February 24, 2024

Using Directory Listings as a digital marketing tool.

A Quick Introduction:

In this article, we would like to explore the usage and application of directory listing for entrepreneurs and business owners. By the time you’re done reading, I hope you’ll understand why you should list your business in an online directory. We will cover the Do’s and Don’ts that affect the success of a listing, as well as the Pros and Cons of listing your business in an online directory. Basically this is a scope of the information that you need to leverage directory listing services for your brand.

Firstly, I thought it wise to define what an online business directory is. Even though most of us are aware of what directory listing service is…Let’s just ensure that we are all on the same page before we get to the finer details.

What Are Online Business Directories?

Business directories are comprised of a list of businesses usually grouped into specific categories of products or services. They function in order to provide all the relevant information about each business in one convenient location.

The most common Directory Listing services are:

  • General Directory: covers a broad spectrum of businesses, without restriction by location or the type of business, however it usually allows users to search for businesses based on niche, location, activity or size.
  • Niche Directory: covers a very narrow scope of businesses that provide very specific products or services in the market. As an illustration, a directory that only lists medical facilities, doctors, pharmacies and other health related goods and/or services.
  • Local Directory: provides a list of businesses in a specific geographical location. This usually includes businesses in a wide scope of producers and service providers in the market for a given locale. For instance,  a directory service for businesses in a particular city showcasing its producers and service providers.

 

The Function Of Directory Listing Services:

The aim of a directory service provider is to act primarily as an intermediary entity to link clients to businesses. This particularly is a tool businesses struggling with accessibility, visibility and building a trusted brand should capitalize on. Any asset/tool available to build brand awareness is essential, especially for small and emerging businesses with minimal marketing.

Md. Hamim Khan’s article; ‘Directory Listings for Business: Unlocking the Door to Success’:

This article for the directorist.com describes listings as an avenue for locating your business by potential clientele. These listings advertise your business directly to people who are already actively searching for exactly what you have to offer. The article then goes on to liken a directory listing to a signpost pointing directly to your business.

Matthew Anderson’s article,‘6 benefits of a business directory list’:

This article for birdeye.com states that approximately 46% of online searches are related to people looking for local information. Even if there is fluctuation depending on region and customer demographics, it’s a sizable statistic to leverage in your favor.

What Is The Scope Of A Directory Listing’s Impact On Your Business?

Above all, it is essential to understand that directory listings can have a positive or negative impact on a business. Only then can you navigate how to truly unlock the maximum potential of online directory listing for your Brand.

‘The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: How Directory Listings Impact a Business’s Search Rankings’:

This article for Advice Local identifies several criteria that can have seriously negative repercussions for your brand. These are:

  • Having incomplete or out-dated listings.
  • Inconsistent business information.
  • Using a low quality directory service.

With this in mind, let’s look at how this can have a negative impact on your brand.

What is the negative impact of bad directory listings for your business?

Incomplete or out-dated business information on a listing is frustrating to customers. Frustration often acts as a deterrent, as it lowers the perceived quality standard of your business. Additionally, incomplete listings may not provide vital information required by potential customers. This ultimately results in them immediately losing interest in your brand and what you have to offer. According to Advice Local’s article, ‘63% of customers lose trust in a business if they get lost on the way there.’

Inaccurate directory listings affect the clienteles trust in your brand and its credibility. This often occurs with the use of low quality directory services commonly with grammatical errors and inconsistent or incorrect information. Erroneous listings reduce the perceived quality of your brand. These inaccuracies also affect your businesses search engine optimization (SEO). When this happens it results in the algorithms used by these search engines not sharing your business in search results.

What is the positive impact of good directory listings for your business?

Getting listed in quality directories is important for many reasons. The three main reasons are:

  • Increasing the visibility of your business and what it offers. Directory listings are capable of driving traffic to your website through search engines. Importantly, listings do this even if people are not searching for your business by name. As surveys suggest, most customers do not use a business name when searching for a product or service. This makes directory listings an excellent tool to make your business more visible.
  • Improving the potential clients trust and credibility of your brand through search engine results. When people find your brand easily through search engines it elevates the trust and credibility of your brand.  This is especially impactful with high rankings and good reviews. Brands associating with trusted organisations, such as high-authority business directories, gain the trust of consumers. Many consumers and businesses consider online directories to be a trusted information source.
  • Improves accessibility of your brand to potential clientele interested in what you have to offer. Directory listings increase accessibility by providing all the contact information for your business. This in turn increases traffic to your website and front door, where you have a greater chance of making sales.

Other notable benefits of listing your business in an online directory are:

Boost brand awareness:

Directory listings increase brand awareness and improve your chances of conversion of views to sales. It does this by providing information through details pertaining to your business that comes up in a directory search. Awareness is generated through:

  • A description of what your brand has to offer.
  • The photos of the business and what products/services you offer.

The more your brand is seen, the higher the valuation of the brand in the minds of potential clientele. Associating your business name with your product/service elevates your business in the mind of the consumer.

Improves Search Engine Optimization (SEO):

Search engines like Google consider business directories as a trusted information source. Because of this, local business searches usually contain the results of online business directories. Therefore, as a business you can benefit from the developed SEO of well-established online directory service providers. According to smargasy.com, directory listings increase the number of back-links to your website. As a result the number of website back-links is a major factor that search engines use to determine your website’s authority and ranking.

Cost effective marketing tool:

Another key point is that this is a relatively low cost method of marketing even with the use of multiple listings for a business. Therefore, the benefits of producing good listings with accurate information and no errors using reputable online directories are immense. They contribute to the diversity, reach, brand awareness, credibility, accessibility and visibility of a brand.

A fast pace solution:

In this technological age, online directories are a source of credible information about businesses including:

  • A description detailing what it does.
  • Its location.
  • Contact details.
  • Hours of business.
  • Links to its social media accounts and website.

With this in mind, it allows potential customers to obtain all this information fast! Directory listings allow the convenient access of this information quickly, without delays at any time of day year round.

A link to other businesses:

Lastly, as noted by Kari Skaflen in an article for pixel506.com called ‘5 Benefits of Including Your Business in Online Directories’, you can use directory listings to find new clients and business partners or brands to collaborate with. An online directory can provide information for business to business interaction and connection through partnerships.

 

Important factors for you to consider for your Directory Listing:

It is important to note that the conclusion of research indicates that you can achieve maximum visibility for your brand using multiple directory listings. More listings mean more people will be able to discover your business. This gives them direct access to your website and/or business location and information.

Matthew Anderson’s article,‘6 benefits of a business directory list’:

The above article also details the positive impact of online directory listings with ratings and reviews of your business. Positive reviews and ratings are pivotal for new customers choosing your business ahead of other brands on the market. This can definitely give you the edge over the competition!

Final thoughts on the matter…

In conclusion, the correct use of online business directories offers huge reward with little to no draw backs. This is a valuable marketing tool to use by almost any business to gain new clientele. All things considered, directory listing services provide an affordable way to boost your presence online and increase sales. If  your business needs a directory listing in Zimbabwe, get in touch with us at Motivated Entrepreneurship. Your business investment today, your business success tomorrow!

Would you like to list your business with us or get your business featured? Click HERE!

Did you enjoy this article? You’ll probably enjoy this one too: https://motivatedentrepreneur.co.zw/blog/2023/07/20/improve-your-resume-get-hired/

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