Using Driving School Directory Advertising or Listing - Any Good?

Many newly qualified instructors will probably consider using one of the many Driving School Directories on the internet for marketing their services to potential clients, especially if they offer free listings.

I would always advice any driving instructor that their first step should be to have their own website for advertsing, as in the long run it is the best option for promoting your business.
Having said that, anyone who has read this marketing blog will know that your driving school website will not start working for you overnight, it takes time and some effort, so having something to kick start your online campaign is not a bad idea, so which directory, and what options?

Personally I don't believe any of the many driving school directories out there are doing you a favour even if they are offering free listings. They are out to make money be it via advertising or through the selling of premium listings to instructors who are trying to attract more learner drivers in these hard times, so you need to look carefully to make sure you chose the right one to go for.

Choosing a Driving school directory to list your business in.
There is no point in listing your business on a website that is not reaching your potential clients, so the first step to choosing a directory is a google search for your local area.
Take an example of a new ADI based in tamworth, a search for 'driving instructor tamworth', driving school tamworth' and 'driving lessons tamworth' reveals one directory in the top 5 spot, so this is your likely candidate to use.

Free or Paid Listing?

Using the directory found above, the only option I would consider using would be a paid listing, as it appears that free ones are arranged in alphabetical order, so unless your business name starts with A, you are at the bottom of the list.

Some directories do use a random/rotation feature for their free listings which means that entries are rotated each time the page loads, this is much fairer and better for all instructors, so consider using this type for free directory listing.

The paid listng in this directory doesn't seem to stand out from the other listings either through the use of different fonts or bold type face, so think about this when choosing a paid listing as you want people to notice your entry (this will obviously cost you more). Another thing you should look out for is do they link to your website (especially if they offer 'Do Follow' ones).

Traking your Listing
As always you need to track and performance test your online advertising campaign even if it is a free listing. The easiest way to do this is by using a unique phone number (PAYG SIMS and Mobiles are cheap). I would definately do this if I was paying for a listing (you can always ask a caller where they got your number from, but some simply say online, and you might not know where from), this will enable you to know what does and doesn't work, as I said earlier the directory owner wants to make money, so they will want you to renew any paid listing or convert a free one to paid, so only put your money into something that works (it takes money to make money).

At the end of the day, a well optimised and targeted website will always outperform a directory, so they should only be used as a stepping stone, get your own driving school website advertising your services and stop paying someone else.

More reading
Driving School Optimisation Expert.
Choosing driving school name.

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