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By Simon Volkov
Local listing directories offer companies the ability to attract new customers through improved search results. Business owners publish pertinent company info which is tied into mapping services to offer detailed driving directions, business phone numbers, and website URLs.
Local listing directories have become a popular tool for consumers because they make it easy to find local businesses. Consumers use directories to locate service providers, retail stores, movie theatres, restaurants, gas stations, manufacturers, and grocery stores.
Directories are especially useful to tourists and individuals unfamiliar with the area. Some service providers allow visitors to publish testimonials and offer feedback to help businesses improve customer relations. Businesses that learn how to harness the power of local listings can increase sales revenue by attracting new customers.
There are hundreds of listing directories, so it can be helpful to develop a strategic plan. Start with the major providers such as Google Places, Yahoo Local Directory, and Bing Local. Other frequently visited directories include: Local.com, CitySquares, MojoPages, Yelp, and SuperPages.
Afterward, branch out to niche directories suited to the type of business being promoted. It’s pointless to publish company information for art supplies to a directory that is focused on food purveyors. There aren’t many niche directories, but if one exists for your business by all means submit company info.
Marketing plans should also include GPS in-car navigation directories, such as OnStar and Telematics; directory assistance providers; and service providers of mobile search apps for Smartphones such as ‘Beyond 411’ for Blackberry, and Google’s ‘Places Directory’ for Android subscribers.
Publishing company information to every local listing directory is a time-consuming process. One shortcut is to purchase a universal business listing. UBLs distribute listings to major directories for a yearly fee.
Directories include: Yahoo, Bing, Google, Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, Blackberry and Android mobile search, in-car search, and TV web browsing.
Plan on taking time to verify UBL published listings. Service provider employees transpose information into their database, and while rare, erroneous information is published. When this occurs, immediate contact should be made before the listing populates amongst search engines.
Companies will need to resubmit information to all directories if changes occur. It’s important to create a tracking spreadsheet that includes the directory name, URL, account login information, etc.
Although publishing to local listing directories is a time consuming process, it is an affordable marketing strategy that can yield powerful results. In addition to providing important company information, listings can be used to provide discount coupons or highlight important features of the business.
Additionally, listings provide an inbound link to company websites which in turn can improve search rankings. Search engines rank websites on a variety of factors, but websites that have multiple inbound links appear as popular.
If the process of publishing to local listing directories seems to be an overwhelming task, consider outsourcing the project to an online marketing company. These professionals can assist with a variety of advertising strategies and help companies develop effective marketing plans.
Hiring an Internet marketing expert can save time, money, and frustration while ensuring directory listings are optimized for maximum results.
Regardless of if you go it alone or enlist help from professionals, dedicate time to publish to local listing directories on a consistent basis and include a follow-up plan. Those who make a plan and stick to it can attract new customers and improve online visibility for minimal investment.
About the Author: Simon Volkov is the founder of Online Marketing DNA; an agency that specializes in in helping clients achieve maximum results with local listing directories and Internet marketing strategies. Learn more about our customized marketing packages at OnlineMarketingDNA.com.
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