The Power of Online Business Directories and How to Get Started Fast

More and more small businesses today are using online business directories to their benefit. If you run a small business, you likely spend a great deal of your time thinking about your marketing plan. online business directories can be a great addition to your current small business marketing strategy. Those sites can help your small business expand its website traffic, increase the likelihood that your website will be found by interested visitors and increase your bottom line. If you haven’t taken a look at those directories and considered how your small business could use them to increase its market presence, then now is the time to start!What Are Online Business Directories?There are many different types of online business directories available on the Internet. Each of these sites serves a specific purpose and can be used by your small business in specific ways.An online business directory is a website submission service that allows your small business’ website to be added to a specific category where it can be searched for by interested visitors. Listing your small business on an online business directory increases your website’s visibility on the web and helps to create inbound links to your business’ website. This places make it easy for people to find what they are looking for. These directories can be accessed from just about anywhere that has an internet connection. This means that people could find your business’ website from their home, office or even while traveling.Every website that is submitted to an online business directory is placed in a specific category. These categories can range in how they are organized. Some are organized by business-related categories, some are organized according to personal preferences and others are organized by subject. Each category consists of several websites relating to a specific topic. Each website listing features the name of the website, a direct link to the website and a short description of the website. Interested Internet visitors will be able to browse through the various categories in the directory and locate websites like yours that they may be interested in visiting. Essentially, those places make it easier for any visitor to find your business’ website.How Do Online Business Directories Work?The concept of online business directories is actually a pretty simple one. These webistes are very similar to the Yellow Pages in the real world, only these listings are only online. (Actually Yellow is now one of the largest online directories as well.) A directory is just a listing place for a number of websites. Any type of website could be listed in an online business directory. Some directories are huge and cover every topic that someone could create a website for, while others are very small and specific to a specific niche.Let’s use an example. Say you are a model airplane enthusiast and you want to find some websites that cater to your specific interest. You could look through a huge online business directory such as Google My Business and find several dozen websites that are related to model airplanes. Or you could look for an online business directory that is niche-specific, which means that the entire online business directory would be based on hobbies such as model airplanes. With a niche-specific directory you may find even more websites that are based on your specific interest than what you could find on the larger directories.Since online business directories are organized by categories, finding websites that relate to a specific interest such as model airplanes is very easy. You could find information and websites about model airplanes in your local region too, if you use a regional-specific online business directory. So if you live in Phoenix you could find websites that relate to both model airplanes and the Phoenix area. These places will direct you to websites that you want to find. All you have to do is perform a search in the online business directory for a specific topic or browse through the various categories until you find the type of websites you are looking for. When you perform a search you will be given a list of all of the websites that relate to your search term. You will be presented with a number of links to these websites and each link will have a short description of what you are likely to find on the website. You can read the descriptions and choose to click on the website that best suits you.There are many different types of websites that you could find under a specific topic as well. For example, if you search several of those sites for information relating to model airplanes you may find websites that are about building model airplanes, flying model airplanes, creating historically accurate model planes, tips and instructions about how to fly model planes, websites that sell model airplanes and charters and associations that you could join regarding model airplanes. These are just a few of the examples you could find using an online business directory. There are simply too many topics to list them all here.You can see how anyone can use an online business directory to find websites relating to things that interest them. As a small business owner you can see how potential customers of yours are using those web sites too. Now that you understand how online business directories work it is time to see how they can work for your business.How Do Online Business Directories Benefit Small Businesses?There are many benefits associated with listing your small business in an online business directory. The more directories you can use to list your business the more benefits you will reap. Here are some of the benefits of using online business directories:

Exposure is important for all business marketing strategies. After all, the more people who are exposed to your business the more people are likely to utilize your business’ services. If online visitors aren’t able to see your website or even know that it exists, then they probably aren’t going to purchase your products or services. Listing your business’ website in those sites helps your website to gain exposure. Thousands of people use these websites every day to find things they are interested in. These are people who are actively searching for websites that are directly related to your products or services. They are already looking- all you have to do is make it easy for them to find you. These sites will expose your business to more online visitors, which could increase traffic to your website.

