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Why Small Businesses Should Advertise on Directory Websites

 

Published on April 18, 2024.

Finding customers is the number one challenge that small business owners face. The main reason? Small businesses often have an ineffective or nonexistent online presence.

There are a lot of online advertising methods out there. You can use social media, email marketing, and Google ads to name a few. But if you're on a small budget, these ideas might be out of your reach.

One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to grow your web presence is to advertise on a directory website. These websites collect local business information and list it in an easy-to-search way.

In this article we’ll talk about all the different ways directory websites can help your small business grow!


What Directory Websites Can Do for Your Business

If you've never considered a directory website, you might not be aware of the benefits. Think about your thought process when you need to find a local product or service as a consumer.

First, you probably head to your favorite search engine such as Google, and begin searching for a particular product, service or business. You might even localize your search by including your city or "near me" in the search box. This is where directory websites are extremely helpful.

When you search for local products and services, you'll likely get a local business directory website as one of the top links. This includes both national sites as well as local community websites. There, you can view a business listing which often includes the business hours, location, company information, photos and reviews. From there, the customer can visit the businesses' website to learn more, get directions, call them or reach out directly for more information.

Directory websites are essential for connecting local businesses with local customers making them a vital part of any business's marketing efforts.

Here are 7 reasons why small businesses should advertise on directory websites.


1. Help Customers Find You

One of the biggest mistakes new business owners make is not making their information accessible online! It doesn't even necessarily have to mean building a whole website.

Listing your business on a business directory, like 
OKC Small Business Deals gives customers immediate access to your information. How do you expect anyone to find you if they don't know who or where you are?

When you're filling out your listing application, be sure to include the following information:

You wouldn't believe how many business listings are missing this essential information! Let's imagine a potential customer is searching for a 24-hour pet shop. They find you in the directory, but you don't have your hours listed. They'll likely skip right over you!


2. Cost-Effectively Promote Your Business

Did you know that the average small business spends 
close to $10,000 per month to advertise on Google? If you're just starting, that's going to be a hefty chunk of your budget. At the same time, online advertising is essential to your success.

The solution? Listing your business on a local online directory website like 
OKC Small Biz Deals! Most directory websites charge anywhere between $39 - $100 per month for a basic listing. Even if a business owner paid $100 a month for a listing, they would still save $8,800 a year!

Not only are online directories a cheap way to advertise, but they're also very effective. If you’re a local business trying to attract local customers, a directory website is the way to go.

Let's say you're an independent accountant based in Oklahoma City, OK. You can promote your business on local directory websites that serve the area. Whenever anyone in Oklahoma City searches for "accountant near me," you're likely to pop up!

Studies show that "near me" searches on Google have 
increased up to 500% in the past few years! People are moving more towards buying local products and services, which is excellent news for directory sites and business owners alike!


3. Boost SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) can be tough to understand, especially if you're not a techie. It's a system of improving web traffic to your site from search engines. SEO is essential because it targets unpaid visits.

That means bringing visitors to your website who haven't clicked on a direct link or ad. When you boost your SEO, you essentially attract customers without paying for advertising. Better SEO means higher rankings on search engines, like Google. The higher you rank, the more likely your website will be seen first. For example, someone searches for "photographer near me," and your business is the first link that Google shows.

That's good! That means you've mastered the art of SEO. Surveys show that 
60% of people are likely to click on the first three results in a search. At the same time, 90% of people click on the first link.

So, how can online business directories help you rank higher?

Let's say you're searching for a sushi place in your area. Your top two results are "OKC Sushi, Oklahoma City, OK" and "The 10 Best Sushi Bars in Oklahoma City." Which one are you more likely to click?

Probably the second option, right? Clicking on the restaurant's website will give you the menu and location, but not much else. But clicking on the business directory site will give you access to reviews!

Also, because online directory websites tend to share many listings, they get a lot of traffic. More web traffic means more page visits and higher search rankings. So even if your business site doesn't get a lot of visits, the directory can help you out!


