It’s strange to think how businesses used to list themselves in the pre-internet age. They would pay for an advert or listing in the Yellow Pages. They would list themselves in other local directories or newspapers. Then there was the classic ad in the shop window. 
It’s all a little different now, of course. The internet has opened up all sorts of possibilities for listing your business. It’s not just name, address and phone number anymore either. You can have listings with interactive maps, links back to your website, contact forms, reviews and plenty more. 
By listing your business in as many online directories as possible, you make your business more visible and make it easier for customers to find you. But there is more to it than this. There are several other very good reasons why you should make sure that your business is listed in the right places. 
Keep reading to find out more. 

It’s really easy 

It’s really not rocket science to list your business online. In fact, in most cases you can simply click on a button, fill in your details, click save and you’re done. For most of the big sites it only takes a few minutes, and to get them all covered you could do it in your lunch hour. To make your business more visible to customers in your local area and around the world. 
You don’t need to be a tech whiz or have any experience of coding. You just need to fill in a few simple boxes. Yes, there are more complicated extras but the basics are really very easy. 

It’s more than just contact info 

When you did list in the Yellow Pages or your local shop window, it was generally just a phone number with maybe a line or two about your core services. But online directories allow you the chance to do so much more. You can put up photos and videos about key services, add menus, price lists and reviews and even post your blogs and other site content. 
Think of this as a free platform to promote everything you do. 

SEO bonus 

Search engines look for businesses that can provide people with the best quality information and services. That means if your business is listed on the main directories it stands to have more credibility with these search engine bots. 
The more visible your business is, the better chance it has of being seen by the algorithms that dictate so much of what we see online. Being listed on the major sites is an essential way of boosting your SEO. It also gives you the chance to add keywords and search terms that are relevant, linking your business to these and again establishing credentials with the algorithms. 

What you need to know 

Of course, it’s not just about a scattergun approach to listing on every possible site. There are ways and means of doing it right. What you need to remember is that all your listings need to be consistent. 
Make sure that you are using the same name, address, and contact details across all of your listings. You need to remember that some listings sites remove or alter the information that they don’t deem to be relevant. This can lead to inaccurate listings, so it is well worth keeping an eye on them from time to time. 
Try and use the same localised search terms over and over. This could be your business name and location and try and get it visible in your listing. There are plenty of credible listing sites out there, including The Phone Book from BT, Facebook, and various newspaper listings sites. 

Get busy 

The more sites you can list on, the better it will be for your business. Google search results provide accurate information and if your business appears on multiple sites, then it looks more legitimate. Of course, only use listings sites that are credible. List on unaccredited sites and it could damage your online reputation. 

Client reviews 

Don’t be happy with just having your contact details listed. Give people a chance to see what you’re really about. For people to know if your business is reliable, then the best way to do that is to show customer reviews. Enable this option wherever possible and engage with your customer reviews. Even if you get a bad review (and they do happen from time to time), use this as an opportunity to show how proactive you can be. People accept mistakes but they can’t forgive being ignored. 
Most of the major online sites have review sections. You need to spend some time each week checking these, adding positive comments to good reviews and trying to deal with the bad ones as best as you can. Never let them just hang in the air. 
Don’t underestimate the power of reviews. They can be incredibly persuasive and make the difference between a sale and another missed opportunity. Don’t fear them, embrace their potential and you might just be surprised. 
If you are looking for help with promoting your website online, then get in touch with our team and we can help. We build websites that aim to help small businesses grow – both locally and nationally. Find out more about what our clients say about working with us. 
Contact us for a free inital website consultation. We look forward to hearing from you. 
Tagged as: Online Marketing, SEO
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