Do you remember the Yellow Pages? The guys in the van or pick-up truck would slowly drive through your neighborhood and leave that hefty yellow-paged book on your front stoop. Having one of these books was an essential tool for life, not too long ago. But we have now entered the age of smartphones and no longer need the old thick, yellow directory to find local businesses that will meet our needs. There was a day in which local businesses made it a top priority—a cornerstone—to advertise and be listed in the Yellow Pages to be noticed and gain marketing results.
In this new era, it is important for Charleston businesses, and businesses across the country, to find ways of being found online–local directories. People (possibly as many as 90% of consumers) are not perusing the pages of a book anymore to find trusted local businesses. They are turning to online local directories that will not only tell them how to get in touch with businesses in Charleston and other towns, but that will also tell them if that business gets good recommendations from other customers. For a good list of directories, read this really useful article from HubSpot: The Ultimate List: 50 Local Business Directories. According to the article, getting listed with local directories is simply another way of being found. If people can find you, they are exponentially more likely to become customers. And it is a one of the most elementary, and yet most important, ways for you to stand out in the crowd. In this instance, over-listing is better than under-listing.
The importance of being listed with local directories lies in the very simple principle of visibility. Be seen, and you will gain clients. Marketing packages should almost always contain online local directory listing tools. Forbes posted an article that also talks about local SEO strategies—including local business directories—as part of local marketing strategies as a whole. For more information on this topic, also read: Charleston SEO–How to Rank for Local Searches.