There was a time when directories were only just a place to leave links to your website. That’s no longer what makes up directories these days.
You are not only leaving tiny, unnoticeable links on a huge web page but an entire banner that will serve as your advertisement. This gives you more visual exposure to entice your potential clients into checking out what your business has to offer.
At just R299 a year for that advertising space, compared to the cost of advertising on other, PR-rich sites, the cost is ridiculously low. This gives you a chance to advertise on a larger scale with a very minimal advertising cost.
Let’s face it, SEO isn’t exactly the easiest of things to understand. Unless you have been learning the nuances in algorithms and the various SEO techniques you can employ in your website, you might feel lost amidst the vast property of the World Wide Web, keyword building, meta tags and descriptions. It would take a while to learn all these. In fact, it is a learning process that will require endless tweaking of the way you submit your posts or create your site. It will also require constantly checking out your progress to see if your SEO strategies are up to scratch.
Directory submission sites already have a process by which they follow to adhere to current SEO protocols. When you submit your website link, you will be under the protection of the directory submission site.
Perhaps one of the most important benefits of a directory listing is its ability to expose your company to the local clientele you are after.
According to studies, people do an online research first before they actually buy something or take advantage of services. And in most cases, they will prefer to purchase or use services closer to their area for added convenience.
A directory submission can help you introduce your website or company to your local clients who are always online as the links on a directory can put you on search lists, giving you more online visibility and presence.
Newspaper advertising, pamphlet advertising or magazine advertising is expensive. Additionally, the advert is only available for the period in which the publication runs. A daily or weekly newspaper the ad will be seen for those periods. An online directory listing is available for the period of the subscription (one year) and you can make changes to it continually, keeping it up to date and fresh.
Although you can nowadays get a website originated for a low price it will not be visible without extensive SEO work. For starting companies with only a small budget to speak of, these SEO campaigns are probably still out of the question. While you are still saving money to get yourself a team of SEO experts to work on your website traffic, you might want to make an initial investment on directory submission. Compared to the rate of SEO campaigns that will set you back by a few thousands, directory submission campaigns cost only in the hundreds.
It is not a “you get what you pay for” scheme either. Directory submission costs less, sure, but you’ll still be getting the boost in visibility you can get from websites. Especially on our directories as we display the same amount of your company information that would be available on a website.
If you don’t have a website just yet, you can set up a page for your business through a directory listing. Think of it as your building block in the World Wide Web. When you are ready to build a website for your business, which is a must if you really want to compete, all you need to do is update your directory submission and include links to your landing page.
It serves as a flexible solution for your advertising needs. In the meantime, have your local business listed in directory sites such as Helderberg.biz and or Western Cape Online. Search engines can pull up information such as your business name, what products and services you are offering and where to find you. Such information is already vital in creating recognition for your business.
In the past, one of the most commonly used methods for building links is looking for websites with higher PR rating and asking them to exchange links. If you’re lucky, you might be able to find a neighbouring site that can help pull up your own PR rating with just a simple back link. It is also customary for link building before to create a two-way link to benefit both parties.
But after the change of search engine algorithm, this method of link building has pretty much taken a back seat. After all, if the neighbouring site you exchanged links with practices bad SEO methods, your site could get affected too.
Submitting your website or business link to an online directory eliminates such a scenario. What you get is a solid link in a trusted directory that gets pulled up in searches. Rather than aimless link exchange with sites that have nothing to do with the niche of your own site, you get a solid link from a directory that search engines will find relevant and useful. This link building approach strengthens your position on search engines.
One of the features offered by directory listing sites is providing searches for a specific city. If your business is location-centred this is good for you. It will also enable you to widen your business’ reach and target cities outside your current location that are not normally targeted when you use organic SEO strategies.
Brand recognition takes a long time to develop. You’ll need countless advertising on TV, the web or print with enticing spiels and commercial story line to fully click in the heads of your potential customers. That requires a lot of money.
But thanks to search engines, there is now a comparatively easier way to build brand awareness. By making your business more visible on searches, it is easier for customers to remember your business and what you are offering.
It is imperative that you know the importance of making it at the top page of search lists. This is where the gold mine is. This is where your clients will find you. If you make it to the top list, you can then be on your road to creating brand awareness.
Business directories now also include your social media account details. Having a Facebook page or a Twitter account for your local business can also boost brand recognition. Social media has become a platform for you to reach your clientele faster and easier and to make sure that they also have a way of reaching out to you.
In addition to social media, it is also highly possible to insert banners or company logos to further strengthen your image and to introduce what your company is offering. This method of brand awareness becomes more effective when a third party (the business directory) that is already at the heart of SEO will serve as your rope to climb to the top.
Content is key when it comes to Search Engine Optimization for websites and for online business directories.
Building content on your website is essential for a strong SEO. As long as you have well-written articles on your site or pointing to your site, you won’t have to worry about algorithm changes.