4. Build Your Reputation

Creating a solid reputation as a trustworthy company is crucial to surviving in today’s competitive economy. People often rely on word-of-mouth reviews to achieve this. And it works, to a certain extent!

With our world becoming more digital, online reviews are highly valuable. Research shows that 
93% of consumers use the web to search for local businesses, and 89% read reviews. If you build up an impressive collection of positive reviews, potential customers will trust you. This is especially true for younger consumers.

Many online business directories allow customers to leave reviews directly on your profile. So, whenever someone does the "near me" search and sees your listing, they can instantly see reviews. The more listings you have showcasing positive reviews, the better it is for your business.


5. Share Incentives

With the 
OKC Small Biz Deals platform, website directory business owners can share advertiser incentives. Anytime you have coupons, specials, deals, or sales for your business, they can share that information. Budget-conscious customers and deal hunters might find you and can become returning customers.

For example, if you own a small retail shop and have a lot of old stock, you might want to get rid of it. Old stock depreciates quickly and takes up precious storage space. You can advertise a 25% off sale or offer coupons.

You'll be able to catch people's interest, especially from potential customers who've never heard of or visited your store. After all, everyone loves a good bargain!


6. Advertise Events

Another great benefit of advertising your small business on a local directory website is to highlight and invite people to events you're hosting. Events encourage foot traffic and motivate new customers to check out your business.

If you're starting a new cafe, you might want to have a grand opening event to welcome consumers. The directory website can advertise this for you! Locals will be naturally curious about you and will likely pay a visit.

Maybe a music venue is hosting a concert, a restaurant is offering a wine tasting, or a bookstore is hosting a book signing event for a popular author. These are all examples of how businesses can leverage a local directory website to promote their upcoming events.


7. Join a Community

When you use a directory website, you're joining a community of like-minded small business owners. They are locals, neighbors, and friends trying to make their dreams come true and share the goal of growing their business. This sense of community can feel uplifting and puts you alongside many of the other small businesses listed in a local website directory.

It can also help you network with potential clients and partners. Imagine you own a floral shop and advertise yourself on an online directory. Local wedding planners, party planners, and funeral homes might find your listing.

It can create long-term partnerships and build your group of repeat customers. A directory website is a valuable resource for every community because it supports the local economy. In fact, nearly 
84% of shoppers recently said they would rather support a local business than a large corporation. Making business connections and getting your brand out there in the community are essential for growing your business.


Get Listed on Directory Websites like OKC Small Biz Deals Today!

Mom and pop shops often struggle with how to promote their small business and gain customers online. In general, online advertising can be expensive and time-consuming.

Online business directory websites on the other hand, are an inexpensive and easy-to-understand concept! Plus, they'll help you rank higher on local searches and build up your reputation. As a small business owner, you need to be listed on directory websites to improve your online presence!

If you have more questions about online business directories, we've got the answers! Check out some 
beautiful examples of real, live client listings.

 
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Why a Business Facebook Page Doesn't Replace the Need for a Website

Did you know that Facebook has over 2.9 billion monthly active users?

With so many people using the platform regularly, it is no surprise why millions of companies use it to connect with their customers. Facebook's business pages are free and can be a great addition to your company. However, should they be used in place of a professional business website?

The short answer is no.

No matter your product or service, a website is essential for any business. So, if you are curious to learn why a Facebook business page can’t replace a business website, you've come to the right place. Keep reading for a complete Facebook vs website guide.


3 Reasons Why Every Business Needs a Website 

An online presence is crucial to reinforce your brand and connect with new and old customers. Although social media plays a significant role in this, a website is important for many reasons including to establish your business' authority online, build credibility and stand out against the competition. Keep reading to learn more ways that a website is beneficial to a business.

1. You Have Complete Creative Control with a Website

Websites are a fantastic way for businesses to tell their stories and persuade leads to take action. When you design a website, you have complete control of its elements, design, and content. This means that your page can be just as unique as the business itself.

