JustDial – Should You Advertise Your Local Business with them?

If you are a small or a medium scale enterprise business in India, You may have considered advertising your local business with JustDial at least once.

What is JustDial?

JustDial is one of India’s local search engines that allow local businesses to generate leads once listed on it. They are also the only advertising agency to be listed on the Indian Stock Exchange.Here’s an advert by their brand ambassador, the iconic Amitabh Bachhan.

At Innovators Digital, A Digital Marketing Agency in Pune, I am currently working with a customer who happens to be one of the leading dealerships for Crompton Greaves Industrial Motors & Pumpsets, Danfoss Drives & a few other products. While they have been in business for the past 25 years, one of their key goals still remains to add new logos to their business.

Being a dealership in a B2B Engineering Industry comes with its own challenges. You cannot use channels like Facebook & Instagram because the customers are not present there. PPC Campaigns based on Google Adwords can be considered, but for dealerships, the margins tend to be thin & advertising can fast become a money spinner.

When I looked at the search results for their Industry specific keywords, the top 3 results were dominated on a lot of occasions by either the OEM companies or the vertical search engines like JustDial, IndiaMart, IndustryBuying and so on. Moreover, the volume of searches was very low via Google Search.

After speaking to the founding partners, I quickly realized that the volume of searches is probably low because of two major reasons:

  1. Customers who inquire for the industrial equipment are clearly aware of what they want to order & who they want to order from
  2. A new customer looking for options goes directly to one of the vertical search engines and initiates their search on those platforms

The important insight here is that in a country like India which has 29 states, 7 union territories, 22 languages & over 720 different dialects, it is impossible for even Google to be the King of local search. JustDial solves this problem to some extent.

How does JustDial work?

JustDial connects a prospective buyer to a potential vendor through 4 media including their Website, Mobile App, Call-Center & WAP. They allow businesses across all sizes and scale to register on to their system. When a customer wants a need to be fulfilled, He connects with JustDial with one of their exposed interfaces and registers his query with them.

The JustDial search engine then processes the keywords provided by the customer, tries to match it with their existing vendor database & then gets them connected to each other. It’s now the vendor who provides a quotation in the least possible time & at a mutually agreeable price wins the contract.

How does JustDial make money?

JustDial earns money by inviting local businesses to create a listing on their system. By default, businesses create a free listing into the JustDial database. They add the appropriate keywords which describe their business the best & complete all other details including phone numbers, website, emails and so on.

The competitive businesses then advertise with JustDial to make sure that their results feature to the top of the search results page. JustDial has contracts that range from INR 9000 for 90 days which is their trial package to costs that can run in millions of Indian Rupees based on the keywords, area codes, cities and states you choose to advertise into.

Do you get qualified leads through JustDial?

You may not get qualified leads at all times via Just Dial. This is where inefficiency creeps into the JustDial system. When a prospective buyer calls the JustDial call center, He provides his requirement to the call center executive. While it is not entirely clear what the call center executive sees on their screen, I am told they tap into appropriate keywords & hit a button. The search engine algorithm then matches appropriate listings to the queries & alerts them of an incoming inquiry.

There are three levels at which inefficiency can crop in here –

  1. The Prospective Buyer is not accurate while letting the call center agent about his requirement
  2. It is entirely the Call Center executive’s judgement on understanding the requirement
  3. The keywords that businesses qualify themselves for may not be entirely specific

While a business owner has no practical control over the first two points above, they can control the keyword research to some extent.

Here’s an example inquiry: 

If I am searching for  “Crompton Greaves 3 Phase Induction Electric Motor Dealers”  I may simply let the call center agent know that I am looking for – Motor Dealers in Pune. Now, if as a business owner, I have added my business under the “Motor Dealers” tag, I will receive this inquiry but clearly, it will not be a qualified one on all occasions.

However, a quick glance and it will be clear that JustDial probably works better if you optimize your keywords well by listing your business for more specific keywords.

So, If I have listed my business under the Electric Motor Dealers tag on JustDial, I will most likely receive inquiries for that tag only. But, If I am a dealer for Crompton Greaves motors, I may not necessarily find a buyer looking for that motor itself. This generates a lot of unqualified inquiries for the buyers.

The only way to make this better is by listing your business for the correct keywords. Try listing for both a specific keyword like – “Crompton Greaves Electric Motor Dealers” & “Electric Motor Dealers” too. After a certain period of time, measure and analyze the number of leads and inquiries received and optimize the listing further.

Do I recommend my clients to use JustDial?

When I am consulting my clients as a part of Innovators Digital, An Online Marketing Agency in Pune on their Search Engine Optimization needs, I do recommend them to list on JustDial. Along with a constant pursuit on Organic SEO, JustDial seems to be a good channel for paid advertising for local businesses. However, experimentation is the key here.

It is important to keep optimizing for the correct keywords, track all inquiries and get as many details as possible over every call & finally find a way to utilize the relevant data for future marketing efforts. JustDial serves as a good strategy to build a qualified email database.

Are there any CRM tools that link with JustDial?

JustDial sends out inquiries into an email. It is really cumbersome and time consuming to scrape the lead details from an email and dump it into a CRM. So, I tried finding available API’s for JustDial and could not find any. However, LeadSquared seems to have an integration with JustDial which not only allows you to automatically get the leads into a CRM but also nurture them using a drip campaign.

Why doesn’t Google solve the local search problem entirely?

It’s tough. For a country of India’s size and the diversity in terms of languages and culture, It is impossible for Google to efficiently solve this problem. However, as the internet penetration continues to increase, literacy rates increase & voice search becomes more predictable, businesses might be able to rely more on Google itself. But, it still seems to be 3-5 years into the future.

What is the future for JustDial?

I was looking at the Google Trend graph for the period between 2013-2018. A quick glance seems to suggest that while the trend for JustDial is still very strong, the interest seems to steadily wane. It will be absolutely important for JustDial to reduce inefficiencies in their system at a rapid rate while battling with all the other market forces including Google Local Business, Industry Specific Vertical Search Engines, Voice Search and disruptive search technologies & SME’s resorting to organic SEO themselves.

What are your views on this topic? I would love to hear about them in the comments below.

You may also want to read – How should I start with Search Engine Optimization for my local business?

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