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. A boutique digital agency that focuses on website design & social media management for home improvement contractors.

Comments

  1. says

    Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your article seem to be running off the screen in Internet explorer. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know. The design and style look great though! Hope you get the problem solved soon. Many thanks

  2. Carlos Estrella says

    Hi Daren, 1st of all, I just wanted to say thanks for your review. I actually found you by accident as I’m not into contracting. I’m am actually in the Music Entertainment Business and I was wondering if you think that it’s a good idea to advertise with Manta? My main goal is to bring as many potential clients as possible to view my website, and let my website do the rest:) If you get a chance, plz check out my site and shoot me an email letting me know what you think.
    Thanks again so much, sincerely, Carlos Estrella.

    • Darren says

      Hi Carlos,

      Thanks for stopping by and reading! I think you can’t go wrong with the free listing. And the $20 plan might be enough depending on your ROI. Even though search engines are getting better reading flash (which your site has), doing some SEM might make sense, so give it a shot and let us know how it works for you. By the way, nice site, lots of good info and star pics!

  3. Dave Moffitt says

    Darren,
    I liked the little hook you tossed out baiting them to deny the video. I signed up with Manta back in March, and just learned today from your video that I still need to verify my account. Thanks for helping me save the $20/month….lol.

  4. Candice says

    Thanks for doing this video. I signed up not too long ago but wasn’t sure what the verification process was like, so I appreciate you taking the time to make this video so I could get an insider view on what to expect when I call to verify my business.

  5. says

    Darren;
    Thanks for the review of Manta. I have a free listing with Manta for my Video Production Co.: R&M Video Services. So, before I spend any money with Manta, I have a question. Can anyone advise me on the greater difference between Google ADwords & Manta. After all one can have a budget limit of $40.00 per month with Google, or $40.00 per month with Manta. Just seeking information to make an informed decision. Thanks..Loved the video… Mitch R&M video Services Miami Beach, Florida

  6. Henry says

    Hi,

    I have come across Manta frequently while conducting internet searches for certain types of companies, or while investigating specific companies. I have found that the annual revenue figure they quote is very unreliable (and way too specific…?). What is your experience of this? It causes me to to distrust the rest of the content and close the Manta screen in every search I do. A sham though as this information would be very useful to know.

    Thanks for the review though, it was useful.

    Henry

  7. says

    We just signed up for the 30 day trial and added Manta to our contact form in the “How did you find us” section. We will let you know if we get anything from it.

  8. Neal says

    Thanks Darren – nice article. You have a typo in your tagline – just wanted to give you a heads up. It says “Helping Contractor Sell More…” I’m assuming that ‘Contractors’ was the intended word.
    Good luck !

  9. Jay says

    Based on this video: Manta customer service rep was not informative and seemed to lack any real knowledge about the product. He passed the buck and said “one second” one to many times while he typed looking for answers.

    My business has been registered and verified on Manta since Sept’11. No leads.

    • Darren says

      Hey Jay,

      Good observation. However, I will say, the guy’s attempt to figure it out is more than what a lot of companies do today. And I totally took him off script, so he did pretty good in my book.

  10. says

    I signed up to the free version a couple of weeks ago and according to an e-mail I received from theme today I have had 16 profile views.
    We are an Internet based company selling throughout the USA and Canada are doing all our own SEO after unsuccessfully paying other companies to do it for us. Since taking it over about 3-4 months ago we are making steady progress with 22 keywords on Google page 1 (three in #1 position and everything else all the way up to 10).
    I am wondering if you know how valuable an upgraded (paid listing) might be for my SEO?
    It seems that $39 per month allows a listing of 5 keywords and $49 allows for 15 keywords aside from a few other options such as additional business categories, locations and pages.
    I would appreciate all thoughts on an upgrade or not?
    Thanks.

  11. Alex Rokovets says

    Darren,

    How many months does take to move into fist page of google to get more leads from the manta site

    A.Rokos Stucco and Masonary Inc.

    • Darren says

      Hey Alex,

      You may never appear on the first page. Gotta do a lot of tweaking to your profile and then it depends on your competitors pages and relevancy.

  12. Peter Plybeah says

    Your marketing company is great. At this time, I am writing to cancel my company’s website listed above. The company is now closed down. You never discussed using my real name on the internet with me. Your representative told me information would be kept confidential
    Please cancel my real name and company’s website listed above from your record completely
    without delay. Please contact me as soon as possible if you have any questions. Please delete all of our information from your system and check engenes immediately.
    Thank you.

    Peter

    • Darren says

      Hi Peter,

      You need to check with Manta directly, this isn’t Manta. I did a review of their product offering a while back, but they do not respond to messages left here.

  13. says

    Like some of the other people, we signed up with Manta for a free listing about 2 months ago. We get some good tips via email and a nice profile review every week. Just this week I went ahead and signed up for a paid listing. the price isn’t bad and I like the ability to cancel at any time. So with that being said, I figured I would give the paid listing a try for a month or two.

    One thing I’ve noticed though is that when searching for keywords on search engines, Manta results don’t seem to show up in the search engine results like yellow pages or some of the others.

