Directories like YP and technically Yelp all typically depend on the industry, and depend on if you’re receiving an adequate return on investment for being on them.  Some can range from as little as 20 dollars a month, with the directories with larger exposure moving into the hundreds.  Though this blog isn’t about specifically EXACTLY which directories you should go to, it will work as a guide in ensuring you actually are benefiting from being placed on one.

There was a period of time a couple years ago when it seemed like directories were losing favor with search engines and consumers alike, whittling down into the obscure landscape of archaic digital marketing techniques.  We saw them jump back up with the most recent Google algorithm, and just like everything else that makes online presence promotion frustrating, they have legitimacy once again.  For example, Thumbtack is an example of a new directory that seems to have established itself in the new era of Google search marketing, professing to be ” a new way to hire local services”.  Older directories like YP and Dex still have modest ROIs if you can negotiate a decent contract and are in a favorable region/industry. You may have been contacted by many random directories as a small/medium sized business by now and have disregarded them due to skepticism.  I am here to say that if you can get a good arrangement, I would actually try as many as you can.

The timeless sales saying rings true here…”if you get just one sale from our directory, it will cover the cost for an entire year!”  That is about all the water directory placement will hold (but in some cases, a fairly solid link to your website.)  Let’s talk about how we know if the directory works first, and then how we can negotiate with them.

Does Directories Really Work?

  • What kind of directory are they trying to pitch you on?  Let’s say you’re a locksmith in Chicago and they want you to be on their directory.  Do searches for ‘locksmith Chicago’, ‘Chicago locksmith’, ‘locksmiths in Chicago, IL’ etc.  If their directory doesn’t come up anywhere, how will consumers find you if they can’t even get to the directory?
  • Ask for a traffic report to their directory.  If the analytics are solid (most likely thousands of visitors a month) then you know that the directory has some traction.  It is even better to see that the traffic of the directory is moving upwards.
  • In some cases, an account rep with the directory can put you in touch with other customers on the directory to discuss if it is working out for them.
  • On a side note, to really know if the directory is working, you’re most likely going to need a tracking number (see here).  Most people will likely say they did a ‘Google search’ instead of naming the directory.
  • See if they have any sort of reports they can send you.  This makes it easier to know what is going on, and cross-reference with your own analytics if you want to obtain a refund if they are inflating numbers on their report.
  • Ask about the number of impressions the page you’re specifically going to be featured on has.  Also see what the deal is with the amount of listings on the page, and if there are diamond, platinum, gold, silver, you-name-it types of placement.

Directories won’t ever really be a game-changer for most businesses, but it will certainly help supplement the leads you get and add to your overall online presence.

Check out our next blog when we talk about how you can use your business prowess to negotiate yourself onto a directory you want to try! Or if you are in need of assistance with building your presence on more directories, contact the digital marketing experts at Market My Market today for a free consultation!