Increased Traffic
There are several ways that these directories can help you increase the amount of traffic your website receives. For starters, the more exposure your website has the more people are likely to visit it. But these websites offer more than just exposure from potential viewers. They also offer exposure to the various major search engine crawlers like Google and even YouTube. This increases the chances that your website will appear on major search engine results pages, or SERPs, which will allow more people to see the website when they perform a regular search. Both search engine optimization exposure and exposure to more people who are searching for your website could result in increased traffic to your small business’ website.

Cheap Advertising
As a small business owner you already understand the importance of advertising. You know that it helps customers to find your business and recognize your name and brand. You probably have little room in your budget for more advertising right this moment. That is one of the major benefits of listing your business’ website in an online business directory. Online business directories are inexpensive to join and they offer a lot of exposure for the price. Some of these sites will allow you to list your business for free, while others will charge a minimal fee. Either way, you are getting a lot of exposure for far less money than you would spend on a TV or radio advertisement spot.

Professional Appearance
You want everything about your business to look professional in the eyes of your customers. A professional appearance enhances your status and makes customers more likely to patronize your business. Online directories help you to look like a professional business. When an online consumer sees your business listing in an online business directory, they will consider your business to be an authority on the subject and a professional place to do business. Unlike a search that is performed on a major search engine like Google, where there is little difference between the legitimate websites relating to a topic and the less than useful websites, those places are mostly legitimate websites. Online consumers are more likely to trust what they see on such sites.

SEO Benefits
Online business directories offer several search engine optimization benefits as well. Firstly, these directories offer you more inbound links. When an online visitor sees your website link in an online business directory, they will be able to click on it and be instantly re-directed to your website. This is a great way to increase traffic. It is a great way to improve your status in the eyes of search engine crawlers too. The more backlinks that a search engine crawler can find, the more relevant they will rank your website. This is especially true of authoritative sites. Being linked to a major online business directory, such as Google My Business, will give your website more relevancy in the eyes of Google’s search engine crawlers. This will result in a higher page ranking on the SERP. As you know, a higher search engine result page rank you get, the more people are going to click on your website link.

Increased Revenue
When more people are able to find your website it increases the chances that they will visit your website. When people visit your website they are more likely to purchase your goods or services. This means that these sites can help you increase your revenue stream. Online business directories are good for your bottom line.

Increased Brand Recognition and Customer Interaction
When an online viewer locates your website though an online business directory, they are more likely to remember your business’s name and directly interact with it. Online business directories can help your business stand out to customers as well. Overall, listing your small business in an online business directory will help you to create a more comprehensive and effective online presence.Listing your small business’ website with several online business directories will help more people find your website, whether they are specifically searching for it or if they are just browsing. In addition to gaining exposure, appearing on those sites will provide major SEO benefits, which will help search engines find your site. Increased exposure and higher search engine rankings will result in more traffic to your website, which will result in higher revenue.There are many different types of online business directories, from large global directories to small, niche and location-specific ones. Some examples of other types of online directories can include reciprocal link directories, free directories, paid directories, Business 2 Business directories, theme-related directories, small business directories and many, many more.Why You Should Consider Listing Your Small Business in an Online DirectoryApart from the concept that online business directories will increase the amount of exposure your website gets and help with your SEO strategies, they are also a very effective way to directly target potential customers. Places like those make it easy for online users to find something they want. According to a study performed by Burke, 8 out of 10 people will use a print or online business directory to find companies or products they are looking for. The same study also suggested that 8 out of 10 people who use these directories to locate a business do so with the intent to purchase a product or service from them. This is a very effective form of targeted advertising. The customer already needs or wants your product or service and you can directly target them by listing your website in an online business directory.Another reason why you should consider listing your small business has to do with your return on investment, or ROI. Since the potential benefits of getting increased website traffic are great compared to how much you will have to spend to list your website in an online business directory, you can see a great return on your investment in the form of increased revenue. You also want to keep your brand and your company name in the minds of consumers at all times, which is something else that an online business directory can help with.What Online Business Directories Should You Use for Your Small Business?Even though listing your website in many online business directories will improve your website’s exposure and SEO ranking, it is not effective to just SPAM your website into every single online business directory you can find. You will want to take some time to consider which specific site will give you the best ROI. The best option is to find a great combination of directories to join. If you run a small business, the best place to start may be with a local directory. This is because most people will search for businesses in their area they can patronize. Local market and niche-specific online directories can offer extremely targeted advertisements to potential local customers.After your business is listed in these directories you can take a look at the larger and potentially more expensive general-interest directories. You will probably want to consider listing with the top 10-15 online business directories, as these will be used by a lot of people and will offer higher relevancy and authority in the eyes of search engines. Google My Business and LinkedIn are large general-interest directories that you will want to list your small business in. If your website sells tangible goods you may also want to consider listing it in comparison shopping websites and product listings directories. Studies show that 42% of consumers will look at a comparison shopping website before they decide to purchase a specific product.The best way to figure out which specific directories your small business should be listed in is to start with your competitors. Take a look at your local and niche-specific options and figure out if your competition is already listed. If they are you need to be listed too. If they are not listed you may want to list your website as a way to beat them to the punch. In some situations it may not make sense for you to have a listing in a specific online business directory, even if your competitors are listed in it. Your goal should be to be listed in every relevant and niche-specific directory you can find as well as many of the major directories, but no so many directories that you appear SPAMMY.In addition to listing your business in online business directories, you also need to maintain these listings. It is important for your online business directory listings to be up to date and accurate, or else you could just be wasting your time. If your directory information seems out of date your customers will probably look elsewhere.It will probably take some time to see the results of listing your small business’ website in so many online sites, but eventually you will see results. The best way to find the perfect combination of online business directory listings for your business is to use some sort of tracking or analytics system. You will want to be able to see how many people clicked on your website links from within the directory and if your website has shown increased traffic since then. You will want to stop wasting your time with online directories that are not producing results and increase the time and effort you spend on sites that are productive.Best Practices for Listing Your Small Business in Online Business DirectoriesNow that you understand why your small business should be listed in online business directories and have started locating the directories that you want to be listed in, you are ready to begin creating your business listings for submissions. Here are some tips and best practices for listing your small business in those directories.

