Online directories are one of most effective ways to get and keep your brand in front of the public eye, especially in the local market. For small businesses, overlooking directories can be a big missed opportunity considering 9 out of 10 local consumers can find you this way. Today the Lucid team shows you the why, where and how of this prime online real estate.
3 ways directories can help your business
Brand exposure: Sure, both local and transient potential customers can find you online by a company name search, but you want more than that. Ask yourself, “if they don’t know we exist, how will they find us?” The goal is this: be present in enough directories so that searches for a certain service, location or keyword will toss your brand in the ring for consideration.
Amp up reviews: Word of mouth is the name of the game, especially for a small business competing in a local market. Your customers may love you, but if giving you a review is time consuming, as many as half of them won’t do it. Most directories now have an easy customer review component. Get populated in these directories and make it easier for others to read those great reviews you’ve earned.
Keep pace with Google: Online directories are established, have high traffic and they tend to be trusted by the most commonly used search engines. Google likes these qualities and so it pulls content from online directories. These listings are more likely to land the coveted first page Google ranking.
3 directories to claim today
Google My Business: If you haven’t claimed your small business in this powerhouse directory, put it at the top of the list. It’s free and, along with your website, boosts your presence and brand identity in Google searches. Make sure this brand identity is consistent and solid by adding multiple photos of your business, services, logos, categories and methods of payment.
Google My Business requires a verification process to verify that you are the business owner. Only the business owner can claim the Google My Business page. However, you can grant another party permission to be a manager of your Google My Business page while still keeping control of the page yourself. This comes in handy when working with outside vendors such as digital marketing agencies only employed for isolated projects.
Ba-da-Bing: Bing My Business is a Microsoft product second in line of importance for your online directory presence. Free like Google, Bing My Business allows you to add multiple photos, locations and even videos. Bing is still the default browser for owners of Microsoft tablets and desktops and, for that reason, you’ll want to claim your listing and get in front of these users.
Manta: One of the fastest growing online directories, Manta has millions of visitors every month looking for local businesses by category, location and industry. In addition to the same features of Google and Bing, this directory provides the small business with SEO optimization package options, helpful tools and promotion opportunities. Manta is also free and has an easy and fast set up process.
3 steps to getting it done
Register: Hop onto Google, Bing and Manta to register and verify your small business.
Claim Check: Claim your presence by uploading those unique brand identifiers that give your small business its fingerprint: photos of finished products, of your team at work, of your location and more. Upload a unique video as well if available.
Optimize it: Populate every possible field offered by the directory to round out your directory portfolio.