Business directories are a massive marketing tool and you can use them to generate enormous amounts of leads quickly. Many people don’t know directories are a complete business on their own, generating thousands of dollars for the owners. However, they are only effective for bloggers if you know how to make them work for you and target the right type of audience. Each of you will have your own business niche so it’s important you answer the following questions before submitting your listing:
- What is my niche?
- What is my category?
- Who is my audience?
- What is my marketing budget?
- How will I track results?
Once you have answered these questions, and determined your budget, you are ready to put your plan in action. If you want to make the most out of business directories, you need to do the following:
Research and Set Up Account
Always start with a target search, making sure you are choosing only the best business directories. There’s no point getting added to directories that are NOT showing up in Google because they tend to have lower search traffic. For example, when setting up my client’s legal website, I searched “immigration lawyer Toronto” and set up an account on the top business directories that showed up. Why? Simple…
I was going to be added in the MOST popular directory and one that was targeted to my keywords. This means I’ll get loads of “targeted” traffic, increasing the chances of converting. You need to ensure you set up an account and follow the steps to fill out the details.
Fill in Business Profile
For you to rank well organically, it’s important you fill out the correct information. From my experience, you should treat each business listing like you would when adding to Google Places. This means adding targeted keywords where they matter. I’ve added clients to some of the best business directories and have done very well adding the right keywords in the following places:
- Business name
Other than that, please add the following information, too…
- Phone number
- Google map (optional)
Here’s where things get bit tricky and you need to ensure you have the right knowledge about your audience. For example, when working with a law firm, I made sure I know what they specialize in because I was able to narrow down their listing by category. I knew my firm was specializing in immigration, criminal, and personal injury law, so by selecting these categories, I was able to target different types of audiences. Here’s something else that’s cool…
Categories are a great way to build your brand and collect information. In the end, it doesn’t matter if I get visitors through these different categories because in the end, a client can be loyal for years to come. Next, categories open a huge door for paid marketing if you decide to move forward with the next step.
If you have a budget, then you might want to consider doing some paid marketing and this will obviously depend on your finances. You’ve noticed companies like Yelp.com, 411.ca, and others allow you to pay to end up in the top of each category. My lawyer clients have a huge budget so they wanted me to negotiate an advertising package so they’ll be able to appear higher in the directory listings.
Again, this is just optional and you should pay you the ROI. However, it’s great for the following types of businesses…
- Those with a high budget
- Those just starting out
- Those that make a huge ROI
Again, it’s important to test some of the different options you have available.
Optimize Your Listing
I’ve always recommended people capture email addresses going forward because it’s a great way to continually market to the client going forward. Because you are allowed to add a website URL to your business listings, why NOT add an opt-in form at the same time? Going forward, this will allow you to build a long term relationship with the subscriber, selling to them at a later time. However, again, this depends on your niche and what you are trying to achieve from your bottom line.