As a small business owner, you might have heard about online directories but wondered if they are really worth the effort and whether they will actually bring any business your way. The first thing you need to understand is that this is not merely a replacement for the good old Yellow Pages, they are actually a lot more than that, and very worthwhile being part of, and here are a few reasons why.
Good for SEO
Ah, that old cherry again! But it is true; you want to do everything possible to enhance your SEO ratings. Search engine optimisation is what search engines use to determine how to rank the results, and your aim is to get listed as high as possible. Online directories have a weight of their own, so will give you extra validation when it comes to building trust and gaining rankings on the likes of Google. Secondly, the online directory will likely have an excellent ranking with Google, so, they often appear first in the results. If it is your listing that the directory is showing as appropriate in response to the Google search, boom, you just ranked first.
Give Your Online Presence a Boost
Anything that helps boost your online presence in a good way is important, and online directories can do this. The only proviso is to submit your listings to complete and reputable directories. This hopefully avoids your details being duplicated across less successful details and gives your name a wider reach. If you come across your details on a directory that you do not remember submitting to, don’t panic but check that they are listed accurately and correctly. Should you not be happy with the directory in question request removal of your details.
Branding and Awareness
Again, the more consistent exposure you can create, the more you are promoting your brand. Be sure that you are putting the same face out everywhere and if you choose to rebrand in the future go back and update every listing you can find, In the case of rebranding you need to search your old brand and make sure you are removing that and replacing. When a customer uses an online directory, they are presented with a list of possible outcomes, even if they do not end up following your listing, they will have seen your company name and details. This goes a long way to making sure your name is getting out there as a trusted industry expert.
Both locally and online, you are looking to be discovered when someone is searching for a company that offers the same services as you. The most common searches to online business directories feature queries similar to ‘dentists near me’ or ‘best graphic designer in London’. Searches are rarely the company name as people have come searching for someone they have yet to discover. Many online directories use local search filters, and even if you have a web-based business do not underestimate the number of customers who still like to shop locally for products and services.
So, if you have heard the term guest blogging, you might be wondering what it is all about and how it can help you as a small business owner. After all, on the surface, it just seems that you have to work hard to produce an article for free, to populate someone else’s site. Guest blogging is a lot more critical that is seems, and it is well worth your time, for many reasons, including building your brand, so let’s take a closer look at some other benefits.
Expand Your World
Driving traffic to your site is key to getting a reasonable conversion rate, right? Right. So, no offence, but you are a little fish in a little pool, with your well-run social media pages, and your website, but realistically you are only going to be seen by the other fish that move in the same circles. If you want to expand your reach, which you certainly do, you need to play in other people’s pools as this is the best way for a small business to increase their reach. Here you will find a whole new audience that has never met you before, and if you present you guest blog well, will be handing off your every word and, boom, a sudden increase in traffic and potential leads.
Build Your Links
Now, whether as an SME you are hoping to do your SEO on a shoestring, which means you are relying on what you can learn from the net, or whether you are investing in an agency or freelancer expert to help you, one thing you will hear a lot about is link building. Every site will be different, some will allow you a link in your article, others will limit links to the author bio at the end of the blog, but it is still a link. You should be aiming to guest on well-known blogs with a good audience as these will provide you with the highest quality links, and what do links make? Prizes! In the form of rankings and traffic, so what more could you need.
Create Your Reputation
Here are some more buzz words for you that are big in the SEO and marketing world. Industry expert and authoritative, while there are members of society out there who will believe anything they read on the Internet, the majority of more discerning readers want to make their purchasing decisions based on trust and reputation. Setting yourself up as an expert in your field takes time, and guest posting is a great way to start getting your name out there. Be sure your work is factually correct and cited where appropriate and be clear on what is opinion and what is fact. It is ok to have an opinion as long as your arguments are well reasoned and make sense. In the SEO world, I can almost guarantee that every aspiring expert follows Neil Patel and Moz (amongst others). Why? Because they are trusted, authoritative experts, thanks to a considerable amount of blogging on their part. If you want to be known in your industry, get working on it – not all experts are from multinationals in fact many are SME’s or individuals.
So let’s talk about what you can do to expand your business. You, yes, you. You’re a small business owner and a parent, and that is tough. Trying to find the time in-between school plays, packed lunches and admin isn’t easy.
But you deserve to improve. You deserve to succeed and grow, which is where we come into the equation. We’ve got a couple of reasons why you should go for email marketing – a pretty useful tactic for just about any business. So let’s delve right into the benefits, and see why you should.
The Broader Reach
Think about how you go about doing something like marketing on a normal basis. You use the internet, social media platforms – it normally works well, right?
Now take that reach and imagine something bigger. Imagine something broader. It’s email marketing. Not everyone frequents the same sites or even has a Facebook, but everyone has an email address – it’s basically like an entry ticket into the internet these days. Email marketing can net you some incredible exposure, so it’s worth a go.
A big advantage of targeted content is that you get to push people to buy exactly what you want them to. How do you make it happen? Email marketing is a good idea.
See, what you’ve got here is a way to promote certain content without the need to establish context. With adverts, you can’t necessarily be specific in your approach. But with something like email marketing, you can get right to business pushing a service or a product.
The age of bogus emails is coming to a close, thankfully. People are more likely to take a chance because buried under a sea of rubbish emails and fake deals; there’s some legitimate offers.
If you establish yourself as providing clear and wholesome content in your emails, you build a reputation for credibility. Your public image can make or break a small business, without a doubt.
Ease of Use
We’ve not forgotten that you ARE a parent entrepreneur, and so there’s got to be a tangible benefit to email marketing. So why not it is so easy to use?
Think about it. Someone signs up for news or emails, and you have a program which automatically sends a pre-selected email. It’s a passive form of lead generation, which gives you more time to focus on your family.
So overall, there’s a lot of different things that you can do to make sure that you are taking full advantage of email marketing. It is such a valuable resource for people who just need to get their information out there onto the internet. You need to be able to enjoy yourself and to push services and products without having to worry about reach, cost, time – all bothersome factors for a parent business owner. Email marketing can be a highly profitable endeavour if you’re willing to put the time in and deploy your powers of persuasion, so you should give it a go!