Are Business Directories a Good Source of Free Advertising?
Here at Blend Local Search Marketing we are passionate about finding the best possible sources for advertising and marketing your business on the Internet. This is in order to increase you position in major search engine’s results, and ultimately to increase customer enquiries. So in this article written by Wampit guest blogger – James Stevens, we are going to focus on the world of free advertising and business directories and how they can benefit your company on the Internet.
The Internet has created many new and innovative ways for people to advertise and market their business for free. These range from producing and hosting a promotional video, through to participating and networking in forums to get your business known and trusted amongst your target market.
Business directories have been a popular source of free advertising over the last 10 years, i.e. free advertising sites that allow business owners to create a profile for their company that is then added to the directory (usually by category or keyword). These business directory profiles (advert listings) are then returned in search results on the site for people looking for a business, product or service.
Traditionally these business directories relied on people knowing about their service in order to search for and find businesses directly. However, in more recent times it’s a well published fact that about 80% of Internet searches are now actioned in the major search engines (Google / Yahoo / Bing), with Google taking about 80% of this proportion.
Today, the quality business directories have evolved with this trend by organising and serving their content in a search engine friendly format – they do this by:
– Creating a unique page for every advertiser, e.g. www.directory.com/your-co-name.html
– Internally linking to these pages via category and location structures, e.g. ‘Plumbers’ or ‘London’
– Submitting the unique page’s URL to search engines via XML Sitemaps (basically a file with a list of up to 50,000 URLs in)
This means the content that these sites own can now be crawled and indexed by major search engines more easily. So for example, when someone types ‘Plumber in London’ in Google then links to pages owned by the business directories that match this search entry have the potential to be displayed in Google’s search results.
The obvious benefit of this process is that the person looking for a business or service can land on an advert without knowing about that site or searching in it directly.
So Does This Mean I Should Advertise On All Business Directories?
Absolutely Not – basically like a lot of other free advertising services on the Internet, there are varying levels of quality and service. A few years ago it was a popular SEO strategy to list your business on as many sites as you could, in order to gain links to your site. However, this strategy has changed recently and even more so since the Google Panda updates earlier this year (changes to Google’s search in the pursuit of displaying quality results and relevancy) – so now it’s important to only associate your business website with quality and trusted free advertising services.
So What Are The Top Business Directories?
The best free advertising services are ones that are established, operate ethical and best practice processes, and are trusted by its users. The major search engines favour human-edited business directories, i.e. so the content it holds is of the highest quality.
We recommend adverting your company on these quality sites, however, there are a few golden rules you must follow when actioning this marketing strategy:
1. Add well written content to each one describing your business / services
2. Don’t copy text from your website or other sites – unique content only
3. Link to your own website from the business profiles to make it easier for potential customers to visit your site
4. Keep the content up-to-date throughout the year, and add details about any special offers / discounts you’re running
It’s as simple as that, and should take you no longer than a couple of hours to get your site noticed on the best quality UK business directories.
Claim your Free business listing on Wampit – a leading global advertising service today!
About the Author: James Stevens works as freelance blogger and has a passion for all things business and Internet related. He’s recently worked with various business marketing companies – you can read his Google+ profile here. You can now list your business on Wampit in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and EU.
Free Advertising with Wampit Business Directories