The number of online business successes are testimony to the fact that low budget internet marketing campaigns guarantee HIGH exposure at extremely LOW costs. To take advantage of the internet marketing opportunities, you need to use the correct tools to keep costs down. Listing your website on free directories’ is a sure-shot means to guarantee quality traffic!
Is your online business looking to:
- Drive more quality traffic to your website?
- Capture visitors as leads?
- Convert leads into customers?
Try posting your website on these free directories today!
- Yahoo: With a Google PR of 9, it is a great place to submit non-commercial sites. [It does not accept commercial sites]
- Jayde is a quality link source. They are quick at adding submissions and you have a good chance of getting on getting on a decent listing page too! It is the internet's largest B2B Search Engine and one of the web's oldest business directories. Jayde was founded in 1996. It is an entirely human reviewed directory. According to the site, “The fast growing Jayde may be the most unique search engine on the internet. Are we better than Google? If you are a college student trying to find a research paper on mosquito's in the Amazon, probably not. It may take perusing thousands of search results to find that specific paper and that's not the way Jayde works. However, if you're a sales professional tying to efficiently find contacts within businesses, Jayde is better than Google!”
- WorldSiteIndex.com is a search-able web directory of English language sites organized by subject. However, you must note that free submissions are disabled from close of business on Fridays to start of business on Tuesdays.
- SoMuch is a SEO friendly free link directory where you can find the best human edited links sorted by topic and category. Their policy is to make it easy for you to find quality sites that aren't just filled with Google AdSense advertisements. They try to add web sites that ultimately have something to offer, and are constantly checking their links to meet that challenge.
- Info-Listings are sorted categorically to make it easier for people to find what they are looking for. If you cannot find an appropriate category for your listing, you can e-mail and suggest a new one.
- WWW Virtual Library is the oldest catalog of the Web, started by Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of HTML and of the Web itself, in 1991 at CERN in Geneva. Unlike commercial catalogs, it is run by a loose confederation of volunteers, who compile pages of key links for particular areas in which they are expert; even though it isn't the biggest index of the Web, the VL pages are widely recognized as being amongst the highest-quality guides to particular sections of the Web.
Website directories are a great way for businesses to promote their websites. They help build back links, increase exposure and traffic too!
Did you know that many people rely on Yelp for advice on dry cleaners, restaurants, retailers, service providers, gardeners, handymen, and so on as they assume Yelp to be a reliable site that supports all comments without bias, irrespective of whether they are good or bad. In fact, according to the Yelp blog, the second quarter of 2018 witnessed a whopping 74 million unique visitors on an average every month, while 72 million unique mobile devices users utilized Yelp's mobile application on a monthly average basis. With more than 163 million reviews submitted by Yelpers, Yelp is surely a dominant force when you consider social review sites that help customers decide on anything from the city's most renowned lawyer to its tastiest burger.
In case you own a local business, your online presence can be effectively enhanced with a Yelp listing. Many restaurant owners have used Yelp to bring great benefits to their business, and are constantly trying to improve their star ratings on Yelp. However, it doesn’t mean that Yelp can help only restaurateurs. In fact, 75% of the Yelp listings include other businesses, which show why customers turn to this site before making decisions for anything related to local businesses.
Whether you have an existing business that needs to attract new customers from the neighborhood, or plan to launch a new venture that would need the patronage of local consumers, the ever-increasing audience on Yelp can help. So, almost everyone from a web designer, SEO specialist, restaurateur, and lawyer, to a physician, chiropractor, plumber, and gardener can benefit from Yelp listings.
Why use Yelp
If you are still apprehensive about using Yelp, here are some of the benefits of Yelp listings:
Being found online easily: Many people may not even know that your business exists. A yelp listing can not only help your business being found by people searching Yelp but can also appear on search engine results, thus increasing your online visibility.
Boost SEO efforts: Your Yelp listing gives you the chance to add description of your business, get reviews, and link your listing back to your website. By choosing relevant keywords and listing back to the right page of your website, you can boost your business’s SEO efforts. This would also mean that your Yelp listing starts appearing in the top few pages of major search engine results, which in turn will help boost your business.
Free publicity: By adding your business name, address (complete with city and zip code), phone number etc, you can make it easy for people to visit your shop and buy from you. Thus, you can use the Yelp platform for free to advertise your offerings.
Understand your clients: By checking user reviews, you can understand what your customers love and loathe about your offerings. This way, you can fix things that don’t work, and focus better on the ones that work. You may even communicate with your customers both publicly and privately to understand what they want.
Using in lieu of a website: Start-ups with a cash crunch may find it difficult to invest in creating a website. Yelp listing can be used temporarily for the purpose. Your Yelp listing can easily give your company an online presence as you can add pictures, address, description etc, all of which are usually found on a website.
Tapping clientele on the go: With many people using the Yelp app on their mobile phones, it becomes easy to tap into the ever increasing brigade of smartphone device users and let them know about your business.
How to use Yelp
If your business already has some reviews on Yelp, you can claim the listing and add additional information, contact number etc. You may search your business name to find if any listing already exists or not. If you find one, you would need to click the link marked “Work here? Unlock this Business Page” to add details/contact information. In case your business doesn’t have any existence on Yelp, you may create a new business page. You can read the support page to get started.
Once you are on Yelp, you can engage in meaningful conversations with your customers by replying to their feedback publicly or privately. This way, you can retain happy customers, and convert those not too happy with promises of better services,
You may also create deals in minutes, and get paid when Yelp visitors buy your deals. Posting check-in offers, which are showed on Yelp's Mobile Applications, is yet another method of promoting your business to users searching nearby.
