One of the many options for local businesses trying to be found online is to pay for sponsored listings on directories, review sites, and similar databases online. Is this a good idea?
I’ll have to say it depends on the website. A few years ago you could mass submit your website to thousands of online directories and most of them offered an upgrade where you pay for a sponsored or featured listing. Most of those featured listings were useless. After the advent of Google Panda and Google Penguin, those directory listings became useless.
Today, sponsored listings can be a big hit if you choose the right website.
Be sure you check the reputation of the directory or review site.
If it’s Yelp or CityPages, a sponsored listing can be a big help in getting your business found online. If it’s a site you’ve never heard of or that has a shaky reputation, then you’d be better off taking a pass. Site reputation is the single most important factor where sponsored listings are concerned.
After reputation, you should judge the value against the price you pay for the listing. Run a test trial. See what kind of response you get. If you pay $50 or $100 for a sponsored listing for one month and nothing happens, then you aren’t out of a huge investment. You know it doesn’t work. What you don’t want to do is sign a long-term contract without first running a test to see if there is some potential in the sponsored listing.