Tag Archives: Directory

The Benefits of Using a Business Directory

At some point in time every one of us needed to find information or the contact details for a company to have a specific job done or service rendered. Maybe you just moved into your new home and were still unfamiliar with the surrounding area and the local businesses.

When we need to find a specific company or service, we turn to a business directory of some sort. Business directories are especially useful when you’ve moved into a new town or city and are not yet familiar with all the businesses in the area.

For a consumer, a business directory is a very valuable book or website to have in a time of need. Regardless of who you need or what you need them for, chances are you found what you were looking for in the yellow pages, telephone book or even an online directory. Whether you were in the market the buy a car, renovate your home, or maybe you just needed a plumber; the business directory was what you turned to for answers, for a solution.

Regardless of taking book or website form, a business directory is very useful to consumers and business owners alike. It does not matter what type of service you need assistance with, or which company you need, you will find the information in a business directory such as the yellow pages or an online directory. They come in handy when you need to buy a car, when you are doing home improvements or even when you need the services of a plumber or technician.

In a nutshell, a business directory is a list of companies and the services they provide, along with any additional information that might be relevant, such as their contact details. Some directories even include a map with the company’s address and exact location. These directories are usually categorized, making it easier for you to find what you are looking for. Categories could include medical, automotive, rentals, even property and development. This will minimize the time spent looking for something specific, as you would know exactly where to find it. With so many online directories making an appearance, business directories are no longer confined to paper and ink. The world wide web provides a plethora of sites where you can find anything you need, simply by entering keywords and hitting the “search” button. This saves a lot of time, as you would not need to page through business listings thick enough to compete with Shakespears’ complete works. With a website directory, the searches are done automatically, also saving you a lot of time and effort.

In its simplest form, a business directory is a list of businesses and services plus all the information you will need, like contact details. Most directories, like the ones found online, even has a map so that you can pin point the exact location of the company. The companies listed in a business directory are also categorized, minimizing the time you would spend searching for what you need. These categories could be motor and vehicles, property or equipment rentals. So regardless of what you are looking for, you just page to the correct category. Business directories are also not confined to yellow pages and the printed word anymore, as the majority of searches are conducted online. Online business directories are also more convenient in the sense that they do all the hard work for you. Simply enter the keywords and the website will give you the most probably results. This automotive service will save you a lot of time.

Every business owner should put themselves in the consumer’s shoes to realize the importance of listing their services in a business directory. The exposure you receive by listing your company’s details in a directory will far surpass the charges associated with such a listing. However, many online listing directories are free as long as you abide by the terms and services. Regardless of whether you are paying for the listing services or not, your company will benefit from the advertisement and wide spread exposure. Every one will agree that money spent on advertising, is money well spent.

From a business owner’s perspective, a directory listing could be a valuable and profitable aspect to consider. Once a business owner realizes the importance of such a listing, the benefits will far outweigh the drawbacks. Some directories may charge a once off fee, or a minimum monthly fee; others are free of charge. Regardless of the costs involved, the exposure you receive will cover any expenses. It is important to read the website’s terms of service and abide by their rules. Consider the exposure to be free advertising, and no one can argue that advertising is a wise investment for any company.

If you are a business owner and you are considering to give your company exposure by means of a business directory, there are some points to keep in mind. Before you start, it might be beneficial to see how other companies and businesses in your area are promoting themselves. The aim of this exercise is not to copy what they are doing; it will merely give you an idea of the competition you might face. Remember, if a consumer is in need of a specific service and turns to a business directory for possible establishments to contact, the consumer will most likely go for the company that offers the best service. Make sure that your listing catches the eye, with professional wording and all the relevant information.

A few important points should be considered when looking into listing your services in a business directory, be it online or in printed form. First of all, take a look at how other companies in your niche are advertising their services. This is not to copy their ideas, but to keep up to date with the competition you might face. Again, put yourself in the consumer’s shoes: if you need a specific service, you will most likely contact the company who has the best advert, and who offers professional service. By researching your competition, you will be aware of what to avoid, and what to include in your ad. By having an eye catching listing that stands out, you can ensure that your ad will rise above those of your competitors.

Also, make sure the information stays relevant by updating addresses and contact details when necessary. By listing your business in a directory, you expose your services to more people, thus gaining more customers and clients.

It is also important to keep the information updated and relevant. These could include address and contact details. You will gain more exposure, and thus more clients, by listing your services in a business directory.