Keeping an eye on your competitors, viewing business trends, analyzing the performance of your business page with charts and stats are some other things that can help you to improve your business and leverage Yelp.
So, start using Yelp to beneift your business if you aren’t already doing so.
For those clients that need to promote their businesses locally, here are some helpful links and networking ideas to help grow your business and increase sales. The majority of these items are of no cost.
- Join your local Chamber of Commerce – generally they have online links back to your site, have networking mixers and are a great source of referrals
- Craigslist – have an “image ad” not just text and be sure to include your website link back to your site ALWAYS. Don’t forget one of the most popular sites online, Craigslist allows you to post free classified ads, on location(s) chosen by you.
- Yellow pages - just like the Yellow Pages only online so you can increase hits back to your site
- Yahoo Local despite Google being the reigning search engine, Yahoo! remains a popular option for its loyal users. Sign up on Yahoo! Local and grab all the free exposure your website can get!
- Google Local Maps create an account with Google and use Google Maps or Google Local to ensure that your business shows up in the search results on Google. When Google infuses these results on its page, it increases the value of its local search and maps application.
- Merchant Circle, Manta and Alignable are great ways to network locally
- Local.com Add your listing to a well traveled site that displays local favorites, reviews, maps, movie listings, and more.
- Kijiji free local listings on a site much like Craigslist
- White Pages are the same idea as the Yellow Pages but for businesses
- Connect with your local Economic Development Corporation. Generally they will be able to help promote your business and even offer a link back to your site as well.
- Send enewsletters – Email marketing is a great way to grow your client base by encouraging people to forward the email to a friend. Include a coupon in the email to entice new clients even more.
- Have postcards designed and printed and use them like flyers! Lay them at coffee shops, post them on cork boards at diners, automotive places, etc. People are more likely to notice them rather than a business card because of their size and are more likely to not discard it due to the nice printing and paper stock.
- Start a Blog and post on other blogs related to your industry or locale
- Start a Facebook ad and target your specific city, demographics, etc
- Post on forums specific to your city
- Yellow Pages ensure that you are listed on the online version of the popular phone directory. A basic listing comes free of cost.
- Yelp is another local venue for people to locate and review your business
- Get vinyl lettering for your back window. Keep the message simple with your business name, a couple of your services, phone number and website address.
- Leave business cards or tri-fold brochures at other local businesses
- Get social on websites like Facebook groups for your local areas or interact with local people in Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter.
Drive registrations and attendance through email and social media marketing
With any event, be it a class, seminar, open house, fundraising gala, or something in between, the ultimate goal is to get as many people as possible to attend. There's no point in planning a free or fee-based event if no one shows up.
To get the most out of your event efforts, here are five ways to maximize registration and increase attendance:
1. Save the date
People are busy and calendars fill fast, so you want to make sure your event is on your intended attendees' calendars as early as possible. Once you have the basic logistics (when and where) nailed down for your event, let all your desired attendees know with a save the date email. For invitation-only events, send an email and/or mail a save-the-date postcard to the future guest list to get on their calendars.
If your event is open to the public, you can and should add social media marketing to the mix by posting the date and details to your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts -- essentially, to any social media network where you connect with members and customers. When using social media marketing, particularly Twitter, it is recommended that you link to an event homepage so those thinking about attending can find out additional information beyond what you can fit in 140 characters. You can host the event homepage on your own site or build one using Event Marketing. For the latter, remove the registration button from the homepage until you're ready to start accepting them.
2. Send an email invitation
About six to eight weeks prior to your event, send out an official invitation to your contact or target guest list. A personalized invitation makes the recipient feel wanted and can help compel him or her to register for your event. The invite should clearly outline the key event details and explain the benefits of attending from the recipient's point of view. Keep the invitation itself short and to the point. To provide additional information about your event, link to an event homepage.
At this point in the event planning process, registration for your event should be open and ready to accept guests.
3. Promote your event through social media
For events that are open to the public, use social media marketing to spread word to customers and members as soon as your invitations go out. Using social media allows you to promote your event multiple times a week, which you can't do with email. Change up your wording a bit for each pitch to your social networks so it doesn't look like you're constantly posting the exact same thing. And, like with your save-the-date email, link to an event homepage to give would-be attendees more information.
One variation on this idea: You could offer limited-time exclusive access to your event to email subscribers -- providing a benefit to your most loyal customers and members -- and hold off on the social media marketing until the exclusivity window has passed.
4. Send follow-up reminders to non-registrants and registrants
Within a few days of the event, send a follow-up email invitation to those on your original invitation list who have yet to register. Change the subject line to add a sense of urgency, such as "Only 2 days left to register" or "5 seats left -- register now."
For those who have registered, you can send them an email reminder that the event is coming up shortly and provide any last minute details that they may need to know. For free events, this helpful reminder can help drive attendance and lower the no-show rate.
5. Ask your attendees for a little promotional help
Word-of-mouth referrals are the Holy Grail of marketing, so why not get a few referrals for your event? Ask attendees to tell their social media friends and followers that they are attending your event. Make it easy by giving them the text and a pre-shortened link to your event homepage or registration page that they can copy and paste to Twitter and Facebook. For Twitter users, add a hashtag (a # sign followed by a word or phrase, i.e. #homeshow2018) to brand individual tweets about your event. This lets Twitter users (and you) easily see who else is tweeting about the event.
Planning an event is a time-consuming process. Use these five tips to ensure all that hard work pays off by using every promotional channel available to you to maximize attendance at you gathering.