Once you’ve built an online directory, you next need to promote it and attract consumers.

Building an online directory is only half the battle. Now that the online directory is built, the next step to get your directory site off the ground is to attract visitors and consumers. There are several ways you can promote an online directory, but they all have one thing in common: you need to get the directory in front of as many potential visitors and consumers as possible.

How to Attract Consumers to an Online Directory

When you’re ready to promote the online directory, there are several tactics and options you can choose from. Some of these cost only some time — and not as much as you might think. If you have a larger budget, there are also several paid ways to promote the directory and attract visitors.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

It is essential that you optimize the online directory’s website for search engines. When people search for your directory’s city or region using Google or Bing, you want the online directory to rank as high as possible in their search results. If your team has the budget, you may want to hire a SEO specialist or someone experienced in digital marketing.

For more information on how to SEO optimize an online directory, see our last article in this series.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads on Google

While SEO optimization for your directory’s website is essential, it may take time for the online directory to begin ranking on the first page of Google. A faster way to increase visibility of the directory and to attract consumers is to create a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign using Google Ads. You can target your ads to the specific consumers your directory needs. For example, if your directory is focused on plumbing businesses in Dallas, you could target your ads specifically to people searching for plumbing problems in the Dallas area.

Produce Quality Content

Producing quality content like blog posts and articles on the online directory’s website is important. This goes hand-in-hand with SEO. Having quality articles about the region and/or industry the online directory focuses on can increase traffic from search engines and the website’s overall rankings. Having quality content also shows visitors to the directory’s website that the site is an authority and can be trusted.

Content marketing ideas for an online directory include:

  • Create an active blog that is updated with new posts at least one or twice a month. Your blog articles should be related to your directory’s listings. For example, if your directory lists wedding venues in San Francisco, you could write about local wedding ideas.
  • Ask businesses that are listed with you to guest-write content for you. This is a win-win for both the online directory and the business. If they write an article for the online directory, they are likely to link to it from their own website, social media or newsletter, sending more visitors to the directory.
  • Share stories about local successful businesses or local news. Make your directory the authority on its subject.

Social Media

Social media is absolutely important when you’re promoting an online directory. Make sure the name of the directory is consistent across all social media. You should have accounts for the directory across all the major social media platforms, including:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest

You can also promote the directory on other social media platforms, including Snapchat, TikTok, Reddit and more! As long as you are consistently producing quality content on the directory’s website, you should never have trouble finding things to share. All of the content that’s produced for the online directory’s website can be shared or repurposed for social media.

Newsletters & Email Marketing

Every online directory should maintain an active newsletter. You can use newsletters and email marketing to stay in touch with the directory’s consumer base. Email marketing and newsletters should contain valuable information for consumers. Here are some examples of what to include in a directory newsletter:

  • Special deals or offers from businesses listed in the online directory.
  • Content posted on the directory’s website.
  • News related to the industry or region that the directory focuses on.

Measuring an Online Directory’s Success

While you’re managing and promoting an online directory, it’s important to be measuring the directory’s success to determine what’s working and what isn’t. Next week we’ll talk about the different ways you can measure the directory’s performance and capitalize on those measurements to build success.

This article is part three of our four part series. In case you missed them, here are the links to the other parts of this series: