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.
And just like the phone books of yesteryear, online directories offer an extremely powerful way for companies to circulate contact information, build brand trust, and generate 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.
What is an online directory?
Technically speaking, online directories are lists or catalogs of webpages—and you probably use them every single day without even knowing it.
They’re usually geared toward a specific purpose or field, and can be filtered to find certain types of results.
Examples of online directories include search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo (which are just massive directories for all types of websites), along with more specialized directories like LinkedIn and Yelp.
Think about it: at its core, Yelp is just a big directory for local businesses. Each business has its own Yelp page, all contained in the Yelp online directory.
Similarly, LinkedIn is an online directory for professionals, companies, and job openings. Most professionals have their own LinkedIn pages, which are similarly contained within the overall LinkedIn 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 to create brand awareness and list contact information.
But here’s the difference: phone books only serve a limited area and charge for listings. Your online presence can be accessed from anywhere. And it’s entirely free.
Take Yelp, for instance. Combining the directory’s desktop, mobile, and app users, over 167 million people use Yelp every single month.
That sheer volume of users means it’s worth investing time and energy into your Yelp page.
And of course, 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—as many of them as possible.
Directories are also helpful for SEO
If your company engages in SEO (search engine optimization), listing your business on multiple 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.
So, in order to make your listing stand out from 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 most importantly, include accurate contact information! At the very minimum, make sure to include 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’s 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.