5 Steps To Building An Online Business Directory

Starting an online business directory can be pretty easy, but if you have no clue of where and how to start then by reading this article it will help you to get started.

Step One:

The first thing you need to know about starting a business directory online is what is your target market going to be, in other words what kind of businesses do you eventually want to include in your new business directory.

If you already have a current business online or offline then you will already know your target market, and you can move forward to step two in this article.

However, if you have no idea what your target market will be, then you will need to do some research, I would recommend starting a business directory about something popular and which is going to earn you an income down the road or. That will gradually help grow your current business.

Here are some very popular and profitable niches for an online business directory you could start.

1: RealEstate Directory

2: Travel Directory

3: Online Dating Directory

4: Automotive Directory

5: Fashion Directory

There are so many more and to find them just go to eBay.com or Amazon.com and see what is popular on those sites, or you could go to Google and do a search for keyword terms like “Hot Niches” or “Popular Niches” or “Popular Business” get the idea..

Then after you have decided on the niche for your new business directory, you will need to either buy or register your domain name.

Step Two:

Buying or registering the right domain name for your new online business directory will be the most important thing, so you need to make sure you get this correct from the start.

A good domain name should be no longer than two to three words, and it should contain the name of the niche and the word directory in it and should always be a .com if you can help it other wise you should go for the .net domain if the .com for the domain you want is already taken and is not for sale.

Therefore, for example if I was going to start a new business directory about the niche real estate the ideal domain name would be RealEstateDirectory.com or RealEstateDirectory.net but all good domain names like this have already been taken, but they may be up for sale so just visit the website and see.

If you find the domain name is not for sale then you could also try adding a dash between the two words.. Like this RealEstate-Directory.com or RealEstate-Directory.net and see if they have been taken or not, and if they are taken see if they are for sale.

If you have to go with a three word domain name you could enter something like your town or city name in front of the domain so it could be.. Like this NewYorkRealEstateDirectory.com or NewYorkRealEstateDirectory.net and see if it has been taken.

A great free online resource I have found to help brain storm a new domain name and see if they have been taken or not is RegistrarStats.com, give them a try.

Once you have found the domain name for your new online business directory it is time to register it, I recommend Godaddy.com for this as they are the cheapest and offer the best services.

Step Three:

Now that you have got your domain name for your new online business directory it is time to find a hosting company, and I have tried many and the best I have found is SeoHosting.com which is owned by HostGator.com, and they have been around for a very long time and they have thousands of happy customers.

Step Four:

Now that you have got your hosting account for your new online business directory it is time to build the directory.

Now you could do this a number of different ways but it all comes down to the amount of money you wish to spend.

If money is not an option for you, then I would recommend hiring a PHP coder from a website like RentaCoder.com or ScriptLance.com or eLance.com and get them to build a custom solution for you, this way you will make your new business directory stand out from all the other cookie cutter directories that are online these days using an off the shelf PHP directory script.

Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with these types of scripts, and we use one our self for our own Link Directory, but we have gone a step further and have had a custom template created for our directory which has turned out to be a very good investment.

The directory script we use and recommend if you are on a very limited starting budget is PhpLinkDirectory.com.

Step Five:

Now we come to the final step and which is promoting your new business directory, this can be done with or without spending money.

I will list five free options and five paid options below you can start to help get the word out about your directory.

Free Options:

1: Join online forums and discussion groups related to your new business directory and make a post inviting business owners to list their website/business in your directory for free or at a discounted rate.

2: This one is related to 1: make sure you add a Sig line linking to your directory in all the posts you make in the forums you have joined.

3: Submit your business directory to other free link directories online, just do a search in Google for the key word Link Directory.

4: Link to your business directory from your other websites that you already own or run this way the search engines will find your directory and index it.

5: Send out and email to friends or customers and ask them to link back to your business directory and in exchange link back to their website from your directory if it is relevant.

Paid Options:

1: Start a Google AdWords campaign to instantly start driving traffic to your business directory, but be careful because if you do not know what you are doing with AdWords you could end up spending a lot of money without any results.

2: Buy some paid links from other websites or directories that are similar to your own business directory.

3: Submit your business directory to the Yahoo directory at a cost of $299 per year. Being listed in the yahoo directory will make your directory more creditable in the eyes of the search engines and your visitors.

4: Buy some advertising in offline news papers if your directory targets businesses in your local area.

5: Buy banner ads on other websites that relate to your business directory and try and to negotiate for a 6-12 month period because your can greatly reduce you’re over all banner advertising costs.