Your website is often the very first impression potential clients will have of your business, so having creative control is crucial. Suppose you only use social media as your business' identification and point of contact. In that case, you'll essentially be filling out a template that will restrict you from providing details about your business and make your profile page look exactly like the competition.

With your own website, you can make your business stand out from the rest by incorporating branding and every other aspect of your business' identity. Although having social media profiles for your business are beneficial and should be used in your marketing strategy, a website can house so much more information about your business and bring your brand to the next level.

Unlike a Facebook business page, with a website you can create different pages on your site making it easy for visitors to navigate and find the information they are looking for. For example, you may want to display samples for your work, showcase great customer reviews, and have a contact us form on separate pages and navigation tabs for each.

However, keep in mind that a poorly designed site can do more harm than good, so make sure to keep everything user-friendly, on-brand, and professional.

2. A Website Builds Credibility and Demonstrates Professionalism

Having a well-designed website will make your business look a lot more professional and build trust with your customers. Nowadays, the internet is full of scams, so most customers do a lot of research before they choose to trust a business. If people can only find you through social media, you won't look as credible as a competitor with a website.

Furthermore, a website is the perfect place to list awards, post testimonials, share photos and videos, and give more reasons for people to believe that you are an established company that deserves their business. Think of a website as an extension (or replacement) of a brick-and-mortar store.

What would you have on the walls to make customers understand your brand and make them feel comfortable doing business with you? Adding professional and personal touches to your website will make your business stand out and brand relatable with customers.

3. A Website Provides Customers with Quick Access to Information

A website is the best place to put everything a potential customer should know about your business. This includes location, hours of operation, contact information, products and services offered, social media icons, and anything else that you could think of that your customers might need to know. Ultimately, a website looks more official and will always appear as the better alternative for customers to look up information about your business.

In addition, there are many things you can incorporate into your website to make it look even better and make it easier for customers to access information. For example, you can set up a Google Map for your location and even embed YouTube videos to show customers how your products or services work.

With social media, you are limited with the information you can display. In addition, whatever you post on social media is listed at the top temporarily until it is pushed down every time a new post is made. So, if you need to share important information and have it somewhere that will always be readily available to your clients, a website is the best solution.


3 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Replace a Website With a Facebook Page

Now that you've read about the benefits of having a website for your business, you might be thinking, "why should I invest time and money in a website if Facebook allows me to create a page within the platform?" Sure, creating a Facebook page for your business might seem like the easiest route, but although this platform can be handy, it has plenty of limitations and reasons why you shouldn't use it as a replacement for a website.

1. A Facebook Page is Just a Tool

Facebook pages are free, easy to create, and very user-friendly. However, they also don't let you have a lot of creative freedom. When you create a Facebook page, it'll look exactly like every other business page on the platform (besides, of course, having your information and profile picture). Solely using Facebook will not set you apart from your competition.

However, Facebook is a great marketing tool that you should be using. The platform lets you post updates, pictures, and information to connect with your target audience. The downside is that every time you post, all of the preceding information gets pushed down and eventually lost into the over-saturated platform.
So, instead of looking at Facebook as a replacement for your website, look at it as a tool that will help you bring in more traffic to your website and help you grow your business.

2. Facebook Owns Its Pages (Including Yours)

Another downside of replacing your website with a Facebook page is that you will not be its owner- Facebook will. Although Facebook pages are "free," you'll be paying the high price of not owning nor controlling what happens on this platform. This means that if Facebook changes its algorithm, rules, etc., your business page will change with it, and you'll have no control over it.

Furthermore, let’s say someone mistakenly flags your business page or reports your page to Facebook. Facebook takes these types of notifications seriously and within just a few hours your page could be down and unsearchable.

When you create your website for your business, you'll be able to call the shots and won't depend on a big corporation to micromanage the way you want consumers to perceive and receive information about your business.

3. Facebook Pages Have Limited SEO Benefits

SEO is crucial for your business to be discovered organically. With Facebook, because all of the pages are essentially the same, there is very little you can do in terms of optimization. Sure, Facebook has billions of users, but millions of business pages fight for their attention.

