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The importance of being listed: Online and print directories for small businesses

Owning your own business can be overwhelming and exciting at the same time! With so much already on your plate, you want to engage in marketing and advertising that is proven and effective so you’re not wasting your time with promotions that don’t benefit your bottom line. This is where business directories, both online and offline, should play a role in your marketing plan.

Why business directories for small businesses?

When researching a product or company, 8 out of 10 people will use a directory or an internet directory, according to a study conducted by Burke on behalf of the Local Search Association. Of those who use directory searches, 8 out of 10 of them result in purchase or intent to purchase.

Business directories are a great form of targeted advertising. Generally, when someone is using a business directory they already have a specific need for your service. All you need to do now is position your listing or ad in appropriate directories and design it so it catches the attention of your target customer before the competition grabs them 

(in our case, this would be your PROpage on!)

According to recent studies, ninety-seven percent of consumers research a product or business online, looking at an average of 7.9 difference sources, including directories, before making a purchase decision. As marketers we know that if we want to turn a prospect into a conversion, we need to remain front-of-mind to the consumer so when they are ready to buy, they think of us before our competition. This suggests that if they see your name often, for example in online directories, your conversion rates could increase

Where can I find online and print directories?
For small businesses, first look for directories in your niche and local markets (like Checkout - Arizona is our Niche!) This is most likely where people will start to look for your services. Then, depending on your budget and resources, consider larger, more general-interest directories.

Also consider directories like Google Maps and Google Places, so you can take advantage of people searching for local businesses using other Google services. If your business offers tangible goods, consider adding them to comparison shopping websites (42% of consumers use a comparison shopping website before making a purchase), and product listing sites.

Can online directory listings increase my web traffic?
Listing your company and company URL on online websites not only helps your ROI, but can also help your website appear higher in search results for certain terms. The more quality web pages that you can get your site listed or mentioned in, the more authoritative Google will begin to think your website is. When Google chooses where your webpage will appear in search results, Page Rank (the authority of the webpage) is one of the factors that can significantly increase your chances or being ranked first, or at least on the first page, for a particular search term or phrase.

What does my business need to do now?
Your small business should consider directory listings and advertising in their on-going marketing plan. First, look at your directory options based on your business niche and region. Also look up your competitors to see where they are advertising and see if it makes sense for your business to have a presence in these directories too. Aim to stay top-of-mind to the consumer as much as possible, without appearing “spammy.”

Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that listing your company in directories isn’t just a one-time project. It needs to be maintained and your strategies adjusted based on what your competitors are doing, and based on your changing business goals. However, studies are proving the maintaining business directory listings as part of your marketing plan can be a profitable business strategy for your small business.'s business listing (PROpage) - consists of a back-end dashboard where small business owners can actively update and publish key business content 24x7 

Originally Posted by Metroland

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  1. Mark LaPore

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