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What Is A Building Product Directory?

By Leigh Simpson on 13-Apr-2018 12:39:26

Topics: Digital PR
an architect specifying for construction project

Updated For 2022, we've provided the latest domain ratings for the Building Product Directory and highlighted the differences between listings and product directories

A building product directory is an online resource for building specifiers. Used by the likes of architects and engineers to research and select building materials, it helps streamline the process when specifying for current or future construction projects. 

As building product directories are used in up to 76% of product research in the UK, they should be viewed as important components of any construction marketing strategy.

Is a Building Product Directory More Than Just A Listings Site?

There are a number of sites that describe themselves as product directories, but many aren’t much more than trade listing or business listing sites.  These sites generally provide little more than company names under broad, generic product categories, with basic contact information, a backlink to the company’s website and a brief description.

Listings such as Yell or 118 are also free to use for any business, with listings for hairdressers and coffee shops just as welcome as your building product business. While this does help get found locally, it is much harder to be found by architects and specifiers and doesn't offer much else to those looking to source materials in the construction sector.

What these sites do provide however is backlinks. Helping building product manufacturers increased their onsite visibility through increased domain authority.  These sites do provide value for building product manufacturers as the backlink benefits their domain authority, while the referral traffic can generate leads.  

Leading UK Construction Related Directories

While product directories provide a platform for building products to be discovered by those architects and specifiers selecting materials for products, they also help from an SEO point of view, too helping provide additional platforms to promote content such as CPD.

As these product directories have high domain authority, listing your building product on them helps improve your authority, and in turn, ranking higher. 

Using an SEO tool called ahrefs, the below highlights the Domain Rating of the leading UK construction directories as of December 2021. Domain authority is ranked on a 0-100 scale.

  • RIBA Product Search (NBS) - 76
  • Building Design - 73
  • Construction Index - 73
  • Construction Enquirer - 71
  • Design Curial Product Directory - 68
  • Building Centre Product Finder - 63
  • GreenSpec - 59
  • SpecifiedBy - 52
  • Barbour Product Search - 51
  • Specification Online - 44
building product directory

Why Do Specifiers Use Building Product Directories?

To be classed as a genuine building product directory, it is critical to be perceived as a valuable resource and source of information to building specifiers, assisting them in the time consuming and complex task of identifying the most suitable products for their projects.

Consider that a typical commercial building will require around 5,000 different products to be used in its construction.  This is a mammoth task for an architectural practise or a firm of engineers.

Typically, specifiers will stick to known brands or businesses that they have worked with in the past that have provided a good product and service, adding the risk of the unknown into your project is usually avoided where possible.  However, when specifiers are looking for a new solution or supplier, their search will begin and directories are likely to be a part of this process.

The most popular directories will often be used in preference to or alongside building product manufacturers websites and should be seen as an extension of these sites.

Which Are The Major Building Product Directories

In the UK, there are several major product directories that are widely used by specifiers, they include;

Between them, they report over 3 million visits per year to their websites and 20 million page views or searches.

What separates these resources from general listing sites is the way in which they are organised, the size of their product databases and the quality and quantity of product data they give the specifier access to.

Common resources included;

  • A large and comprehensive database of product data which is logically classified, indexed and categorised.
  • Comprehensive search capabilities, including by brand, product name, manufacturer or product description
  • Easily downloadable content such as BIM files, technical brochures, specification clauses and CAD files.

Our UK Building Product Directory Comparison Matrix illustrates the content and information available on these leading sites.

UK Building Product Directory Comparison Matrix 

Further Building Product Insights

While directory listings provide a fantastic way to raise awareness of your building product, there are also a number of other marketing techniques that can be used to help promote your brand and generate leads. 

The more content you are producing, the more you have to share on building product directories meaning that architects and engineers who are at the specifying stage are more likely to choose your product over another. 

Visit our Resources page, where you can find more useful tools to help promote your building product brand.

2019 Arch Media Guide (1)-1

About Insynth

At Insynth we deliver a predictable flow of leads, customers, and specifications for building product brands through our inbound marketing approach, proven to reach a technically demanding audience.

We use the latest marketing techniques such as construction inbound marketing, to equip building product companies to grow sustainability in this era of digital transformation.

As the only HubSpot certified agency to major in construction marketing. We have a proven formula of bringing a variety of functionalities together including CRM ImplementationWeb DesignSales AutomationSEO, and Email Marketing to achieve your ultimate aim: Growing your business and gaining new specifiers and customers.

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Leigh Simpson

Written by Leigh Simpson

Aligning my experience in marketing, technology, building products and business growth to bring you insights on how to leverage the internet and the latest technology to help you generate more leads, acquire more customers, improve client engagement and create a long term competitive advantage.