How Online Directory Listings Affect Your Home Services Business
Online directory listings are vital for contractors who want to attract more clients and grow their businesses. They offer many benefits for home services businesses, such as improving search rankings, increasing credibility, reducing marketing costs, and generating more revenue.
Check out our list of recommended business listing sites and for managing and optimizing directory listings effectively below.
What are Online Directory Listings Anyway?
Online directory listings, sometimes called local search citations, are websites that list your business’s name, address, phone number, and sometimes a link to your website. It's an important part of your overall contractor marketing strategy.
For example, your Google Business Listing, Yelp profile, and Facebook page qualify as local citations since these platforms "cite" your business.
There are hundreds of directory listings available for contractors. Nextdoor and Chamber of Commerce are great external citations that list businesses by city or town. Houzz, Angi, and Home Advisor promote local businesses by trade.
There are also general citation directories like Apple Maps and Yellow Pages where web users find products and services.
Why Should Contractors Care About Directory Listings?
The main benefit of directory listings and citations is search engine credibility. Think of competing online like a popularity contest. Each reference of your business, or link back to your website, is like a "vote" for your company in Google's algorithm.
You want as many trustworthy votes as you can get. But be sure to avoid adding your business to spammy websites with lots of advertising and low authority scores.
Benefits of Local Citations for Home Services Businesses
It’s proven that directory listings have a positive impact on the success of a company. According to a recent survey from BrightLocal, 99% of customers used online searches to find local businesses in the last year.
A good chunk of those search results come from trusted directory sites. The more directory listings you have, the more often you’ll hear that phone ring.
What’s more, the majority of these websites are free to use, so local citation building and management is a cost-effective marketing strategy.
What other benefits can contractors expect from having a healthy amount of local search citations? Let us count the ways:
- A rise in search rankings, especially Local Finder and Map results.
- A better and more widespread reputation in the area you serve.
- More positive online reviews, which have their own long list of benefits.
- Increased brand recognition and visibility.
- More credibility in your industry.
- Increased revenue from leads and reduced marketing costs.
- More referred traffic to your website.
How Online Directory Listings Improve A Contractor’s Credibility
Let’s chat about the credibility piece for a moment. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for scammers to claim to be contractors and run off with someone’s home improvement savings or insurance money deposit. Even the FTC warns homeowners on how to avoid home improvement scams.
As a result, many homeowners are reasonably cautious about who works in their homes. You’ve surely run into this type of apprehensive customer before.
What’s the point? Contractors need to be seen as credible online, and local citations are one easy way to achieve it.
Many people look up a business online before calling them for the first time. If potential customers see your listings on websites that they already know and trust, like Google, BBB, or Foursquare, then they’re more likely to trust you right out of the gate.
Which Online Directories Should I Be On As A Contractor?
Listing your home services business on citation sites is an important task for contractors who want to take advantage of the above benefits. Since contracting trades are highly competitive, chances are your competitors are already building citations, so don’t neglect this strategy and miss out on quality leads.
Top Business Listing Sites by Industry
Below is a basic list of business listing sites that we see benefit contractors the most. As an expert in home services marketing, we recommend creating listings for contractors on as many of the following sites as possible. (Note: These are not listed in any particular order.)
Top General Business Listing Sites
In addition to listing your business on industry-specific websites, you’ll also want to list your business on general directories, such as:
- Apple Maps
- Google Business Profile
(Turn this citation into a money-making machine with our guide!)
Contractors, Get the Most Out Of Your Local Citations (Top 3 Tips)
How can you get started on your local citation management journey? Here are our top three tips:
1. Claim All Your Online Listings
As you start to manage your directory listings online, you might be surprised to see that some listings already exist for your business on various platforms. “Who made these? It wasn’t me!” you might be thinking to yourself.
The truth is that your business listings will exist whether you manage them or not. Many platforms scrape the internet for public data and create listings to make sure their website is as helpful to their customers as possible.
Regardless of who is creating your business listings, it's essential for you to claim and verify them. All of them.
Claiming your citations keeps you in charge of the conversation about your business. You’ll be able to respond to reviews that may appear on many citation sites. You’ll also avoid misinformation about your business and update it as necessary.
2. Keep Local Search Citations Consistent
Keeping your business directory listings well-managed means keeping the information on them accurate and consistent at all times.
Search engines like Google and Bing use your citations to, in part, verify key information that searchers want to know, like your location, phone number, business hours, and more.
These platforms also use the information listed on your local search citations to determine whether your company is a real business or not. For example, say your business moves locations. Unfortunately, half of your citations list one address, and the other half list another.
In a case like this, Google may rank you lower in Local Finder because it's unsure of your location and the validity of the information they’ve found. You might also see an influx of confused customers because they found outdated information. Avoid that scenario by keeping your directory listings up-to-date at all times.
In short, claim your listings and update them for any major changes in your business information.
3. Hire Someone to Manage Your Listings For You
As experts in local citation management, our last tip is a bit self-serving, but it still holds true for home service business owners. Contractors are notoriously busy people. It’s a challenge in itself to complete projects in a timely manner, let alone find the time to market your business.
So, do yourself a favor and hire a marketing agency that understands your contracting business and can help you keep those leads rolling in while you focus on other things. You’ll have less on your plate while reaping all the benefits that online directory listings can offer you as a contractor. Win-win.
Local Citation Management Services From Projects Plus Marketing
Take your contractor business to the next level with our expert local citation management services. Our team at Projects Plus Marketing understands the unique challenges contractors face and can help you maximize the benefits of online directory listings.
From claiming and updating your citations to improving search rankings and building credibility, we have the knowledge and experience to drive quality leads to your business. Focus on what you do best, and let us handle your local citations, ensuring you reap the rewards of a strong online presence. Contact us today to elevate your home services business and watch it thrive.