Publishing to local listing directories is essential for companies operating brick-and-mortar businesses. Millions of consumers use these directories to locate contact information and driving directions for local businesses. Companies that fail to provide data can lose potential customers.
Dozens of local listing directories exist. It’s best to spend time searching for the best ones and publishing with their service first. The time needed to upload and maintain business listings can be burdensome, but benefits outweigh the cost of man-hours required for the submission process.
While it is unnecessary to submit to every business listing directory, companies should publish to each they feel will provide a good return on investment. Most companies begin with publishing at major service providers such as Bing Local, Google Places, Yahoo Local Listings, SuperPages, and Local.com.
The purpose of publishing to local listing directories is to aid visitors in locating businesses via search engines. Listings provide contact information, website URL, driving directions, nearby businesses, and customer reviews.
Companies should also publish business information via GPS navigation system providers such as Telematics and OnStar, as well as 411 directory assistance. Other good sources include social directories such as CitySquares, MojoPages, and Yelp.
A relatively new medium for publishing local listing information is mobile directories offering aps for Smartphones. Google recently launched ‘Places Directory’ which offers mobile search listings for Android phones, while ‘Beyond 411′ provides business listings for Blackberry cell phones.
One solution for reducing time spent publishing at multiple directories is to pay for a universal business listing. For a minimal annual fee, companies can publish contact information and have it distributed to all major directories.
While universal directory listings are time-saving, companies should take time to verify information is published correctly at each directory. Companies must undergo the publication and verification process again whenever business information changes.
One option to reduce time spent publishing and verifying listings is to work with an online marketing agency. In addition to publishing information to directories, marketing companies often provide a variety of helpful business services. Marketing agencies often provide discounts to clients that bundle multiple services together.
Advertising agencies can assist companies to incorporate multiple online marketing strategies including SEO services, mobile marketing, podcasting, and creating online videos.
Hiring professional ad agencies can ensure local listings are search engine optimized to maximize search results. They can also critique company websites to ensure they are optimized to reach the demographic market.
Consistently publishing to local listing directories is an important element to include in marketing plans. Listings should be carefully crafted to generate highest return on investment. Taking time to learn how to harness the power of this marketing strategy can go a long way in helping companies reach their goals.