Go back twenty or thirty years…if you wanted to find a trader of any kind, the chances are you’d pick up a copy of the Yellow Pages. As a business, appearing between their, well…yellow pages…meant more leads - more phone calls from potential customers asking for quotes. Just being listed drove work to your door.
Nowadays, practically everything is online. If you’re someone who wants to seriously compete with your rivals within your marketplace, you’ll no doubt have a website - which is the equivalent of a Yellow Pages’ listing back in the day.
Having a website is only half the battle. How do you let people know it’s there? How do you entice prospects to read your carefully crafted content, to be impressed by your images?
You need traffic.
Traditionally, Yellow Pages delivered their phone books through every letterbox. This was how they got your listing (and everyone else’s) under the noses of potential customers.
How do you do this online? How can you put your site under people’s noses in the same way?
There are plenty of digital tools and techniques to achieve this; however, the vast majority of these are paid-for services.
There is one way to generate traffic for free – with a backlink. A backlink is effectively a signpost somewhere on the web that points someone to your site.
But you can’t go around adding backlinks to other people’s websites without their permission. The answer is a free listing in an online directory.
The Yellow Pages is now known as Yell.com, and just as they allowed free business listings in their physical books, they also do the same online. Creating a profile and adding a link to your website on Yell.com - in the relevant category, where potential customers will be actively looking for traders who offer your service – will bring leads to you.
Backlinks are also favoured by Google, so it’s a good idea to plant as many of these ‘signposts’ across the web as you can. There are loads of listings sites: TradeFinder, Cyclex, FreeIndex, ThompsonLocal, SearchMe4, and many more. Have we mentioned that you can list your details across them all for free?
Each one of these sites will attract its own traffic; if only a percentage of these people were rerouted to your site, you’d have a decent amount of traffic coming to you – and not just any old traffic, but customers actively looking for the service you offer.
Adding your details to each listings site isn’t the most exciting thing to do nor is it the quickest. However, savvy businesses understand the power of backlinks and therefore grab such opportunities to generate traffic to their websites.