Your website is up and now you need to get traffic.
People need to know about your services. I talk about blogging which makes your website bigger over time. As your website becomes bigger, people see you, your service and products as superior. Today the easiest way people can find your business online depends on where you are listed online. A lot of Internet Marketers will go on and on about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which is important, however, don’t over look directories. Business directories have been around forever, pre-dating the Internet. Many people still use the old fashioned one called the yellow pages.
Chances are your business is listed in a directory, but you don’t have your website listed on the directory. This is an issue since many people want more information before they call you. Also you want to tell people about your company from your website and not let them find information from a third-party that may advertise your competitors.
Free Listing or Paid Listing?
Now there are two different ways of doing this and it depends on the directory website. There are free listings and paid listings. I will list some of these local small business directories here where you can claim your business or add your business. Now I do not make any money from these websites and have used some of these sites for my clients and myself. Some sites charge you for adding your website or other information. They have free and paid services. Please do your own research on these websites. Also, depending on your business, there may be better directories out there for you.
Google Places – www.google.com/places – This is a must and is FREE – Gets you listed on Google maps.
Bing Local – www.bing.com/businessportal/ – This is a must also since Bing is the second largest search engine.
Yahoo Local – listings.local.yahoo.com/ – Yahoo is still has some great services like their local listings.
Manta – www.manta.com -Very good service with great reviews
City Search – www.citysearch.com – Great for metro areas
Merchant Circle – www.merchantcircle.com -Very good for service industries.
Yellow Pages –www.yellowpages.com – Yes Yellow Pages, need I say more.
Kudzu – www.kudzu.com -Consumer review website – Businesses can add or claim listings
How to find small business directories for your business and location?
Google it! Well, not that simple. One quick tip I tell my clients is to google their own business. Sometimes these directories take your business name and number from public records and other listings that you have already done, like the yellow pages. Then you just need to claim your company. You can also search for your industry and put business directory or listings next to your search. If you belong to any organizations make sure you are using your listing with them fully, with your website. Finally, local newspapers both published and online have listings on them as well. Try local publications like ‘The Patch’ or just google your town name and newspapers.
Now take action and get your website listed. The more places you are listed the easier it will be for people to find your website. You as a small business owner want control over where you are listed, so you should be the one listing your company in these directories, becareful of automative services. The only way to grow your business online is through an online community. Find as many as you can and talk with fellow business owners to see how they promote thier business online. Remember you don’t have a website online, you have a business online. If you find other great directories, share them below by commenting!
Good luck, and leave a comment below, Twitter or Facebook me. You can always contact me with any questions. I am here to help you with your online business struggles.