It is vital to have a basic understanding of search engine optimisation and how the service you appear on works if you are to appear highly rated or near the top of the findings.
Karen Barrett, chief executive of Unbiased, says it is definitely worthwhile exploring whether there is anything you can do to increase the prominence of your profile on an online listing and how you can differentiate your firm from your competitors.
She says her own service offers an ‘enhanced’ listing, which means that you can add greater detail to your profile. This however does mean parting with the best of £400+VAT each year, though it claims strong return on investment.
The more information you can provide about you and your firm, the more leads within your target market will find their way to you, Ms Barrett says.
She says: “These types of packages can also offer access to a number of other benefits, for example those advisory firms with an enhanced listing on Unbiased can join the Bluebook media directory and raise awareness of their firms in the consumer media.”
Lisa Beale, head of Checkaprofessional, says the search results on her service are randomised every 30 minutes, so it does not work on alphabetical, or star rating.
You can’t game this service with clever SEO and it still charges £599 - the difference here being the vetting process means you are among fewer rivals and with more tailored search options. It also offers client reviews on each profile.
Searches on Checkaprofessional can be carried out in many formats, such as a specific category within a specific postal code and it will bring up those closest to the post code, but filter out as the list continues to the furthest away.
Ms Beale says with Checkaprofessional consumers can also just click and call up all members, within a chosen profession, regardless of where they are situated around the UK.
There is a facility to search for a company by name, Ms Beale says so that a prospective client can research and find out more about them, or check specific information held, such as previous client feedback, before engaging their services.
Adam Price, founder of VouchedFor, says consumers looking for an adviser on his site enter their postcode, click ‘Go’ and a list of advisers in their area, complete with profiles, ratings, reviews, qualifications, etc, pops up.
An advanced search, if required, is also offered, which is a tick box menu and takes according to Mr Price takes less than 20 seconds.
He says: “Consumers do not want complex search functionality. They like simplicity.”
For those wishing to pay £160 a year a ‘standard’ account option offers the opportunity to turn the service into a direct lead generation service from enquiries through the site, for which additional fees must be paid.