6 Reasons to Advertise in an Online Business Directory

When looking for the right place to advertise online, business owners can be overwhelmed with all of the opportunities available. Some of these opportunities require a specific skill set and certain amount of knowledge on cost-per-click or cost-per-impression advertising. However, there is an effective and simpler form of online advertising that can help you reach and gain the trust of more customers. Below are six reasons why you should advertise in an online business directory.

Reach More Customers

Google reports “97% of people use the Internet to search for local businesses,” which means that you’ve got the opportunity to significantly increase the reach of your advertising messages. By listing your business in an online business directory you don’t have to rely strictly on organic web traffic or SEO for people to find your business online. By advertising in online directories throughout the web, you’ll now be accessible to more potential customers than before. Additionally, being linked to these credible sites will inherently increase the SEO value of your own page, which also means more visitors. It’s a win-win situation.

Targeted Audience

Undoubtedly, there are a lot of people online, but that doesn’t mean that all of these people are necessarily your target audience. Advertising in online business directories can allow you to target the specific audience you are trying to reach. According to Search Engine Journal, “75-80% of users ignore paid ads” in search results. Instead of putting all of your money behind paid search results, consider investing in a listing in an online directory. By choosing to be included in an online directory that is hosted on a specific site with a targeted audience base, you can increase the visibility of your business to the consumers you are trying to reach. For instance, UniversityParent has over 150,000 monthly page views from parents with college students who are looking for advice. If it makes sense for your business to target college parents, this could be a great fit for you.


More traditional forms of advertising, such as radio or television, require your audience to be present at a certain time and/or place. If your audience isn’t tuned-in to the right channel at the right time, they will miss your message. By advertising in an online business directory, your message and your business will always be available and viewable when your audience is looking for you.

You’ll Gain Control

If you are a business owner, you likely rely on referrals as at least one source of leads or new business. Word of mouth (WOM) is one of the greatest forms of marketing, but you can lose some control of your message. By advertising in an online business directory, you can set the exact message that you want to send to your audience 


Not only do you have the ability to set the exact message you want to send, but you also have the ability to change your messaging based on current events, sales cycles, or seasonality. The advantage of using an online business directory over a printed directory is that you can easily manipulate your message and stay relevant in your customers’ eyes.

Customer Buying Habits

According to Jay Baer, coauthor of The Now Revolution and author of Youtility, “directories and references are the new and future marketing.” In 2011 people consumed and average or 10.4 pieces of information before making a purchasing decision. Because people are consuming so much information before making a purchase, referrals and online directories play an increasingly important role in the buying process of consumers. Being listed as a trusted and recommended partner validates your business and increases your chances of landing a new customer.

Advertising in online business directories is a great way to increase exposure, control your message, and gain the trust of consumers online. But before you consider advertising anywhere online, there are certain questions you need to ask to make sure it is the right fit for you. Click below to download our tip sheet, “10 Questions to Ask Before Advertising Online.”

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