
Yelp is the most commonly-used website for finding and comparing local businesses. And as shown above, Yelp listings often rank easily in search engines (which gets you found and pushes your competitors down). You can skip a lot of the “interactive” features if you just want to list your company for now. It’s valuable and free, so do it next.
Tip: for your initial reviews, send an email to your customer list and explain that you could use a favor from them. Ask them to take a minute and rate their experience using your firm with an honest review, and a few will take you up on it. You can even offer them a gift of some kind, so long as it doesn’t affect their honest rating.
Visit Site: Yelp.com
#3: Yahoo Local
People don’t use Yahoo or Bing to search for things online as much as Google–but still, a lot of people do in terms of numbers. So go ahead and list your firm in Yahoo as well (business listings here, like Yelp, often get ranked easily). Keep in mind that because all submissions are reviewed manually, it might be a month or more before you see it online.
Visit Site: Yahoo Local
#4: Bing Local
Bing Local’s listing is powered by Yelp now, which means that if you’re not in Yelp you won’t show up here. Take care of that first, and then double-check later on to make sure you’re in Bing Local here.
Visit Site: Bing Local
This site is helpful for their free listing only. DO NOT succumb to the sales pitches or spend hundreds per month advertising here–it usually not worth it. Your listing is only good for 12 months, too, so note on your calendar to redo it again in a year. Nevertheless, they get a lot of traffic and having your profile will result in getting found by a few more people.
Visit Site: YP
#6: Facebook Graph Search
Without going into all the details, people can now easily search for local businesses in Facebook. You’ve probably used their search bar before to find friends, pages, or groups you want to check out. If you have a Facebook Page, then it’s going to come up in the results for the people who search for “your service + your city” in Facebook.
Creating and maintaining an attractive Facebook page is a little more involved than just filling out some fields in a business directory, but the effect is the same–getting found, getting contacted, and making more sales, so I listed it here with the others because Facebook has hundreds of millions of users and getting found here is going to become more and more important.
Visit Site: FB Graph Search
Wrapping It Up:
I follow the 80/20 Rule. Now, I have lists of the Top 20, 50, and even 100 other business directories you could be listed in (Hot frog, Manta, the list goes on and on), but that is overkill and it makes sense to get in the main ones first. Something is always better than nothing.
After that, it will help a bit more (as it only takes one new client or case to be very worth the effort) but I will be the first to admit that you’ll see the most immediate impact from the ones above. The first few are always the hardest (inertia, learning curve, etc.), and then it gets easier.
So I kept this list to the Top 6 intentionally. Personally, I get overwhelmed when it’s time to try something new and the total possibilities are staggeringly large. Start small, and if you want to know more directories, let me know and I’ll share what I have or post the mega-list later on.