Online Advertising has become a major marketing force for new and established businesses alike, offering quick exposure, the chance to speed up a web presence and means to effectively track a marketing budget.
There are a whole host of Online Directories available to a business owner or decision maker, especially here in the UK. Deciding on where and who to advertise with, will depend on several factors.
Every companies budget is different, the smaller or start up business will be looking to get the most effective spend. Do you spend it all in one go with a market leader, or try a scatter gun approach listing with multiple Business Directories?
What services or products do you provide? Are you in a niche market, or limited to a particular area? This will narrow down the options available to you. Do you have a popular and well known local area business directory, or are you looking for national exposure? Maybe both!
Expected return On Investment:
What are your realistic expectations? We have all been promised the earth in one shape or form, but what do you need to gauge this piece of marketing a success? How many customers would you need to justify the cost of signing up with a business directory? Too many smaller, and even larger businesses get swept up in the marketing trap.
Can you categorically say which of your campaigns were successful. Do you have complete control over your marketing spend? Unless you’re a large company on a brand building crusade, marketing is simply a tool to generate more business. If your marketing spend isn’t generating a higher return in sales or services, then why are you wasting the money?
This can be a decider for a lot of people. Who are you familiar with? Whose brand do you recognise. Positive branding is the holy grail for most companies, people associate your company with value for money, respectability and security.
This can also be a double edged sword, going with a brand leader doesn’t always assure you are going to get the best deal. This then comes down to you having the time to do your own due diligence and research. What’s out there? Then we are back to return on investment.
What safer way of doing business is there than following a trusted colleague’s recommendation. Of course hardly foolproof, but reduces the risk of the unknown if you can witness someone else’s results.
The importance of the above factors will vary from person to person, but hopefully a lot of this will ring true.
Any business looking for an online advertising presence wants to get listed by all the major search engines. Most search engines have a submission process that site owners can utilize, or some businesses utilize search engine optimization companies that will examine and optimize a website to try and ensure it performs well in search engine rankings.
This is another area where a business directory can help. Directories get regularly indexed by all the major search engines, and links from these directories can enhance a businesses own listing. A good example of this is Google that utilizes PageRank technology. Google will determine a website or web pages importance by a multitude of factors, one of these being the number of relevant links coming in from other websites to yours.
So who should I list with?
Well final preference is down to the individual, and the factors listed above, so below are a good selection of UK Business Directories offering free and paid listings that should suit most budgets.
Free Index Business, Magnet, Thomson Directories, The UK Small Business Directory, Scoot, Matren, The Best Of, Yell, 192.com and of course us!