A potential customer is always within reach thanks to the convenience of having a phone. Your company could be at a disadvantage if potential customers can't find relevant information about it on Google Maps, Yelp, or a similar service (variable across industries).
Since their inception, online business directories have provided users with a quick and easy way to find local businesses and read reviews of those businesses' wares and services. Here are seven of the most compelling arguments in favour of launching an online presence for your company right away.
Below are seven reasons why you should use an online directory.
Exposure at Minimal Expense
The majority of registries provide free directories for businesses. Consequently, the benefits of being included in such directories incur no or minimal outlay on the part of the advertiser. In contrast to more traditional forms of advertising, such as newspaper ads, the costs associated with listing your business online are much lower, allowing you to reach millions more potential customers.
Over 90 million people visit Yelp every month in search of local businesses like restaurants, plumbers, and more. Bing receives 76.1 million unique monthly visitors, Zillow receives 25 million unique monthly visitors in the United States, and SalesSpider receives close to 5 million unique monthly visitors each month looking for local products and services.
Due to the fact that “it costs nothing to create, claim, and verify the listing,” businesses can gain “free advertising and targeted exposure on the world's most trusted search engine” by taking advantage of Google My Business.
Improved Online Profile
When looking for information on a specific service or product, consumers today primarily conduct their research online. 3 of consumers use the internet to find a local business, and one-third of smartphone users specifically use their device to do so.
When potential customers visit an online business directory, they are exposed to your company in a direct and immediate way. More people will be exposed to the listed business and its website as a result of the increased visibility it will receive in search engine results.
An increase in visitors could lead to a rise in sales. Researchers at Google found that “when a business appears in local searches, it can increase foot traffic by as much as 70 percent from people just doing a web search.”
Web Site Visitation Up
According to the findings of these studies, “organic search drives 51% of all visitors to B2B and B2C websites, eclipsing all other non-organic search channels, including paid search (10%) and social (5%).” Trusted business listings have a significant impact on organic search results, which are determined solely by search engine optimization and visitors' search habits.
Adding business listings to your company's search engine optimization (SEO), keywords, and backlink strategy gives you another way to direct potential customers to your website and social media pages.
Higher Online Presence and Reputation
A company's visibility in search engines improves when it is listed in directories. As an illustration, a company's profile is more likely to be discovered by potential customers when the company's profile uses the same keywords as the business listing or directory. Increased visibility in search engine results pages is another benefit of completing a company profile.
With local search engine optimization (SEO), more local leads can find the business; studies show that 80% of local searches result in conversions, and 28% of local searches result in a purchase.
Due to their prominence and trustworthiness in the eyes of search engines, business directories naturally attract a lot of links directed at the businesses they feature.
In addition, when search engines see that a company's online profile is consistently updated with relevant information, they will rank that company higher in search results, increasing the likelihood that interested customers will come across it. Examples include “the higher a Google My Business listing ranks in Google Search and Maps, getting 7 times more clicks than those missing information.”
Accumulated Revenues Have Gone Up
Businesses can boost sales by listing themselves in directories.
As an illustration, Yelp claims that 97% of users make a purchase from a business they discovered on the site, with 51% of those users making a purchase within 24 hours and 90% making a purchase within a week.
Customers who “find a brand through a Google My Business listing are up to 50% more likely to make a purchase”
Effectively Communicating with Specific Audiences in Record Time
Businesses and customers can easily find each other thanks to online directories, which allow users to filter listings based on criteria like proximity to the user and the type of services desired. Consumers can find a “variety of companies offering the kind of service or product they need, based on their area” through local business listings.
Research shows that 82 percent of smartphone owners who shopped with their devices used “near me” searches to zero in on specific establishments for their needs, such as restaurants (84 percent), movie theatres (56 percent), banks (50 percent), clothing stores (41 percent), and beauty supply stores (37 percent). Searches for a specific store or retailer were available to 48% of users, while local searches for product categories returned 29% and brand-specific brand searches returned 23%.
Increasing Customers' Confidence in Your Company
When a company is included in credible online directories, it reassures consumers that it is “not a fraud or a fake company hiding behind a website.”
A good example is the trust consumers place in businesses that have listed themselves in reputable directories like Google My Business. Over 3.5 billion searches are conducted every day on Google, making it one of the most popular and trusted search engines available.
Listings also allow businesses to gain credibility through the submission of customer reviews and ratings. A company's reputation grows in credibility and trusts with the addition of positive reviews and high ratings.
According to numerous empirical studies, consumers place a disproportionate amount of weight on online reviews when making purchasing decisions.
In fact, 97% of buyers use reviews before making a purchase, and 54% of those buyers require a rating of at least 4 stars before they'll even consider a company.
Ninety-one percent of Millennials and Generation Xers put their trust in businesses that have received positive reviews online.
Reviews are most common in the hospitality, healthcare, automotive, and retail sectors, with star rating, legitimacy, recency, sentiment, and quantity is the most important aspects of a review.