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Can small businesses profit from using online local directories?

When thinking about using online local directories, many small businesses make the mistake of thinking it only works for huge companies. Companies like Costco that have several locations, sometimes within mere miles of each other. However, it’s really small businesses that will benefit the most from online directories. Remember that these directories focus on local businesses.

The intent is that it will bring customers to actual brick-and-mortar businesses that are located near them, meaning that small businesses have the most to profit from being listed. And if your business isn’t listed, there’s a good chance that your competitor’s is, and that customers will go to them instead of you.

Are online local directories the same as search engines?

Online local directories often have a search function within them. This makes it easier for users to quickly find the business they’re looking for, without having to search through thousands of listings. However, this does not make these directories search engines.

Search engines can find just about any information you need and provide in-depth articles, pictures, and blog posts about very specific topics. Search engines list the actual URLs to websites and will take you directly to them. Online local directories will provide users with many different results, but each of those results will only be a business listing including very basic information.

Search engines will also pick up on the various web pages on a website, giving each a different page ranking dependent on things such as keywords and traffic numbers. Online local directories, on the other hand, will provide only one URL, and it’s typically only to the home page of the website.

The way in which local directories and search engines work behind the scenes also distinguish the two. Online directories use people to manually review, proofread and approve each listing. Search engines on the other hand, because they’re dealing with so much more information, must rely on highly complex computer-generated indexes that determine which information is displayed.