Start by choosing local directories and directories that are niche-specific. So if you own a model airplane hobby shop in Phoenix, make sure you find a local Phoenix business directory and a directory that is related to model airplanes. If you can find a model airplane hobby directory for the Phoenix area, you are all set.

Once you’re in local directories, start searching for larger and more generalized directories. Pick directories that get a lot of traffic and that are listed highly on major search engines like Google. A higher search engine ranking means that the directory will be considered as both authoritative and relevant in the eyes of search engines, making any links you get through these directories more valuable to your SEO strategy.

Include all of the relevant information regarding your small business in your website’s directory description. This should include your business’ name, location, telephone number, contact information and possibly reviews, business hours and anything else that is relevant. Add in photos, maps or other interactive features if the directory lets you.

Try to keep your information consistent across all of your online business directory listings. This will help your website to retain its credibility in the eyes of search engines and will assist with your SERP rankings.

Try to make your business stand out by offering an explanation of your business or any specific message the customer should know in your description.

Keep all of your information up to date. This may mean frequently updating all of your listings several times per month.

Allow customers to leave positive reviews and use them in your listing if the directory allows it.

Always be professional and consistent with your business’ listings and message. This includes any information regarding your brand.

If you sell products or services to a local market, make sure your business is listed in a local business directory. Include geo-specific keywords and information. An example would be: “Dave’s Model Plane Shop” + “Phoenix”.

Optimize your website for SEO purposes and include the relevant keywords in your meta titles and listing descriptions. Keyword research is important.
Get Listed in the Top 10-15 Online Business DirectoriesNow is a great time to get your small business listed in the Top 10-15 sites. There are few other Internet marketing techniques that will offer so many benefits for such a small investment on your part. Listing your business in an online business directory will increase your website’s online presence and help more people find you, which can help you increase your business’s revenue.

