Local online marketing is critical to your business success and directories can help, most of the time. Here is a quote from Lookupbook (a directory service) website: “Lookupbook helps new business owners launch their business startup by providing free new business listings, timely business startup news, and new business directory advertising that enables prospects to easily find your new business.”. They use information from the various states new business listings to populate their free online business listings for businesses less than one year old. Sounds like a great service for new businesses, but is it?
Let’s look closer!
We were engaged by a new client earlier this month to help deal with an erroneous listing in Lookupbook. The business is a new handyman service and Lookupbook had them listed as a bakery. Because it’s a new business, the Lookupbook listing was nearly the top search results on a Google search for the business name. This is a major headache for a new business trying hard to get new customers.
We started out by going directly to Lookupbook to correct the problem. We quickly understood the business model. Lookupbook has a free listing and a premium service listing. The free listings are too, often wrought with mistakes or at best generalities. When we examined the free option to manage the free listing, we found the business categories that are available to new businesses are too broad to help them obtain accurate search results. And in some cases such as our client, it was actually a very negative because arbitrary tags with no ability to edit were added to the free general listing.
As a result, in the example of our handyman client, the closest free category is construction and general contractor. As previously mentioned, the free category adds arbitrary tags. Tags such as “logging and cement work” among others, were listed as services provided by our handyman client. These are clearly not our client’s business services.
We are attempting to remove the listing entirely. Short of that, business owners have the choice of buying the premium services and getting a more specific listing or doing SEO work to get their own website listed ahead of the Lookupbook listing.
I’m very interested in hearing more from you about your experience. Comment and let us know your experiences. As always if you need help with this or any other online marketing need, please send us a note and we’ll be happy to help.