3 reasons why online business directories are no longer effective

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Are online business directories becoming a declining industry?

Just ten years ago, when we first began to explore the world of the Internet, online business directories are one of the most sought-after new advertising media of the time.

Businesses can easily receive new buying prospects every day from their listings on Internet business directories. Marketers won’t hesitate to pay thousands of marketing dollars on registration fees and also buy media banners and ad space on these popular business directories.

However, today, online directories are not as effective as they used to be.

Here are the 3 big reasons why?

1. The “Google” era

With Google, anything can be found at lightning speed, unlike directories.

Google and other major search engines have entered the scene to facilitate research; prospects can easily search and find the products and services they are looking for at lightning speed. Google has therefore become a much more convenient search tool for prospects than online business directories. Thus, the priority for the new age marketing manager is to ensure that the url of his company is “visible” on the first 3 pages of Google.

Perhaps the sellers of online business directories can also argue that their websites are also on the first page of Google; your annual investment in their website is therefore worth it. However, one thing you may need to consider is what I have called, the “connection points” with your prospects.

If I go to your website on Google and respond to your call to action, there are two “connection points”. If I go to Google, to business directories, to your business listing, then to your website, then I answer your call to action, there are four “connection points” in total.

The fewer “connection points” you have, the higher the conversion of your prospects to becoming buyers. Therefore, if a prospect knows and types your URL into the browser, that prospect must be your die-hard fan.

2. Too much competition

Business listings compete fiercely for the attention of prospects.

The more saturated your market, the more competitors you will have in your market. For the survival of the business, online directory owners must have more paid listings for each category. It also means that your ad will be queued with maybe 5-20 other ads from your competition. You can also be persuaded to pay more money in marketing to put your ad in the “premium” section of the directory so that your ad is more visible. Your competitors may also follow suit. Just pay more than you.

You need to ask yourself these questions. Will such a marketing tool increase the conversion rate of your website and hence give you more business benefit? Or are you feeding online directory owners with your marketing budget?

There is an increasing number of paid and free online directories every day due to low barriers to entry; each competes very hard with each other for advertisers’ money; therefore, over time, its effectiveness will begin to wear off.

3. Too many choices for the prospect

Your prospect will have too many choices to decide on the best where everything looks the same.

Imagine that you are your prospect, that you have entered an online directory, and you see a list of companies that have the product you are looking for. You will click on a few of them and read the details of companies on a similar model of the directory. And then what most prospects will do is click to view the company’s websites. Therefore, businesses without a website will tend to lose more. Even if you have a website, the likelihood that the prospect will convert to your buyer will be much lower due to the too many choices in the prospect’s mind.

Things are changing every day. The cool things of the past aren’t cool today. Realistically, online business directories will soon be a saturated declining industry in the years to come, so directories will need to think of some creative out-of-the-box ways to position themselves at the forefront of their industry. .



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