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How to Master the Art of Turning Digital Products Into Cash

Having a digital product is one thing, and using it to make money is another. You can have thousands of different articles or e-books, which can be collected through resell rights, private label rights or self created. You can leave them on your hard disks without earning a single cent, or you can use it to create massive wealth for yourself.There are lots of paid courses on the web that teaches you the skill of turning these digital products into money. Here, I will teach you some simple steps towards faster success in the internet marketing arena.1) You need to select a niche, and be an expert in it. There’s no point being Jack of All Trades, but Master of None in the online marketing world. Be an expert, and people will flock to you for knowledge.2) Throw your knowledge net wide, and increase your knowledge base by searching for relevant information on the internet. There’s information overload on the internet, and the quality of FREE information is also quite good these days.Take everything you read with a pinch of salt. Anybody can write about anything on the internet today, so do your own research to verify the facts before you take them as the gospel truths.3) Spend a couple of months to familiarize yourself with the materials that you got online. Read them, and verify them. Don’t forget about information that you can get offline as well, such as the local bookstore, library or to meet up with that expert for an interview. Take a course in it if needed, and learn from guru’s out there. Only after gaining the confidence, then take the action to sell this knowledge that you have gained.4) After establishing yourself as an expert in a field or niche, then set out to master the art of turning digital products into money. Have a good product and support, and then be an expert in getting traffic and in marketing your products. This is the right sequence. The whole internet marketing game takes time to master, so learn from those who have been there to shorten your learning time, and avoid painful mistakes.

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The Art of the One-Page Strategy

Tell a business story about what success looks like, and how Technology can contribute to that success.Construct a business story. Build a narrative that will engage the customer.Less than 35% of the c-suite ‘Get IT’, or ‘Understand’ IT’s contribution to business success.The IT Narrative: Information and Technology Strategy.It’s all about telling a story. Use words like ‘Digital’, and ‘IT’ artfully, while telling a story:
• Draw a picture of what business success or a successful business-model looks like
• Understand your stakeholders
• Craft your approach. With the COO, you’ll talk about process change, CEO – business growth, and CMO – customers.
• The business story remains the same, it’s just the approaches that are different.There’s an opportunity to stretch what people think about in business and technology. Be aware of the sensitivity with who you’re working.The Artful Approach.
The artful approach is to know when to pull people like a rubber band knowing it’s never going to go back to its original shape. And when to take them gently on a journey or a path.
The artful approach implies brevity.
• Offering up key-points
• Separate the what from the how, initially
• Describe what the business needs to do in order to be successful in the Market Place
• Do not go into the details of how to make it happen until you have the right people on-board with where the business needs to go
• Bring them in-line, or alternatively align with how you’re going to make that happenUnderstanding who your stakeholders are is an important part of telling a business story.Many CEOs and CIO’s use the One-Page Strategy as an opportunity to not only tell the story but also to decide what the initial investment levels are going to be, and in which capabilities.Storyline to the One-Page Strategy
Slide 1: Context. What’s happening in your industry or business? Going from A to B, and its implications.
Slide 2: Business story. Picture of your business-model. What does success look like, given the context? The mission will be the core of your story.
Slide 3: How well positioned are we to deliver, not just as IT, but as an Enterprise on this business story?
Conclusion: Request for funding. Roadmap for goals.We see a lot of strategies that have a lot of details that have to do with Technology itself. They rush to bottom line of what the answer looks like, but then they lose their audience along the way. Because they have not talked to the value the Enterprise needs to have, in order to be successful: given their business context.NOTE: Strategy, not Technology drives Digital Transformation

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The Convergence of Personal Branding and Corporate Image – Or Not?

