How Important Are Directory Listings For Local SEO
Directory listings are basically niche/general directories. Their main purpose is to function as an online phonebook for the storage of important information like NAP data (name, address, and phone number), map listing, and website address.
Notably, some directory listings are customised to allow you to share photos of your business, the hours of operation, and other valid data.
It’s also worth documenting that there are various other directory listing types out there which are dependent on how long you’d like your listing to remain active.
You have the option of having your business permanently listed in the directory listing, or over a short period like 1 year. Thanks to the options available in the market, you can choose to use directory listings free of charge or part with a small fee. ClickDo offers a local citation service which will get your business listed on the top 100 directories in the UK, we’ve personally used this service ourselves and highly recommend it to any local business owner in the UK.
Having pointed this out, the onus is therefore on your to ensure that your business is listed on at least a couple of directory listing on the web. By doing so, you’ll be helping your business take that next leap forward.
Best Directory Listings for Local SEO
If you want to learn the ropes on directory listings, there’s a couple of websites that you can’t ignore.
- Google My Business
- Angie’s List
- The Better Business Bureau
- Merchant Circle
- LinkedIn Company Directory
These 10 directory listings serve as a great example of the options in the market. Acquainting yourself with them will help you comprehend the nature of directory listings and delve further into the field.
Why Directory Listings Matter
All the directories are structured differently. As you sample each of them, you may find yourself ranking higher in search engines and build trust with your clientele.
That said, it’s of the essence to comprehend that not all directory listings are created equal. Some of them can give you an edge over the rest. As such, it’s important that you carefully evaluate the nature of your business before zoning in on one.
Quality of Directory
The one trait you need to check out in when reviewing the quality of directory is whether the directory is monitored by a human, or if it has an open submission.
Human monitoring usually has an edge over open submission because there’s some cross-checking of submitted content. To stand out, you want to avoid having your information paired up with plenty of other spam listings.
As a rule of thumb, it’s important to stay away from directories that have a keyword anchor text, directories containing the text “add your link” or “suggest a site”, and low domain authorities.
The Benefits of Local Listings
1 - Brand Development and Brand Awareness
The more accessible your business is online, the more likely people will be exposed to your product offering. As a consequence of this, you’re likely to realise that more people will be making utility of your services and willing to buy the items you’re selling. Brand Development plays a key role in your marketing strategy
On the flip side, if people are unable to locate your website or track it down over the web, there’s a very low chance that you’ll be able to unlock new clients.
Importantly, directory listings also serve as great tools to reach out to specific audiences and capture their imaginations. Who doesn’t want that?
2 - Promote your Products & Services
With directory listings, you can choose to concentrate your efforts on a specific state, town, city, or zip code. Alternatively, you can decide to go big and advertise your products and services internationally. To get the most of your efforts, tools like Google AdWords, Bing Ads, Yellow Pages, and Yelp Advertising, are recommended.
Using these tools, you’ll be able to target specific prospects. Some of these platforms have mass appeal among entrepreneurs due to the fact that they offer free advertising capabilities.
3 - Search Engine Optimisation
Directory listings and SEO are a match made in heaven. Because listings get plenty of hits, it’s easy for businesses to rank higher on search engines. The backlinks from online directories are also high quality since they originate from recognised sources.
Having your business on the lips of everyone is no mean feat. For this to happen, you need to put the word out there in a number of listing directories, social platforms, review sites, and search engines.
The net result? Enhanced odds of customers finding your products and services on the web. Truthfully, there are hundreds of directory listings out there, this means that it may take an eternity for you to go solo. As such, we recommend hiring the services of an established company like ClickSlice to help you with your efforts.
4 - Cheap Exposure and Cost-Effective Method
Interestingly, you can have your business listed on a number of search engines, directories, review sites, and social platforms at no charge.
Before you commit to having your information displayed on such platforms, we advise that you first work on bolstering your profile. Once that is done, you’ll find it easy to make it to the top of search lists when people are seeking specific services and products.
A well-crafted strategy can effectively help you avoid annoying ad pop-ups and keep competitors looking for a slice of your business at bay.
If you want to have your business listed, you can do so for free. Since there’s a greater risk of getting things wrong with this approach, you need to carefully scan the information you provide to weed out the errors. Having a single dashboard from where you can review all the listings you’ve created is also recommended because it facilitates easy management.
Embracing a DIY approach sometimes leaves you vulnerable. In a bid to come up with an excel spreadsheet that lists out all the usernames and passwords of the various search engines, social media platforms, review sites and directories that you’ve come up with, you may find that the information is not accurate.
Having a single dashboard is a safer option because you can keep track of all the changes you make along the way without necessarily having to constantly perform password resets.