The world of commerce and industry has changed a great deal in just a few years. Consider this: it was not until 1993 that the World Wide Web became a general use resource. Nowadays it is ubiquitous, with billions of users across the planet in both personal and business use, and it is doubtful we could do without it now.

For businesses, the online world is an essential part of life. No matter the size or scope of the business, an online presence is nothing short of vital. Online retail is booming right now, but what we’re looking at here is another part of eCommerce – listing your business online, and why you should do so.

Let’s talk about online business directories, and why you need to be a part of at least one.

Benefits of Online Business Directories

The online business directory is another tool that you should add to those you are already using. Why do we say this? The more exposure your brand, shop or other outlet can get, the better. Being visible on business directories means that when people search for your type of business, they will find you. Some consumers are turning to business directories as a simple source of information, and there are many that accept both general businesses, and those that specialize in certain market sectors.

If you are not listed then, quite simply, people are not going to find you and – more crucially – they will find your competitors. This is the number 1 reason for getting your business on a directory right now. So, that’s business directories in general, but what about more specialized directories? Let’s talk about local searches and why they stand out.

Why Local Listings are Vital

If you take a detailed look at current trends in online searches you will find that the most common specifier is locality. People are – more than ever – searching for products or services near their location. This is largely because the most common device used for searching on the web is the smartphone. By and large, consumers search when on the move. For example, someone may be in a town or city the don’t know and need some petrol for the car. ‘Petrol stations near me’ will bring up local online directory entries complete with maps.

The convenience of online searching – especially that of local searches – cannot be overstated. People will search for places to eat, hotels, local attractions, shops and more, and you need to be in the relevant directory to get noticed. Furthermore, the search engines will also respond to local searches, so your business needs to be visible on Google and others if you are to capture leads from searches.

How to Get Ahead in Searches

Now that we’ve established the need for online retail outlets to be included in directories, let’s have a quick look at how to make your listing have the impact to attract the customers. Ideally, your listing should not be formatted as an advert for your business but should be concise and to the point. The information involved will be simply the business name, contact details – phone and email – a link to your website, plus the address and a location map. The directory will more than likely have a form that you put the details in and will format it for you.

If you’re not listed on local and general online business directories you are almost certainly losing business to your competitors, so have a look at some now, and make sure you use this cheap and effective method of boosting your brand awareness.

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