Online Business Directories – Are They of Any Use for Local Businesses?

1.) Online business directories are very beneficial for small businesses. You just have to know how they work.

An online business directory is a website submission service that allows your small business’s website to be added to a specific category where it can be searched for by interested visitors. These searchable online directories allow their visitors to search for websites and businesses that they find interesting or that they want to learn more about. Listing your small business on an online directory increases your website’s visibility on the web and helps to create inbound links to your business’ website. Online directories make it easy for people to find what they are looking for. All they have to do is jump online, which means that people could find your business’ website from their home, office or even while traveling.

2.) Want to know how online business directories work?

The concept of online directories is actually a pretty simple one. Online directories are very similar to the printed Yellow Pages in the real world, only these listings are only online. (Actually Yellow Pages.com is now also one of the biggest online directories as well.)

An online business directory is just a listing place for a number of websites. Any type of website could be listed in an online directory. Some online directories are huge and cover every topic that someone could create a website for, while others are very small and specific to a specific niche. This means that online directories will direct you to just about any website that you want to find. All you have to do is perform a search in the online directory for a specific topic, or browse through the various categories until you find the type of websites you are looking for. When you perform a search you will be given a list of all of the websites that relate to your search term. You will be presented with a number of links to these websites and each link will have a short description of what you are likely to find on the website. You can read the descriptions and choose to click on the website that best suits you.

3.) Being listed in an online business directory can give your small business more exposure!

Exposure is important for all business marketing strategies. After all, the more people who are exposed to your business the more people are likely to utilize your business’s services. If online viewers aren’t able to see your website, they likely don’t even know it exists and they probably aren’t going to purchase your products or services. Listing your business’ website in online directories helps your website to gain exposure. Thousands of people use online directories every day to find things they are interested in. These are people who are actively searching for websites that are directly related to your products or services. They are already looking- all you have to do is make it easy for them to find you. Online directories will expose your business to more online visitors, which could increase traffic to your website.

4.) Being listed in an online business directory can also boost your SEO efforts!

Online directories offer several search engine optimization, or SEO, benefits as well. Firstly, these online directories offer you more inbound links. When an online visitor sees your website link in an online directory, they will be able to click on it and be instantly re-directed to your website. This is a great way to increase traffic. It is a great way to improve your status in the eyes of search engine crawlers, too. The more backlinks that a search engine crawler can find, the higher they will rank your website. This is especially true of authoritative online directories. Being linked to a major online directory, such as Google My Business, will give your website more relevancy in the eyes of Google’s search engine crawlers. This will result in a higher page ranking on the SERP. As you know, a higher search engine result page rank you get, the more people are going to click on your website link.

5.) Where’s the best place to start looking at online directories you should be in? Start with your competitors!

You will probably want to consider listing with the top 10 online business directories, as these will be used by a lot of people and will offer higher relevancy and authority in the eyes of search engines. Google My Business is a large general-interest directory that you will want to list your small business with. If your website sells tangible goods, you may also want to consider listing it in comparison shopping websites and product listings directories. Studies show that 42% of consumers will look at a comparison shopping website before they decide to purchase a specific product.

The best way to figure out which specific online directories your small business should be listed in is to start with your competitors. Take a look at your local and niche-specific options and figure out if your competition is already listed. If they are, you need to be listed too. If they are not listed, you want to list your website anyway as a way to beat them to the punch. In some situations it may not make sense for you to have a listing in a specific online directory, even if your competitors are listed in it. Your goal should be to be listed in every relevant and niche-specific directory you can find as well as many of the major directories, but not so many directories that you appear as spam.

6.) Listings are important, but they’re just the beginning. You also want to make sure you have reviews!

Local listings in online business directories are a great way to market your company and get the word out about your business and what you do. However, if you don’t have any positive reviews within those local listings they can do more harm than good. This is because when reviewing all the different businesses within your industry or category, users will always look to the reviews to give them a better idea of the service and quality of product they can expect. And if you don’t have any reviews but your competition’s page is filled with positive reviews, you’re sending customers directly to them instead of to you. You can get more reviews by using surveys, providing incentives, having a tablet with the review site already up to hand over to customers, responding to reviews already up, and by knowing when and where to refer customers.

7.) Remember that once you’re listed you need to track, track, track!

