What Is a Business Directory?

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Sidney Jones
September 12, 2022
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min read

Your business directory in a rolodex

A business directory is an online listing of companies that includes important contact information like the company address, products or services they sell, a link to their website, and customer reviews. 

How Business Directories Work

Now that you know a basic definition of a business directory, here is a quick rundown of how they actually work… 

Companies like Axiom collect information on a business, and other sites pull that information to create their own directory pages. 

With a lot of directories (especially the smaller ones) business owners usually don’t know these directory pages exist, but nonetheless these pages help with ranking well in search and other marketing. For example a popular directory like Yelp gets millions of visitors a month, so having your business information on a site like this is great exposure for your brand.  

In addition to Yelp, there are countless directories out there, and most companies (especially SMBs) don’t have the manpower to stay on top of every single database they’re on. This means from a consumer perspective that the contact information you pull from a directory may not always be up to date. 

And let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than finally finding a local company that sells hand-blown glass cat sculptures (or whatever super specific product or service you’ve been looking for), only to learn that their listed contact information is outdated. This ruins the company’s credibility (check out the 5 steps to building credibility) in the customer’s eyes, and the company misses out on a sales opportunity. 

The Pros With Business Directories

A major pro with business directories is that it allows your sales and marketing teams to reach more target customers, increase brand awareness, and generate more revenue. 

Plus, if you can get on a well-known, reputable directory, this can help boost your credibility and improve your overall search engine optimization (SEO) (if you’re looking to fuel your SEO efforts, consider a tool like Moz Local. It helps you find all your local business directories on the internet and score them to see if the information provided is correct. Tools like Moz are crucial because in order to rank well in local searches the correct Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) for your business must be listed on online directories). 

Speaking of SEO benefits with online directories, when a prospect visits your website through a directory (this is essentially a backlink) the Google algorithm loves this external site click-through and your company’s overall Google ranking improves as a result.  

The Cons With Business Directories

One of the biggest cons with business directories is that you don’t always know how accurate the data from a directory is. Some information that directories list hasn’t been updated for years. This can be a huge pain point for consumers and kill tons of business for smaller, up-and-coming businesses. 

A Real-Time Verified Business Directory

In many ways, business directories were innovative for their time and several steps ahead of their predecessor, the Yellow Pages. If we’re talking about convenience, it’s a lot easier and faster to pull up a directory on your phone or laptop than to keep a three-pound book in your house that you can only search through when you’re in fact at home. 

While business directories have issues with stale data, they are still more accurate than a book like the Yellow Pages that was only updated once a year in its heyday. 

Nonetheless, when it’s time to move on, it’s time to move on. We left the Yellow Pages back in the 80’s along with Alf and power suits. And now it’s time to make directories a thing of the past. 

If you want to pull the most accurate data on companies, your best bet is graduating from these older directories to a real-time business directory like Seamless.AI

Unlike static business directories that include stale, manually-entered data, Seamless can keep up with any changes you can think of, from direct dials to emails. 

You might be thinking, How are we able to keep track of company changes like this?

Well, Seamless stays on top of things because we use artificial intelligence to verify company contact information in real-time, so the data you’re getting is fresher than anything you can find in a traditional business directory. 

Additionally, you can target companies with a number of search filters like technology, and quickly identify who to sell to.  And if you already have a list of companies from another directory you can enrich that data with our software to make sure that it is accurate. Try us out and see what you think!

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