Reading the post, Anatomy & Optimization Of A Local Business Profile, got me thinking about business profiles again. I had previously mentioned them here. Also Brian Wool, wrote about them in his post, Is One Good Web Site Enough for a Local Business?
Brian said: “I don’t think these profile pages are meant to — or can — replace a well-built Web site. But for some business categories, where in-depth product details, services, or inventory are necessary, profile pages can help drive traffic.”
Chris also expressed this sediment, “Optimizing business listings and profiles can make all the difference in enabling potential customers to find you and in selecting you from your pack of competitors.”
They, as do I, think small businesses should take advantage of using local business profiles. It probably should not be your primary web presence but consider it an easy way to get a link to your web site.
Today, I wanted to mention there are tons of business directories on-line and I do not think you should blindly start listing in every one you find. Your time is valuable so choose wisely. Some directories do a good job listing buisnesses, while others are useless.
If you decide to do this yourself, use the article by Chris as a guide. Look to see what options the directory offers, look to see how much advertising is present, how SEO friendly it might be, and also to see if they submit or have partnerships with the search engines/IYP/directories. A couple that I like and have used are CitySquares, ShowMeLocal, Superpages and of course Yahoo and Google.
There are many directories out there being run by those who know nothing about marketing, local search, etc. Why? There are many companies/programs that will sell you (for a monthly fee) your own local directory. “a great home business opportunity”, “after a small set up fee and a low monthly fee and you keep 100% of all sales!” Please! Those I have seen look cheap, very “canned”, and definitely are not search engine friendly. I won’t name names, but you should be able to tell them apart.
If you need some help with your local business profile, please feel free to contact me.