  14. says

    Thankyou for your review, very insightful and I have learnt alot just scrolling through your responses to other visitor’s questions. We are based in Australia and started using Manta last year, however according to feedback we just received we have had only 5 views in 5 months so I have been looking at reviews trying to decide wether it is worth keeping our profile on there. It definitely seems to be a much bigger network in America and maybe not as well known here in Aus.

  15. Aimee says

    I signed up for the premium listing and I am very disappointed. I have been trying to cancel and they make it IMPOSSIBLE! When you go on the Contact Manta page and click on your subscription you have the option to cancel (or so I thought). When you select that option you find that they will not process your request to cancel until you call them. I have tried calling for days and have been left on eternal. It feels a bit like a scam. I will call my credit card to let them know that the next charge is NOT authorized. This is terrible customer service.

  16. says

    We been on the manta network as a free customer for a long time. They provide no incentives for free customers. I have not received one customer through the manta network. I honestly wanted to see if its something i did wrong, that’s how i found this. I believe efforts on yelp and angieslist should far weight any compared to this.

  17. Stephen says

    The Manta Network simply is a directory of which there are numerous. Typing in Bing: “Business Directory”, Bing returns more then 1,820,000,000 results. First couple of pages I reviewed didn’t show anything about Manta [I stopped looking after page five]. The Manta directory is like a phone book. The only users who will find any information about your business are those who pickup (go to Manta’s website) the phone book and search for businesses of your type. An exception to going to Manta’s website to find your business is how I came across this forum; using Google, I typed: “Reviews on Manta.com”. In other words, let’s say your company deals in concrete. If a user were to search the internet specifically for “Manta concrete contractors”, the user may get results which would link to your Manta ad posting. In short, unless a searching user knows about Manta and specifically uses Manta as a keyword, you’re probably not going to be found on the Internet.

    One reader of this forum posted a question: “How many months does take to move into fist page of google to get more leads from the manta site” My answer would be “eternity.” There are numerous factors involved to get on top pages of search engines some more pertinent then others. I have confidence in writing this as I have had two domains on top pages of various and popular search engines. I no longer operate the websites due to health reasons but I maintain the domain names as the age* of the domain name plays a vital roll in a website’s visibility in getting on top pages of search engines and the like (directories). I can also state with confidence, that any “service”, even the “We’ll help you build your own website!” services, their main objective is promoting/selling their service, your’s being secondary if you are lucky (secondaries are usually page advertisements specific to the page content, services all ready have your money).

    The best advice I can offer anyone who wants to be in results of search engines is to acquire YOUR OWN DOMAIN NAME, invest some money, learn the basics of creating a webpage or pay someone to do it for you that has no stake (excluding their reputation) in your website (meaning you have complete control over the content of your website and who can manage it), and give it time. Anything less isn’t going to work unless your business is so unique and with little competition [on the Internet]. Services like Manta and the like, are basically good for direct links (you distribute your URI (URL) to everyone including similar services). It doesn’t hurt. I do not recommend paying for something that you do not have complete control over every aspect thereof, including what you CAN NOT SEE (like what actually creates the webpage).

    *Age is a significant factor in search engine results. If not, scammers could easily create a webpage, get on the top pages of search engines, do their scamming, and then close their doors. The older the website (domain name), the less likely it’s a scam.

  18. says

    I signed up for Manta when I got the “verify profile now” pop-up. When I talked with the gal on the other line (her name was Amber). The first month was discounted at $20 then it’s $40 ever month after that unless you pay for a year which you get the $20 per month.

    What I was told from Amber was that using Manta and having a complete profile will help increase your page rank (PR) in the search engines. My PR is currently at 1 and I would like to increase that if I can.

    I’ve had a sharp increase if profile views, what I don’t like is you have now clue who viewed it or if the people looking at your profile are even quality prospects for my business. What would be cool is that I could see who viewed, then I can “follow” that company, which in turn would increase social visibility and then help get more customers down the line.

    My plan is to spend the $20 this month and add an additional month (under Ambers advice) and that I should see a PR increase. I added a PR checker to my site and will be monitoring that.

    If Manta.com helps increase SEO for my website than I’m all for it. I’ve paid more than $20 on Facebook to promote my site with very little increase in business. So I say what can this hurt.

    Will try to come back to this when my trial with Manta.com is up.

    Thanks for the review.

    Sincerely,

    Michael Sparks

  19. says

    The only thing I don’t like about my listing with Manta, is all the tons of junk email I get from them. More then any other site. Other then that, I agree with you Darren, I don’t see the harm in having the free listing.

  20. Joyce Dillenberger says

    MANTA didn’t mention a charge when they sent me the sign-up info. However, the DEAL-BREAKER for me was that the so-called ”verification step” in the process contained small print stating that you are to agree to share your electronic address lists. Whoa! We promise our clients full confidentiality for their email addresses! Why does MANTA want my listings?

    Sorry, no deal. Maybe they’re a good group and maybe they’re not, but it is a violation of professional trust to share email addresses w/a third party.

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