This article was updated in May 2023
Booking platform and business directory listings are important elements of your digital presence. They should be consistent with your overall branding and optimized for customers to take action. These listings may be the first time consumers encounter your business, so it is crucial to make a strong impression with a limited amount of content.
An online business directory is a listing of businesses categorized by location, niche, or other attributes, making it easier for consumers to find the products and services they need and compare them against each other. Ensure that your business listings include up-to-date information and a link to your website as a best practice for local SEO, which is how your business appears in high-intent, near-me search results.
Business directories can include global sites such as Google My Business, Craigslist, Facebook, and other social sites, as well as thousands of localized directories that may list businesses in specific geographic areas or niches. Closely related to directories, and sometimes linked to them, are online booking and reservation platforms that allow consumers to schedule services such as haircuts and doctor visits. As a business operator, optimizing your directory or booking platform listing with the right content and presentation, including images, keywords, basic information, and social media links, is important.
Here are some tips for driving sales with directory and booking listings:
Eye-catching photos of your business and/or products are key to the success of your online directory or booking platform listing. Consider an exterior shot to help customers recognize your physical location, as well as shots of the interior and your products to help convey your brand image. The photos should reflect the personality of your business and offer accurate depictions of your products and services.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Optimizing your directory or booking platform listing for SEO requires careful planning and the selection of the right keywords. Your business’s name, physical address, website, phone number, and email address should always be presented exactly the same way — and in text form — to optimize search engine results. Conduct research to determine some of the most common keywords that your customers might use to look for your products or services and include them strategically in your content, such as “near me,” which has seen searches skyrocket in the last couple of years.
Don’t forget to include information your customers need to know, such as a brief description of the full range of services offered, hours of operation and pricing. If possible, consider adding an About Us section or link and perhaps a map that pinpoints your physical location. Other information potential customers might be interested in includes the availability of parking near your business and special deals, such as happy hours or discounts for senior citizens.
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Social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok have become important tools for conveying information about your business. In fact, reports indicate that young consumers increasingly search TikTok and other social media, rather than traditional search engines, to access information about fashion, travel, restaurants, and other interests in ways that could impact where they choose to shop. Include links to your social media accounts in your directory, and consider linking to social media videos that support your business.
In short, your directory or booking platform listing should be a microcosm of your brand, describing your products or services in a way that is easy to digest and that makes your business stand out from the crowd. Although small in terms of the content volume, a directory listing, citation, or booking platform listing can make a big impact on potential customers. Square Appointments offers a range of online booking solutions that can help you optimize the presence of your business online and attract more customers.