It will probably take some time to see the results of listing your small business’ website in so many online directories, but eventually you will see results. The best way to find the perfect combination of online directory listings for your business is to use some sort of tracking or analytics system. You will want to be able to see how many people clicked on your website links from within the directory and if your website has shown increased traffic since then. You will want to stop wasting your time with online directories that are not producing results and increase the time and effort you spend on online directories that are productive.

In summary, here are 3 critical reasons why your business must take advantage of the top online business directories to help you get more customers.

  1. Maximize Exposure: Every day potential customers are searching for businesses in your area to help solve their problems. And more times then not they’re finding these businesses on online directories.
  2. Social Proof: When prospects find a business online they read reviews to make sure they’re making a good decision. Having customers post positive reviews on your listing will build tremendous credibility and prove to everyone that you’re a reliable business that can be trusted.
  3. Low Cost: Most of the top online business directories are free to use. Making it one of the best marketing values your business can have.

Getting Started Building a Successful Online Business!

Start Planning!

It is true you can make money on the internet. You can make a lot of money on the internet. Online business is growing rapidly and there’s a reason for that. But starting an online business and starting a successful online business are not one and the same thing. Many people ask “How can I start an easy online business?” However, like any successful business idea the notion of an easy online business is a myth. A successful internet business needs the same attention to forethought as any successful business. Whether you are looking to start successful online store or successful home business the early stages require good planning, good organization and hardwork.

You will make money online with good planning!

The first step of starting a successful business online is the same step as starting any successful business. You need to plan your new online business as much as any other business. A home based online business is going to need to planning just as much as a home based cake business or delivery firm in order to succeed and make money online!

Only fools rush in!

Often, when people are starting a new online business their first impulse is to get online! This would seem to make sense. I mean how can you start an online business without being online? They then waste a lot of time and money searching the net for good hosting and snapping up web domains so they can quickly get started in their new online business. In truth though you are already online! And you are already working on your new internet business.

What kind of Online Business do you want to start?

The first thing you will need to plan for in your online business is what kind of business that will be! Are you trying to sell items on eBay? Start an online store selling a product of your own? Or start an online store selling someone else’s products? Are you going to start a website to market affiliate products?

Get a clear idea of what kind of online business you want and research it.

Having a clear idea of where your new online business is going is going to save you a lot of wasted time and money. Good research into what you will want to market in your online business will help you to choose wisely when choosing domains. How much traffic or web space you will need for your online store or your new online business website will determine which hosting option you choose and where you plant those domain names – especially, if you plan on having multiple sites.

What products will you sell and how will you market them?

Marketing tactics are going to be crucial to your online success. Knowing which path you are taking and what marketing methods you will be using is going to save you a lot of time and money in the future. It will determine what kind of site you will need and what marketing tools you will use. Good choices early on will help your business to achieve its aims quickly and mean any money you did spend on hosting and domains starting an your business was money well spent. Having a clear business idea and choosing the right products to sell on your website will increase it’s effect and help you decide the design and content of your site.

Get the proper training and online resources.

If you are completely new to internet marketing and online internet business, one thing that often proves crucial to success is proper training. Getting help and advice form the experts can save you a lot of time in learning skills of online business and have you running your internet business much more quickly and profitably. This needn’t break the bank and there is a lot of information out there.

Decide on a budget and research where best to spend it.

Lastly, decide on a budget! If you know how much you are prepared to spend investing in starting your business and how much money you want to make online then you can research the most cost effective way of achieving online success!

So in short! How to get started in building successful business online?

1. Make a plan and research it!

2. Decide what kind of business you want.

3. Decide what products are best for your business.

4. Decide how best those products will be marketed online.

5. Get the proper training and advice form experts.

6. Decide how much money you want to invest and plan accordingly.

7. Stick to the plan and don’t get distracted.

With the proper planning and strategy your business will be a success.

Of course this is only Step 1 to starting a new business online. But if you are serious about starting a business then this should be your most important step!

Find a Legitimate Online Business

Online Scams & How to Identify Them

There are quite a few online scams yet there are also many legitimate online marketing businesses. So as with anything we decide to become involved in, care should be exercised. So how do we spot online scams? What are some of the things we ought to look for to help us spot online scams?

Numerous people are working in jobs that leave them desiring something more. More cash, more free time, more creative freedom and the reasons could go on. These people may be bored and wanting new challenges. Perhaps they’re tired of their current occupations and just want change or new challenges. These people frequently turn to the internet in searching for new opportunities. Many of them find online scams instead of online opportunity. So how to start looking for a legitimate online business becomes the first order of business.

Many people love the idea of operating their own business as the thought of independence and freedom is an appealing one. The harsh reality though is that in most instances people just don’t have the capital that’s needed to start their own business. The risk factor involved in beginning a business also scares many people. The idea of leaving a steady job and giving up a guaranteed income can be frightening as it’s a well known fact that about 9 out of 10 of all new startup businesses fail in the first year. A legitimate online business can be the key to this ideal dream.

Advantages of Online Marketing

Online marketing is a way to get around the starting capital and risk of starting a new business. Online marketing expenses are small as compared to starting a bricks and mortar business and the risks are also minimized. Many legitimate online marketing businesses cost zero to very little to join. In online marketing a person gets payment according to how well they perform and their earnings are not dependent on how well the company is doing.

Many people turn to seeking legitimate online business opportunities but the internet is filled with online scams. So how to spot online marketing scams becomes a key factor when the decision has been made to seek out an income opportunity online.

It’s an unfortunate reality that this is a time of business and internet fraud. Endless people pour large sums of money into online marketing scams. It would not be plausible or possible to list all the ways to spot online scams but there are certainly some key factors that would help to spot online scams. These factors won’t always mean that the company being looked at is one of these online marketing scams but they’re worthy of careful consideration. To find the legitimate online businesses it’s a necessity to wade through the scams.

Spotting the Online Scams

One factor that has provided many people false senses of security concerning online marketing programs is that the program is free to join. People feel that since they’re investing no money that they have nothing to lose so it must be a legitimate online business. In fact they’re losing one of their most valuable commodities, the commodity of time. As with any business, bricks and mortar or online marketing, time to build the business to a level of success will be the largest requirement. So when investing time to build an online business it’s key to make sure that it’s legitimate and not one of these online marketing scams.

Requesting testimonials from the company is one of the first steps that an interested person can take in an attempt to spot online scams and differentiate them from the legitimate online businesses. It’s a mistake to rely on the testimonials that might be posted on the company’s, or one of its affiliates, website as anybody can create these. The fact that it’s posted on a website doesn’t make it true. Asking the company for names, addresses and phone numbers of real people that you can contact is best. These contacts can let you know how the program is working for them.

Putting the company name with the term “scam” into a search engine box is another means to spot online scams. It is a given that if the company has been around for a while that there will be complaints, yet this doesn’t always indicate that the program is really a scam as not every program is for every person. Many people don’t want to take responsibility for failure even if the program is a legitimate online business and working for others. Reading reviews, talking to other members, looking at testimonials all very carefully and weighing the good against the bad is the best approach anybody can take when trying to spot online scams.

Another great indication that the company is a legitimate online business is the ease factor in contacting support. What type of contact ability does the company offer? Do they give phone numbers, physical addresses, a contact form on the website? Before joining, or as soon as joining, a good test is to contact the company with a question or issue and see how soon they respond and to what level of satisfaction. Companies that are operating as online scams generally won’t respond back if at all or they may only send out a standard auto reply.

A live support forum is a excellent indicator that the company is not one of these online scams but rather a legitimate online business. Checking out the forum as a visitor to see what kind of support is available, how fast members receive help, looking for proof of income postings are also great ways to ensure that the company is not one of the online scams programs.

Lack of information on the company should also raise a caution flag. Online marketing companies that have been around for any length of time should have a track record. Many online scams or new legitimate online businesses attempt to draw in new members with an offer of urgency so resistance to this is suggested. If the company is honest they’ll still be around several months down the line. If the product or service that the company offers is worth buying into then there will still be plenty of money and profit to go around.

Final Consideration

This brings up one last factor to look for when attempting to spot online scams. What type of service or product does the company offer? A reputable, legitimate online business must offer a core product or service. Joining a program that only offers affiliate links to a replicated affiliate web page and only pays its members for bringing in new members is a mistake made by many. A reputable online marketing program will always offer a core product or service for its members to profit from.

Many people are drawn to the idea of owning their own business. But the reality of all that is involved stops most people before they even begin. Online marketing is a method for many to work for themselves without facing the financial risks. Legitimate online marketing business opportunities are plentiful and there are many honest online marketing companies. But there are also many fraudulent online marketing scams too. So when considering an online marketing opportunity it is important to do the investigation needed before jumping on board.