By Mark Ruthenberg, Advantage Tech Inc. and TransCanada FoundLocally Inc. Many folks misunderstand LinkedIn and…
Web marketing differ when using local directories and when using search engines.This article also has a searchable listing of other local online directories web marketers can use to promote their clients’ businesses and web sites.
The easiest and often cheapest way to raise your online visibility is to add your business or organization to the various web directories and search engines. What’s the difference between the two?
- Search Engines aggregate information about other websites, typically by “spidering” a website (reading, analyzing, and indexing its contents using automated “bots”) initially after your submission, and revisiting periodically to check for content updates. It is good practice to resubmit your site after a significant site update, to ensure the new version is reflected in their indexes and search results
- These are typically global in scope, working across borders, industry groups and languages. The economies of scale with search engines are huge, and they try to “be all things to all people: Examples of search engines (but far from a complete list) are Yahoo, Bing, Altavista, Ask, and Google.
- Directories are usually focused on one industry, interest and pertain to a geographic scope, or both. These index and list sites that are submitted to it, and do not require periodic re-submission. Just check if you are included, and update your info if necessary. These attract a narrow but interested audience, who (if it’s the right directory) are looking for your kind of business.
- Many search engines and directories are free to submit to, but some charge for a listing, and some charge a fee for “premium services” (typically, either prompter listing, better prominence in search results, or automatic inclusion in affiliate search sites). Use those after assessing their likely performance.
Some Directories of Directories
Each of these directories may create an opportunity to be listed and reach additional consumers in your area. Keep in mind many of these directories may have a cost for being included.
Add yourself to the FoundLocally.com FREE Directory
Be sure to add your business or community group to the FoundLocally.com local directory where you have a physical presence. Our local directory (operating since 1999) reaches millions each year, and is FREE for local businesses. FoundLocally defines this as having a local street address and a local phone number. This helps businesses and consumers find suppliers and services CLOSE TO THEM.
Once you have a free listing on FoundLocally, you can post news announcements, events, jobs (or volunteer opportunities), sales, coupons and flyers all FOR FREE! Add your FoundLocally listing, THEN post these to your listing.
Consider Online Advertising
If you are not local, or wish to reach consumers further away from your office or location, consider online advertising on TransCanada FoundLocally websites.