Comparing Three Online Small and Medium Enterprise Directories

Wiku once had written his opinion on a wide-open opportunity to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). In that opinion, he said that despite SMEs owners’ knowledge about the internet is increasing, opportunities for business development as well as helping SMEs owners to develop their businesses, remains wide open.

This may be true because until today, this kind of business model keeps on sprouting. When I googled the keyword “SME Directory”, I found many websites have SME directory, whether it’s there for a very long time or newly made. But in my opinion, there are only 3 websites that deserve to be mentioned in providing listing service to SMEs in Indonesia. Those three websites are Promo UKMBisnis UKM (beta) and PlazaID.

This many not meet Wiku’s hope at the time to give a service that’s different and combine two or more existing services. The three directories are still a container to be a place to promote products and services offered by SMEs. At least, that can help SMEs to meet prospective clients. Let’s compare the three based on several things below.

Display From the display, I like the look of Bisnis UKM the most. It looks unsightly and easy to find the features we need. On the right hand side, we get a link to search for SME business by category; while on the left, there is a link to search for SME business based on the province its located. Both lists are sorted based on ascending number of listing inside it. The middle column featured ads search result based on category/location that we’ve selected before. PlazaID’s front page is good but when we open the directory, it looks dry. While Promo UKM, in my opinion, has a problem with ads placement that’s annoying.

Feature Bisnis UKM arguably has the most complete features. Bisnis UKM provides forum, video and premium ad feature. But it forgets the one important thing, the search facility. For me, this is a fatal blunder for this feature should be a major feature in a directory. PlazaID, in addition to offering a place to promote, is also offering a free website for SME profile. Other standard features are available on the three websites.

Search Engine Optimization One of the features that are also important for a website like this is a search engine optimization. To compare the three, without logging in to Google, I just google with related keyword. With the keyword “directory of SMEs”, Promo UKM and Bisnis UKM appear in the first page, while PlazaID is on the second page. While for “food and beverage SMEs” (a category that I found in all three directories), Bisnis UKM is in the first page, Promo UKM in the second page, while PlazaID appear on the fifth page.

I let my curiosity got into me and typed another keyword, “SMEs in East Java”. The result, Promo UKM is in the first page, Bisnis UKM in the fourth page and PlazaID does not appear on the first five pages of the search result.

 

This is just a small experiment to test the three SME directories. You need to do more than what I did to find out which one is the best of the three directories or even of all existing SME directories. Aside from choosing one, is you are an owner of an SME, you might just pick them all, which is registering to all SME directories so your business opportunity to be found by users increases. But of course, you also have to always do maintenance on all directories you registered to, especially if there’s any update related to your SME info.

In addition to this kind of SME directory, SME owner can take advantage of Google’s offer to make a free website for SMEs. In January, Google, together with various parties, launched “Bisnis Go Online” to help 100 thousands SMEs to develop their businesses online. You can go this page for more information on this offer.

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