This is the first in a series of emails that will be delivered to members of the One Million at OneMillionBlackBusinesses.com. If you would like to receive copies of emails from the entire series, please join our directory at the homepage.
Part One of the Improved Listings Series
Now that your listing has been approved, it’s time to work on improving the way it looks so that you can optimize your results and the visibility that your listing receives in our directory. This is the first of many tip-related emails that will ultimately be collected into a guide that can be used as a reference manual for our members.
These tips will pertain to free listings as well as paid listings. The only distinction is that some of the features won’t be available to those who only have the free listing functionality. As you learn how to do more with your listing, you might decide to upgrade so that you can reap some of the more advanced benefits of a paid listing. Let me know if the tips aren’t easy to follow or if they are confusing in any way. I intend to continue improving on these tips with each publication so that the complete resource is as helpful as possible.
Two Tips to Improve your Free & Basic Listing
Tip #1: Include your business name, address, city, state and zip code in your account information.
Since a Free & Basic listing consists of your business name, address, city, state and zip code, it’s very important to include all of these elements in your account information. Our directory features search functionality that uses city and state specifically and if these fields are missing, you won’t be found when a visitor uses those fields for a specific search. These searches are very common as people are used to searching for things in their city or state so that they can get a sense of how close your business or service is to where they live. The paid listings allow you to use the mapping feature and if someone sees that you do business in their area, they are very inclined to map our your location or use the map to get driving directions in order to pay you a visit. To update your location information, log into your account and from the the left column under the Work with Account section, click the pencil icon next to Edit.
The following fields are available for editing on this screen for all accounts; however, some of the data will only be used in paid listings. You should fill in all the fields so that when you upgrade, this information will already be pulled into your enhanced listing:
Username [enter any single word username you wish]
Password [enter any password you wish]
Password [confirm the password you entered above]
Email [This program uses stealth email]
Website Example: http://www.yourdomain.com
Click the Save My Work button before moving on to Tip #2.
Tip #2: Make sure that your category is correct.
When many of the listings are approved, it’s obvious that a category was not selected that properly represents the business being listed. The default category is Accountants since that is the first category available and there are many more businesses listed as Accountants than there are actual accounting businesses in our directory. Unfortunately, the only time you can select your category is when you initially submit your listing for inclusion in the directory. To change your category, do this:
First check to see what categories are available by opening a new window in your web browser and going the the directory homepage (http://www.onemillionblackbusinesses.com) and clicking on the link in the center of the page for an "Advanced database search" (http://www.onemillionblackbusinesses.com/search_advanced.php).
From the choices in the right column of this page, choose search type Category & City. Determine what category best fits your business by scrolling through all the categories available in the drop-down menu. Once you’ve determined what you want your category to be, return to the Update Account screen.
In the left column under Work with account, you’ll need to click the wand icon next to Webmaster to send a note to us to change your category to one that you found that better suits your business. If your category was not listed among the choices available, please suggest a category for us to consider adding to the list and we’ll let you know when the change has been made. Click the Send Feedback button and check the box next to it if you want a copy sent to yourself at the email address in your account settings. When you’re done, click the logout icon in the Work with account section and you’ve finished the first steps in improving your listing.
In our next set of tips, we’ll discuss using weblinks, changing your logo and offering coupons as marketing improvements for your listing.