Facebook also doesn't grant you access to ALL of their users, in fact, Facebook's organic reach is minimal, so your content won't even be seen by your entire list of followers either. For this reason, if you rely on Facebook to work as your platform, you'll probably need to pay for Facebook Ads to expand your reach and make it easier for all those users to find you.

On the other hand, when you create a website, you can use keywords, add search worthy content, and blog articles to make it easier for potential customers to find you using search engines like Google. Using SEO strategically will help you expand your website's organic traffic. Then, if you deem it necessary, you can use social media platform tools to pay for ads and bring even more traffic to your website.


Should You Use Social Media for Your Business? 

Social media marketing is not something that businesses should overlook, as it is a fantastic strategy proven to work. Nowadays, companies should be using social media platforms such as Facebook to build brand awareness, connect with customers, generate leads, and increase website traffic. However, as you can see, solely relying on social media and not having a website could turn out to be a big mistake.

The best way to use social media to your advantage is to use it as a brand marketing tool. This way, you'll be able to leverage all of its benefits without missing out on the opportunities that go along with having a business website.

Social media will help reinforce your online presence, but it should not replace your website. Instead, use it to build connections with your customers, build your brand, and generate attention for your business.


Facebook VS Website 

When it comes to Facebook vs website pages, which one is better for your business? Both!

If you were wondering whether you should replace your website with Facebook, hopefully, this guide showed you that you should not. Using Facebook can be a useful marketing tool; however, it would be a mistake to use a Facebook business profile as a replacement for a well-designed website.

Designing a website will give you creative control, which will allow you to establish yourself as a trustworthy business. In addition, it will enable you to get organic traffic using SEO, and you won't have to worry about algorithm or policy changes.
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8 Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Make

According to a recent survey, about half of all American small businesses lack a solid marketing plan. Not having a plan in place is one of the biggest marketing mistakes that any small business can make.

If you're not marketing your business enough at this time, it could eventually lead to its demise. You're going to struggle to spread the word about your company without using small business marketing to your advantage.
There are also some other marketing mistakes that you might be making as a small business owner that can come back to bite you. Learn about eight of them below.


1. Failing to Create a Website for Your Small Business

These days, there is really no excuse for small businesses not to have websites. Websites are no longer an exception, they’re the expectation.

Yet, one recent report revealed that about 27% of small businesses are still operating without websites. These small businesses are likely hurting their bottom lines in a big way by failing to create websites.

If your small business is still operating without a website, you should do something to change that immediately. With our company, you can get a website for your company up and running in no time at all.

Even if you don't know the first thing about web design, our experts will help you get started on your website right away. Your website will quickly become one of your best marketing tools.


2. Ignoring the Importance of SEO When It Comes to Your Company's Website

It isn't enough to simply set up a website for your small business in this day and age. Once you create a website, you also need to make sure that you understand how important search engine optimization, or SEO, is.

SEO is a process that involves incorporating certain things into your website to make it easier for others to find it. By adding the right keywords, links, etc. to your site, you can help it to rank much higher on search engine results pages and ensure that plenty of people visit your site each month.

If SEO isn't a big part of your small business marketing strategy, you'll be making one of the worst marketing mistakes. You'll be missing out on an opportunity to bring in so much more traffic on a regular basis.


3. Forgetting to Establish a Social Media Presence for Your Small Business

While it's important for small businesses to set up websites and use them for marketing purposes, it's just as important for them to establish social media presence these days. Your company should have accounts on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc.

Social media has provided small businesses with a brand-new way to connect to customers. It's also made it possible for them to create unique voices for their brands that separate them from the pack.


4. Misidentifying the Target Audience for Your Small Business

Who is the target audience for your small business? You can have the best small business website in the world and a wonderful social media presence, but if you don't know who your target audience is, all of your marketing efforts might miss the mark.

Before you begin trying to employ any marketing techniques on behalf of your small business, you should make sure you know who your target audience is. It'll enable you to cater your content to them to increase the chances of them patronizing your small business.


