When’s the last time you used the Yellow Pages to find a local business? Odds are, it’s been quite a while.
Obviously, that’s because the internet has rendered phone books obsolete. Or more specifically, online directories have rendered phone books obsolete.
Just like the phone books of yesteryear, online directories are a powerful tool for circulating information, building brand trust, and generating leads.
Below, we’ll explain exactly what online directories are, why leveraging them can be such a powerful asset for your flooring business, and how to harness them successfully.
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What is an online directory?
Technically speaking, online directories are simply catalogs of webpages—and you probably use them every single day without knowing it.
They’re usually geared toward a specific purpose or field, and can be searched to find relevant results.
Examples of online directories include search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo (which are just massive online directories for all types of websites), along with single-industry directories like LinkedIn, Zillow, Autotrader, and Hotels.com.
Think about it: at its core, LinkedIn is an online directory for professionals. Most professionals have their own LinkedIn pages, which are contained within the overall LinkedIn directory.
Similarly, Hotels.com is just a big directory for hotels. Each hotel has its own Hotels.com page, all contained in the Hotels.com online directory.
Why are online directories important for flooring dealers?
First and foremost, an online directory functions in the same way the Yellow Pages used to: as a place for you to create brand awareness and spread your contact information.
But here’s the difference: phone books only served a limited area and charged for listings. Your online presence is everywhere. And it’s entirely free.
Think about it this way: if you need to find a service near you, what’s the first thing you do? Probably search Google, of course! And Google will show you the profiles of carpet installers in your area, pulled from its directory of local businesses.
And of course, Google is just one example of local business directories. Yelp is another directory that works exactly the same way. And the more directories you’re listed on, the higher the chance that a prospective customer will find your brand and engage with it.
Basically, if you want to create awareness of and engagement with your business, there’s simply no better way to do so than by harnessing online directories—and as many of them as possible.
Directories are also helpful for SEO
If your company engages in SEO (search engine optimization), getting your business on online directories is a must.
Whenever a webpage (including your own) links to another webpage, it generates something called “link juice”. Link juice refers to the overall SEO value of a website. The more link juice your site has, the higher it ranks in the Google search results.
Obviously, it’s not quite this simple—Google works hard to prevent low-quality and manipulative links, and not all links generate the same (or any) amount of link juice. But generally speaking, the more high-quality links that go to your website, the higher your level of link juice.
Translation: links to your webpage from directories are super helpful—both for lead generation and SEO purposes.
How to leverage online directories
When listing your company in a directory, remember that your business will be displayed alongside all of your competitors in flooring searches.
So, in order to make your listing look better and attract more consumers than your competition, you should include as much information about your business as possible.
Post pictures of your staff and showroom if the directory site allows it. Tell your story. Link to your social media profiles. And at the very minimum, include accurate contact information (like your website address, physical address, hours of operation, and phone number.)
Think of your directory pages the same way you would think about your website. You want your website to stand out—just like your directory pages. You want your website to attract leads and build trust—just like your directory pages! All the elements of building an amazing website also ring true for building an amazing directory page.
There is no question that you should harness online directories if you want to build a presence for your flooring business.
While Google My Business, Yelp, LinkedIn, and Foursquare are great directories to start with, they’re only the tip of the iceberg. There are even directory websites made specifically for flooring retailers!
Our advice: invest your time and energy into building out a wealth of directory pages for your company. And if you need some help doing that, FloorForce can help.