Do Free Directory Listings Benefit Your Online Marketing Strategy?
Oh, The Good Old Days... Not!
If you're as old as me, you may remember how free directory listings used to be. Yell was leading the field and it was standard for free listings to be as minimal as possible; if you got to display your name, address and phone number you were doing well! Anything more and you were looking at a lot of persuasive discussions with the marketing manager about budgets. You may also remember how impossible it was to change any details once they were published. Tochin changed our phone number many years ago and it took blood, sweat, tears and many months to change it on Yell and any other directories.
If you're not as old as me and don't remember such woes, you are very lucky! You are fortunate enough to have login panels and full company profiles as standard! But what has brought on this revolution in the free directories and how can you use it to benefit your online marketing strategy?
Variety Is The Spice For Your Online Marketing Strategy
Firstly, the free listings are a lure for most online directories. Once you're on their network they can persuade you into purchasing higher value services like website design or search engine marketing advice. (I'd say stick with specialised web design and marketing agencies like Tochin for these services, but I'm biased!) However, for you to be 'lured', you still have deemed the free listing to be valuable. Social media has made it easier for companies to get their names out there and swap details with each other so directories needed to up their game and make their free listings more substantial.
Whilst Google is one of the most popular methods of finding information, don't limit your online marketing strategy to SEO, especially when you can get something for free! People do still use online directories to seek out a product or service of interest and because directories have so many pages they have a level of importance in the search engines. That means your business could still be found in Google but through a third party.
A Few Suggestions For A Trouble-Free Online Marketing Strategy
When signing up to online directories, don't feel you have to join every one, as many are still not user-friendly or popular enough to benefit your online marketing strategy. Take advice from blogs and forums on the most popular and influential and stick to ones with a login panel so future amendments can be made easily. Take the time to complete all the sections about your business, especially product, service and business descriptions. You have the chance to show off about yourself and stand out, as many companies don't bother to do this. Stick to signing up with one name and email otherwise directory memberships somehow build up and become unmanageable. Lastly, mention your new or updated directory listings on Twitter; the directory may retweet you.