Review of Manta.com

socialIt’s funny this thing called the Internet. It was supposed to tear down borders and make the world closer by being able to reach out across the planet and talk to any one at any time. Little did we know that it would take less than 20 years for the Web to come full circle and have us all concentrating on what we already had…local relationships.

Sites like Groupon, Yelp, Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook Places, Google Places and LivingSocial have us all checking in and commenting on our experiences with local merchants in almost real-time, not to mention the number of local directories seems to grow everyday. Merchant Circle, Thumbtack.com, local.com, citysearch.com and kudzu.com all promise to bring traffic to your site. But a new site popped up on my radar screen the other day – Manta.com.

My review of Manta.com

With so many directory sites coming online everyday, it’s hard to stay up on which ones to get involved in and which ones to ignore. I happened to hear about Manta.com yesterday while listening to Mike & Mike on ESPN. I liked their tag line, “We do small business” because I do small business. So they already appealed to me. Now let’s see what you think.

About Manta.com-From the site:

Manta is the world’s largest online community for promoting and connecting small business. With more than one million registered users and 64 million company profiles, business owners and professionals use Manta to promote and differentiate their offerings and “be found” online by customers and prospects. Manta is ranked the third largest business news/research website by comScore and has an audience of 26 million from the U.S. and around the globe. Manta is ranked in Business Insider’s SAI Digital 100: The World’s Most Valuable Startups. Launched in 2005, Manta is privately held and based in Columbus, Ohio.

Couple of things I like right off the bat:

1. They are NOT in Silicone Valley, they are rooted firmly in middle-America, which I happen to appreciate.
2. They have already built a solid base of profiles having been in the space since 2005.
3. They seem to be seriously interested in your business success.
4. They give you the ability to add a ton of content on your profile page, even on just your free listing.
5. If you opt for a paid listing, you can cancel at any time.

A few concerns:

1. Some features could be thought out a bit better, such as their claim to not include your site in search engine results unless you have a paid plan. To me, this makes having a listing pointless, especially if there is no driver of traffic directly to the site itself. But I bet they let just enough traffic get through to whet your appetite for a little more. ;)
2. “Top placement in Manta search results”. That’s fine, but I don’t see a clear path as to how a consumer would find themselves on Manta in the first place.
3. Pricing I think is a bit on the high side for their paid plans.

Overall, I don’t think you can go wrong with a free listing on Manta.com. I would even throw them a couple of bucks once I knew how they would drive traffic to their site…and lower the price a bit if only on a temporary basis.

My Manta.com video review:

While I was at it, I also shot a video of the sign up process along with completing my profile form, which really goes into some detail. I also made a call to Manta to verify my account(a step you are going to want to make sure you do) and found myself engaged in a fantastic conversation with a customer service rep who was really sharp. So you can watch the video below if you want. And to the PR people at Manta, if you want me to cut the call out of the video I would be happy to do so, but I think it plays well for you guys, but it is up to you. To sign up at Manta.com, click here.

What to do next?

Well, you could always add your site to Manta.com, but before you do, you should ask yourself, is your site ready to convert the traffic it gets? Or do you think you need to take a good hard look at what you currently have? If you aren’t sure where to start, maybe a website review is a good idea. This will help you start with a baseline and improve your site’s ability to move people through the sales funnel. In fact, if you need a website review, we can get one done for you in less than a day or two. That way, you can start making the changes needed to help move the needle on your sales. So if you are interested in a website review, click here for more details.

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Darren

Darren Slaughter is the founder and President of DarrenSlaughter dot Com, an agency focusing on website design, blogging, social media management, marketing & other advertising for home improvement contractors.