When a consumer wants to know which companies in their area offer a particular product or service, they usually take to the Internet to find out. In the process, they often end up visiting online directory sites that list company profiles and contact info. In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at why you should go to the trouble of listing your company with an online directory.
1. Place Your Company’s Contact Details in Front of Local Customers
This may be the most obvious reason of all to look into getting your company listed with an online directory, but it’s also one of the most important. Online directories like the one published by Thomson Local have a strong reputation, and this means that visitors feel confident about the brands they find listed there. Given the ease with which you can list your company’s contact details – including telephone number, website and physical address – on a directory like this, there’s really no reason not to go ahead and follow through. That way, you can at least guarantee that your business will be amongst those shown to site visitors who are genuinely interested in the types of products and services you’re offering.
2. Build Better Brand Awareness
Have you heard about the ‘Rule of Seven’? It states that consumers need to have contact with a particular brand seven times before they are comfortable making a purchase. In this case, ‘contact’ means encountering its ads, seeing its store locations or otherwise encountering its brand image – even if this only registers on a subconscious level. Making sure that your company is listed on relevant online directories ensures that your prospective customers have at least one more opportunity to encounter your brand image whilst they are searching online, and this can contribute to a faster conversion cycle for those who are already coming into contact with your brand through other channels.
3. Establish Trust with Prospective Customers
Trust is a cornerstone issue for customers, and they are only going to spend money on your products when they truly believe that they can rely on you to provide them with a worthwhile product or service. There are several ways to engender trust – not least making sure to deliver on your brand promises. But it also helps to associate your brand with other reliable household names. Listing your company with a well-known online directory is a smart way to let your potential customers know that they can trust you. Of course, this is only going to be effective if the directory where your company is listed is a trusted resource to begin with.
4. Enhance Consumer Engagement with Your Brand
The print directories of the past were decidedly passive in nature. Local businesses would see to it that their contact details (and, in some cases, branded message) appeared in its pages. Then consumers would pick up a copy at a local newsagent or even have it delivered to their door. The interaction that takes place between consumer and brand consists of one party sharing contact details in the hopes that the other gives them a call. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, and it was highly effective in its heyday, but the dynamic has now changed. Today’s online directories serve the same fundamental purpose, but many also give customers the chance to rate the services that they have received. This enhanced level of engagement lets consumers get more involved in the process and helps them to feel more confident in their decision to call or make a purchase.
5. Follow-up on Customer Feedback
Following on from the previous point, listing your company with a directory that allows customers to post feedback also gives you the chance to respond. The reality is that consumers are more likely to trust reviews they find online than they are to dismiss them. This means that you need to take these reviews seriously as well. In some cases, you may be able to respond directly, which gives you a chance to reach out to those customers who may have been let down by your brand in a public forum. But perhaps most important is the opportunity for your team to have a look at what people are really saying about your brand. This makes it easier to find ways to improve your products and service model so that you can keep your customers more satisfied in the future.
6. Improve Your Site’s SEO
If you operate a business today, then chances are good that you have at least a cursory understanding of the importance of search engine optimisation (SEO). This is the process through which website operators encourage search engines such as Google to rank them higher in the listings for a given search term (i.e. a phrase that Internet users type in the search bar when searching for products like yours). Building a network of links from other prominent websites to yours is one of the most effective ways to accomplish this. So as you’re looking for online directories where you can list your site, prioritise those that allow you to include a link with the listing.
7. Drive Traffic to Your Website
In addition to improving your website’s SEO, having a link with your listing is also going to help drive more traffic to your website. Some of the users that find your contact details are going to call you outright. Others will click through to your site to have a more in-depth look at what it is that you offer. Driving traffic to your website allows you to exercise more control over how each potential customer interacts with your brand, and it also gives you the opportunity to request contact details by encouraging them to sign up for a newsletter or a list or future promotions.
There are many online directories where you can list your company’s contact details, but not all have the reputation of, say, Thomson Local. Ensure that your company appears in the most trusted directories so that you can start cashing in on all of the above-listed benefits.