co Why Sponsored Listings Might Pay Your Bills |

Directories and review sites can be great places to get your site listed so that your local business can be found online. Sites like Yelp, CityPages and Instagram are growing more popular everyday, and customers are using them to find local businesses. The free listings are good, but you’re stuck in your category with all the other businesses who have free listings. You can make your site more visible with a sponsored listing.

But you have to be careful. Not all sponsored listings are created equal.

Your first consideration should be the reputation of the site you want to buy a sponsored listing from. Stick to the proven winners. Don’t experiment with a new site until they’ve proven themselves.

After you’re sure the reputation of the site checks out, do the math. What is the potential value compared to the price of a sponsored listing? You can judge that value by traffic or by contacting other sponsors to see if they’ve seen a return on their investment. Before you sign a contract, ask if you can run a test. Pay for one month of sponsorship and see what kind of results you get. If you don’t like the response, then you aren’t obligated to continue sponsoring the website.

You want to set your business apart from the competition. Sponsored listings can do that, but don’t be surprised if you don’t get a lot of click-throughs. Usually, sponsored listings are good branding and visibility.