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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. 

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.

What is an online local directory?

An online local directory is a website that lists businesses, usually within categories. These directories allow business owners to list their business, get their name in front of the customers, and give customers the information they need to contact the business. It also narrows the World Wide Web down to local communities and places, and makes local businesses more accessible to the customers that use them.

The details provided in an online listing will vary from business to business and from directory to directory. Typical information includes:

  • The business name
  • Address
  • Telephone numbers
  • Product or service sold
  • Number of employees
  • The area the business services
  • Professional associations the business belongs to
  • Reviews, comments, and feedback (on some sites)

Why is it important that my business be listed in an online local directory?

According to a study conducted by Burke, 8 out of 10 shoppers will use an online directory to guide them in the direction of where to go for whatever product or service they are looking for.

Of that group, 8 out of 10 shoppers who used a directory to find what they needed will end up buying something now or in the future from the business they found within the directory.

This is why it’s so important to have your business listed in an online directory. If customers are already using online directories, they already have a need for your business or service. And if your business isn’t listed in an online directory, the chances are good that the competition will be, and customers will turn to them instead of you.

This is why it’s so important to be listed in online local directories – so customers can find you!