5. Letting Negative Online Reviews for Your Small Business Linger

Whether you like it or not, people who patronize your small business are typically going to leave reviews for your company. They'll do it through any number of review sites, and their reviews will impact your reputation.

If you're able to rack up almost nothing but positive reviews, that's awesome. You won't have to worry about doing anything other than thanking those who have taken the time to leave reviews for your small business in the first place.

But if you find that you've received a lot of negative reviews online, you should do something about it. You will either want to look into having these reviews removed if you don't feel as though they're legit or respond to these reviews to show that your company cares about input from your customers.

Whatever you do, you don't want to allow negative reviews to stick around for too long and make it seem as though your company doesn't care about them.


6. Spending Too Much Money or Not Enough Money on Small Business Marketing

To carry out your small business marketing plan, you will need to be prepared to spend some money on it. You should come up with a marketing budget and use it accordingly.

Just be sure that you're not spending too much money or not enough money on your small business marketing efforts. As a general rule of thumb, you will want to devote around 7% of your gross revenue to marketing to make the most of it.


7. Relying on Outdated Small Business Marketing Strategies

Are you using some of the marketing strategies that you learned about when you attended college in the early 2000s to run a small business in 2022? If you are, that alone is going to prove to be one of the biggest small business marketing mistakes that you're making.

The marketing world has changed quite a bit over the last few years, let alone the last 20 years. So, you should try to avoid using any outdated small business marketing strategies. You'll be asking for trouble if you take this approach to marketing.


8. Marketing Your Business Without Analyzing the Results

Marketing your business is very important, but it isn't going to do you much good if you're not getting any positive results. It's why you should get yourself into the habit of analyzing the results of your marketing efforts all the time.

If you find that some aspect of your small business marketing plan isn't working, you'll need to make adjustments to it accordingly. Otherwise, it could lead to you spending a lot of time and money on a marketing strategy that isn't doing you much good at all.


Try Not to Make Any of These Crucial Small Business Marketing Mistakes

Marketing your small business in an effective way isn't always going to be easy. You'll need to work hard to avoid making any of the marketing mistakes listed here.

We can help you steer clear of at least some of them by providing you with affordable website design services and digital marketing solutions. We’ll set you up with the website you need to get your small business marketing plan off the ground.

Check out some examples of our work and contact us to learn more about getting a website for your small business or any other questions that you may have.
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Why a Facebook Page is Not a Substitute for a Website

When it comes to promoting and representing your small business online, it's important to have a strong, professional presence. Many businesses today turn to social media platforms, like Facebook, to create that presence. However, using a Facebook page as your primary or only online presence can be a huge mistake. In this article, we'll go over the top ten reasons why using a Facebook page as your business website is a bad idea and explore some alternative options for promoting your business online.


1. You don't own it.

One of the biggest drawbacks to using a Facebook page as your business website is that you don't actually own the page. It belongs to Facebook, and they can change it, remove it, or make it hard to find in search results at any time. This lack of control can be frustrating and potentially damaging to your business, especially if you've put a lot of time and effort into building up your Facebook presence.


2. You eliminate non-Facebook users.

While Facebook has over two billion users, there are still plenty of people who don't use the platform, particularly in younger and older demographics. By relying solely on a Facebook page for your online presence, you risk eliminating these potential customers. While it's true that not everyone uses social media, it's important to consider all potential channels for reaching your audience.


3. SEO options are limited.

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of improving the ranking of a website in search engine results. While it's possible to optimize a Facebook page to an extent, you are limited in the keywords you can target and the content you can post. Additionally, a Facebook page will only show up in search results once, while a website with multiple pages has the potential to show up multiple times. This can make it harder for potential customers to find your business online.


4. You may have to pay for ads to get seen.

Facebook is in the business of making money, and they use a "freemium" model to do it. While creating a Facebook page and posting updates is free, the reach of those posts is often quite limited. In order to get your posts seen by a larger audience, you may have to pay for ads. While this may not be a significant cost for some businesses, it's important to factor it into your marketing budget.


