Using online directories is one of the ways that a company can promote their company in a guaranteed fashion. Online business directories are like the phone books of the Internet, and these directories are going to show people that this particular business is right there and ready to do business.
In days past, people use to flip open the phone book to find what they were looking for, but people today are going to online business directories because they no longer use phones books. It may be that people are “going green,” but many times it is about convenience. If a person has to get up from their comfy chair (while watching their favorite TV show) and walk over and find the yellow pages and then flip through it to find what they are looking for, they have expended more energy than what it takes for an Internet search. Also, it spares them from having to clean the newspaper print off their fingers.
As a sidebar, there is news that delivery of yellow pages has been discontinued for some hi-rise buildings (possibly residential, too), according to some press sources in Canada. If this continues, on a global level, there may not be an offline solution available for business listings.
DirJournal.com is one of the best online places to go to find the listings that are closest to the local area of the consumer. Simply put, DirJournal.com is a local directory.
There are three types of people who search online directories:
- “Quick-search type” quickly views the directory to find the answers as quickly as possible;
- “Visual type” scrolls until something catches their eye;
- “Detail-oriented type” consumes every bit of information about every company before making their decision.
In developing/submitting a directory listing, it is important that the listing appeals to all three types of consumers. This is the only way to increase the chances of getting real results, by having some level of attention to all three types of consumers/viewers.
How To Create A Directory Listing
The plan for putting together a directory listing needs to make sense for the business. The idea is to put forth the information that satisfies what people are looking for while avoiding the information that is essentially meaningless (i.e. fluff and filler) to the consumer.
Consumers who are looking for local businesses need to know that the company is local, in this case, Los Angeles.
Some of the details that should be included in the online directory listing are:
- phone number;
- street address;
- online methods to contact the company;
- website address (URL); and
- what it is that the company does (and how that will benefit the consumer).
Adding any detail beyond the list above can become distracting to the consumer and they may be the type to go on to the next listing (especially the “quick-search type”). This often happens when the site visitor feels they are experiencing “information overload.”
Many people will choose the phone call option and click to call the company, even from their smartphones. Others, since they are searching locally, are likely to check out the address to see if they know where the company is located.
Sidebar: If interested in some statistics on who prefers what, when comparing email, contact forms, and phone, there is a helpful blog post at Stevenson Financial Marketing. Keep in mind that the data and analysis is old (2012), but it is an interesting read for the analytical type.
The company may want to include the cities that they service, but they must make sure that what they say gives the business geographical range. People will see the cities that are serviced, and they will make quick decisions about whether or not to work with the company. Sometimes a listing that simply says, “Serving the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area” is a more advantageous listing than including individual cities, which may exclude some consumers that actually do fall within the service area. On the flip side, it is possible to pull in clients based on the fact that their specific city has been mentioned. This may be a trial-and-error A/B testing opportunity to see which verbiage works the best.
The listing needs to include the web address. Many consumers will simply click on the URL of the web address to read about the company from the site. The company needs to say succinctly what it is that they do. A mission statement or motto is more than enough, and by including those components; the company has not exceeded the bounds of the directory listings. People that are looking for help right now do not have a lot of time to waste, and they are going to decide quickly whether to use the company or not. The more succinct the directly listing, the better. Also, the more visually appealing, the better, to attract the visual types.
By using an online local directory, there is the ability to provide much more information than what is available in the yellow pages. When done correctly, it is possible to get a better return-on-investment (ROI) by using a local directory like DirJournal.com, versus using yellow pages. This is a good marketing move, in the overall marketing strategy.
Now that that decision is made, the next part is composing the listing. Ensure that the potential questions of the seeking consumer are answered (quick-search type), that there is a visual appeal that grabs the eye (visual type), and that there is enough detail, but not too much (detailed type). Wondering about that balance between the quick-search type and the detailed-oriented type? A key way to cover it is to offer the “read more” and that more information is available, option (i.e. buttons and links to the company website). This is a great way to satisfy both types of online searchers, especially if they have already been caught by the visually appealing listing.
Now, it is time to see what type of branding exposure the online local listing provides. At the least, a company will know that they have taken a few minutes to perform another promotion task that will put their company a click away from the consumers searching for the services that they provide.