As a business owner, you want to have your business advertised in front of as many people as you possibly can. However, if you only barely heard about being displayed in an online directory (and its advantages over offline directories), then this article will help you in determining if you do indeed need a presence in an online directory or not. Keep in mind that the world is changing (shifting more and more online) and that to keep up with it, you and your business need to change accordingly.
When you hear about ‘online’, you need to think ‘accessibility’. Your local business listing appears only locally; in an online directory, your business name will be seen worldwide. This is especially important if you want to establish a name across the world. It is possible with offline materials, but more complicated (and expensive!). Adidas is known worldwide, but they also spend billions in advertising.
Also, if you are just starting out and do not have much capital to start advertising, be aware that an online directory doesn't necessarily need to spend huge amount of money, even there are various (many) free options out there. However, when going for the free options, make sure that you are going with a best online directory. There are many spammy ones out there.
The thing with an online directory (if it has different levels) is that if you ever decide to upgrade your listing (to a gold, platinum or premium version, for example to display your business listing on the front page at all times), you will notice an immediate effect of the change (as opposed to magazines or newsletter issues where you will need to wait for the next edition).
It costs way less to get on a front page of an online directory compared to doing the same with an offline one! Imagine having your banner (image ad) on the homepage of an online directory (or more than 1!). This amounts to thousands viewing your listing every single day.
If you have a new website, it will make it easier for search engines like Google to get it indexed if you post in an online directory. Not only this, but it will also count as a backlink to make your site more credible (and hence rank higher in the search engines). If you don’t know about backlinks, they count as an online ‘vote’. Generally, more backlinks = more votes (there are some exceptions). A good, moderated online directory provides you with good backlinks.
A big, but less known advantage of being subscribed to an online directory is to be able to spy on your competitors! They’ll have their website too listed there. What does this mean to your business? Simply that you are now aware what the competition offers, at what price, and how they are better (or worse)! This leads to you better serving your clients in terms of deals and offers, harder to do in a magazine.
Finally, being listed in an online directory is great for targeting people who are actively looking for your product or service, and hence, your business. Keep in mind that many of reputable online directories rank high in the search engines and when people type in what they want in the search bar, chances are high that your online directory's category page will show up. And depending on how much customization is allowed on your listing, your particular listing may appear #1.
You were presented with the ups of having an online directory listing for your website or business. The next thing to do is to submit your website to a reputable online directory now to promote your business with an online intelligent advertising.