Many webmasters and business owners alike know that business directories exist but they might not be fully aware of the advantages of getting listed in these directories. Most business owners think that online business directories are just a digital version of the Yellow Pages where you have to browse through several pages before you find what you are looking for.
Well, the first web directories were pretty much like that. It was long before search engines like Yahoo (it was the first one, as a matter of fact) to appear.
The truth is, web directories make it easier for people to find service providers very easily and this is why we have briefly described the advantages of getting your business listed in business directories.
Moreover, over the time, we directories suffered a series of changes both in terms of how various search engine’s algorithms treat them as well as how webmasters think of them, at least psychologically speaking.
The bare truth is something that only someone who went through the entire “web directories era” will understand.
If you’re tired reading and want a one-sentence answer to the risen question, here it is: yes, being listed in some business directories it is beneficial for SEO.
However, we’re talking about directories that apply a high editorial discretion like BOTW, Aviva Directory, Alive Directory, Jasmine Directory, etc. All of these directories are human edited and some of them featured on INC.com, Wikipedia, Forbes and more. That’s a clear sign of quality, in my opinion.
So, here are the benefits of paying a review fee to have your business or website reviewed and get listed in one of the directories mentioned above:
It Increases, in Time, Your Domain Authority
Domain Authority along with Majestic metrics are the new Page Rank. The higher your Domain Authority is, the higher your chances to show up for certain keywords in search engines are.
And, as you guessed, web directories help you a bit about this aspect of your business or website.
You Gain Some Exposure
If you do a quick Google search, your business website might show up and you might think that that’s exposure enough. However, when you get your business listed in a business directory, chances are you will also get listed on other directories as well (a good relative example was the DMOZ effect).
Many business directories automatically create listings by pulling data from larger directories. This means that if you are listed in one directory, you will find your business listed in other directories as well.
Perhaps the only disadvantage of being listed this way in other directories is that some of your business information may not be rewritten. Therefore it is important to always keep an eye out and update your business listings on a regular basis.
Your website will receive some traffic thanks to the exposure the business listing directory will offer. If your business is listed on a high-quality directory like Google my Business, your business will be shown on Google, however, only for users from a. specific geographic area.
This will consequently increase the chances that your website will appear on major search engine results; meaning your website will have a higher chance of appearing on search results when people perform regular searches on Google.
It Will Strengthen Your Business Reputation
Many businesses fear to list their businesses because they fear to get negative reviews. You have to keep in mind that every business, no matter how good their products and services are, gets negative reviews once in a while.
In addition, a business that gets only positive reviews will appear suspect to customers because it might appear like the reviews are fake.
Reviews help customers to make decisions. When they see what other customers have to say about your business, they will be more confident about subscribing to your services or buying your products as long as the positive reviews outweigh your negative reviews.
Getting business reviews will also help you determine what pleases or displeases your customers.
It Increases Brand Awareness
A list of relevant results usually shows up when a user performs a search using your brand name in any search engine. Each result displays a brief snapshot of every business in the search results. This gives the user a chance to find out what each business is about, location, and so on.
While they might not click on your business when it appears on the search results, chances are they will become familiar with your brand name and it warms them up for further engagement.
They Provide Cheap Advertising
As a business owner, you already know that advertising your business is very important. We won’t get into the details as to why it is important but advertising isn’t cheap and if you are working with a shoestring budget, you want to ensure that you save as much as possible.
One of the major advantages of listing your business in an online directory is the fact that it’s inexpensive and offers a lot of exposure.
Online business directories like Bing My Places is free and you will get plenty of exposure for free. And even if you prefer to get your business listed in a directory where you pay a premium, it won’t be as expensive as advertising on TV or radio.
Getting your business listed in a business directory makes your business appear more professional and makes your company appear more trustworthy. When a customer sees that your business is listed online, they will assume that you are running a legit business.
In fact, your business will get more credibility when you appear in a business listing as opposed to appearing on search results. This is because most business directories are legitimate websites. Take, for example, Yelp.com.
It’s a business directory that’s been around for years and customers go there to write reviews and to search for businesses. They trust Yelp so if your business is listed there, they will consider it a trustworthy business as well.
It Will, Eventually, Increase Your Sales
Let’s say a user is searching for tennis shoes and your business just happens to be selling tennis shoes. If you are listed in a business directory, it increases chances that the user will click on the link to your website.
Once they get to your website, they might just end up buying more than tennis shoes.
Social Sharing and Referrals
Just like word of mouth is important to your business, online referrals are also important and getting your business listed in an online directory makes it easier for your customers to share your business with their friends.
When people come across a great restaurant, for example, they would want to recommend it to their friends and the easiest way to do this is to just click on the share button.
You can also share your business reviews on business directories to your social platforms. For instance, business directories like Yelp.com lets you post customer reviews about your business to your Facebook page.
All you have to do is authorize Yelp to access your Facebook information. Once that’s done, future reviews will automatically be posted to your Facebook page.
As you can see, listing your business in an online business directory has several advantages. You get free advertising, you increase your sales, you increase brand awareness, you make your business appear more professional, you establish business credibility, you encourage your customers to share your business with their friends, you increase traffic to your website and you gain more exposure.
With all these benefits, what’s stopping you from listing your business in a reputable business directory? Opinions?