The world is ever-changing, and it’s crucial to stay on top of it all. As technology progresses and new trends emerge, businesses must keep up-to-date to stay relevant.
As more people opt to use the Internet, businesses must take advantage of what the world wide web offers. New platforms are constantly created and tipped as the next big thing, and new marketing techniques are “guaranteed to boost business”. Still, some more traditional forms of marketing stay strong against the competition – such as trade directories.
What Are Trade Directories?
Directories are simply a database of various sole traders and businesses. In printed versions of directories, a company usually shares its basic information. In online versions, businesses and traders can create a complete profile to share examples of work, display feedback and reviews and more.
Business directories have been around for centuries, evolving with the times. Most of us will have grown up with a new copy of the yellow pages posted through the door each year, but in 2019, the Yellow Pages ceased printing. Instead, they’re entirely focusing on their online presence.
But you can find more than just the general business directories online. There are several directories available that are explicitly targeted to tradespeople. From TrustATrader and Checkatrade to MyBuilder and RatedPeople, there’s plenty to choose from, and it’s all about finding what works best for you.
More people are online now than ever before, so it’s essential for any business or sole trader should have an online presence. As well as a company website and related social media platforms, it’s worth considering signing up for one or a few online trade directories.
Trade Directories, Are They Worth Using?
Your website acts as your shop window, giving potential customers access to the information they need to find out what you do. From there, they can decide if you’re suitable for the job. Social media gives your company personality, allowing potential customers to see the people behind a company logo.
And directories? They not only build brand awareness but trust as well. Many of these directories will vet those looking to join. Being accepted is proof that you’re a trustworthy business/trader.
Reach A Wider Audience
Directories will also allow you to reach a wider audience. Generally, customers will search for tradespeople, focusing on their area of expertise and the area in which they work.
By being on a directory, you’ll be advertising your business to more people in your local area and making it easy for them to find you.
Potential customers will not put a lot of effort into finding you, and they should not have to. (Source: ThinkChrysalis)
As well as your business details, customers can leave feedback on a directory listing.
Reviews and feedback from previous work make a big difference in securing future jobs. Most people will read reviews before contacting a business or trader. Therefore, having positive feedback is vital. Good reviews are essentially recommendations, and a customer is likelier to choose a company with plenty of recommendations.
Search Engine Optimisation
If you’re looking to improve your website’s SEO, directories can also help with that. A link to your website on a directory with a high domain authority results in a high-quality backlink. This, in turn, can increase your SEO and search engine ranking. So, when people search for specific keywords on search engines, your website is more likely to appear in the results.
If you’re new to the world of business directories, don’t worry. We’ve covered the essential aspects of choosing the correct directory for you.
The most important part of the process is finding the trade directory that suits you. Do your research; read reviews, ask people you know who have used directories and look into what each directory offers. Most trade directories are free to join; however, some may charge a membership fee, such as CheckaTrade. Membership varies between £69.99+VAT to £119.99+VAT.
And depending on which you choose to join, you may be required to pay for leads.
For example, on MyBuilder, you pay a shortlist fee. When a customer has chosen you for a job, MyBuilder orchestrates the exchange of contact details. You’re not guaranteed to get the job, but as a “warm lead”, you have a better chance. You retain control in that you can only be shortlisted for jobs you’ve previously shown interest in. You’ll be able to see the cost of the lead before you show interest, so arguably, how much you pay is up to you.
Cost is usually a huge deciding factor in finding which directory is the best fit. For example, do you have the budget to pay a membership fee? Leads? Both? None? Deciding what you do and don’t want to pay for will help to narrow down potential choices.
As well as trade directories, plenty of general business directories are available. From Yelp and Yell to TouchLocal and WhitePages, joining will help you continue growing brand awareness of your company and creating backlinks.
If you’re looking for other ways to take your business to the next level, find out about the other important elements of any brand or company.