What is your “personal brand”? This is an area of growing concern in today’s times as more and more people participate and engage in social networking. Before the Internet revolution, the term “brand” was only used in the context of the business world.The word “brand” brings to mind many variations of the same concept such as: “trade name”, “trademark”, and “a name, sign, symbol, or slogan”. Essentially a brand from a corporate perspective is the embodiment of anything and everything the company says, does, doesn’t say, doesn’t do, how they say it, what others say about them, how others perceive them, etc. The phrase “you are your brand” most effectively exemplifies this concept.Fast forward to 2010 and this age of transparency to look at the term “brand” in the perspective it is used today. This is where the concept of “personal branding” plays a crucial role. Social media networking has enabled everyone to have their own personal brand by way of publicly sharing anything and everything they “say” on the World Wide Web. If you cut through all the semantics and take this concept of personal branding down to the most basic level, what you are left with is simply what is commonly referred to as your “reputation”. Your personal brand is your reputation.What happens in this advanced age of technology and social media marketing to a company’s brand reputation when their employees have their own personal brand? This topic was discussed and debated at great length in Fortune Magazine’s article Building Your Brand (and Keeping Your job) by Josh Hyatt. Josh spoke about Scott Monty, Ford’s first global digital and multimedia communications manager and his use of social media to promote his own personal brand and Ford’s corporate brand. In summary, Scott was a social media guru with a high degree of credibility and 3,500 Twitter followers prior to accepting a position with Ford and had already earned his personal brand reputation. Scott used his social influence to further the goals of Ford and enhance their brand synergistically with his own brand. A perfect match!What ensued after this article was published was an incredible amount of criticism about the way the author portrayed Scott Monty which is really not relevant to the topic of this post. This author sees the mutually-beneficial business relationship between Scott and Ford as an example of how to handle our new age of business that we find ourselves in today. It works for Scott and it works for Ford making this a win-win proposition.However, more often than not, employees don’t capitalize on their personal brand to enhance the image of the company they work for. This is not to say that they wouldn’t want to help out their company, but rather to imply that many people use social media for their own personal use that has nothing to do with where they work. Yet companies are concerned with how their brand may be affected by an employee’s use of social media. Some companies prohibit their employees from using social networking sites in an effort to avert any damage that might be done to their corporate brand.The solution to this potential problem is quite simple. If people would understand the impact their written word has and use good judgment in what they post, there would be no problem. Fortune Magazine also featured a case study called Edit Thyself, a very befitting title. The study discusses a young woman who was just “letting out some frustration” when she Tweeted something about her boss that got her fired. Moral of this story: Don’t let out your frustration in PUBLIC because EVERYONE will see it. Call a friend instead which is exactly what this young woman learned from her experience.The bottom line here is, when using social media, remember that anything and everything you write can and will be read by anyone and everyone. Yes, some of the social networking sites like Facebook have privacy controls set-up, however, these controls change often and it is highly possible that you might forget to control these settings for even one comment that might not sit well with someone in your life – and that someone could be your boss.It is really a matter of common sense. The problem is that, unfortunately, not everyone uses common sense either because they don’t have any or because they are busy doing a million things at once and they forget to think. This puts companies in the position of having to be concerned about their employees’ personal branding. Do they have a right to censor their employees’ personal branding? The answer to that is not clear, but until common sense becomes commonplace, companies do have something to be concerned about.

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Advantage Of Early Childhood Art Classes

Well, think it over. Surely, your family and friends are looking out for the best interest of your child. So, probably enrolling your kid in an art program may be beneficial. This article will show you the importance of exposing your kid in art classes during their early childhood.Art programs are usually overlooked by many academic-minded administrator members of the United States Educational Program. The educational budget cuts on public school are often art programs like music, art and physical education. How will your child learn about art? Now do you understand why family and friends has been nagging you about art program? As parents you can no longer count on the US government or public school to provide your kid with art programs that you once experienced as you were a child. Rather you are forced to get a different option and that’s to enroll your child in a private art institution.Here you will notice a list of advantages of art programs. As you read along you will slowly understand how significant this program will play in your own kid’s life.Creativity – Art class communicates your kid’s creativity in every age. Once a child is being creative they’ll learn how to express themselves and their thoughts. They can also learn to analyze and think outside the box, which everybody knows is an important characteristic to have when entering the work force.Expression – Art class can help develop your child to express their thoughts, feeling and emotions. There are lots of children who have difficulty verbalizing their thoughts and so far the best solution is through art classes. Children can draw or color their expression through their art, which allows parents and teachers to better understand them.As you can see creativity and expression goes hand and hand. It is two elements that are combined that can help your kid to become a happy child. You’ll see that most kids who have the two components are really talkative, sociable and followed by a wild imagination.Focus – Art class can teach your kid to focus and complete the art project. Enjoyable art projects inspire students to stick with the procedure to achieve a finished product. Your kid may slowly discover the feeling of accomplishment after they complete their art projects.Now, do you realize why your family and friends have been nagging you to sign up your kid in art classes? Art class expands beyond just learning the way you use a paintbrush or make a collage by helping to create well-rounded child and improve their abilities in many areas. These are only some of the advantages definitely there are many others if you do your research. So what are you waiting for? Sign up your child in an art institution now!

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