But there’s a caveat. Creating authentic, original and well-written content takes up a lot of time. You might need to hire writers who can produce great content. Our online directories have blog pages with articles to provide additional content and improve the usability of the site. This also improves time users are on the directory so also improving bounce rates which are detrimental to SEO.
Like content, keyword usage is also imperative. Search engines use keyword as their beacon to sift out the relevant websites to cater to the search terms. Without keywords ingrained in your website, it can get lost amidst a plethora of other websites. Even if you have valuable content, if you don’t have targeted content peppered in your site, you won’t be visible online.
Business directories make sure that relevant keywords helpful to your business’ niche are pointed to you so when a search is done, your business will become visible in searches.
Additionally, you choose which keywords to point to your website or update it in the future if your business expands and includes other services and products. This gives your business so much room for growth. This flexibility allows you to make an overhaul in your current marketing strategies to suit your current structure. Business listings are flexible enough that you can take out keywords or add some in to work on what your business is now.
These business directories are already raking in traffic of their own. Their goal is to share that traffic with you. Think of your business as a tenant in a property. If that property has lots of fruit-bearing trees, has great view of the ocean and is located at an accessible place, you reap the benefits as a tenant.
In the same way, you will be able to benefit from the traffic already going in the site so you don’t have to start from scratch and find traffic of your own.
Social media marketing and SEO go well together. Social media boosts what SEO already provides, creating a tandem that will guarantee increased sales and traffic to your business and or website.
When using social media for marketing, it needs to be done everyday. Frequently updating your social media can speed up brand recognition. Because it requires work and dedication to update social media on a regular basis, you will need extra help in doing this.
Take advantage of the social media accounts of business directories. Like organic traffic redirection, they can use their social media following to create brand recognition for your business. They direct the traffic they have for their social media to your business whenever they post to promote your business.
This is achieved by the following. Western Cape Online and Mpumalanga Online have Facebook pages and groups. We post your listing link to our groups and even more. We post your listing link to other Facebook local groups in your area and also provincial and or National groups if your business markets to those areas.
Today, when consumers require information on a certain kind of service or product, they predominantly search for the information online. Surveys show that one in three people will use their smartphone to find the right business that fits their needs and 93% of consumers use the internet to find a local business.
Online business directories provide direct exposure to potential viewers when they visit the online directory. This increases the probability that a listed business will appear on search engine result pages, and consequently increases the chances of more people knowing about the business and visiting the business website.
More traffic translates to more visibility and a potential increase in sales. Google has found that “businesses are as much as 70% more likely to attract location visits from browsing potentials when they show up in local searches.”
Building brand awareness is a tricky job for any business, but it is especially difficult for small businesses competing against large companies with multi-location stores and huge budgets. As previously mentioned, when a customer is searching for local services, the first thing they do is search online. If your business isn’t online, it won’t be mentioned amongst its competitors. Not only do online directories improve your chances of brand awareness, but they also encourage you to reach a wider audience.
Registering your business allows potential customers to access all kinds of information like the kind of service you provide, details about your working hours, your website links, important updates, gallery of photos, and testimonials of past or current customers. Users can easily click on the link connecting to your website and learn more about you. This is a great way to locally publicize your site and provide them with the correct information they need. For a start-up, an online directory is the perfect medium to begin your business promotion and increase your customer base.
Directory submission has suffered a grave setback over the years. Because of this, a lot of business owners think submitting business profile and links to a directory listing site is no longer relevant and effective. Take advantage of this misconception and list your business. Consider this your edge over your competitors.
Furthermore, despite the purported benefits of SEO and websites a lot of local businesses are not listed on online business directories or are listed on directories that display minimal information about your business. You’ll be surprised to find many local businesses still without a website, a social media page, or even a listing on an online directory. Just imagine the many people you’ll be targeting online who will visit your local business because that is the only thing they saw online. That’s instant advertising for you!
This is the crux of the matter. In order for you to bask in the benefits of directory submission sites, you have to choose a good one first. There are many ways to spot a good directory listing site.
Showing you the figures isn’t going to cut it. If the directory submission site’s only method of appealing to you is by showing you their current traffic percentage, look elsewhere. This isn’t enough.
Find out if they have a relevant following or how many businesses have already listed on them. (We have over 3000 businesses listed on our directories) They should be able to drive buyers to your page each month. They should be able to showcase your business banners, links and logos in different categories for increased exposure.
Track record and years of experience in this business are also vital when choosing a directory submission site to trust. If they have been in the business longer than 10 years (We have been in the directory business for 15 years), you know that they are experienced enough that they are already experts in search engine strategies related to directory submission. It is also a clue that they are not employing black hat SEO strategies.
So go ahead and do your business a favour. List it on directory submission sites and start enjoying the traffic being redirected.