Are you making your business listing work for you?
Here are some top tips for making sure that your business listing is working effectively for your business:
Add Your Listing!
You’d be amazed how many business join up to membership/directory websites and don’t ever get their listing online. If you don’t have your listing on the website you will never get any benefit from it – make sure the first thing you do is add your listing.
Shout About Your Qualifications
In most cases there are literally hundreds, possibly thousands and more, offering the same thing as you, so why would you not do all you can to let people know how good you are and why they should choose you over the next person?
When completing your business listing be sure to include as much information as you can about your experience and your qualifications.
If you have a degree/certificate/NVQ/Insert relevant qualification here, write about it.
If you have X number of years in the industry, write about it.
If you have any great things that help set you above the competition, why would you not include it on your listing and help show that you are an expert in your field and a credible person to do business with?
Include A ‘Call To Action’
“Isn’t that just sales and marketing speak?” I hear you ask. In a word, no. We, as people, are amazingly well trained in doing what we’re told. Try it on Facebook if you like – there have been studies done that show that if you include a ‘call to action’ on a Facebook post to like or comment on a post, the number of likes and comments noticeably increases.
So why would you not do this for your business? Tell people what you want them to do next and increase the likelihood of actually getting them to do what you want. And this leads very nicely into…
Know What You Want, Know What They Want and Sell The Benefits
Marketing is best approached with a clear focus for what you want to achieve. We know that a scattergun approach may work, but it takes SO much longer. When you are focused on exactly what you want then the customer will know and you’ll achieve better results.
Some marketing is just about increasing visibility. Some about getting a potential client to click a link. Perhaps you want to drive people to download an eBook and get on your mailing list. Or maybe you just want them to pick up the phone and call you.
If you don’t know A) who your customer is and B) what you want them to do when they see your listing/advert how are they supposed to know either?
Know your target client, show how you can solve their problem/fulfil their need (i.e. the benefits of using you) and direct them what to do next. Simples.
Check Your Contact Details
This seems like a really silly suggestion on the surface but many people, usually accidentally, have links that don’t work or typos in their contact details.
Make sure, when adding your details, that you check they are all correct and the web links take you where you want to go.
The most common problem is not putting an http:// at the beginning of your website when you type it in the box. Most forms require you to type the full web address for the link to work so avoid unclickable links (and missed opportunities) by get into the habit of typing it in full, for example: http://www.theholisticdirectory.co.uk
Utilise The Extra Features
Most business listings these days have an array of extra tabs and areas to add content including; event listings, articles/blog posts, special offers, videos, testimonials etc. Remember that when a potential client visits your page they want to be able to see as much information about you as they can, in one place. By making sure you utilise the extra features on a website you not only increase the credibility of your business in the eyes of the visitor but you also increase your visibility.
As an example: If you have a business listing on http://www.theholisticdirectoryco.uk and you also add 4 articles, 4 events and 2 special offers, you actually show up on our website 11 times – that’s 11 separate pages linking to each other on the site, 11 separate pages being promoted on our social media, 11 separate pages being indexed by Google for your business and 11 times more likelihood of you being found on the website, online via our many proactive social media accounts and in search engines like Google.
So make time, or even better build the time into your working week (or outsource!), to take advantage of extra features and give your business the best chance of being credible and visible online!
Avoid Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is not the be all and end all but it is definitely good practice to make sure that anything you post online is at least 20% different to where you have posted it elsewhere. Now I have actually written a blog post about this which explains the reasoning in more detail here: http://www.sophiejewry.com/duplicate-content/
This also applies to business listings. As a rule, try to ensure that every where you post your business listing, that you make it a little different each time. This is actually equally important, if not more so, with articles/blog posts. If you’re writing posts be sure to tweak the content before posting elsewhere to ensure that it shows up as different text rather than a duplicate. By posting different and relevant text in a variety of places you increase your credibility in the eyes of Google and similar search engines. If it’s all the same you will not get the same positive results.
Seek Professional Help
If this all seems a bit much to take in, let along instigate, seriously look at getting help with this. Ultimately a listing is a shop window for your business and if you’re paying for it you might as well make sure it’s the best it can be for you.
I can’t speak for every online directory but I can say that The Holistic Directory offer a copywriting service specifically for this and for as little as £150 you can have a piece of text that is written to be search engine friendly, aimed at your target market and bespoke for you (Want to know more? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we can help you). There are also a whole host of great copywriters out there that will offer a similar service for you. Well worth considering if you are not confident with writing or would just like to focus on what you do best and let someone else take the hassle away from you and provide you with a finished piece.