If you’re advertising your business through a directory service, you might want to fully read this article. Your own website, properly built with SEO and a good user experience in mind, can far outpace any directory service listing. It’s true, and we’re going to demonstrate that to you today.
My website ranks higher than yours
Over the years I’ve been approached by countless companies promising to drive more traffic to my business. The latest contact? “PhotographersofPhoenix” dot com. I’m not even going to provide a link to them, as it would be an addition they don’t deserve.
Photographers of Phoenix is a directory service for photographers. You pay a yearly fee and you get listed on their site. Unfortunately, their site has no traffic coming into it at all. Pretty sad. So when a directory service like this one contacts me and offers to help me get found, I check them out. And when I find that my own website out performs their site, I consider offering them advertising space on my site. I have more readers than they do, so I might be able to help them!
In the case of this site, investing with them won’t be the biggest marketing blunder you’ve ever made. For less than $100 per year they’ll list you on their site. But to make that have any value you’d like to see some traffic to their site. You’re trying to expose your business to new contacts, not a location with no traffic at all. If you build a billboard in the Arctic it might be cheap, but who is ever going to see it. Nobodoy!
My own blogging website, which has been quiet for a few months, has actual traffic going to it. It has over 2,000 backlinks (links from other websites), actual monthly traffic, and true presence on the Internet. Focusing on your own website will do more for your business than any directory service ever will.
PS, do a search on Phoenix Photographers, or other combinations of the words. PhotographersofPhoenix dot com doesn’t come up.
DEX Doesn’t Know
One of my clients recently dropped their subscription with the local Yellow Pages (aka DEX). She was spending $500 per month for a large graphic listing in the directory. That comes to $6,000 per year. Why did she drop the advertising?
It didn’t drive anything to her site. Her site drives its own traffic.
DEX online version includes its own cool tools to show you how good your listing is doing (or how bad). And my client was kind enough to share her login to DEX so I could see the astounding numbers for myself.
In total, my client has 5 business listings with DEX. She has a giant Ad in the local DEX pages. And DEX also lists her online and refers people to her website. The graph above shows the Internet activity DEX has generated for her this year. Hey, September had 18 referrals to her site. That’s awesome! Oh wait….it’s not awesome. It’s embarrassing.
If you do a search on Prescott Framing, Prescott Framer, and anything else you can think of for custom picture framing in Prescott you’ll see something interesting. The Frame & I comes up number one or number two on Google Page 1 over and over again. The Yellow Pages doesn’t come up first. Not at all.
So, the $6,000 per year going into advertising in the Yellow Pages? It’s lost money really, and it’s a terrible return on investment. Sure, they sent 18 referrals in September, but at a cost of $500 for the month?
Bottom line? A well built website that has been properly set up for Search Engine Optimization will beat out your online Yellow Pages advertising every time. Looking at the graphic on the left, my client is number one, their competitor number 2, and yellow pages number 3……..
Remember, number one on Google Page 1 has a lot of perceived value. People see that first listing and they click on it. It must be the best, it’s number 1 after all. That’s what goes through people’s minds. So, the Yellow Pages listing is most likely lost on potential customers.
Invest in yourself
So, if the directory services are a failure, and we can show you in all markets they are indeed a failure, what should you do?
Invest in yourself!
A well designed website built by a knowledgeable design team can get your business found. You’ll beat out the directory services that you’ve overpaid for years with, and you’ll gain credibility in your own market place. Our clients, RV Parks, B&B’s, Artists, Art Supplies, and more, all beat out the listing services they used to use. Isn’t it time to stop overspending on something that doesn’t work, and invest in your own online presence?