5. Functionality is limited.

On a Facebook page, you can post updates, upload photos, and use Facebook Messenger to chat with customers. However, the functionality of a Facebook page is quite limited compared to a website. A website allows you to create forms, add e-commerce functionality, and create custom pages and posts with a wider range of formatting options.


6. There's no sales funnel.

A sales funnel is a series of steps that a potential customer goes through on their way to making a purchase. On a website, you can use calls-to-action, landing pages, and other tactics to guide users through the sales process. With a Facebook page, you don't have the same level of control and therefore don't have the same ability to guide users towards making a purchase.


7. Content is limited.

While it's possible to write an "About Us" section and post updates on a Facebook page, there isn't really a place to post in-depth content that can draw in users and improve your search engine ranking. A website, on the other hand, allows you to create blog posts, articles, and other types of content that can help you attract and retain customers.


8. You can't brand the page.

On a Facebook page, you can add a cover image and upload a profile picture, but you can't really brand the page beyond that. A website, on the other hand, allows you to choose your own color scheme, fonts, and design elements to create a cohesive and professional look.


9. Searching for content is difficult.

On a website, you can save, organize, and make pages and posts searchable. This makes it easy to find and refer back to older content. On a Facebook page, the options for saving and organizing content are much more limited, and there is no way to export your content. This makes it difficult for both you and your customers to find and refer back to older posts.


10. Analytics and data are lacking.

Finally, the analytics and data available on a Facebook page are not as robust as those on a website. While Facebook does provide some information on the reach and engagement of your posts, it's not as detailed or customizable as the analytics you can get from a website. This makes it harder to track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and make data-driven decisions about your business.


A Facebook business page should be used in addition to a website, not as a substitute for one.

If you want to grow your business online, it's essential to have a professional website in addition to a Facebook page. A website allows you to promote your brand, fully showcase your products or services, create a sales funnel, and track your marketing efforts through detailed analytics. While it may seem easier and cheaper to use a Facebook page as your primary online presence, the limitations of a Facebook page make it a poor choice in the long run.

That's where our web design firm comes in! We specialize in creating affordable, professional websites for businesses of all sizes. Our team of experienced designers and developers will work with you to create a website that perfectly reflects your brand and meets your business goals. And, once your website is up and running, you can use your Facebook page to promote it and drive traffic to your site.

Don't settle for a limited online presence. Invest in a professional website and take your business to the next level. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business succeed online.
 
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The True Value of Your Online Reputation

Reputation management has become increasingly essential in today's world of business. As individuals and businesses continue to navigate the digital space, one negative review or scandal can significantly impact their reputation and financial stability.

Freedom Web Designs is a company that offers custom website design and development services, e-commerce solutions, and SEO optimized sites. By providing top-notch services, they have gained a positive reputation within their industry. However, even the most well-respected businesses are susceptible to negative online feedback, including false reviews or comments from competitors or customers who were not satisfied with their work, which could tarnish their image.

This is where reputation management comes in handy. Reputation management services offer businesses the ability to monitor and maintain their online reputation by tracking customer feedback and ensuring that any negative comments are swiftly and effectively addressed.

Another way to manage your online reputation is through Freedom Social, the sister company of Freedom Web Designs. Freedom Social is a social media marketing agency that helps businesses leverage the power of social media to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to their website. By creating engaging content, building social media communities, and using analytics to track success, Freedom Social can help businesses build a positive online reputation.

In conclusion, a good online reputation is invaluable for any business, and managing it effectively is the key to success. If you're a business owner looking to improve your reputation or maintain a positive image, consider seeking the services of Freedom Web Designs or Freedom Social. With their expert services, you can rest assured that your online reputation is in good hands. So, what are you waiting for? Contact Freedom Web Designs or Freedom Social today to take advantage of their services and start building your online reputation! #freedomwebdesigns #freedomsocial #reputationmanagement #onlinereputationmanagement #reviews #socialmedia
 
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