How would you price a subscription-based directory listing?
I am new to the business. Currently, the registration is free for our business directory website - indyapages.com. If I am to convert the site to paid subscription, how would I price it? We are looking to show Indian business directory, online company listings for B2B, manufacturers, B2C service professionals, and freelancers.
Generally, business directories give profile creation option for free. They charge to get higher position when someone searches these business directories for some businesses. For example- if some user of your website looks for a travel company in his local area, then those travel companies who paid you will be listed in top positions in the search results and non-paid will be listed after the paid ones.
Besides the search positions, you can charge companies for monthly leads.
We have been in SEO, Web Design, and Web Hosting since 2006, therefore think we have a good handle on this sector, so I hope my advice will be of some use to you.
You have mentioned you are new in this business sector so I guess some basic insight might help.
There are 2 reasons website owners list their sites with any directory or other websites namely Link Juice and/or Traffic.
Google has almost killed all the reasons that anyone would want to list in any simple directory. Unless you add value in line with sites such as TripAdvisor, Yelp or Trustpilot, then you are not going to help ranking of the members or provide them with a valuable source of lead generation.
The question you have to ask is how would you deliver on either of these drivers?
To help with Link Juice (or Ranking) you need to have a very high ranking yourself with high level of trust from Google (Authority). A new website is unlikely to have either of these.
To generate traffic, you need to have the above but also be a recognised brand by the consumers. Again think of TripAdvisor, TrustPilot, Yelp, Trivago, etc. They spend millions on advertising to establish their brand and deliver high quality leads to the websites that list with them.
If you do not have the financial resources to build your brand, then you have to think about how you will promote your site in other ways such as organic SEO, Quality Content, Quality inbound Links, etc.
In essence before you think about how much to charge, you need to establish how much you are worth. Subscribers to TrustPilot, TripAdvisor, Yelp, etc. know the value of these websites and have a good view of how much revenue they generate from these sources, which allows the directories pitch their subscription fees at the right level.
I hope this helps.